Re-examining the Huddle State of the Union

I think the big question on everyone’s mind is what happens now that Huddle’s aesthetics have changed completely, but the nice cards remain in game. I actually think this is a huge deal, especially because it will reward the people who supported the initial days of the 15 update. That being said, it will also create a huge value discrepancy between the two, as its clear that not many people like the head shot cards over the action shot cards.

In terms of value, the HS cards will likely be of less value not only from the get go, but for the remainder of the season. I equated it like driving a Mercedes and then being forced to exchange it for a Kia, sure they both drive you from point A to point B, but its just not the same.

As a result of the major shift in EVERYTHING, I think this will make every HS card that much less valuable than its AS counterpart. Although huddle was all HS last year, you cant unsee or unplay the cards that were released during the first few weeks. Even though some of them will still be readily available, none of the new inserts will ever be able to measure up.

The only true way to create value in the head shot cards is to make them boosted above the other cards, but even then, that is only one reason why we play the game. Huddle and Bunt have all been a marriage between collectability and playability, and without the collectible side of things in place the same way, the game is going to take a big hit.

I also think its a HORRIBLE idea to expect people to pay the same price, despite the drop in aesthetics. The argument can be made that the new HS cards are just as playable, but I would say there needs to be some major concessions to keep people around. Offering a 20k pack is not the answer. Your current customer base is made up of people from Bunt who get the best of the best due to full licensing, who may now leave because of how it all looks. Those people are combined with users from last year like me, who were enthralled with the shift to all AS. Lastly, its people who are new this year, and are on board as card collectors or NFL fantasy players. All three groups are going to dwindle without some major perks.

I would have even gone as far as saying Huddle should not have launched with the AS if there was ever a question that legally they could be forced to change back. I think its absolutely horrendous that it happened as early as it did, because for some of the AS cards, there are so few that are available. It was also obvious that there was already backlash over lack of logos on the cards, but at least they looked cool. Now its a big train wreck of visual appeal, and no one knows what to do.

Topps needs to address a few things:

1) Cost of packs under the new banner
2) Perks to retain pay to play users
3) Perks to increase new user base
4) The potential future of the app
5) What the plan looks like to ensure we can still have fun

Huddle will never be the same as long as the HS are back, and I am certain that the staff understands this. I am also certain that this was not their plan from the beginning and are scrambling as much as we are to determine what to do next. They said they are looking to improve the gameplay elements as a counter point to the loss of collectible elements, but as said above, I think you need both for this app to be successful. If I am Topps right now, and the full license is still on the table, its time to choose the cost of the full license vs the dwindling returns that will come from the HS state.

If the full license is off the table because someone else managed to get it (another football card company looking to build a Huddle clone), then its about time to think about other plans. This is not going to end well.

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