Decipher plans to launch two new CCGs in the next 12 months, both based on proprietary properties. The first, planned for Fall or Winter 04, will be built on the mechanics Decipher developed for its best-selling Star Wars CCG. The game mechanics remained Decipher's after Lucasfilm declined to license them, as was its option, when it moved the CCG license to Wizards of the Coast (see 'Wizards of the Coast Gets Star Wars CCG'). The characters and other story elements for the game are being developed internally at Decipher. Since Decipher's Star Wars CCG was a top seller over an extended period of time, there are a large number of players already familiar with the game mechanics. And an active Player's Committee for the Star Wars game continues to organize tournaments and other activities, which has helped to maintain ongoing interest in play.
A second new CCG, planned for 2005, will be an all-new creation designed in-house at Decipher, based on a concept by company chairman and founder Warren Holland.
Decipher also plans to support all of its current licensed CCGs with additional products in 2004. But it has no current plans to publish additional roleplaying products in 2004.
The Lord of the Rings TCG has the heaviest release and promotion schedule, anchored by the new literary character images created by Weta (see 'Weta Workshop To Create Images for LOTR CCG'). The first of the 'book' cards will be released in LOTR TCG Reflections (boosters only) on May 12th. Book cards will also be used as retail incentives to drive store traffic on the other three products for 2004. Mount Doom, with two starter decks and boosters, is planned for July 7th. The ROTK Anthology, planned for September 29th, will be the third big box in the series. Shadows, streeting November 3rd, kicks off the new War of the Rings block, with new mechanics in starters and boosters. Decipher says it has expansions for the LOTR TCG planned through 2007.
Two more dot Hack expansions are planned for 2004: Epidemic (starters and boosters) on May 19th, and Isolation, on August 18th. The first expansion, Distortion, was released in February; the initial release, Contagion, sold out (see 'Contagion Sells Out').
Three releases, all both starters and boosters, are planned for MegaMan: NT Warrior, Decipher's newest licensed CCG property (see 'Decipher Gets MegaMan License'). Power Up will be released June 23rd, Grand Prix is due September 22nd, and Jack In will be released December 15th.
Beyblade expansions are planned for April (Storm), August (Evasion), and November (Clash).
Decipher plans a steady schedule of promotional support to drive sales. The .Hack/Enemy TCG Level Up Tour is being held again in April. The LOTR TCG War of the Ring Tour is scheduled for Q4, to support the release of Shadows. Sales incentive cards will also be used to promote LOTR, dot Hack, and MegaMan.