Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Passing of Kaijudo

WOTC announced just after Gencon that the company would pull the plug on the Kaijudo game this coming October. In an interview with WOTC Sr. Brand Manager Re. E Dalrymple, much of the rationale for the game's failure to do well in the US was the weak viewer ship of the tv series, which in turn did not transfer to sales of the card game.

This is the second go round for Kaijudo, AKA in its previous incarnation as DuelMasters, which is still quite a popular game in Japan and has been for over 10 years but, despite giving away 1000s of decks and packs, the game never picked up here.

WOTC really needs to listen to Al Ries, who pointed out years ago that there is generally only room for 2 brands in a particular category and that "third place is no place". In the trading card game category, there are currently two top brands, Magic and, depending on where you are, Yu Gi Oh or Pokemon. Anything else is third place.

To get out of third place in your category, you have two options 1) Work really hard and spend money to supplant the second or first place brand or 2) create a new category and make yourself number one in it. WOTC opted for option 1, trying to make Kaijudo number 1 or 2 in the TCG category, which would be almost impossible. The game could likely not event take the 1 or 2 spot in the Anime inspired TCG category, since those positions are occupied by Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh. Neither could it take number 1 or 2 in the Kid's TCG category, since those positions are also occupied by Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh, which didn't leave a lot of options left.

It is possible to create your own category and dominate it. I can think of two examples of products that have done so successfully in the past 5 years and will discuss that in Friday' blog post.