This is an open letter by Peter D. Adkison, CEO of Hidden City Games, regarding the release of the Bella Sara CCG and addressing the concerns coming from the hobby-games industry (see ''Bella Sara CCG' Goes Mass Market'):


This month, we at Hidden City Games launched a new trading-card game called Bella Sara.  This game, which is targeted at girls ages 5 to 12, is themed around horses, and every card has a unique ID code that activates that card for online play.  The game was launched about a year ago in Denmark and is already a mass-market hit throughout Scandinavia.


For the first few weeks Bella Sara will be distributed in only a few stores around the United States and Canada.  The stores selected meet the following criteria:


  • They cater to young girls and mothers.
  • They are part of a chain of stores with outlets in several cities so that we can produce mass-market television and radio advertisements that direct customers to those stores.
  • They are networked through an electronic data-management system that gives us prompt data on sell-through volumes by location.


We've heard some concerns by our friends in the hobby-games industry that we're 'ignoring the core market.'  Nothing could be further from the truth!  It's our goal to create another huge gaming hit.  Period.  And to the extent we're successful, the hobby-games industry will most certainly have a prominent seat at the table.


But we need you to be patient with us while we get through this launch because we need to be able to accurately track exactly where the game is selling, week by week, location by location.  We need to be able to tie sales activities to the marketing and promotional efforts we're embarking upon.


If you are a hobby-games retailer and you pride yourself on having a store that's welcoming to young girls and mothers, and if you're willing to give us weekly sell-through data, please contact us!  We would be happy to sell to you directly through 2006, during our launch period.  Then in 2007, once we've officially released Bella Sara into the hobby-games market and ramped up to full production for a nationwide release, we'll ask you to purchase the game from your favorite distributor.


Thanks for your understanding and patience.




Peter D. Adkison

CEO, Hidden City Games


The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of