As part of the Year of Shadowrun, Catalyst Game Labs announced a Shadowrun Introductory Box Set, which would be the first ever “starter” box for Shadowrun. Unfortunately, as happens to us sometimes, our passion got the better of us, and right as we were ready to send it to print we realized it was trying too hard to do too many things.
Ultimately we came to the conclusion that regardless of how well put together the overall box was, the following elements would damage its ability to achieve its goals of bringing in new players while providing a plethora of useful tools for existing players:
The price point was too high for an “introductory” item;
There was too much information for new players to absorb;
Existing players would potentially have too much material that was not as useful to them, which would lessen the perceived value
After numerous discussions that included talks with retailers and distributor in our industry, we’ve thus determined that the best way to solve the issues above was to create two new items:
Shadowrun Beginner Box Set ($19.99)
Shadowrun Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware ($59.99)
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.
Note that because we previously conducted a solicitation of the Introductory Box Set, we felt the only way to eliminate as much confusion as possible was to completely discontinue that name. And the use of the Runner’s Toolkittitle with the Alphaware suffix sets up the eventual publication of Runner’s Toolkit: Betaware, the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition version of the spectacularly sellingShadowrun, Fourth Edition Runner’s Toolkit.
Finally, to help maximize retailer (and ultimately the community’s) understanding of this change, we’ve pushed both items back to spring releases to ensure a full 4-month solicitation cycle.
Thanks for your understanding and we hope you’re enjoying the return of Shadowrun as much as we are! – Catalyst Team