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And knowing is half the purchase

November 24th, 2003: Allan Sugarbaker says...
And knowing is half the purchase

Wizards of the Coast has announced plans for a new CCG based on one of parent company Hasbro’s biggest properties, G.I. Joe. The G.I. Joe brand turns forty next year, and what better way to celebrate the creation of the “action figure” than a collectible card game. The game will be based “on the rich mythology created for the 1980s G.I. Joe comics and cartoons.” Yep, by Fall 2004 you’ll be able to command Duke, Scarlett, and Snake Eyes as they battle Destro, Storm Shadow, and Cobra Commander. Expansion sets are scheduled to follow in 2005. This could either be seen as a damn good idea, or as WotC grasping at any idea for an uber-CCG to replace Pokémon. Better this than a Tonka CCG.

Wizards press release follows:

November 21, 2003 (Renton, Wash) – Wizards of the Coast, a developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products and a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., (NYSE:HAS) announced today it is developing an all-new trading card game (TCG) based on

Hasbro’s original action figure brand, G.I. JOE. The G.I. JOE Trading Card Game is scheduled for release in the fall of 2004, coinciding with the G.I. JOE brand’s 40th anniversary.

Hasbro’s G.I. JOE line revolutionized the toy industry nearly 40 years ago with the first poseable action figure for boys. Today, the G.I. JOE brand is popular among a new generation of kids who have rediscovered the action-packed excitement of the G.I. JOE VS. COBRA fantasy. The first-of-its-kind trading card game will put the action of the”REAL AMERICAN HERO” into a range of cards inspired by the legendary G.I. JOE VS. COBRA storyline. Trading card game players will get to command their own G.I. JOE or COBRA team by building their decks with iconic characters such as DUKE, SNAKE EYES, AGENT SCARLETT, COBRA COMMANDER, DESTRO and STORM SHADOW.

“Generations of kids and adults have been entertained by the G.I. JOE brand and only Wizards of the Coast can capture the action and adventure of the property in a trading card game,” said Derryl DePriest, Director of Marketing for the G.I. JOE brand.

“Wizards of the Coast has assembled a top-notch R&D team to create the G.I. JOE trading card game,” said Scott Rouse, Brand Manger for the G.I. JOE Trading Card Game. “The compelling characters and rich storyline inherent in the G.I. JOE brand make it a perfect candidate for a fun, head-to-head trading card game experience that is sure to please TCG and G.I. JOE enthusiasts alike.”

Wizards of the Coast will first release the G.I. JOE Trading Card Game in a two-player starter set and randomized booster packs with each card featuring dynamic artwork that brings the guts and glory of the G.I. JOE universe into every TCG player’s deck. Expansion sets are planned for release in 2005.

Wizards of the Coast, Inc., is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, Magic: The Gathering, among many other trading card games and family card and board games. Wizards is also a leading publisher of roleplaying games, such as Dungeons & Dragons, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at http://www.wizards.com.

Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

For more information on the G.I. JOE brand, visit http://www.gijoe.com or http://www.hasbro.com.

Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast Inc. C2003 Wizards.

14 Comments »

14 comments

  1. penn42 says:

    Yo Joe!!!!

  2. Durak says:

    Great another waste of time and money by WOTC. Any bets on how much this set them back?

  3. Dai Oni says:

    Well, if you have any positive suggestion on what hot property WotC should go for, please tell us. Don’t hold back on our account. I mean you seem to be doing well in the gaming industry yourself, right? AFAIC, GI JOE TCG is a smart business move. But it does need more exposure, like say, a revived animated series? That way, it appeals to children, who may or may not get sick of POKEMON at this time (it’s been around like forever).

  4. Dai Oni says:

    OBTW, I’m still waiting on your suggestion, Durak.

  5. misuba says:

    Hey, you gave him a whole two minutes to come up with something, D.O. Sure you’re not being soft on him? (I don’t think he’s alone in his frustration at WotC, creators of the CCG, and their continued failure to introduce original concepts in the medium. Even a Dungeons and Dragons CCG would be welcome at this point, in my view.)

  6. Durak says:

    Well since you asked Dai Oni, You are right I am not in the gaming industry. But I do realize a bad business move when I see one. Case in point CCG’s are flooded right now. Why would you pick up another CCG when the one you already have is declining? Not a savvy business move. But then again we see a pattern with WOTC. Let’s see chainmail, which was to contend with the growing miniatures market: Failed. Their software division who dabbled at competing with other rpg makers: Failed. I am sure there are a few others that I am not thinking of. Common sense would dictate that if a company like WOTC that is reporting a loss on their revenue would refocus their attention to their key competencies and make them better in order to gain a high market share. Thus adding much needed money to their RD department.

    Happy now?

  7. Durak says:

    Since I am on the topic of WOTC lets consider the fact that most of their RPG content now has to be outsourced because of those layoff/firing of most of their creative staff(All in the name of saving costs). For example Dragon Magazine, most of their campaign books, even their new campaign book which was disguised as a contest, Modules for all their settings because they cannot compete with their own D20 license. In truth, really it is sad, to see a company blindsighted by the thought of profits but not willing to pay their staff to create or maintain those products.

  8. WotC has repeatedly been described as a company that manages big hit games very well. It’s finding new big hit games that’s always going to be the problem. I have to agree that G.I.Joe would do much better if a new cartoon series were in the works, but all I’ve heard is that the DVDs of the old series will be released.

  9. Dai Oni says:

    As for a D&D TCG, no friggin’ way. Just as I don’t like MAGIC and DOMINARIA spilling over the RPG department of WotC, D&D shouldn’t spill over the TCG department. As for picking up a new TCG while the others like HARRY POTTER are failing, there lies the problem. The other ARE failing to make the same big hit as POKEMON once was in its freshman years. So far, their own IP, MAGIC: THE GATHERING is still holding steadily in sales, but even that may not be enough if they don’t score big in the market. BTW, there isn’t enough TCG flooding the market now than it was in the 90’s. I mean is VAMPIRE: ETERNAL STRUGGLE still around? MECHWARRIOR card game, too? How about TSR’s attempt at TCG with SPELLFIRE? And what is that other game, NETRUNNER? Nowadays, it’s YU-GI-OH!, SHAMAN KING, LORD OF THE RINGS, STAR TREK, STAR WARS, A GAME OF THRONE, THE SIMPSONS, NEO-PET, and the latest entry, AMERICAN IDOL (I hope the Clay Aiken card can trump Kelly Clarkson’s).

  10. Azmo says:

    I think its a good idea, being a fan from way back. And as far as it ‘setting them back’ finanicially, it probably didn’t. Their licenseing agreement with Nintendo for Pokemon went sour this year, whereas Hasbro owns GIJoe and is WoTC’s parent company. I think business wise its very savvy. Now content wise and gameplay wise, that remains to be seen. I still think one of the greatest TCG mechanics wise was the original RAGE, by WW.

  11. Dai Oni says:

    Unfortunately, as often is the case, great game mechanics didn’t translate to great sales.

  12. Cedric Chin says:

    Well… Here’s my suggestion: Don’t do it. a) Name at least three RPG systems or other hobby games that reflect gamer interest in the GI Joe Universe. b) Name at least three CCGs produced by WotC that are as popular as Pokemon. Point a) reflects the current interest in the hobby market in GI Joe. Point b) reflects WotC’s need for much larger profit margins in its products compared to the typical small press hobby company. IMO, In order for GI Joe to succeed, it would have to have as much support (including an ongoing tv series) as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, two franchises which were **designed** to sell cards and merchandise. And WotC’s reputation for short-lived CCGs would have to be overcome in the hobby market. Certainly the success of the Simpsons and Harry Potter CCGs should tell us the upper limit of what to expect with GI Joe.

  13. Dai Oni says:

    Perhaps. Then again, learn from those two games, and come up with a better marketing strategy.

  14. Bryarr says:

    As for a D&D CCG, ever heard of Warlord by AEG? CHaracter cards have an AC, attack bonus, level, and a class. You roll a D20 to resolve attacks, adding the attack bonus of the character and comparing it to the AC of the target.

    Its a pretty decent game, too.

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