Earlier this year Catalyst Game Labs announced that they would be offering a new Shadowrun Introductory Box Set for Shadowrun 5th Edition. Unfortunately, as the company explains, their passion got the better of them, and right as they were sending all of the finalized plans off to the printer, Catalyst realized that they were trying too hard to do too many things. The company realized that no matter how well the box set was put together, there were a lot of things that would damage its ability to both invite new players and offer enough for existing players to enjoy.
After sitting down and going over their plans, Catalyst realized these were the errors they were faced with:
- The price point was too high for anything being labeled as “introductory”
- There was too much information for new players to soak in
- Current players may have too much material that simply wasn’t useful to them, which would lower the value of the box
Through looking at their options, Catalyst has come to the conclusion that they need to release this introductory set as two different box sets to achieve their goals. This will bring us:
- Shadowrun Beginner Box Set ($19.99)
- Shadowrun Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware ($59.99)
Splitting the introductory set into two allows the company to put focus on a single objective, rather than try to make everyone happy with one single product. Here’s what to expect in both boxes, from the company:
The Beginner Box is 100% about new players, providing an easy-on-the-wallet quick taste of Shadowrun, making the barrier of entry into the game lower than it’s ever been.
Meanwhile the Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware can focus on helping existing players obtain a variety of useful tools for easing into multiple adventures of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, while also acting as the perfect bridge product for new players between the Beginner Box and Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.
I think the split will do the company some good, honestly. Catalyst has a tendency to go in over their heads on their projects, so catching it now will probably avoid a lot of issues down the road (Looking at you, Leviathans.). Both of these box sets will now be releasing in the spring, and for more information you can check out the official Shadowrun blog.