Hachette Livre entered exclusive negotiations with Black Games’ shareholders to acquire a majority stake in their company. Blackrock Games, based in Romagnat, near Clermont Ferrand, was founded in 2007 by Alain Ollier and Yoann Laurent, and is the 3rd largest boardgame distributor in France. They have 25 employees, a portfolio of 30 boardgame publishers, and around 90 new releases each year, with a product portfolio of over 400 games. Yoann Laurent, supported by Thibaut Quintens and Wladimir Watine, will remain at the head of Blackrock Games.
“We are thrilled to be able to accelerate our development with Hachette
Livre and thus offer new opportunities to our publishing partners. We will continue to be committed to our teams and to our values.” -Yoann Laurent, President of Blackrock Games
“We are delighted to welcome Blackrock Games, whose know-how is widely appreciated in the world of boardgames. We expect this outstanding team and its leaders to continue the great work they have been achieving so far.” -Arnaud Nourry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hachette Livre.
Hachette Livre recently acquired Gigamic and is implementing their strategic decision to explore the family leisure market which is adjacent to their book publishing business. Hachette Livre is now composed of Gigamic, Studio H, and Funnyfox, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lagardère SCA, the third-largest trade and educational publishing group in the world.
In keeping with their decidedly odd feline motif and a core philosophy of fun above all, the event organizers plan to offer a gladiatorial arena and a giant cat that will explode into glorious flames. There will be guest speakers, but the focus will be on discovering and playing new games while creators and artists will get a chance to meet and develop new ideas.
“The Cat Who Burns” will preside over the convention, according to the event website, and at the conclusion of the festivities will erupt into “something terrible and wonderful.” Attendees are welcome to enter a central arena called “The Ring” and try a new take on the venerable dodge ball called Hairball, hurling massive hair-covered projectiles, or they can do battle in a cat-themed American Gladiators spectacle.
“Inside this gladiatorial cage, humongous, over-sized games will be played. Stupid stunts will be performed. New sports will be invented. We will defy the laws of nature. We will defy the nature of laws.”
Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal was announced on the website as a guest speaker and more may be revealed at a later date. But Burning Cat’s priority is having fun, according to the organizers.
With less focus on hawking new product
lines and more on actual game play, Burning Cat seeks to right what
is wrong with today’s convention scene.
“We don’t like that most conventions are basically a glorified shopping mall.“
The convention will be a place to play games face to face and explore avenues of creativity, according to the website. Artists and game designers are encouraged to use Burning Cat to help test out their prototypes and ideas.
Burning Cat is set to open May 16-17 in Portland, Oregon.
Each year, the members of The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design presents the Origin Awards to companies for outstanding games in the hobby industry. Attendees at the Origins Game Fair can examine and play the nominated games in the Origins Awards Area in the Exhibit Hall, then vote for the Fan Favorite Award in each category. On Saturday, June 15th, 2019, all winners will be announced and presented at the Origins Awards Ceremony.
The three companies originally met through digital game development but all three had a passion for board games and realized that there was much more to be gained by working together than working apart. Between the three companies, there is a wealth of design experience, artistic talent and production skills – however, each time one of them encountered a challenge, they had to deal with it on their own. Together they plan to share best practices to solve the inevitable challenges more efficiently.
This cooperation is also an attempt to buck the current trend in the games industry of larger companies gobbling up indie developers while the remaining indies compete for an ever smaller part of the revenue. Instead of competition, these three companies choose to cooperate based on shared values and ways to run a business.
Auroch Digital is currently running a Kickstarter campaign titled Mars Horizon: Blast Off in which each player leads a major space agency from the dawn of the space age through humanity’s journey to Mars.
Bos Taurus Diceworks is new to the industry and is currently working on an as-yet unannounced major IP title.
Underground Games is located in Germany, while Auroch Digital & Bos Taurus Diceworks are both in the UK. The three companies also have called on other independent developers to join their cooperation and push the envelope on how games can be created and brought to players.
Designer, Sophia Wagner (known for Noria), has players exploring the Iron Valley in The Boldest. Each round, 2-5 players form 3 groups of heroes who portion their power to form the strongest groups. Cooks get new adventurers, with special abilities, to join factions who venture out to defeat mechanical monsters, retrieve artifacts, use helpful items, and lead their faction to glory.
In Farben, 3-5 players associate a color with a word, then tell a story of why those two are connected. To win at Farben, players must remember who best assigned which color to specific words, with more points being scored as more players remember those associations. Apolline Jove has designed a vivid, storytelling game in a minimalist style.
Fields of Green: Grand Fair
Fields of Green, inspired by Among the Stars, has 2-4 players take on the role of farmers trying to expand their property and business. The expansion, Fields of Green: Grand Fair, adds a 5th player and a solo play mode. A new module, called Attractions, adds Attraction Mats such as a Carnival Ride, Dancing Contest, or Beer Festival, which adds variety to scoring options in the game as each one has different requirements to operate. Awards, is also a new module which adds goals for players to achieve. New locations and equipment also expand the game. The expansion is designed by the original game’s designer, Vangelis Bagiartakis, and is expected to release on February 6th, 2019.
For those of you anxiously awaiting the second printing of Jonathan Ying’s Bargain Quest, you can now also look forward to a brand new expansion, too! This fun little game of adventure and capitalism will offer even more must have items for heroes to choose from.
In Bargain Quest, players take on the role of shopkeeper trying to attract adventuring heroes to their shop over their opponents. Each player will secretly draft from a deck of items to place in their shop windows and then help equip their heroes for an upcoming ad kkiventure. Players earn money to upgrade their shop and hire employees based on how their hero fares in battle.
The Black Market expansion will offer players more heroes, employees, and play modes. A new shipment of items will also be available to entice heroes to battle the new monsters.
Gather up to eight of your friends to see who can run the most successful shop with the most gold and prestige. Renegade Games will be releasing the Black Market expansion in May 2019. Don’t worry if you missed out on the Kickstarter for the base game. It will be available through Renegade Games once the Kickstarter fulfillment is completed.
Released in 2012, CGE now takes Pictomania and dresses it anew with its second edition! With a brand new design and at a lower price point, families will get to enjoy the fast paced game of drawing and guessing at the same time with this brand new edition!
Pictomania gives each player a certain word or phrase, then, simultaneously, everybody tries to draw it. Are you an artist? Do you draw bad? It’s fine! This game evens out talent by being a real-time game! Everybody draws and guesses what the other players’ drawings are, giving out points to everybody who finishes fast and guesses correctly.
Curious to know when this game will come out or what the changes are? Head on over to their website here for more details.
Today, Bézier Games announced that Ultimate Werewolf Legacy will be released at Gen Con in August. Many are familiar with their game Ultimate Werewolf where players are given secret roles are either working together to identify the werewolves (if you’re a villager) or working together to get rid of all of the villagers (if you’re a werewolf).
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy adds elements that make decisions made in this social deduction game impact in future games. In addition to a secret role, players will be given a family card that incentivizes players to work with their family members…as long as nobody in that family is secretly working against them.
Players are able to gain special abilities that carry on from game to game, too. The players aren’t the only thing evolving throughout the game, though. The village itself will change throughout the game. Both of these elements lend to high variability in the game as you can play through the campaign multiple times with different results.
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy implements an 80+ page diary that walks the game moderator through each session.
The Diary has been designed so that players with no previous werewolf playing experience can both play and moderate. The Diary is structured into 5 distinct chapters with 3 game sessions in each chapter, as well as an introductory Preface game session. Players can jump in and out for individual sessions, but they’ll have the most fun if they player all the sessions in a chapter. Each chapter can be played in a single evening. At the end of the 16 game session campaign, the Diary will be a record of exactly what happened in your village, and who was ultimately responsible for what it became over time.
A replay pack is available for purchase for those who wish to get a fresh diary and new family cards in order to play the game again.
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy was co-designed by Ted Alspach, (Ultimate Werewolf, Werewords, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf) and Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy, Seafall, Betrayal Legacy, and Downforce).
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy and Replay Packs can be preordered at beziergames.com, and will ship in August 2018.
As one of Coimbra’s oldest houses, your role is to seek prestige with the monasteries, universities, and fund explorations. To do this, player’s will draft dice each round that can be used in multiple ways and taking dice can affect turn order, income, and the cost of bribery . Whoever can optimize the use of the dice and the constant change of synergy with the monasteries, universities, and expeditions will be the winner.
Coimbra is a designed for 2-4 players and takes approximately 60-90 minutes. Coimbra pre-orders will open April 16, 2018 and it will be released on August 2, 2018 at GenCon.
Untold riches await you inside the pyramids of the Ancients – but they are well protected. An undying Mummy guardian spreads a vile curse to those who would rob its tomb. And, inevitably, the treasure has attracted a dragon. Can you escape the fearsome Croxobek? [source]
In Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, players venture underground to loot treasure as quietly as possible to avoid the dragon’s attention. When the dragon awakens he attacks those who have made the most noise. To win, players need to have the most valuable treasure and make it out of the dungeon alive!
Dire Wolf Digital designed and co-published the first expansion, Clank! Sunken Treasures, and was their first foray into board game publishing. They’ve designed this latest expansion and will co-publish it with Renegade Games.
Scott Gaeta, President of Renegade Game Studios:
The Mummy’s Curse ramps up the suspense as players try to avoid being cursed by the wandering monster. We can’t wait to share this with Clank! fans everywhere!
Clank! The Mummy’s Curse will see release in March 2018. The game is ideal for 2-4 players, aged 12+, and takes 30-60 minutes if players have a particularly good treasure run.