Altered, a new trading card game spearheaded by Equinox Studio, and distributor Asmodee, is coming to Kickstarter with a campaign now due on the crowdfunding platform on January 30, 2024.
The game is expected to go live on August 26, 2024, while six decks are already available to print and play directly from the website, so you get to know the game. Apart from the Kickstarter campaign now receiving an official date, there are several other things that you need to know about the game.
Print and Deliver Cards from Anywhere in the World
The first is the way it reimagines ownership of cards, but it does not eliminate the physical and tactile focus of TCGs – it innovates it in an outstandingly player-serving way. Altered promises you to be able to scan your cards, using a QR code of sorts, and add them to a digital collection.
How is that important? For one, you will have these cards available to trade, sell, or buy online, which means that you can buy someone else’s cards as well. And what then? Well, Altered and Equinox Studio will let you print any card from your digital collection, and have it delivered to your doorstep so you can complete your collection at any time.
Although there is no direct confirmation of “blockchain” anywhere on the website or in what information there is from Gen Con, this transparent ecosystem seems a promising one, and it alludes to blockchain at least in theory. Of course, this wouldn’t mean that Equinox cannot fail.
The company would need to ensure that it has the resources and infrastructure to provide cards anywhere in the world where it supports the game and that it would make financial sense for the company to continue doing so in the long run.
Then again, there are definitely things that establish this new model as a good business stratagem. For one, buying or selling cards on the platform may actually generate a good deal of revenue for Equinox as a facilitator, and definitely help cover the costs of keeping a vibrant community thriving.
It gets even better because countries where there are smaller communities would be theoretically cut off from the vibrant trading places of bigger markets and if not – then you have to hunt down cards, wait for postage, and pray that the postman doesn’t misdeliver. Trust me, I live in a place where securing rare cards is a nightmare or requires a level of composure I simply do not have.
Changing How We Think About TCGs in the First Place
So, in theory, you can get your cards anywhere in the world and then travel and compete. Even better, you can buy one card in one language, and then ask Equinox to print it in another supported language, which makes things even better.
Then, there is the question of the eye-watering sums that go down on card trades. Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh and Disney TCG cards are selling for eye-watering and life-altering amounts. If you are not sure how bad things have got, just have a look at our list of the most expensive MTG cards. But it’s not just a matter of taking a look at rare cards as such – those will always fetch a hefty profit.
It’s more so about the fact that many people are buying huge quantities of cards as an investment, hoping to sell them with a significant upmark and make a quick buck. But what if you can simply see the cards online and order them from the marketplace that is backed by the distributor and creator?
In theory, the value should not be subject to speculation as more people would be getting those cards and scanning and offering them online – circulation would be much better and there hopefully wouldn’t be people who corner the entire market. It’s not immediately clear how the same tactics used in TCG economies today won’t upset Altered lofty goals tomorrow. Still, a central digital marketplace that caters to fans worldwide seems a keen idea and one that could have a deeper transformative impact.
It would also have some possibly negative consequences on games though as there are many stores that rely on selling cards expensively, but they don’t seem to be the majority. The world of tomorrow if Altered succeeds will be a different one for hobby stores and TCG players. In the meantime, you can print and play the game at home.