Star Wars CCG was first released in December 1995 after game play rights were purchased from a game designer. Over the years, Decipher added 11 full expansions to the original card base, as well as numerous smaller expansions, special purpose sets, and promotional releases. The last set, Theed Palace, was offered in the fall of 2001. The game spanned all of the classic Star Wars trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi) as well as The Phantom Menace. During several years of the game’s run, between 1995 and 1998, it was a top-selling CCG, second only to Magic: The Gathering and occasionally surpassing Magic, according to both InQuest and Scrye magazines.
At the end of 2001, after much negotiation, Lucasfilm chose not to renew Decipher’s license to use the Star Wars intellectual property. The license was granted to Wizards of the Coast, which used it to create their own game, the Star Wars Trading Card Game. Decipher can no longer legally create new expansions to SWCCG; many cards that were in development can never be released to the public.
As of 2018, SWCCG still has an active playing community. The game is administered by a Players’ Committee, which interprets rules, organizes tournaments, and releases “virtual expansions” which give alternate game text for existing cards. The new “virtual cards” function as entirely new cards and keep the game environment constantly evolving. The “virtual card” overlays are available for free on the Players’ Committee website, though players must have the original card to use its “virtual” version. To date, the Players’ Committee has produced 8 virtual sets. SWCCG is also available online on Holotable and GEMP.
Our event calendar system is currently in development.
In this modern day and age, you can actually play instantly (and completely free) online against other opponents without ever having to purchase any cards. There are several programs available for this, the two most popular of which are Holotable and GEMP.
The main differences between the two is that Holotable essentially gives players a “virtual table top” to play against one another and simulates real life game play via the internet, whereas GEMP provides automatic rules and modifier enforcement, so that much of the gameplay and calculations are automatically enforced.