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Tremors in the Force

Someone recently asked me, "What can we tell the players about the future of the Star Wars Trading Card Game? What does the future hold?" While I can't give away too much, I'd like to answer as much as I can.

Let's start with next month and work our way out as far as possible.

The Empire Strikes Back expansion will be on shelves in mid-November and we're very excited about it. The boosters and new starter have been designed, tweaked and approved. The printing press has been turned on and its running full steam. With 210 new cards the set looks great and it gave us plenty of opportunities to use the new mechanics and card type. There will be plenty of ways to tweak your decks with this expansion.

Looking to next year, our mid-March expansion is in its last rounds of in-house work. Packaging is already finished, approved and on it's way towards pre-press. As soon as we get the final approval for art and quotes we will finish polishing the set and send the cards on for the final pre-press work.

July 2004 seems like a long ways off but we are already hard at work on this release. The teams are well underway on the card mechanics and art development. Soon we will chose the name and start in on developing the packaging. After that we are on the long road of final development and approvals until we can finally send it off to the printers.

The November 2004 release is starting to get more attention as well. The initial specifications have been detailed out and the production schedule has been made. Internal development teams are starting to think about the theme and possible mechanics for this card set. This will be closeted away in R&D for many more months before it's ready for the rest of the teams to begin their work on it.

And then there is 2005. We are looking at internal schedules, printing schedules and all the different possibilities. We have many ideas of what we want to do and now it's just a matter of pulling it all together. We know the initial specifications and are starting to detail out all the other fun bits and soon the real work will start on the first of the Episode III releases. The timing of work on these releases will be challenging to say the least, but that is what makes it fun. Add in all the precautions that are taken to prevent leaks about the new movie and our 2004/2005 schedule will keep us very busy.

And while I look at the first release for 2005 I'm reminded that I also need to keep in mind the remainder of that year's releases so the card sets are all tightly linked together. That means we are working on initial specifications right now, content discussions are getting underway and schedules need to be set up for releases that are still two years away. Better get back to it…

Nathan Sherman
Brand Manager
Star Wars Trading Card Game