Most people who have been playing Arkham Horror for a while know that Fantasy Flight Games has changed the way in which we as investigators can get our fix of cardboard crack. Once upon a time cycles were released in a deluxe expansion box and 6 mythos packs released once a month to continue the campaign and give players more investigator cards. While this method of product distribution did allow for suspense and excitement to grow around each new mythos pack being released, it did create somewhat of a logistical challenge for product distributors and game store alike. Likewise the lack of availability of packs which were older, even if it was just a year or so started to result in ludicrous prices on the secondary market.
As a result of the scarcity of mythos packs so many players were either persuaded never to start playing the game or stoped playing after they got to the point where they required a pack costing more than a core set did. Something had to fundamentally change in the release model to allow this amazing game of 1920s investigating to stay relevant and to engage new players. Living in Australia I know all too well the difficulties involved in getting products from Fantasy Flight Games which are either a few years old or had low print runs. If a product is hard to find in the US you can bet your life it will basically be impossible to get down here. This results in Arkham Horror in its original release method being incredibly hard to get into or convince someone to get into the game.
The new release format introduced by FFG involved reducing 7 core cycle products into 2 products which contained all the same cards without the need to hunt down any hard to find mythos packs. All new AH cycles are now released in 2 distinct products one being the investigator expansion and the other being the campaign expansion. The investigator expansion contained all the investigator cards and player cards while the campaign expansion incudes all the cards needed for the scenarios for the entire storyline for a given cycle.
With this amazing new release method many more players have been interested in getting into AH either just getting a core set and a cycle expansion or standalone scenario. Ultimately the best way to draw more people into the game excepting making amazing content is making the game you produce more available. In contrast to the overwhelming support for the new release format and for the repackage products some people have been voicing their opinion relating to some of the negatives of such products.
One of the largest criticisms of the new products involves the initial cost associated with the purchase of the Campaign expansion and the investigator expansion. The purchase of the deluxe expansion and the mythos packs was indeed more expensive than the new release format but it was spread over 7 months. This made the price far more digestible for new players as they could spend a relatively small amount on a deluxe expansion and then supplement it every month with an even lower priced mythos pack. With both pros and cons weighed up I believe that this new release method will ultimately improve player engagement while simultaneously satisfying the needs of the current players by not releasing multiple hard to find limited run products.
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