As some of you might recall, we discussed the stealth announcement of Bandai Games bringing the My Hero Academia to their Chrono Clash game system back in March (you know, in the before time?). This was a huge announcement to just slide under the radar (much like they did with Neon Genesis Evangelion). Since the world altering effects of the pandemic brought much of all non-essential production and news to a halt or slow crawl, Bandai has been rather radio silent about the game. As expected and acceptable as that is, we now know there may be more to the story than originally thought.
Earlier this month, several commenters in various Chrono Clash Facebook groups have been saying that their local game stores are informing them that their distributors are saying the game will not be released in the United States. When we reached out to surrounding game store for our on confirmation, we were told that the game was no longer available for order and that their preorders had been canceled. On July 21, a post on the game’s primary community Facebook page stated that they had spoken with Bandai’s customer service and it was confirmed that due to licensing of My Hero Academia, the game could only be sold in certain countries.
We have reached out to Bandai Games and will update if and when we get a reply.
Update- 7/21 9:34CST: We received a response from Bandai Games and it does ultimately confirm the distribution at the very least. Per the email from Bandai’s Customer Service-
“We appreciate your support for Carddass Club.
Due to the license of “My Hero Academia”, we plan to sell it only in certain countries. We cannot provide detailed information at this time.
Thank you for understanding.“
Back in our original post, we commented on the name simply being My Hero and questioned rather or not that that had anything to do with Jasco Games’ own My Hero Academia TCG for their UniVersus card line. In the July 10th edition of their “Joffice Live!” live stream, they begin talking about My Hero Academia at the 35 minute marker. At the 38:50 mark, they comment that they are the master license holder for the IP in North America for board games and card games. This, more than anything else, is probably the reason for the game not being released here.
Another strong reason is that a couple months ago, Bandai Game’s released an all-new attempt at the Digimon TCG. The game has taken off over seas and it seems like an inevitability that the game will hit English-speaking regions once things return to a somewhat sense of normalcy.
At the core of the game, however, is the unique Chrono Clash engine. The main system that made it so fun and challenging is now the heart of a brand new game. While it isn’t unheard of for company’s to use the same system for multiple titles, it is when they are such vastly different games in this case. On one hand, the Chrono Clash titles are mostly one and done purchases, especially as they didn’t not allow for cross-property play or deck building (no Mothra or Eva-01 in a Naruto deck). Everything anyone would need to play is in the box. They keep customers coming back with new expansions and title add ons. On the other hand, Digimon is a collectible card game in which more money is spent because players will constantly need to update their decks with every new release.
Chrono Clash is a fantastic line that had momentum coming out of Gen Con 2019. Naruto had launched a couple months prior and had people talking. Godzilla met some criticism. Neon Genesis Evangelion was praised for its complexity and new mechanics. The announcement of My Hero Academia, however, got more stores talking about it and looking at it because My Hero is one of the biggest manga and anime properties in the world at the moment. It offers a cross-selection of multiple potential buying groups that only comes around once in a while and one that had store owners seeing dollar signs. Chrono Clash could only go up from there.
However that momentum went head first into a brick wall. Even prior to the pandemic and many areas going into lockdown, the game had problems. The lack of tournament support for competitive players compounded with the lack of cross-property play. The dead silence from the developer on even the most basic of things (the game’s official Facebook page was last updated was March 3, 2020). These are problems easily fixed, though. Now, as we drift along, we are finding it hard to see anything saving the game at this point.
Yes, the game uses only icons/symbols so that the game can be shared across a language barrier. If someone wants the game bad enough, they can import the game from another country and be able to enjoy it. That’ll be fine for home games but not for local stores. The place where communities develop and games fail or flourish. How much fun will it be to play the game if you have no one to play with? How much fun will you have playing a year old Naruto deck against the new powercreep of All Might or Deku?
Ultimately, though, things could change. Jasco Games and Bandai Games could come to some sort of arrangement that benefits both parties (Goku in UniVersus perhaps?).
What do you think? Is the Chrono Clash game line dead in the water or is it just waiting to catch it’s second wind? Sound off and tell us what you think in the comments below.
As always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!