Sunday, January 10, 2010

(Bandai,) You Want to be a Blip.

Bandai has a unique problem when it comes to card games: They do not advertise themselves well enough.

Take, for example, the Digimon CCG from 2004. Unless you looked on their site, you had no clue it was coming. It went almost completely under the radar; "oh, look, Digimon" was the only way you could know it existed. Digimon as a whole was marketed too tightly as a competitor of Pokémon; it prevented people from seeing that the series was higher-quality, and also made Bandai think that they could do whatever the *bleep* they wanted with the card game...which was a lot better in Japan.

Battle Spirits
is almost as bad. Yes, the GenCon preview and insert in SJ were good ideas, but y'know what? Some people won't stock BS because they see it as a YGO 'rip-off,'and unlike most Japanese card games these days, it does not have a (good) animé to go with it. (Actually, from what I have read, the animé is well-loved by younger Japanese audiences; some jokes, however, like "Galaxy Sexy", would HAVE to be edited out...which opens a whole new can of worms.) It is lacking the tailwind that Bandai's other CCG's have, and if the company isn't careful, that lack of hype will shoot their baby in the foot. As much as I love BS and do not want it to die, the fact that game shop owners aren't accepting it (even though OP kits are FREE and you can earn MONEY from this game) worries me.

There is one simple thing that Bandai could do: Give the U.S. players a taste of what Japan is getting. Digimon has had arcade machines for a LOT longer than YGO has. Here's a recent one:

It also works with the Digivice iC for extra bonus points. :) (Reminder: Ask Splash how the card game works.) Bandai really has things golden in Japan; bring that here. You want to make yourselves appear on the radar.

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