So, you may or may not know of a company called WizKids. They were big about seven or eight years ago, having come out with the game MageKnight, which was an innovation on the miniature game. Essentially, they sold plastic minis on black bases. These minis were pre-painted, and had all their attributes on the little base they stood on. When the figure was 'damaged' in game, you turned the base, making it click and altering their attributes.
Pretty cool stuff.
I didn't really get into it -- I didn't mind the game, but two things turned me off. 1) the game was collectible, meaning you had to buy 'boosters' to get figures, and that the figures were random in each box. 2) I knew this would be akin to Magic, as the game advanced. Essentially, as the game progressed, as more expansions came out, future figures would be 'better' than older figures. The designers would have a better feel for balance, new powers would be created, and so forth. Also, of course, they would want people buying newer figures, so they'd phase out the older ones -- not allowing them to be used in tournaments, or simply make them obsolete with better figures.
And I was right.
Don't get me wrong, the game was awesome. I liked the play, I liked how the tactics worked, and so forth. I was pretty good at the game actually -- my first time in a tournament got me second place, only losing to the guy who ran it (and most of the figures I picked were old-style figures, too... go me). I just knew that it was a money sink, and I wasn't going to get into it.
Later, they came out with a super hero themed set, using classic comic book characters. Same thing, really... good concept, but as they progressed, they phased out older figures, forcing you to buy new sets. For those who like these kind of games, that's not a problem, but still, not something I was going to get into. I didn't like being forced to constantly buy boosters.
They had some bombs though. A kid's 'horror' (ie, gross) series, a baseball series (what the hell?), and some other ones. Halo, Aliens versus Predator, Horror (Jason, Freddy Krueger, etc) and so forth. They did well, with a mini boat cardboard set, though, Pirates!, and they even had a BattleTech click set which was interesting, but I think the bombs (including Shadowrun macro figures) screwed them over.
But, unfortunately, they killed MageKnight.
See, they had planned to make a MageKnight 2.0, which would be an upgrade. Cleaner rules, modifications to the figures, and so forth. I was a little nervous about this myself, knowing a bunch of friends who played MageKnight, and I just felt that 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it'. Well, unfortunately, they broke it. The new figures had better abilities, and the ability to 'equip' things, which just added more complication to the game. All the old figures were essentially useless against the new ones.
So WizKids said all old figures get a certain ability for free. Which made all the new figures worthless. The outcry was probably huge, because they shut down the forums for a bit, and then simply stopped supporting the product. And thus MageKnight died a humiliating death.
HeroClix did well enough, there were new figures, support, and so forth for it. BattleTech wasn't doing so well, and everything else was bombing in the Clicks world, but HeroClix continued to have support. But I don't think it was enough. WizKids had to pay for the rights for the heroes (I'm pretty sure), and they had to continue cycling figures, meaning players needed to continue buying newer editions of figures they were already using.
HeroClix, and their other games, I don't think, were enough to keep the company afloat. A shame really, they started so well, but I think they just forgot where they had started, and drifted too far from their fan base. MageKnight made WizKids, and if they'd stuck with that, with the game which made them famous, they'd have done well. But they tinkered too much with it, screwed their fanbase, and that was probably the beginning of the end.
Sorry to hear it.