Highlighted Happenings from the Board Game World in 2016

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Apps with Games

Fantasy Flight are leading the way with this one. Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition being the best example. In the first edition, the role of the evil house was taken by a player vs. all other participants. Now an app does that part telling you where to move the monsters and unveiling the scenarios story as you go. This makes it a great 1 player game as well as a joint experience. They followed it up by implementing that system into their Descent game. Other great examples recently have been XCOM and Alchemists. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

Stunning production in games

Holy Scythe! Now Santorini is taking it to 11. Its pretty much mandatory to have incredible production on your games now. TIME Stories looks like Apple decided to make a game and Red Raven Games has created an art style that makes people buy their games regardless of what is inside them. Keep it up Ladies and Gents.

Legacy Elements

Games are increasingly using a legacy element in their games. What does that mean? That some part of the game you play will carry over into the next, creating a story arc or link to previous games played. There are various degrees to this. Pandemic Legacy and Seafall take it to the highest level, with a full plot, one time play-through of the game and board modifications. Other games like Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle are re-playable multiple times but still allow you to go through the books one at a time. TIME Stories is a case to be solved (usually over 4 plays), but you can buy further modules which very different play styles using components from the original game. 2017 can expect Pandemic Legacy Season 2, Charterstone (from the creator of Scythe), 7th Continent and Gloomhaven to name a few.

Asmodee owns Everything

You may have heard of Asmodee, but probably not Eurazeo. Well Eurazeo are an investment group that purchased Asmodee back in 2014. With the weight of millions of dollars behind them they have now acquired the following:
– Fantasy Flight Games (Arkham/Eldritch Horror, Netrunner, X-Wing + 100s more)
– Z-Man games (Pandemic, Carcassonne, Terra Mystica)
– Plaid Hat Games (Dead of Winter, Mice and Mystics)
– Catan Studios (errrr…Catan)
– Days of Wonder (Ticket to Ride, Small World, Five Tribes)
Yes, they pretty much own every major modern board game out there. What does that mean for you? Well, very likely price increases I’m afraid. We are already seeing it on certain titles (Ticket to Ride, Pandemic) and supply problems at the moment with large swathes of these titles being consistently out of print as demand outstrips supply. Its slightly worrying for the industry, but we are in the infancy of this change so we shall see what happens. Asmodee Canada are going through a restructure as they try to cope with the responsibility of trying to get all these games on shelves. Before it was done by 4 or 5 different distributors who would all sell these titles, now just the one. Hopefully they get up to speed soon, if not, prepare for some holes on shelves.

Board games are Coming from Everywhere

Finally, Riot Games (of League of Legends fame) stepped into the Board Game market to release Mechs and Minions. It was very well received and again, incredibly overproduced. However, you can only buy it directly from them. It was an odd move as it sounds like it was made as a fun, on the side leisure project for their everyday programmers and made them comparatively little money compared to the World’s most popular video game. Its really good though, so good for them, lets see if they make any more…

Hasbro Manage to Go Viral again

Last year it was Pie Face, this year it was Speak Out! Countless hours were spent ringing every store in Victoria trying to find a copy of Speak Out only to be told that they sold out all their copies in 4.6 seconds. What will be next years ‘game’?

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