Over the last year, we've seen more reprints in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME than ever before. Thanks to recent announcements over the last few days, Konami has even planned to reprint several expensive cards that are less than a year old! What sort of precedent may these reprints set for the future of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and is this the best angle for Konami to take? Read on for my opinion on these reprints, and whether I'm happy with how they are beginning to shape the game.
For years, Yu-Gi-Oh! has composed of several vital cards being used in every (or most) Decks, that are often printed in the highest rarities in each set. Think back to 2008, when your Dark Armed Dragons, and Judgment Dragons would set you back around $200 EACH. That's a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a single card, and it's clear that Konami think so too. So, over the years, these "money cards" are reprinted in different rarities and begin to recirculate, lowering the value of the card. Nowadays, both Judgment Dragon and Dark Armed Dragon can grabbed from the commons box at your local card store, at a fraction of the price of their predecessors.
Is this good for the game? YES!
Reprints allow larger groups of the player base to play that card. Just about every Lightsworn Deck uses Judgment Dragon, and the same goes for DARK Decks and Dark Armed Dragon. Previously, only the people willing to spend money (or the incredibly lucky ones!) were able to use those strategies, all of which young children, the primary target market of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME, were completely locked out from. The problem, in my opinion, stemmed from the high rarity of the cards, coupling with the overwhelming demand for the cards, which escalated due to the sheer power of them. As a result, the prices of them went through the roof, creating Decks with absurd price tags often over $1000! Konami don't seem to want their product to be so expensive on the secondary market, so by reprinting these expensive cards, budget players also get a shot at playing the game.
Contrary to this, the following question could be asked:
"If I've spent all this money on my cards, why can Konami make them worthless at the drop of a hat?"
Reprints run the risk angering the players that invested in those cards, or forked out high amounts of money in order to play the Deck. It could be considered that if a player is to pay a lot of money to play a certain Deck, they believe that only people who share their drive to build the Deck should be able to play it.
Is this opinion good for the game? NO.
While some people think that not reprinting often is better for the game, and whether they are right or wrong, I personally believe that reprinting cards is, on the whole, very good for the longevity of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME. With the recent announcement of the Evolzar Dolkka reprint in the 2012 Collector's Tins, I got badly stung since I already use Evolzar Dolkka, and I'll admit that I was angry about the reprint at first. After thinking on it for some time, I realised that Evolzar Dolkka was an expensive card, and that it's probably good to reprint it based on the success of Rescue Rabbit Decks. "Strike while the iron is hot" as they'd say...
The concerning thing about this reprint is that it's the star of the tin, and since it's less than a year old (along with many of the Super Rare cards as well), the reprint could mean new changes for the game. Will cards be reprinted quickly if they're known to have a high value on the secondary market? Will hard-to-find cards from boosters new and old be included more often? It seems that Konami has been thinking about these reprints thoroughly, and are reprinting cards to lower their secondary market value.
In my opinion, it's a great business tactic - by allowing everyone to gain powerful cards, guaranteed, at a fraction of their original price, these tins will sell incredibly well. Before the reprints were announced, buying the cards from the Evolzar Dolkka tin would have cost much more than $150. Of that $150, how much would Konami have received from that secondary market sale?
Konami would receive absolutely nothing from a sale of a single card (on eBay or other popular sites), so why should they let other people make money off the game that they created, distributed, and marketed?
Is it a good business strategy, both for Konami's profits, and for the health of the game, that the reprinting of "money cards" continues? I say YES.
I, for one, wholeheartedly agree with reprinting cards. Budget players are able to get the top cards much, much cheaper than before, making the playing field fair for both budget and more dedicated players. In addition, Konami should receive high levels of revenue from this product, as players will be scrabbling to get their hands on the tins (and other products). Plus, there are more copies of that card in circulation, which also allows more people to get the card cheaper.
There's still the prospect of selling these reprints on the secondary market, but that's the nature of the product. Still, they will help to lower some of the ridiculous values we've had in the game recently, and will overall help to stabalise the game. Maybe we'll see an influx of Rescue Rabbit and Evol players, now that they can grab Laggias and Dolkkas really cheaply? Who knows.
Overall, despite some players and collectors losing out due to the values of their cards dropping, it'll be better once there are more copies of the cards in circulation. Also, once we come to expect this level of reprints to happen again, we may be better prepared for them, and more people may be able to adapt to them more easily.
This is just my two cents on the recent reprinting of cards, so it's just my own opinion. If you agree with me, fantastic, and if you don't, that's fine too. Either way, feel free to leave a comment about these reprints if you'd like, as players from all over the world will look at them very differently.
Until next time, Keep Duelling and thanks for reading.