The King of Iron Fist tournament is now ready for your phone or tablet, but not in the usual way. Tekken Card Tournament will have two phases. There’s a free-to-play online game for phones, tablets and browsers, and physical booster packs. Namco Bandai says to expect the online component in the next few weeks, with the physical boosters arriving later in 2013.
The physical cards can work as a standalone game, or added to your virtual card deck by scanning a code. Doing so may unlock more abilities for fighters you currently own, or entire new characters to get punchy with. Tekken Card Tournament will feature a single-player tournament as well as one-on-one fighting.
A free-to-play model makes sense, because we’ll all try something free at least once. The physical component will have a tougher challenge on hand. Collectible card gaming is a really competitive industry, and even licensed properties such as Tekken have a hard time gaining traction. World of Warcraft’s trading card game has been a huge success for Cryptozoic Entertainment. It includes loot cards that unlock in-game items for the PC game. Numerous other attempts to leverage a video game’s popularity into either card or miniature gaming have crashed hard.
It’s been easier for established card games such as Magic: The Gathering to take their physical presence and cross over into digital gaming. Duels of the Planeswalkers, a less complex version of Magic, has been a smash hit on consoles and PCs. Like WoW and Tekken Card Tournament, it uses cross promotion with Magic’s physical component. Players who buy Duels can take proof of purchase to a nearby card store and redeem it for a physical copy of a card.
Whether you’re talking card games or video games, the first hurdle is making it fun. If Tekken Card Tournament is so addictive we have to play “just one more match,” then it has a shot. If after a few hands, I’d rather be playing the video game, then it’s going the way of HaloClix.
Site [Namco Bandai]