If Star Wars fans were hoping for some card gaming to distract them from Lucas's new 3D vision of the trilogies, they'll have to make other plans. Star Wars: The Card Game, announced by Fantasy Flight Games at last year's Gen Con and expected to be released early this year, has been delayed into late 2012.
In an announcement on the Fantasy Flight Games website, the publisher has described the delay as well-intentioned, stating:
The game we showed off at Gen Con 2011 would have been a strong addition to our LCG® catalog. However, as we were making the final touches to the product, we came to the realization that while it was a good game, it simply was not the greatest, most engaging game experience that FFG could deliver. So, we made a difficult decision and went back to the drawing board on the Star Wars: The Card Game design.
Reading further into the announcement, it seems that Star Wars: The Card Game was a bit too similar to Fantasy Flight's existing line of Living Card Games. The company's designers are already supporting numerous LCG systems between Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Warhammer, and Call of Cthulhu, so the need to craft a new Star Wars card game without the influence of other LCGs bleeding over presents quite a challenge.
These prototype cards from Gen Con will never be allowed see store shelves. Hopefully, these instantly valuable collectors items see the inside of a furnace, either!
With Star Wars: The Card Game pushed back until late in the year, I wouldn't expect to see much more on it until Gen Con 2012. In catching up with Fantasy Flight at last year's PAX Prime convention, I was told of the great care that Lucasfilm takes with its licensed products. Prior to showing off prototype games at Gen Con, FFG CEO Christian Peterson himself had to fly down to the Skywalker Ranch and get the seal of approval. I can't image this process having changed much, and with a complete redesign at hand, it will be some time before we hear about Star Wars: The Card Game again.
Overall, Fantasy Flight was wise to get out in front and announce this delay. Given the loyal fanbases not only for the Star Wars franchise in general, but even for past iterations of Star Wars card games, this new product will be heavily scrutinized by fans and players alike. Fielding the best possible product is the only way to counter that, and FFG is taking the necessary steps to do just that.