Nate French, the creator of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, has revealed that the title could have been released via a subscription model.
In an interview with Dicebreaker, the designer of the living card game - alongside co-designers Caleb Grace and MJ Newman - spoke about their experiences with creating The Lord of the Rings LCG and the potential for the title to have been released in a subscription format, similar to that of the current re-release of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. When asked about the expandable card game from Plaid Hat Games, French mentioned the possibility of The Lord of the Rings LCG having been distributed as a subscription game.
“When we were first talking about the LCG, as kind of a new way to package our CCGs [...] back in the mid-2000s, it was something that was talked about a little,” said French, “we spoke about how doing subscription based models might be a really good idea.”
However, when French presented the concept to the studio behind The Lord of the Rings LCG, Fantasy Flight Games, it was decided that the card game would not be released via a monthly subscription model. “I think where the decision makers came down was that they wanted to maintain their working distribution relationships, rather than moving away from those paths,” French admitted, “it was talked about a little bit, but ultimately the powers that be chose a different path for the LCGs.”
When asked whether they thought a subscription model was a good way of releasing new cards, French replied that they thought “it could be cool [...] I think people would find it really convenient,” with Newman following up by confirming that they had signed up to the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn subscription model themselves.
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game was first released in 2011 as a co-op adventure card game that saw players embarking on a series of scenarios set in the world of JRR Tolkien’s classic fantasy novels. In the game, players could create their own decks for their characters containing allies, events and other useful tools to aid them in their quests. During a round, players are able to either pursue quests or fight enemies, whilst being sure to not allow themselves to get exhausted.
Since its release ten years ago, The Lord of the Rings LCG has seen the release of a decade’s worth of monthly packs and expansions, with the title currently on hiatus until further notice. When asked what players could expect from the living card game in the future, French replied that their plans revolved around supporting current players and encouraging new players to get involved: “I think we’re going to still try to keep the community focused on new events as we move forward.”
Besides The Lord of the Rings LCG, Fantasy Flight is also responsible for releasing Arkham Horror: The Card Game - a living card game set in the Arkham Horror Files Universe. In a recent announcement, the studio revealed that it would no longer be releasing monthly Mythos Packs for the card game. Instead, the title would be seeing the release of larger expansions containing “about the same amount of content as an entire cycle,” with the first of these being the Edge of the Earth: Campaign Expansion and Investigator Expansion, coming later this year.
When speaking about the company’s new approach to the Arkham Horror LCG, Newman commented on the need to approach each living card game differently depending on its fanbase and the way the expansions worked. “One thing we learned is [...] different games require a different touch,” Newman said, “the original LCG is a good foundation, but every game should have its own take on it.”
The co-designer then teased the idea of Marvel Champions: The Card Game getting its own subscription model: “Marvel still does the monthly packs [...] so who knows?”