As I’ve recently become hooked on Pokemon Trading Card Game Online, I began to think about all of the recent success in the digital card game market. And although progress has been slow, the digital tcg market has been gathering momentum.
You’re probably familiar with tcg’s such as Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon TCG and Yu-Gi-Oh!. And one thing each of these games has in common, is that they all have digital versions; and I don’t just mean online carbon copies (but i’ll get there).
Now with each of these physical games being extremely successful, why do you think we’ve had games like:
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 7 Trials to Glory
- Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers
- Pokemon Trading Card Game (Gameboy Advance)
Don’t fret because I have my opinionated answers. These games fill the holes of their physical counterparts. That brings us to the pro’s of digital card games.
4. Digital card games can be played anywhere, and you don’t even need friends!
Something I always ran into as a youngster is that I would never have anyone to play with unless I went to a friends house over the weekend. How am I expected to try out all of my amazing deck ideas if I can’t really play with them? Digital TCG’s fix this problem in a few ways. You can play against an AI opponent. Normally building in difficulty where you have to work hard to win. In today’s age, we also have this amazing thing most of us take for granted… online quickmatch. You can literally play people around the clock all over the world by a click of a button. You can play to your hearts content and don’t need to wait for your next get-together or weekly tournament.
3. Fight Animations
Raise your hand if you ever wished your Yu-Gi-Oh! cards will display holographic characters that actually fought in front of you (you know you secretly want it just like you want Pokémon to be real). Playing digital tcg’s can be much more entertaining to watch. Now, not all games are like Yu-Gi-Oh! where you have characters that fight it out, but many have elemental attack displays, card movement and different animations for all of your card actions. You may even get a cool animation for having a holo/foil card.
2. Costs Less to Play
Now this covers 2 areas. The objective/story driven digital games and also the full scale copies of the card games I mentioned above. With the objective driven games, you will pay a flat retail cost for the game and then you unlock cards by defeating famous characters from the story and completing objectives. Now in the full scale online games, you can buy digital packs which almost always are cheaper than the physical versions. For example, if you look in the right places, you can buy digital card packs for Pokemon TCG Online for fifty cents to a dollar. An actual pack will run you a little over four dollars. In hearthstone, a digital pack might run you a dollar per pack depending on how many you buy. But in hearthstone, you don’t even need money to build a respectable deck; just time. That leads nicely into my last point.
1. Achievements and Objectives
Stop and think for a second about all of the amazing things achievements have done for us. We get more out of the games we play right? It gives us a challenge and goals to work toward. When you play physical card games, your only objective is to win. And don’t get me wrong, winning is everything (don’t tell my wife I said that). But objectives bring a lot of fun into the game that you just can’t get with the physical version. KO 40 Pokémon for 2 free booster packs, Defeat Liliana and receive here Planeswalker card, etc. Objectives bring so much fun into the game and make playing digitally a pretty good substitute for the real thing.
With recent extreme successes of Hearthstone and Gwent (The Witcher 3), I expect to see more stand-alone digital tcg’s. At this point in time, physical card games are not going anywhere. Some being much stronger than others, but with the online versions picking those up who dropped off. I think it’s reasonable to expect many of these tcg’s to even out to have a similar number of people playing both versions. Some people will never abandon the physical game where they have the benefits like resale value of cards, being with their friends and using all of their counters and tokens they’ve amassed over many years of playing.
Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think of digital vs physical in the comments below. If you’d like to play an online game with us, drop your username/game/system below too!