Star Wars has a special place in my heart, and is a helluva monster franchise. Eons ago (in the mid-1990s to be precise), when trading card games (TCGs) were starting to be all the rage, Decipher Inc. launched the Star Wars Customizable Card Game (SWCCG), right after making a Star Trek TCG.


The game was a hit, and for years actually ranked only below Magic, in terms of popularity. But high licensing costs and slumping sales ate into Decipher Inc, and SWCCG was discontinued by the early 2000s. Decipher even made two spin-off Star Wars card games, Young Jedi (super simple, and specifically to cash in on 1999’s The Phantom Menace) and Jedi Knights (featured CG artwork exclusively), but SWCCG remains the company’s most successful Star Wars card game.


When Decipher lost the Star Wars license, Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro actually briefly commandeered the Star Wars card game franchise by making their own dumbed down and extremely die-intensive Star Wars TCG. It didn’t turn out well either, as it quietly died after several expansion sets.


I’ve always felt that licensed gaming products are tough propositions, as there hasn’t been a single franchised card game for example, that has well and truly stood the test of time. Decipher’s Star Wars effort remains a rarity, as the company’s later foray into the Lord of the Rings movie franchise was not as successful.


Fast forward to 2012, and it looks to me that Fantasy Flight Games is today’s “Decipher”, by being hugely successful with plenty of different game titles across different genres. Magic may still be the most successful game out there, but FFG’s coup of securing the rights to do a Star Wars card game (a Living Card Game, or LCG, no less).


The LCG was supposed to be out earlier this year, but FFG had announced that a delay, due to design issues that needed fixing. The game is now confirmed for a late 2012 release, with a more advanced preview of sorts just unveiled this week.


The gameplay premise seems compelling enough: the Dark Side seeks to complete the annihilation of the Rebel Alliance, while the latter aims to win the game by achieving key missions and objectives.


OK FFG, show us the next previews already. I’m darned curious!


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