Friday, July 2, 2021

Is Keyforge Dying?

Last time I went to my local game store, both Pokémon and Keyforge cards were nowhere to be found but both were missing for totally different reasons. Pokémon cards are flying off the shelves while Keyforge, sadly, seems to be dying out as the support was dropped by that local game store. 

While I'm sure Covid played a part in Keyforge diminishing popularity I also think that the novelty of the game wore off after players realized that the game greatest selling point ("every deck is different") was also its most annoying feature. Since you're only as good as your deck, and you can't change the cards that you were randomly given, the hunt for good cards, that are usually present in typical TCGs, became a hunt for good decks instead. 
Something to keep in mind, however, is even if you have the greatest deck in the world you're kind of limited in how you can play it as the official tournament rules can force the retirement of a deck if it wins too often.

Let's talk about these tournaments for a second.... 

Keyforge is a game designed with casual players in mind. The game is designed for people that don't want to spend too much time learning about card/combos and just want to play. 
Why, then, do they have Keyforge tournaments at all? Tournaments make sense for games like Pokémon and Magic the Gathering as players are trying to come up with the greatest decks/strategies to compete but the randomness of Keyforge decks makes these tournaments kind of pointless from a competitiveness standpoint. The winner of those tournaments haven't really come up with the greatest decks as much as it's been handed to them.

This is a little bit like having a Soccer tournament but picking the winner at random. If a tournament is to determine which team is best then adding this random factor in it kind of defeat the purpose.

Keyforge is a great game that hasn't found its niche market simply because the folks at Fantasy Flight Games don't know what the niche market should be. What Fantasy Flight Games is saying, by attempting to create a tournament circuit like Pokémon/Magic the Gathering, is this is a game designed for competition when at its core this is for casual players and, by definition, casual players are not competitive.
TCG tournaments are a great way to promote a TCG based product but Keyforge isn't a trading card game. This marketing strategy is, therefore, kind of out of place for Keyforge.

What's the solution?

Even though Keyforge has cards it doesn't mean that it has a place on the TCG market. The below should be considered:
  1. The tournament circuit approach should be replaced by events that promotes play/fun rather than competition.
  2. There needs to be a bigger push to sell "2 player box set", that are made to look like board games, rather than on the individual decks (made to look like TCG).
  3. The deck boxes should be made to look like ad-ons to the "2 player box set" rather than made to look like TCG.
  4. There needs to be a software tied in to this game where you can unlock your deck and play online (like Pokémon Trading Card Game Online).
If you haven't had a chance to play Keyforge yet, you should definitely look it up here

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