Executive Meddling: Card Games
Sometimes the higher-ups stack the deck against a game:
- In an example of distributor meddling, Upper Deck Entertainment has pressured Konami into letting them rearrange the rarities, severely alter the construction of the Structure Decks brought over, and create their own cards for the newest Yu-Gi-Oh! collectible card game sets. Why would they make such a drastic move? Simple: the head of the YGO branch of UDE thought he could make the game better than Konami could, and demanded the chance to prove it, thus separating a game that had just begun to be unified.
- Unfortunately, this has recently exploded into a legal shitstorm between the two, with Konami attempting to take back the distribution rights of the TCG and Upper Deck suing them for breach of contract. The battle is still ongoing, and already the distribution schedule for North America has become the first casualty.
- And that's over, thanks to a revealing legal moment of Too Dumb to Live where UDE had outsourced the ability to reprint some cards which were deemed counterfeit. Konami still releases North American exclusive cards, but getting its beloved game out of the hands of UDE was a step in the right direction.
- Unfortunately, Konami really loves screwing the TCG to make people buy more packs. Examples include increasing the rarity of the most expensive card in Japan's game from a 1 in 5 chance to 1 in 23, turning a single rare card (1 in 2) into a secret (1 in 31 at the time). Their biggest offense has been turning 2 commons (4 in 1 for Japan, 8 in 1 everywhere else) into Ultra Rares (1 in 12). Grow up Bulb, a common in the OCG, is looking to be bumped to Secret as well.
- Interestingly, in the wake of this, Blizzard Entertainment has subsequently created a new branch dedicated solely to taking back their World of Warcraft CCG. That's right, one moment of idiocy from UDE has now lost them two of their greatest Cash Cow Franchises.
- This is understandable on Blizzard's part due to the fact that certain "loot" cards, about the equivelent of an Ultra or Secret rare, have a direct tie-in to Blizz's beloved World of Warcraft. If UDE had (it is closed as of this edit) messed with the cards, they might have messed with those cards. In the actual card game, they are immensly useful if weird cards, while in the MMO they are purely cosmetic (mounts, new hearthstone casting animation, ect). Should something ''useful'' be put in, the MMO fanbase as well as the card fanbase would have been pissed. And we know how that would have went.
- Honestly, Konami is just as bad. Chaos, the new "Psychic" monsters, introducing new concepts with weak backup, neglecting the Thunder, Fish, and Plant types although they are getting better at supporting those. That doesn't go into the rulings of the cards themselves, targeting and non-targeting, and a whole bunch of complicated rules. A popular phrase to describe a justification of a ruling that makes no sense? BKSS, because Konami said so.
- Example of BKSS: Skull Lair. The card's original description lets you remove any number of "cards" from the graveyard to destroy a monster on the field. Konami then arbitrarily decided you could only remove Monster Cards from your graveyard to use its effect: adding this rule to tournaments, programming this into the video games, and eventually re-writing the card's effect in later printings.
- WWE Raw Deal suffered from this several times, due to the fact that everything had to be approved by the WWE. The broadest rule was that wrestlers no longer with the company could not continue to get card support, which would eventually cause that wrestler's cards to be difficult to find and also cause them to lag behind other wrestlers in viability. At times changes in the roster would force a change: Muhammad Hassan was planned for the Unforgiven set, but after the infamous terrorist angle and his subsequent departure, he had to be pulled and replaced with Gene Snitsky. At times even actual CARDS were changed: Road Dogg, X-Pac, Billy Gunn, and Kane had a card called "Tori Enters The Fray", but after she departed, it could no longer be made. It eventually was remade as "Help Is On The Way", which did not have nearly the same context as the original, though the cards were the same.
- Magic: The Gathering's Mythic Rares. Magic had always had Common, Uncommon, and Rare cards (though not always-always: some early sets only had Common and Uncommon cards, with Rares not really existing at all). However, Hasbro, Wizards' owner, wanted the game to have "very rare" cards like every other trading card game out there; keeping in mind that one major draw of Magic was the nonexistence of "very rare" cards like everyone else. Wizards' response? Fine. But sets will now be much smaller, so that the probability of getting any one Mythic Rare in the new sets is now the same as the probability of getting any one Rare in the older sets. This hasn't changed the general public's perceptions that Mythic Rares are much more powerful and thus should be worth more money, but as a whole the game hasn't suffered too much from this.
- Legend of the Five Rings was supposed to end, with the single "Scorpion Clan Coup" expansion being the final one released (or, more accurately, "Time of the Void" was intended to be the last, but proved so popular an additional expansion was added to add some backstory); after which Five Rings Publishing would focus on a "next generation" successor game and spinoffs. Wizards of the Coast then acquired the game property and everything went to hell as it was re-structured to function and sell more like Magic: the Gathering. "Scorpion Clan Coup" was expanded from a single standard expansion to three smaller mini-expansions, and the successor stories were incorporated into the "Jade Edition" expansion. Further editions were released, and tournaments structured around then in the same way as M:tG. This resulted in a game which had been lauded as one of the most original and well-balanced CCGs on the market becoming a mish-mash of confusing and often contradictory rules; overpowered, game-breaking combos; and Power Creep; driving away many of its long-time fans in favour of the M:tG crowd.