Many of today’s collectible card games have started to trade the tactile nature of physical cards for the convenience of digital, but at least one is trying to straddle that line.
Tekken Card Tournament, a mobile game for iOS and Android, is getting physical booster packs that will help you with your digital battles. Publisher Bandai Namco, which makes the Tekken fighting games, is partnering with printing company FabZat to start offering more than 190 rare cards. These collectibles feature some new characters and QR codes so that you can scan them into the Tekken Card Tournament app and use them.
You can order your packs directly through the app, and FabZat will print your cards on demand. That is to say the print company will make your booster packs as you order them. This also means you won’t see Tekken Card Tournament packs at the check-out register when you finish shopping at Target.
Bandai Namco head of mobile Tatsuya Kubota says that only FabZat makes it possible to sell these cards in a speedy and simple way.
This is an interesting new way that Bandai Namco is attempting to boost the revenue of its card battler, which isn’t exactly tearing up the charts. While it’s easy to look at the success of a game like Hearthstone, which makes $20 million every month, and assume that the card gaming market is enormous. That isn’t necessarily the case. Tekken Card Tournament went live in 2013, and it is only in the top 1,000 highest-grossing iPhone apps in eight countries. And none of those are major markets for mobile spending.
But by offering a streamlined solution for ordering physical cards, maybe Bandai Namco can excite the people who are still playing Tekken Card Tournament.