Hobbyist turned card game publisher: how Matthew built an online business selling his very own indie card game

By Jeremy Baldacchino read
28 Jul, 2023
Hobbyist turned card game publisher: how Matthew built an online business selling his very own indie card game

Matthew is a talented indie card game designer and creator. 

Although he’s been in the card gaming space since childhood, he didn’t get into competitive gaming until 2015 when a game based on Dragon Ball Z came out.

Matthew got so invested in the game that he ended up competing in the world championships and making a name for himself in the community. 

As a respected member of the community, he was able to build a large social media following, which eventually led to starting a successful YouTube channel and a Patreon account.

After a few years of teaching people how to play, Matthew decided to combine his experience and skillset, and create his own unique card game, Runes of Ede.

To sell the game, Matthew chose Sellfy as he loved the platform’s ease-of-use, flexibility, and seamless checkout process.


Read on to learn more about Matthew’s adorably fierce world of Ede and how he turned his passion into a fun card game business.

Tell me about yourself and your background. What is it that you do?

So, I’ve been in the card gaming space ever since I was a kid, playing a lot of games with my brother. 

But, I didn’t start getting into competitive card gaming until 2015 where this game based off of Dragon Ball Z that I used to play as a kid came back.

And, so, I got really invested playing that game and creating content for it. I ended up making a name for myself in that community and competing in the world championships.

So, when I started building a social media following, there was a community of people that knew who I was and respected me. And, that carried over into the next game I played.

Eventually, I created a YouTube channel called 3xG Productions, which grew into a really big following. We also had a very successful Patreon where I was teaching people how to play.

After a few years of doing that, I noticed that I had a good eye for game design. So, when I started transitioning into that, and people got wind of me coming out with a game, they got really excited. So, I created my own card game based on all the things that I had learned, and all the things I’ve played over time.

I rolled my skillset and knowledge into it, which is what my Sellfy store is basically about—supporting the game that I’ve created.

Matthew’s Sellfy store from where cards can be purchased as well as learn more about the game

When did you initiate this business?

So, I’d say, everything started at the end of 2019 and going into the pandemic. 

I was already working on designs for my own concept for a card game. I got the mechanics down of how I wanted everything to play out and I had ideas around characters.

So, the game kind of came first, but the story was being written in a manner to where it supported the cards that were being created.

Is card gaming something that you do full-time, or is it a part-time hustle?

It’s a passion project that turned into a side hustle. It just depends on how much time I can commit to it or how much marketing I can do with it.

I am currently a project manager on the Cover Virginia Project, and it takes up a lot of my time. So, as of right now, this is just something that’s part-time.

What’s the name of the card game and how old is it?

The game is called Runes of Ede and it is two and a half years old. But, I guess, to the public eye, it really started catching fire in April or May of this year.

Is it just online or are you selling decks through your store? 

We just finished wrapping up sales of our Halloween promo for one of our flagship characters, which did really well for us. 

We’ve also been doing test prints and foil sales to see how foiling came out. So, we’re selling those at a reasonable price so that people can get some collectors’ items.

But, the biggest bulk of our sales have come through the Alpha Test decks, which were small print runs of 50 copies of each Alpha Test deck. 

They were really just to get the game out there into people’s hands so they could see and feel the cards, and learn some of the mechanics of the game prior to us finalizing everything.

I’m really pushing for our core product launch to be prior to the end of this year, which will be our full game in one box.

Will there be online games or character figures that you’d be selling through Sellfy someday? 

As of right now, the game is available digitally on tabletop simulator. 

But, there are a few things I would love to do since I have developed these characters. I think any sort of pop figure-type deal would be cool.

I would also love to be able to get an animation of the story done. I don’t know how long that would take or if it would happen. It just depends on whether people will find themselves connecting to the characters.

I’m guessing there would be an option to perhaps trade or have specific cards that are more valuable than others?

There will be a potential for that. I’m giving customers the ability to buy all of the cards in one box. But, there are going to be those collector-driven products that are done in smaller print runs for people to collect.

If that’s something you’re into, whether it’s collecting or having the highest rarity of cards, that’s something that will be coming as well.

Are you getting the cards printed locally or is it from anywhere else in the world?

It’s from our printer in China. I’ve been really impressed with their overall quality—the card stock and the package design. They do really good work and they’re very communicative.

Runes of Ede

What’s your favorite part about this whole venture? 

I think it’s seeing people engage with it, whether that be them wanting to purchase the cards for collecting or them wanting to immerse themselves in the gameplay. That’s probably been the most rewarding thing about it.

And, what’s your least favorite part?

Waiting to receive the product from the printing company and having to figure out social media marketing.

It becomes a lot more challenging when you don’t have a new product in your hand. And then, the amount of times I’ve had to tell people that the core game is coming, but there are so many things that have to take place before that happens. 

What keeps you motivated to keep promoting and sharing your passion?

I’ve played a lot of games, and this is probably one of the few games I’ve personally been able to pick up and play, and just have a different experience each time I play it. 

I know I’m biased, but it feels like a really great game. Plus, the cards look so cool. The chibi art style isn’t a mainstream art style. So, to see these adorably fierce characters in this competitive game just brings a lot to the table.

Why did you pick Sellfy? Why not other options?

I have licenses for a WordPress site that I used for a previous venture. So, I started messing with it and it was just way too difficult to get started or do what I wanted.

As a brand new business owner who just opened an LLC, I really wanted a platform that allowed me to click and select options that I wanted. So, when I saw the way that Sellfy worked, I realized it was perfect for me because I’m not a website builder or a programmer. Sellfy made it so I could make a decent-looking storefront for the game.

And, that’s the reason why I was the most attracted to it and why I went with it. I’ve been happy ever since because it’s just been so easy for me to update it, make changes, get products uploaded, add different pages, etc.

Sellfy is just super flexible.

What are your favorite Sellfy features?

I’d say the flexibility of being able to create and craft the website at will. And then, product inputs are really simple. Fulfillment is also really easy, especially for physical products. And, Sellfy’s integration with Stripe, which is what I use for payment processing, is really great.

How has Sellfy impacted your life and business so far?

Sellfy has made things that were stressing me out, like setting up a storefront, receiving payments, etc., really easy for me. It reduced the amount of stress that I had with regards to that.

Sellfy’s offered me a platform that I got to create and turn into a full hub for this brand new game that is just coming out and allows for the customers to have a seamless experience.

Because once I get an order notification, I can fulfill it. I can give the customer their tracking number within the Sellfy app itself. So, it’s just made every experience seamless for both front-end and back-end.

You also get notifications of your performance, so you’re always able to keep track of your revenue. You have great analytical data that comes from the app, too. 

So, they’ve put all this in one place with a great dashboard. And, at the same time, they’ve made the creative experience super easy. So, Sellfy’s definitely a great platform.

Are you using Sellfy’s marketing tools like email credits and notifications? Do you send these out to your followers yet, or is this still something that’s in the progress of happening?

It’s in the progress of happening. It is something I plan on doing with the next few product releases that are happening.

So, for instance, when the holiday promos drop and that core product launches, not only am I going to be notifying people on social media, but I’ll end up using Sellfy’s marketing tools first.

How do you go about converting your followers from social media and inviting them over to Sellfy?

So, whenever I want to drive any sort of traffic to Sellfy, I do a full assault on Instagram and Facebook with strategic hashtags. 

And then, I have my Discord Server, which has the most repeat customers. They are usually the first people to get a notification and then go to my site.

And, also, I always do a really nice ad around something that’s on the site to catch people’s attention because, right now, the card gaming space is in a really interesting position.

It’s pretty a wild phenomenon where the indie card gaming space has been treated almost like a cryptocurrency. So, people have been investing to try and hit big on some of these games that are coming out.

And, unfortunately, since the market has become so volatile, a lot of these games that don’t actually have a mission are essentially dying on release whereas with our game we’re very mission-oriented.

A look into Matthew’s Facebook page

Who else is involved with you on this? 

During this year, I was able to bring on a friend of mine, Chris Kreitzman. He’s a lead game developer. He’s assisted with getting us over the hump designs and things like that.

I then have a group of friends who are basically the inspiration for this game because I started designing based off of the way they played the art card games.

And, so, they were a huge part of this. They were the first testers. 

And, then there was a group of testers that came on later to help test the game as well. So, even though I am the sole owner and creator of this business, there’s been a lot of people involved in the process to get it to where it’s now.

What advice would you give a new creator who wants to start building an online business?

My first advice would be to speak to as many people as possible that are close to you. And, I would try and obtain any sort of relevant information that they could help give you in starting this process, especially if you’re a person who hasn’t started an LLC. 

Take some time to research, and then also try and make sure that you’re doing things that make things easier for you because all these processes can be really stressful. 

So, finding different partners or companies that you can lean on to make these things easier is probably step one. Because when you try and do it on your own, it is very overwhelming at first. 

And, that’s honestly where I think a lot of creation and a lot of businesses die because they just get so overwhelmed by that upfront investment.

In the spotlight

In the spotlight

Matthew Coombs
Hobbyist, Game Publisher

In the spotlight

In the spotlight

Matthew Coombs
Hobbyist, Game Publisher