Having created a small buzz at the major gaming conventions this summer, Fluxx, the new card game from Looney Laboratories, will be re-published in a snazzier edition by Iron Crown Enterprises (I.C.E.) of Charlottesville Virginia early next year. I.C.E., which was one of three game companies seeking to obtain the rights to Fluxx, gets the exclusive right to market and sell Fluxx effective January 1, 1998.
Fluxx is an unusual new card game that is easy to learn, fun for all ages, and completely unpredictable. The game's hook is that the rules change as the game unfolds. The number of cards you draw and play in a turn often change during one person's turn, and even the goal you are trying to achieve in order to win can change with the play of a card. It gets pretty chaotic, yet remains very easy to play since the current rules are always out on the table in front of you. "It's an ideal parlor or party game, and it has tremendous replay value." said Pete Fenlon, president of I.C.E. And for a nice change of pace in today's trading card game dominated market, Fluxx comes complete in one box.
Looney Laboratories is an independent game design studio which publishes small runs of games and other products in order to test out their market potential. Those that prove to be really good are then licensed to larger companies for wider distribution. "Deciding between the companies that wanted Fluxx was very difficult," said Andrew Looney, founder of Looney Laboratories and designer of Fluxx. "They each had a lot going for them. But we chose Iron Crown because we felt they had the best marketing plans. One of the main things I learned from my video game, Icebreaker, is that good game design is just part of what makes for a successful product... you also need good marketing."
I.C.E plans to revise the card art for the second edition, but will leave the gameplay unchanged. The original artwork, which consisted of cartoon-like black and white line drawings, will be replaced with more colorful artwork. "We're delighted to be working with Looney Labs. They're our kind of folk." said Pete Fenlon. "We're especially delighted to have the opportunity to publish Fluxx, which is one of the most enjoyable games we've ever seen. Simple, funny, and infectious, Fluxx is a very special product. Our whole staff loves it, their friends love it, and everyone who has played Fluxx seems to want a copy. We look forward to introducing Fluxx to markets all over the world."
Looney Labs will continue to sell First Edition copies of the game until January 1st (or until it sells out) while I.C.E develops the new edition of the game. After that, Looney Labs will be able to fully concentrate on its next card game, tentatively named Aquarius, which they hope to release in the Spring of '98, just around the time the larger release of Fluxx is debuted.
Looney Labs is part of the new generation of small businesses that make the internet an integral part of their business strategy. "Our web site is our main way of selling our product," said Kristin Looney, Andrew's wife and Business Czar for the company. "People hear about the game from their friends and go to our site to find out how to order it. The Web is an awesome place... come visit us at wunderland.com."