If you’re someone who spends a certain amount of time online, especially on Twitter, there’s a high probability you’ve heard of Blaseball. Initially conceived by developer The Game Band as a non-stop baseball simulation, the plot of the game quickly curved into extremely weird territory. Now, it’s apparently being adapted into a two-player competitive card game courtesy of Wayfinder Games.
Blaseball: The Card Game was announced on January 17th as a collaboration between The Game Band and Ireland-based design outfit Wayfinder Games. Two players will each take control of one Blaseball team in a pitched contest to determine the best players under The Sun 2 (canonical sequel to the Sun - better not to ask).
One player will coach the Auric All-Stars, reigning champs, while the other ushers the Canis Underdogs on their journey from the bottom to a possible championship. The match-up is called “Set #1” on the game’s official website, presumably hinting at future expansions that will increase the roster. Each play session comprises the top and bottom of the ninth inning, skipping directly to the most dramatic and high-intensity moment.
Across a shadowy Blaseball diamond somewhere far away, there exists little more than silence.— BLASEBALL: THE CARD GAME (@blaseballtcg) January 17, 2022
Electricity suddenly crackles. The jumbotron springs to life.
It's time to Play Ball... again.https://t.co/zWWPulYu7u pic.twitter.com/6MusV8uE4Y
Blaseball: The Card Game will exist separately from the ongoing hijinks of the original digital game… er, experience. Players won’t need to know anything about Blaseball to understand the rules or appreciate its now-famous absurd sense of humour and approach to storytelling. The FAQ explicitly states that the events of the card game take place in a “separate, splintered timeline, where some things are the same, and some things are different.”
The FAQ also explains that Wayfinder Games will be designing the mechanics and narrative design of Blaseball: the Card Game with The Game Band providing guidance on the use of its IP, but that should not interfere with the tradition of fandom creation that runs parallel with Blaseball and often directly influences its outcomes.
“While this is a collaboration between development teams, we’d like to emphasize that the fans’ ability to make their own original fanwork remains the same. Please create what you're inspired to create, and if it’s yours and original, feel free to sell it,” the site reads.
Blaseball launched in July 2020 and became an immediate oddity. People either became experts overnight or stared at it as one would a talking dog - able to recognise parts but utterly failing to grasp the whole. Audience participation in the form of voting for edicts and decrees vastly changed how different seasons have played out, leading to players being incinerated and resurrected, the arrival of Old Gods, swarms of murderous birds and more.
Seasons last a week, creating a constantly churning tapestry of emergent horror storytelling, which is aided by the cryptic tweets of the official account and the massive output of the community. The card game will start crowdfunding in spring of this year, though what site will end up hosting the project has not been decided. The two companies state that they are investigating “various avenues” and “keeping our options open”.
The FAQ is explicit in one regard: "Wayfinder Games will not be pursuing platforms using the blockchain."