Cheyenne Mountain isn't the only one with a Stargate online PC game. Sony Online Entertainment brought their Stargate trading card game to E3 and showed us what it's all about during our visit to their hotel suite. Find out what it's all about:
SOE (publisher) / SOE Denver (developer)
Article by Dana Massey
One of the more unusual demonstrations of E3 2007 was SOE's Stargate Trading Card Game (TCG). Sony really believes in the TCG business and has gone so far as to buy a full studio - SOE Denver - to concentrate on that market. Their games merge real world and online games together and provide competition in a successful genre that has previously been dominated by the often clunky Magic The Gathering online TCG. In one of their most recent forays into this market, SOE has taken the popular intellectual property Stargate and re-imagined it as a TCG.
Most TCGs are adversarial in nature. For example, in Magic, players fight each other to the death. It's a simple dynamic, but one SOE Denver changed for Stargate so as to better reflect the root IP. The Stargate TCG is actually mission based. One player plays the role of the hero and at the start of the game selects their own crew of popular Stargate characters from their deck to be their team. The other player takes on the role of the villain and their role is to thwart the hero in his quest to achieve the mission objectives. After each mission, the sides switch - using the same deck - and try again.
Currently, the game features 30 unique character cards, which is to say cards that feature people like Daniel Jackson, and over 300 total cards. Each of them is also available in a special foil version. They're also all fully available as digital or physical cards, either purchased through the game or in stores around the world.
While there is no direct link between the physical cards and their online counterparts (you cannot buy a booster pack at your local hobby shop and activate its online equivalent), there are mechanisms where players can redeem a complete set of digital cards for the corresponding physical counterparts. Besides that, the two games operate relatively independently.
It is free for players to download the software and enter the game. If a friend wants to give another friend their extra cards so they can play the full game for free, that's their prerogative. For those who do not have friends to give them cards, they can still observe, enjoy practical games that use the same two pre-designed decks every time or complete the game's tutorial. In essence, there is an unlimited free trial.
For those who want to invest, the online economy is just like the real one. Players can buy sixty card starter packs that contain set numbers of rare, uncommon and common cards or eleven card booster packs. SOE also sells "event tickets", which are used as a form of currency to enter tournaments. However, designer Evan Lorentz, who showed us the game, noted that often the prizes the player receives are worth more than the price of the token.
Next up for Denver is the first expansion to the Stargate TCG: System Lords. It builds on the original game and adds a wealth of new cards, especially character cards, to the game.
Aside from Stargate, SOE Denver also has a pirate themed game, which seemed like a natural fit with the newly signed Pirates of the Burning Sea. Unfortunately, the two games are separate licensed IPs, so crossover between the two could be difficult for SOE. EQII WarCry had also uncovered a patent for what appeared to be an EverQuest TCG, but SOE had no comment on what that might entail.
Nonetheless, it is obvious that SOE believes in the online and physical TCG market and will continue to move forward with new products in this genre.
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