Board Game Business

Steve Jackson Games, the house that Munchkin built, is one of those rare companies that works on almost complete transparency. The company is very good about publicly posting what they are working on, how much money was generated for each project, and what is in store for the future. For those interested in the inner workings of the board game industry, SJG has just posted their 2018 Report to Stakeholders, with a detailed post mortem of all that went down last year – the good, the bad and the ugly. In short, Steve Jackson had a good year, coming out just a smidge lower than 2017, with several good projects such as Kickstarter’s successful The Fantasy Trip, and the continued expansion of the Munchkin Universe. The low point was the ill-fated Muchkin Collectible Card Game, which struggled to find an audience despite good designers and mechanisms. For all the juicy details, check out the Stakeholder Report here.

Grey Fox Games has announced on twitter a new imprint, Social Sloth Games, focusing on casual games for people of all experience levels with the motto “Slow Down, Have Fun”. The first game on the Social Sloth label will be Creatures and Cupcakes, a 2-4 player push your luck game designed by Daryl Andrews (Sagrada, City of Gears). In Creatures and Cupcakes, players are monster trainers, using sweets to try to tame two monsters. However, the monsters are greedy, and too much sugar will give them an upset stomach. Look for Creatures and Cupcakes to hit Kickstarter in May 2018. Future titles from Social sloth will include Zoned Out, a tile laying city building game, and Gem Hens.

Eggertspiele has released a press release unveiling its new logo in the wake of being acquired by Plan B Games. Now inside Plan B Games Europe, Eggertspiele will be branding themselves as a publisher of “medium to heavy complexity European strategy games”. As part of their rebranding, Eggertspiele have updated their fox mascot Jeffrey into a more contemporary, cleaner design. Eggertspiele is the German publishing house behind such modern classics as Mombasa, Camel Up, Village and Great Western Trail.

For more details, you can read the press release on Eggertspiele’s facebook page here.

Pegasus Spiel has announced a partnership with Frosted Games, allowing Pegasus to distribute a selection of Frosted Games Titles, with more in negotiations. The first involved games will be Ausgespielt! Der Messe-Krimi, with its upcoming English language version Game Over!, 13 Tage (13 Days) and 13 Minuten (13 Minutes). Ausgespielt! Der Messe-Krimi is a unique murder mystery game for 7-8 players, taking place at the SPIEL Convention in Essen, Germany. Players can either be security guards, fair organizers or game designers, with one player taking the secret role of culprit. 13 Days: The Cuban Missle Crisis (2016) and 13 Minutes: The Cuban Missle Crisis (2017) are well regarded historic 2-player strategy games revolving around their namesake events.

Pegasus Spiel is one of Germany’s best known board game publishing houses, putting out hundreds of games including Great Western Trail, Mombasa, Camel Up and The Oracle of DelphiFrosted Games is best known for publishing the Brettspiel Adventskalenders and associated Easter Baskets full of board game promos, as well as the 2015 worker placement game Harbour. You can read the official press release on Pegasus Spiel’s website here.

Asmodee North America and Fantasy Flight Games have announced the formation of a new division, Fantasy Flight Interactive, which will be focusing on bringing full video games based on popular board games to various platforms.  Fantasy Flight Games will continue to produce hybrid board games with digital elements, such as Descent and Mansions of Madness, but Fantasy Flight Interactive will strive to create “more expansive video game products”. Fantasy Flight Interactive will be lead by Tim Gerritsen, whose resume includes such video game hits as Bioshock Infinite, Prey and Rune. You can read the full press release on Fantasy Flight’s website here.

In further Asmodee news, the corporate giant is undergoing a new business facelift, driven by brand consultant Havas Paris. Firstly, Asmodee has adopted the new brand statement “Great Games, Amazing Stories”, conceptualizing the company’s goal to offer a narrative experience around their intellectual properties. Secondly, Asmodee has changed their visual identity, adding a family of new, clean logos for its family of board game companies. Lastly, Asmodee announced a new corporate webpage presence at corporate.asmodee.com. You can read the full press release from Asmodee here.

Cool Mini Or Not (CMoN) has announced that Jules Vautour has been promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO), overseeing business in North America. Jules has working with CMoN since March 2016, previously working as Sales Director for Asmodee Editions from 2012-2015. You can read the full press release here.

ThunderGryph Games has announced a new partnership with Passport Game Studios for distribution of the Spanish game house’s recent releases. ThunderGryph made quite a splash recently with their Kickstarter games Tao Long, an asian-themed abstract game, and Dead Man’s Doubloons, a treasure seeking pirate game with fantastic components. The trick taking game Pot de Vin, a re-imagining of Sapotagem (2015) will join these two to be the first 3 games covered by the recent agreement. You can read the full press release from Passport here.

Courtesy of Gen Con

Gen Con LLC has announced that David Hoppe took over management from Adrian Swartout after GenCon50. Swartout served as CEO for GenCon for the past 10 years, and will continue to share responsibilties during the transition. David Hoppe is no stranger to gaming, having spent 5 years as director of business operations for XBox Live, and was a consultant for Upper Deck from 1995-2002.

You can read the full press release from GenCon here.

CMON Ltd has acquired the rights to the immensely popular The Grizzled from Sweet Games. Designed by Fabien Riffaud and Juan Rodriguez, the unforgiving coop game The Grizzled hit the scene by storm in 2015 with its stark emotional art from the late Tignous. CMON distributed the game in the U.S. and helped make the game and its first expansion At Your Orders! a success. The designers are currently working on the second expansion, The Grizzled: Armistice Edition, which will add a campaign mechanic to the game.

You can read the full press release from CMON here.

Asmodee North America has announced an “exclusive multi-year hobby channel distribution agreement” with Alliance Games Distributors to take effect August 1, 2017. This is a pretty big blow for the other big board game distributors Asmodee has used in the past, such as GTS Distribution, ACD Distribution and Southern Hobby Supply. Keep in mind that Asmodee has spent the past few years collecting other board game companies, meaning that this new agreement covers all games from Asmodee themselves, as well as those from Plaid Hat Games, Days of Wonder, Z-Man Games, Fantasy Flight Games, and others. Asmodee is also scheduled to announce changes to their sales policies and retailer initiatives at the end of June.

You can read the press release from Asmodee here.

Restoration Games, hot off their successful Kickstarter Campaign for the amazing new version of Stop Thief!, has announced three exciting high-profile additions to the company.

Lindsay Daviau has joined the team as Production Superhero, bringing her extensive experience with Hasbro as graphic designer and art director. Lindsay has been involved with games such as Guess Who? and  Heroscape, and I hear she knows the CRO of Restoration Games, Rob Daviau, quite well.

JR Honeycutt is a co-designer on Seafall, and designer of the recent release Fantasy Fantasy Baseball. JR will be joining Restoration Games as Tinker-in-Chief, where he will set the strategy for getting games ready for production.

Last but not least, Suzanne Sheldon will be joining Restoration as Master of Fireworks, keeping the world looking at Restoration Games, and making sure the view is spectacular. Anyone in gaming knows Suzanne, a regular contributor to the Dice Tower Network, part of Boardgame Breakfast, and a recent co-host of the Dice Tower Audio Podcast.

You can read the entire press release from Restoration games here.