Hello to all the Vanguard fans around the world!
This is Keita Mori, the Vanguard project’s general producer.
The response to my first Producer’s Letter was greater than I ever anticipated, and since then I’ve been receiving comments and questions from all over the world. Thank you so much to everyone who has shared their thoughts and opinions. I will be making great use of your feedback moving forward.
Please note that some of the topics in this letter are listed in a different order depending on the language you are reading. This time, we will focus on the Japanese and English versions, which are the basis for localization in many languages.
First of all, on behalf of the project, I would like to thank you for allowing us to bring “overDress” to the world. I would like to thank everyone who watches the series around the world, everyone who enjoys the TCG and digital versions of Vanguard, and everyone involved in supporting the project.
The CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD overDress animation began airing in April, and the Japanese version of the five Start Decks and the first Booster Pack for the card game were released in April, followed by the English version in May. Although the response has varied by region, the game has been well received around the world. We thank everyone for their support.
Among the many concerns we received about the old Vanguard TCG products, the most common were that the game experienced too much “power-creep”, and that new products were too short-lived. In light of these comments, overDress has changed the game system from a clan-based system to a nation-based system, and the first Booster Pack and five Start Decks have been created with a focus on introducing new players to the game, and as examples of our new standard products.
As far as the production of the animation goes, we have already announced Season 1 and Season 2 of overDress. Until we draw closer to the release of Season 3, we do not intend to add any new Over Triggers other than the 5 (one for each Great Nation) that were introduced in the first booster pack (Godai Seiki no Reimei / Genesis of the Five Greats). “Sentinels” (also known as “Perfect Guard” cards) will receive the same treatment, and we do not intend to release any new Sentinels until further down the line (although, we will release different versions of the already existing cards, with alternate art or alternate foiling, etc). The management team’s intention is for the main units and triggers used by the main characters in the animation to continue to be an important part of deck building.
Even after the second season of “CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD overDress” begins airing, the five Start Decks and the first Booster Pack, “Godai Seiki no Reimi / Genesis of the Five Greats”, are intended to be the most important and basic products for getting into overDress series cardfights. We hope you’ll enjoy them.
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The overDress series has launched during a period where it is difficult to get together with others, which we believe is the most important and fun part of enjoying card games. We are continuing to adapt to this landscape through trial and error, and we appreciate all the feedback we have received during this period. We ask for your support as we continue to develop and improve, and would like to apologize for the delay in the delivery of the English version of this product to some regions due to logistical issues.
At the Bushiroad TCG Strategy Conference held on May 12th, we announced the second Booster Pack, “Densetsu to no Kaikou / A Brush with the Legends,” and received a variety of opinions from around the world regarding the existence of Encounter cards.
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Prior to the presentation, we published a series of stories titled “The Elderly ~Densetsu to no Kaikou~” on the written works site. As described in the stories, brushes with these ancient, legendary beings, which are made manifest by certain artifacts, are called “Encounters”. As we have established a new reading site and have published a chronology of the setting, we are currently focusing on systematic storytelling based on the historical continuity of Planet Cray and its various settings.
The most common question we have received is, “Why did you make Encounter cards?” And the answer is, we wanted to preserve the setting and historical continuity of Planet Cray. It is our intention to continue to employ the help of the original author, Akira Ito, and the creator of the Clan setting, Satoshi Nakamura (YUHODO), to systematize the world view, history, and various settings of Planet Cray, and we will continue to take good care of them. Not only myself, but also the entire management team has received a number of comments about past cards appearing too early, and we take it very seriously.
As I mentioned at the presentation, it will be quite rare for the overDress series to include past cards as Encounters, and they will not appear again until at least March 2022. I cannot tell you if new Encounters will come out once a year, or once every few years, because that would be a spoiler, but I can tell you that they will be few and far in between. Additionally, Encounter cards will not be an exception to the overriding principle that “you do not need any cards over RRR to build an overDress standard deck”.
Although not directly related to Encounters, I received a lot of feedback about the Stride mechanic, which I briefly touched on in the Producer Q&A on the Vanguard Weekly Bites. Within the lore, Stride, the signature mechanism of the G series, was a way to borrow a great power from the past or future that was unavailable in the present time. Stride dealt with the past and future, so it makes sense that these units would exist at different points on the same timeline, right? For those of you who love the history of the Vanguard units and the world of Planet Cray, please take some time to read the Planet Cray timeline and Satoshi Nakamura’s “Commentary!” on the official reading site. Some of the things we foreshadowed will soon come to fruition, while others will reappear in the future, perhaps after everyone has forgotten them.
In a sense, the Encounter cards currently stand out a bit too much, but there are also cards included to strengthen the units that will give life to the new Chakrabarthi Divine Era, so I hope you will look forward to the second booster as a simple continuation of the Start Decks and Booster Pack Vol. 1!
Recently, at the strategy conference in Japan, we announced the release of “V Clan Collection Vol. 1” and “V Clan Collection Vol. 2” as our upcoming V Premium products. The concept behind these new products is to strengthen all 24 clans at the same time, and all of the enclosed cards will be marked with the V icon. The V Clan Collection will also be available in English, but it will be released in fall.
In the English version, we are planning a product called “Revival Selection” for release in the summer, which will include reprinted cards to support the Premium format environment. As of now, we only plan to produce “Revival Selection” for the English version of the game. The product will focus on reprinted cards that have been in limited supply in the English version, as well as cards that have existed in the Japanese version but not in the English version. For more information about these products, please look forward to our future announcements on the official Twitter and other social networking platforms.
For the time being, there will be differences in development for Clan Fights (V Premium/Premium) depending on the language version. The differences in the above products are a good example of this. It is not realistic to immediately integrate these long existing formats, and we believe that products like Revival Selection, which exist to bridge the gaps in development, will be necessary for a while.
Regarding the newly launched Nation Fights, we are aiming for globally synchronized development, focusing on the Five Great Nations + Lyrical Monasterio.
We have received many questions about the English version of the collaboration titles that have already been announced in the Japanese version. We will make an official announcement on this matter at the English Bushiroad TCG strategy conference, “Bushiroad English Conference 2021 Summer”. We apologize for the delay, but please wait until then for further information.
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For a certain period of time, specifically until December 31, 2022, we will not be including VR (Vanguard Rare) cards in our new products. We are implementing this period of “reprint protection” because we wanted to present an indicator for future card supply/demand to both the stores who continue to support V Premium products, as well as all of the Fighters who continue to play this format. The “VR reprint protection” applies to both the Japanese and English versions. However, it does not apply to some languages with large time differences in their release dates, such as Thai and Italian.
When we recently announced that we would be strengthening our support for the global development of the game, some of our loyal Japanese Fighters asked us if we would be neglecting our expansion and support in Japan. We would like to respond to these concerns.
We will continue to develop the Japanese version “Cardfight!! Vanguard” with the same attention and care, and our desire for Japanese customers to continue enjoying our game has not changed. Although we are increasing our international efforts, the project is still based in Japan, and Japan is still where Vanguard originates. We will certainly “remember our origins”, and we aim to move forward while supporting all of our fans, here in Japan and all around the world.
Incidentally, we are sometimes asked, “Why do you want to expand globally?” The first reason is that Vanguard has a large number of fans overseas, and we receive a great deal of support from these fans; we believe that we owe them our support in return. In addition, by expanding further into the international market, we are able to maintain the scale of our brand, and continue to invest in the development and operation of the project. This enables us to improve the quality and scope of the content we provide (animation, card games, and other projects), and it is our sincere desire to do so. In my personal opinion, I also think increased internationalism in projects such as Vanguard is just the way of the times.
Japanese Domestic Events
For the second year in a row, we were not able to hold the Dai Vanga Sai at a real venue in Japan. There is a big gap between countries and regions in terms of measures taken against the spread of infection, as well as vaccination status, and so for the time being, we must plan events flexibly, and take into consideration the conditions and needs of each region.
Regarding the holding of events for the Japanese version of the game within Japan, there are different measures in place for each prefecture, including the declaration of a state of emergency in some areas. However, even in this situation, we are still preparing and considering how to restart the VMC (Vanguard Masters Cup) and other events at the appropriate time. Although we cannot disclose the details at this time, know that we are working closely with our hosting partners to plan the return of these events. We will also be working on events that can be held on a regional basis, such as the previously announced Kyushu Cup.
In addition to cardfights, we are planning to have events and projects for fans of the animation as well, keeping in mind the times. As of now, we have started to deliver the anime-radio project “Yoru no Ennai Housou” (please give it a listen!). We have also announced the “Vanguard overDress Fan’s Party” as the eplus LIVING ROOM CAFE&DINING in Shibuya, Tokyo. At the Fan’s Party, Hikaru Tono (Tomari Seto) and Amane Shindo (Megumi Okura) will be broadcasting a program from the site on Wednesday, June 9, so even those who can’t make it to the event can enjoy it.
English Edition Events
As for events for the English language version of the game, we have realized that the situation varies from region to region and is quite diverse. Just by taking a quick look at the reports on social networking sites regarding the launch events for the English version of “Genesis of the Five Greats” last weekend, I found that some events were online tournaments using Discord, some were in-store events, and some were real events that attracted over 100 people. Real events with over 100 people! I can only hope that infection rates continue to come under control in more and more places.
Considering all of this, I think that Bushiroad Spring Fest Online in English is a very meaningful experiment. The fact that fighters from all over the world, even from different time zones, can play at the same time is a unique feature of the online era, but it’s also important to note that this is based on the premise that everyone will behave in a sportsmanlike manner. In terms of the competitive scene, we will be monitoring this event and conducting a questionnaire survey on the future of the Premium format, which is attracting a lot of attention in the English-speaking world.
Japanese Edition Overseas Events
There is a wide variety of overseas events for the Japanese version. In the Southeast Asian region, online tournaments and events are on the rise, and in the Chinese-speaking world, we’ve been happy to hear that the satellite venues for the Dai Vanga Festival, an offline event, were very crowded. We introduced the concept of “satellite host cities” for the Dai Vanga Sai, and I hope everyone enjoyed it.
How was the second producer’s letter？
As we waited for the release of the first overDress booster pack in both Japanese and English, three months passed in what felt like no time at all. I apologize for the wait, and thank you for your patience.
Once again, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your support during the release of “CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD overDress”. Thank you so much!
I hope you will continue to support Vanguard.
I look forward to receiving your comments, questions, criticisms, encouragement, and anything else you would like to share.