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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So how do you do it RIGHT?

You all have heard me bitch on and on about how card game companies like Konami and Bandai are constantly screwing things up. Some people probably think that I'm almost impossible to please. That's not true. There are some companies that have constantly done things right.

As much as I hate to admit it, 4Kids is on this list. What they lack in dubbing skill they make up for in marketing prowess. Yes, Nintendo and Konami no doubt had hands in making their respective franchises successful, but this doesn't change the fact that 4Kids is a marketing behemoth. They know how to advertise, and they know what appeals to their target audience - kids. 'Slifer the Sky Dragon' was named after a 4Kids executive producer that loaned Konami a HUGE hand when it came to making YGO a household name. If he was able to replace the name of Osiris on a key card in the animated series, whatever he did had to be pretty damn good. This is not a one-time deal; 4Kids handles their own CCG, Chaotic, which does reasonably well, and had some sway with Pokémon in the past.

However, Nintendo also knows what it's doing without the help of KHAAAN. Pokémon remains a hot seller on card and toy shelves. There is not nearly as much merchandise as there was when Pokémon first appeared as a 'fever' across the globe, but despite complaints about the Gen IV designs, I cannot see Pokémon leaving any time soon. Nintendo handles it very gracefully. Its only flaw is the stale animé, which could totally use a protagonist change at the very least. No offense, Pikachu, but you're the only character with any sort of development on that show. Nintendo has all of its other bases covered.

Wizards of the Coast, the creator of Magic:the Gathering, also deserves mention. These are the people who STARTED trading card games to begin with, but that's not what puts them up here. What has kept Magic: the Gathering going on for as long as it has is that WotC learns from its mistakes, and is constantly trying new things. That is VITAL for a card game's survival: Always be seeking to improve, but if something doesn't work out, for Cthulhu's sake, don't repeat the error!

See? I don't hate everything.

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