Breaking Mechanics





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Breakers are starting to do emergent Live Ops

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Jaspys, one of my favorite LCS has always done interesting things with their breaks (Crates, mystery packs, hit packs) and now this...while not entirely novel, its a smart nested event where they can use this chase card to push their core breaks business. I expect to see many more of these type of events. it would be great to see if this drove x% incremental (new users, lapsed users, and greater spend) that exceeded the cost of the card. By the way, this Mantle eye appeal is stunning!!!

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Breaking Mechanics

Live Events

Live Operations

Wemby /1 Card A Missed Opportunity?

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@BenchMob Thanks for flagging the Wemby /1 card hit.
It got me wondering if this is a missed opportunity by Fanatics/Topps and the hobby. So much potential exists for the collectible space to invest in product, events, and tools to expand their audience beyond its current form.  Right now the Wemby chase is for a very small audience when the appeal would be nearly every collector like hitting the winning lottery ticket. Think of the lost engagement, media exposure and potential conversion of collectors to engage in multiple products. Even the biggest spenders would in theory have a reason to chase lower end product, increasing total spend!

In its current form, the NYY spot in PYT Dynasty Cases were well over $1k. The pretty much eliminates many from participating in this chase, which clearly would have pop culture mass appeal. There is a lot of missed engagement by not looking at it from a tiered system. For example, buy in low end products for chaser spots into the say Chrome, to then get into Sapphire, to then get into Icons, to then get into Dynasty. Or golden tickets in retail Target boxes. This gives, in theory anyone a chance to participate. The size of interest would be much bigger and hitting that card even a bigger cultural event.

But this would require Fanatics to think about it on a more programmatic level to think out the system where it involves breakers to participate. In my opinion, there is likely a massive opportunity to create “real time” content / reality TV by investing in tools, systems, and co-funded dollars for Breakers to incentivize this event. But imagine if there was such a programming involved where it was planned out with breakers and inserts into all their tiered products to create a pathway for someone buying a retail hobby box for under $30 and hit a ticket, that eventually gets into a Dynasty Break where they got NYY spot and hit Wemby. This would hit global level awareness and likely have people who don’t even like breaking to participate on a level like Lottery jackpots that hit over $1Bn.

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Courtyard's new Vending Machine System

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Post image 2 has a new mechanic on their site that is worth checking out. It's essentially loot box/hit pack mechanic. I love this for several reasons:
1) Collectibles integrating more game systems from F2P
2) Testing out different systems at different collector cohorts -- this one is $25 and has a lower ceiling, floor and average price
3) Provides some great insights on what F2P game companies can learn from
The new mechanic is called vending machine. Its instant vs their prior drops where its a limited time event (lasts days), provides immediate FMV offer to get cash back at 70% FMV, and you see the cards and the odds, which allows collectors to decide more effectively their risk aversion level and when to quit or, in my case, keep on rolling!
I've mentioned in the past that collector behaviors and motivations are quite aligned to the classic gamer behavior profiles, not just the achievement, but several others.
What I liked where mobile f2p can learn from is the instant buyback and liquidity. Collecting has a big friction in a collectors cash liquidity. The typical flow is break, get card, send cards to PSA to get graded, then get it back, to then send to a marketplace like PWCC, eBay or Goldin, wait for it to sell, then wait to get cash back. This can take over a month + or depending on the grading service, MONTHS.
Getting instant liquidity, albeit at a discount is a HUGE deal in my view.
What they could do better are in some basics from F2P (see photo of mark up), but it centers mostly around creating call to actions for the collector to re-engage in the mechanic. While there are many more I didn't call out, but these are the big ones.
1) Global shout box showing the 'activity' of who hit what big hit, or how many are using the vending machine -- this creates a sense of activity action and FOMO
2) The big hits -- great they show them, but show the value, the importance of them and how many are still "live" which creates again, a sense of urgency
3) Use the empty space to communicate how much time is left or what is left, rotate images to show case items on a dynamic carousel.
Suggestion for improving: Consider a progressive pull where each time you pull in a period of time improves your odds, but again, it depends on what their goals were, which I suspect was to engage a lower collector price point, drive more inventory to then engage in the marketplace to get liquidity and marketplace fees. Right now, there is very little reason for collectors to use the marketplace to buy/sell, which I believe the game systems come into play long term.

Rip Till You Hit Mechanic A Clever Loss Aversion Mechanic

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A popular break style in TCG breaks is Rip Till You Hit (“RTYH”).

How this works is you keep ripping packs till you hit a certain variation or higher. For example, a typical RTYH is with Pokemon.

A standard RTYH will be a pack for $11.99 (in this case I looked at Pokemon Paradox Rift packs) and you will keep ripping packs till you hit a Double Rare or higher. So if your first pack doesn’t have a Double Rare or higher, the breaker grabs another pack and will keep going till you hit something equal to double rare or higher.

This is an interesting style of break format as it feels like it’s trying to hit on perceived risk aversion ratio. The volume of cards you get gives you the impression of value greater than the price of the RTHY pack price, which clearly ‘bakes’ in the option of RYTH. 

This is a mechanic that I have’t seen from Mobile F2P at all and one worth exploring for certain games. 

But breaking this down into units its clear that the Breaker typically will end up coming ahead based on the pack contents and their average market price by variation. The average price of all variations Double Rare or higher is $8.15, with the high at $21.89 and low at $1.84. The # of of cards by variations total 38% of total cards in the set so statistically one will accumulate a lot of cards below double rare to give the perception of value given the shear volume of cards. And based on pack odds, you typically get a variation in each pack. So unless you hit the high card, which are rare the average value of any variation or above is 32% below the pack cost.

A very clever mechanic around loss aversion to get purchases.