This is the part of the launch that I was most looking forward to. Its always fun to see what people think, and so far, its clear that people are very excited about a new app in play. That doesnt mean that they are all happy with every aspect of the app’s first day, but its worth collecting some of it and offering some of my thoughts as well.
From what I have seen on twitter and in the app so far, the fans are loving the look of the cards. I dont think that anyone is saying the main inserts released so far arent worth checking out, and in some cases, I have even seen comments how they might be some of the best looking cards in all the apps.
My reaction: Agree
I think the design team has done a great job making the subject matter compelling in a way that fits the platform. The chop inserts are absolutely incredible, and the experience of the people behind the cards really shows through. Alfred has had his hands in all the apps in the past, and was a design lead in Huddle for a number of years. Walking Dead will be happy to have him at the helm.
This is where things get pretty dicey, because in a lot of ways comments suggest that people went in expecting one thing and got another. The main piece of feedback I have seen is that people wanted the team to start more in the way Star Wars Card Trader started instead of using a model similar to the way it is now. With new people coming in, the fans have been upset that bundle purchase programs have already started being introduced, despite the app being so young. The precedent doesnt sit well with a fan base who has grown increasingly restless with recent structure in SWCT.
My reaction: Agree
Right now, the app needs to hook users before doing anything else. Cross traffic will support the numbers in the first few weeks, so there is no reason to alienate fans of the show who have never been a part of the Topps Digital crowd before. That’s not saying NEVER offer bundle cards, but it is saying to let things marinate before going that direction. I see cash dependent programs being a need of an economy where too many coins are floating around. At the moment, no coins are in the economy outside of what was purchased during the first 24 hours. I see no reason to go down that path so early. Bottom line, the Walking Dead has a following, but nothing the size of Star Wars. The users will need to be coddled more than I think the team seems to want to coddle them. I think this is the first shot across the bow, and I will say, I side with the fans on this one.
I loved seeing the reactions to the base, as its clear that Topps did not pull punches with some of the gory details. Some people love it, others are a bit grossed out. Both of which im sure are the exact reaction that was within expectations. There has been a lot of consternation over main characters without base cards, especially Rick and Daryl.
My Reaction: Disagree
What people didnt seem to notice was that the main character base we were all freaking out about are pictured in the splash screen. They are coming and its probably going to be sooner rather than later. From what it looks like, there will be content based around their release, so im not too concerned anymore. When I first looked and saw they were missing, I was confused. Now that I have had some time to let it sink in, im actually excited.
Android Launch Issues
I feel for the non-iOS people out there, because it seems like Android always has issues. That being said, after quick and explanatory response from the team, everyone seemed to be very impressed with the interaction they got for the issue.
My Reaction: Agree
I love that ToppsKat and ToppsCW are diving in with the community, something that will hopefully continue. Although the issues consistently occur, sometimes its more about the way the team reacts, versus how the issue impacts the game. If users are addressed up front, like they were, most people will continue to bear with you as things are resolved. Big kudos to the team on this one.
With one day in the books, it looks like everything went about as well as could be expected. Im very eager to see what the content for today looks like, and what some of the marathons end up being. Content will be the star of this app until we see what other surprises are up their sleeve, and hopefully the criticism discussed wont be a permanent stain. Cant wait to see what’s next.