Monday, May 26, 2014

Game Industry Trend #1



1I attended the ACD Open House this past week  and a major trend I noticed was Cards Against Humanity clones. 
We’ve already seen a few of these. Crabs Adjust Humidity from Vampire Squid and Personally Incorrect from Lion Rampant come to mind offhand and I spotted several more either in development or already launched, such as Heebie Jeebies from Zipwhaa. The ones I saw all use the basic Apples to Apples mechanic of having players choose cards and a judge deciding which one is the “best” in anywhere from mildly to highly offensive combinations of cards. This indicates the approaching crest of the popularity of Cards Against Humanity.

 As I tell the students in my Principles of Marketing and Product and Pricing Strategy classes, every new product goes through the Product Life Cycle of Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline. During the Introductory and Growth stages, the new product sees heavy demand (assuming the launch is successful) and double or even triple digit sales increases, much like we have seen with Cards Against Humanity for the past couple of years. A key marker of when a product moves from the Growth stage to the Maturity stage is the appearance of knockoffs and “me too” products. By this point in the original product’s lifecycle, other manufacturer have noticed its success, decide there is additional unfulfilled demand for it and come up with their own product to fill the perceived gap in the market

. Unfortunately, this also means demand for the product has probably topped off and, while growth will continue, it will no long see the outsized increases of the past. Ergo, while we will still see respectable Cards Against Humanity sales, stores won’t see near the levels that they did in the past.