When the game first started up back in the beginning of 2015, none of us really knew what we were in for. Although the marathon concept had been central to insert collecting in Bunt, Huddle and Kick, we didnt know the impact of the chase on the new app for Star Wars. Thanks to an interesting decision to put the best inserts in the game in the cheapest pack available, each and every marathon became some of the more coveted digital cards in existence.
As the year progressed, the Topps team started to realize they had unlocked Pandora’s box, with the decision to put inserts in the 1k coin pack, and changed course a bit. At that time, the app changed course to focus as much on the weekly chase sets as they did the marathons. Although the marathons no longer had the same earth shattering value they once did, they were still the main draw in the grand scheme of things.
Now that many of the marathons are complete, people are starting to go through withdrawal, and the app has been slower as of late than it has been in weeks prior. I think that because the user base from SWCT isnt as familiar with the “offseason” type period we are going through in the app, something that is an inherent part of Bunt, Huddle and Kick, there is a lot of angst.
Each time I mention “offseason” in SWCT, I think that people dont really understand the concept of what I mean. In the sports apps, the marathon sets dont continue through the whole year. The apps still release a ton of cards, but there is no marathons to support user interest the same way they do during the season and playoffs. Obviously this SW “offseason” will be significantly different, but we all need to consider something very important – eventually there will be SWCT 2016 and relaunch of the game for a new year. This probably wont happen until the beginning of next year, and it also doesnt mean that there wont be a ton of continued content.
Additionally, with the biggest event coming in a month and change with the release of the Force Awakens, the dip in traffic the other apps go through might not be a luxury SWCT can afford. If anything they may ratchet things up more than we could have ever expected. At the same time, we will not have a new trilogy movie like this every year, and the app will have a future “offseason” where it will likely slow down without any marathons in progress. This time is going to be tough for some users to endure.
I once thought that the build mode in Smuggler’s Den had a chance to be something that could easily pass the time until the new app build and new marathons launched, but that has dipped considerably in recent weeks. Im also not convinced the Topps team wants a period like this to linger, as SWCT is the top grossing app in the portfolio by a mile. Considering there are no cards that “score points” in conjunction with live games, an offseason really might not be necessary. In the name of progression and continuity with the other apps, things will change in the software that runs the app, and the question remains how much time will pass before that happens?
As for living life outside the gravitational pull of the marathon chase, that’s something I havent quite figured out yet. I think there have been some GREAT inserts lately, and I dont think that those will cease. Because 25k per day no longer has to be earmarked for the weekly vintage chase, this is your opportunity to dive deeper into those cards you never had the chance to collect before. This is the perfect time to finish your hoard, update your non-marathon collection, and trade like mad. With the marathons complete, there are a ton of deals to be had. So many people are looking to unload their cards and dupes, and I have seen some great offers come across the table.
Eventually we will see the return of large sets to keep us going, but there is no guarantee that next year’s marathons will be what they were this year in structure, design or even name. There could be an entirely different format, and with it, an entirely different chase. All I have to say is be prepared to run when it happens.