Author Topic: Will Raw Deal Ever Come Back?  (Read 2677 times)

Online CreedP

  • Voice of Reason
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 21248
  • +492/-369
    • View Profile
Will Raw Deal Ever Come Back?
« on: November 24, 2014, 08:45:01 PM »
Here at TCO, we have frequently seen posts over the last few years speculating on the possibility of Raw Deal "coming back" in a printed form as it was from 2000 to 2007.  Unfortunately, rampant speculation and uninformed assumptions tend to lead to misunderstandings and escalating frustrations.  To prevent this, we're making a thread containing all of the relevant, researched information so that we can simply refer to this in the future and save time.

While it's easy to say 'maybe it could happen' or 'I'd love to see Raw Deal back', or even 'let's get together and save Raw Deal!' ... the truth is that quite a few people have done the research and investigated the possibilities to this very end.  The problem lies in the rights to the product, primarily those owned by WWE and Mike Foley:

* WWE:  Obviously they aren't going to allow anyone to publish a game for sale that has their logos, likenesses, photographs, etc. unless it is an authorized product.  You have to obtain permission, and they do NOT hand this out lightly.  As it is, the rights to produce a card game are already held by Topps for a game they have produced, and neither party is interested in pursuing a new option.  This has been additionally verified by another group, who attempted to bring a new (admittedly, much more marketable) game to the WWE for licensing, and received this official response as well.

* Mike Foley:  He retains all rights to the Raw Deal game engine.  While he is open to leasing those rights, we've spoken with him and he is ONLY interested in discussing this with people who have constructed a thorough business plan already in place.  Additionly, Mike doesn't have any interest in separating the Raw Deal engine from the WWE (though market research indicates that there's not enough interest in non-WWE Raw Deal to pursue it anyway).

Mike has requirements that would have to be met.  To be able to meet those, it would likely involve having an initial 'angel investor' in the project.  Also, some of those requirements would fall outside of the scope of the WWE license that previously covered Raw Deal, and would be a non-starter from the WWE's perspective; while these could be overcome, they would require consultations with Lawyers, and could possibly require other license holders to be negotiated with, or otherwise placated financially.

So please understand that a statement like 'it could happen' doesn't actually mean anything, the ONLY way it would ever happen is if WWE & Mike Foley authorize it, and neither one is interested in pursing it. While often we receive statements like "No one is doing much with the WWE license, they can't want that much for it!", the reality is that this type of licensing is complicated, and in the gaming industry it's more expensive for licensed games to break even.

One more factor to consider:  while there is an active following for Raw Deal, because of the 7+ year hiatus from being in print, any attempts to bring Raw Deal back would absolutely require a reboot / restart point for players to on-board into the game.  Players have already rejected a Raw Deal reboot in the form of Revolution, and that rejection further complicates efforts to revive Raw Deal.

Again, these are the facts - not assumptions, not speculation - but the actual research done by contacting the entities required before any publishing of Raw Deal could be accomplished.  However, the good news is that by creating Virtual Raw Deal under the banner of 'Fantasy Cards' and charging no money for their distribution, we're able to provide a continuation for the game, which also allows us to bypass WWE approval and create Superstars of the past like Randy Savage, Jeff Jarrett, and others no longer with the company who might not receive official approval (as well as supporting existing Superstars like Chyna and Goldberg, etc.)

Here are some quotes from other players who have spoken about the situation:

Here's what it all boils down to in my opinion:

Barron and Mike created Raw Deal...but us players MADE Raw Deal.

WWE didn't advertise or support it. They didn't shove it in our face. The players did the work, shared cards with friends, spread word of mouth, ran tournaments, etc.

So when Raw Deal "died"? To me it was like the Undertaker Vs. Undertaker match. Both looked impressive but there's only one true Undertaker. That day, Virtual wore purple gloves and kicked ass.

The players version of Raw Deal. Creed and the guys grabbed that flag and ran with it. Put in the hours, shrugged off judgement, balancing, balancing, balancing.

Virtual is the version of Raw Deal that should have existed from day one. We are VERY fortunate to have it this way. Despite his stubborness, I feel Barron wouldn't have it any other way.

I think a big thing that people don't talk about in these threads is "would the WWE even want to license this" People talk like it's just a fee they pay to a company to use their names, pictures and Intellectual Property (IP). It's so much more than that. The WWE needs to feel like it's a worthwhile investment. Raw Deal Is not, in any way shape or form, a worthwhile investment. To anyone with business sense, the product DIED 8 years ago. DEAD. NO NECRO. Not to mention that the CCG Market has been in a steady decline (unless your name starts with Magic, and ends with The Gathering).

Raw Deal came out in the Heyday of CCG's: L5R was going strong, WoW CCG was getting big, UFS was just starting to get huge, not to mention all the other ones that were still being played by THOUSANDS of players. CCG companies were having tournaments for major prizes. Nowadays, I don't really hear of anything other than Magic: The Gathering (and Hearthstone, but that's a computer CCG and doesn't really count).

Raw Deal is not a worthwhile investment, there is no money to be made in it, and the company that has to lend it's IP to it wants to make money. Bottom Line. Why would WWE (or any other wrestling company, for that matter) care about a collectible card game when they can make a tremendous amount of money putting the same effort and time into more merchandise for their shows (those $30 t-shirts don't sell themselves...).

And before you say "they barely have to do anything other than allow us to use the IP": It doesn't work like that. They have to be careful with every little thing that is out in public about their product. They will look over everything you do. They want to keep it with current content on their programming. They need to make sure their IP is reflected properly. That's why Mick Foley became the Mystery Wrestler. That's why Leader of the Peepulation wasn't called Captain Charisma. That's why some superstars got dropped from certain sets.

I love that people want to bring this game back into the main stream. It's great that people are so passionate about this game. But instead of hoping on impossibilities and talking about pipe dreams, just do the one thing that this game needs: Play it. Teach it to friends. The cards are out there. The staples that are hard to find are printed as virtual throwbacks. The Virtual Development and Playtesting teams put many man-hours testing and theorycrafting these pieces of cardboard/paper they're providing for free (sans printing costs). Creed and his graphics goons puts in god-knows-how-many hours into making the cards look as professional (if not better) than when the game was actually being made.

Raw Deal as it currently stands is a labor of love. We play this game because we love it. We play this game because we care about it. Coming back as a 'legitimate' ccg in a store with booster packs isn't the way to do it. Just play what you have, enjoy it, teach it to your friends who might like it and hopefully be anxious about the next wave of superstars coming Soontm.

Having read all of this, hopefully you'll understand now why after seeing at least a dozen threads in the last few years going over the same information answering the same question, we're simply referring any future inquiries to this topic and locking it down.  Thank you for your understanding.


Team Canada Online
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 08:47:59 PM by CreedP »
V9: NXT Takeover ("A" Section) - Out Now!

"Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world." - Bill Bullard