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While mergers within the board game industry are something we’re all becoming accustomed to, it’s interesting to see such a thing occur between two publishers that have both been making waves within the past few months. As announced via Facebook, NSKN Games, publishers of recently hot games Teotihuacan and Dice Settlers, have merged with Board & Dice, publishers of The Networks and Multiuniversum. They will continue forward under the Board & Dice brand, and games from both categories will feature this branding in future print runs. This move won’t come to any detriment to the quality of their content or their fans, but instead will help leverage both publisher’s abilities to broaden their catalog and bring about even more cool games.

“We have both worked together on many fields, we are friends outside working hours and what’s probably most important – both companies have excellent and successful games in their portfolios. We want to move to the next level in the board games industry and we know we can do this together by joining our potentials under one refreshed Board & Dice brand.”

In addition to this merger was an announcement of plans for the upcoming year under the combined brand’s Facebook page. This plan includes an expansion each for Teotihuacan and Dice Settlers, a new game in the Exodus series, a surprise design from Daniele Tascini, and the following new titles: INUIT, World Shapers, Dust in the Wings, Sierra West, and Escape Tales 2. It looks like there’s a bright future in store for the publishers, and their already extensive catalogs will certainly serve them well in the days to come. If you’re interested in learning more about Board & Dice, and this merger, check out their website for further updates, news, and product information.

Roxley Game Laboratory has posted four videos to their Facebook page that give some of the first glimpes of the Santorini app in action.  The board game version of Santorini released in 2016 and the gaming community immediately embraced the attractive, three-dimensional abstract strategy game. The base game is clever and challenging in its own right, but the game really comes to life as players choose from a wide variety of Greek Gods who each grant a certain ability.

The app portrays the Greek Gods in vivid detail and as you play the game, the building pieces come crashing down from the sky as if Athena herself was choosing the location on the board.

The app is still in final development so all visuals and gameplay are subject to change. What are you waiting for? Embody Hermes and race over to the Roxley Facebook page to check out the game in action.

I wouldn’t say Monopoly is the epitome of board games, but it is the game that everyone outside of the hobby thinks of when you say board games.  Monopoly also has a long history of being “house ruled” (ie money under free parking anyone?).

“The cheating has gone on too long! With nearly one out of every two MONOPOLY players bending – or breaking – the rules, we knew it was time to put an end to the cheating, and what better way to reach our fans than by leveraging the innovative Facebook Messenger technology,” said Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming. “With MONOPOLY CheatBot, we’re empowering fans to ‘report’ their family and friends for corrupt and questionable game play – with customized consequences to hopefully end MONOPOLY feuds for good.”

However, according to a recent study of nearly 2,000 players, it also has a history of cheating.  In the study nearly half of all the players confessed to have cheated at the game in order to win, and Mr. Monopoly just can’t have that.  So starting January 16th through February 16th, you can hop on Facebook Messenger and directly message the Monopoly CheatBot and he will dole out punishments and settle disputes in real time.  So cheaters beware, Mr. Monopoly isn’t going to play nicely with those who cheat.  You can head on over to the Monopoly Facebook page for more info and to message the Cheatbot.x

Ultra PRO has announced the upcoming release of Stone Blade Entertainment’s popular card game Ascension, entitled Ascension: Gift of Elements.  The following is a quote from their Facebook Page:

We have great news for you, at the show we will have an advanced copy of Ascension: Gift of Elements slated to be released early next year. Come check out the future set of Ascension before it’s released and as ask the games designer, Justin Gary, questions about how he came up with the ideas for the newest addition to the Ascension family.

More information can be found on the game’s BGG page.

facebook kickstarter

Jamey Stegmaier posted an article this week on his blog asking this question: when it comes to Kickstarter, Facebook, and other forms of communication: do you feel punished?  This question was derived from some complaints and comments that he received from Stonemaier Games’ fans when he began to combine multiple threads and media into singularly focused Facebook groups (one per game) too keep things easier to update, follow, and converse.  These complaints involved fans who did not have Facebook accounts to feel left out, in which the word “punished” was being used.

Jamey Stegmaier explains the situation this way:

I started to receive comments and messages from people saying that I was “punishing” them for not being on Facebook. They said I was excluding them from the conversation. Some were worried about not being in the loop about future releases, despite the many other platforms we use for communication (Twitter, e-newsletter, this blog, BoardGameGeek, Kickstarter, YouTube, etc).

But it was the comments about “punishment” that really stood out to me. That’s a strong word. It implies that I’m choosing to hurt you because of your actions. Yet the power is in your hands. The onus is on you to join Facebook. I’m not standing in your way.

Mr. Stegmaier is explicit in his article that he has absolutely no intent to alienate (and certainly not “punish”) any of his followers.  Quite the contrary.  Nor is he suggesting that anyone should join Facebook.  He further explains that his “responsibility as a creator is to select an effective way to let backers and customers engage with me and with each other.”  While he strives to achieve this high level of communication, there are human limitations, and that posting the same content repeatedly on every platform is a gargantuan task and, quite frankly, unreasonable.

It is a fact that Mr. Stegmaier has left footprints for many in the gaming industry to follow, both in his enormous efforts to communicate clearly and frequently with his fans and customers as well as his pioneering efforts in the Kickstarter approach and helping others in the industry create more productive, effective Kickstarter projects.  This recent article entitled Kickstarter, Facebook, and Communication: Do You Feel Punished? was published on his blog on the Stonemaier Games website, and can be read here.