Lord of the Rings: The Card Game on PC drops free-to-play to bring it closer to physical LCG
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game’s digital version will no longer be free-to-play when it launches, as it shifts to a pricing model closer to the original living card game on the tabletop.
The PC app is currently in Early Access on Steam, and has received a mixed reception from fans for both its gameplay differences to the co-op physical card game and its pricing model, which offers several different tiers of ‘Founder’s Pack’ with varying amounts of in-game currency, card packs, downloadable content and cosmetic items.
While buying a Founder’s Pack – the cheapest of which is £5.79 – is the only way to play Lord of the Rings: TCG at the moment, Fantasy Flight Interactive announced it would be launching the game as a free-to-play experience upon its full release, with micro-transactions and other DLC unlocking extra content – such as cards and scenarios – for players.
That’s now changing, as the studio now plans to mimic the living card game format of the physical game, offering a premium-priced Core Set that includes everything currently available in the Early Access game. Players can then add to the base set with paid expansions that bundle together a new campaign and ‘Hero Packs’ of cards.
“Basically, we’re shifting the experience to be more in-line with the tabletop LCG model,” developer Luke Walaszek confirmed to BoardGameGeek.
There will be free content for players who just own the Core Set, though. The first standalone ‘Encounter’ quest for Lord of the Rings: TCG, King of Carrion, is already available in the Early Access game, and Walaszek said that future Encounters would similarly be free to all players.
The full version of the game will also include online co-operative play for two players, compared to the single-player limit of the Early Access app, as well as other post-launch content and gameplay features.
No release date has been announced, although Fantasy Flight Interactive estimated the game would be in Early Access “roughly three to five months” following its launch in August this year – making an early 2019 full release possible.