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TOPIC: Boardgames are the new Comic Books

Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 12:44 #264486

From the Steve Jackson annual report:
"As predicted in the 2016 report, the year was challenging and stretched our sanity and resources to near-breaking at times. The current market is more a periodicals business than one that encourages growing and nurturing single games, leading to our evergreen titles -- Munchkin and Zombie Dice -- dropping in sales. Gross income was roughly $5.5 million, down about $500,000 from the previous year. Fortunately, the year was break-even, perhaps even slightly profitable; we'll have final numbers once our business office closes the books (and we will update this report at that time)."
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 14:15 #264488

There it is then, spelled out in plain letters. How fucking sad is that, your $150 Kickstarter stretch goal orgasm has the market shelf life of an issue of Cosmo. No wonder I don’t give a fucking shit about at least 90 percent of the games coming out today. Because I know that almost none of them are going to be around for A MONTH.

Man, fuck the board games industry. Reading our Wiz-War thread, looking at my El Grande box, thinking about how Yellow & Yangtze is probably my most anticipated game...it’s pretty clear that what I want from games and what this business wants to sell me are two different things.

If MM ever drops Review Corner, I’m done writing about new games. I fucking despise what this hobby has become commercially, I fucking despise what the post-FFG generation of designers and players has turned all of this into. No wonder going back to classic Eurogames and Warhammer felt so good.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 14:19 #264489

Boardgames are the new women's clothing. They want us to buy new games every season, because the games we bought last season are old and embarrassing and ready to go to Goodwill.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 14:31 #264490

A lot of what we see as popular games now are targeted to hobbyists instead of the mass-market, imo. Since hobbyists are likely to buy games frequently then each game is kind of like the latest issue of a magazine.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 14:53 #264491

And since the hobby is now about buying games instead of playing them...
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 16:00 #264493

The lack of long term thinking is the demise of many things.

I want to blame the industry, and I know that companies like FFG have nurtured it, but consumers are a stupid bunch. FOMO, etc.

Yet, good solid designs are all around us. Despite what we may want to believe as consumers, and what the industry tells us to believe for their bottom line, we dont need a constant influx of mediocrity. The industry will burst once people become exhausted. The pay off doesn't match the effort put into chasing down games.

I heard that even BGG's end of year fundraiser, for the first time I've known about" has failed to meet their goal. That in itself is telling how the golden age is becoming tarnished.

M:tG has illustrated this quite well recently. They just pump shit out... over and over and over... all while the quality in physical components degrades along side the quality of card design. They are losing consumer confidence that they once enjoyed, and now when something new comes out it is discarded out of hand because the wallets are exhausted and people are tired of being jerked around.
Their example may be small, but one could call them a microcosm of the industry.

Weve all be seeing the same thing happen in the broader boardgame industry for quite awhile now. Instead of coming out with a quality expansion for Wiz-War for example, you get "Moar Stahr Woarz!!". Industry leaders are only leading down the path of the quick buck. Even Steve Jackson who caters to the lowest common denominator in consumers by pumping out X iteration of Munchkin, are lamenting such an outcome they themselves helped to create.

I dont blame them, because we clamor for "Moar" of what we like (see Wiz-War comment I just made) but take the low hanging fruit and the easy buck instead of doing what days of wonder were known for. Making very few games, but nearly all of them great.

Yay for the mentality of throwing shit against a wall to see how much shit you can cover the wall with. I think its been doing more harm than good. Frohike's comment on KS is relevant here.

Frohike wrote:
The trend of 100% KS exclusive products is fragmenting an already niche community into smaller silos of fandom that cannot grow, spread, or deepen. They're like brightly exploding stars that are all rapidly imploding into black holes, and the hobby is going darker for it.

Who will care about these games in a couple of years outside of whatever diminishing enclave of owners manages to sustain interest & discussion in a fan forum somewhere? Will designers really get better in this echo chamber, or will publishers begin to drive the evolution of ideas that hit the market? Will designs continue to evolve and cross-pollinate? How is this possible when the dreck and the treasure all command the same attention, enthusiasm, and multi-million dollar funding?

It's impoverishing reviews, which become increasingly pointless and pre-invested as the people who already own the product don't need a review, yet games criticism still mostly lives in this sphere so its quality also takes a hit, at best negotiating an awkward line between preaching to a choir or critiquing something that has already been validated with 100% funding.

I really don't like where this is going in the long term.

I'd love to buy games all the time like I used to. But once I got over casual FOMO and collecting games on the off chance I had three like minded player gather together for card drafting area control game, maybe just maybe I can pull out that copy of San Marco...

NNNNNNOPE! I've bought exactly three new games since 2015 (and 2 older games). Gorechosen, The M:tG AotP suite, and Frostgrave. (along with DungeonQuest from Pete and Dungeon Saga from Josh) Dungeon saga was my only regret, but at least I am making good use of the components in other ways.

I know only so many copies of a single title can be sold before the market is so saturated that they just don't sell anymore. But I wonder if that is even true when I look at Monopoly or the now-more-mainstream-but-once-niche Catan.

Design good games, and you know you wont need KS to get them out into the wild. They will sell. That's why when and if Fireball Island gets released, I'm waiting for retail. KS can go kick rocks.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 17:18 #264497

I don’t want to “plug” but when you see SEAL Team Flix you’ll see that not all games are designed for obsolescence.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 17:32 #264498

And I believe that. And I believe good games are still possible and will still be published. But the vast majority of games release are quite literally worthless 4-6 weeks after publication. The thing is, this is not exactly a new thing. Back when I had my shop, I could smell DOA product a mile away. I’d open the email list of new and upcoming product from Alliance (distributor) and I could practically go down and check off everything that would be on the clearance rack in two months. There has always been a surplus of junk product- Clout keeps coming to mind here- that is never going to sell. But now, with Kickstarter being the primary driver for publication...so much fucking garbage shoveled into the ecosystem.

Keep trumpeting about Rising Sun...ain’t nobody going to be playing that game in a year. CMON will make sure of that. And all those stretch goals will be as dust.

And I will still be pulling El Grande off the shelf.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 18:20 #264501

My friend has been working on a game for nearly 15 years and was thinking of getting it published just because he really wants to see it done with professional art and see it played.

I wonder how much of cruft right now is filled with people trying to publish to pay the bills vs just having a passion for design. The number of designs at those unpub conferences is staggering.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 19:26 #264502

I follow a large boardgame community on Facebook mostly because it amuses me to watch lemmings run off a cliff. I swear to god, 80% of the posts are "Which of these three Kickstarters should I buy?" It's a fucking sickness. Like, dude, none of these people know you or what you like, and none of them have ever played any of the games you just listed because they are fucking Kickstarters and haven't been published yet. Is it just that you feel compelled to buy shit, but want to make sure you are buying the same shit everyone else is, like a Jr. High School Girl that is afraid her clique will shun her if she wears the wrong type of sneakers? Holy hell.

Oh, and the other 19% of the posts are pictures of stacks of games that people just bought.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 19:35 #264503

I've complained about this before, but my weekly game night is usually dominated by the host pulling out the new game he got since last week and making us play it, and rarely do we ever play it again. The last few weeks I've been bringing a box of games and pushing hard to play them instead. Said box contains: Chaos in the Old World, Cyclades, T&E, Nexus Ops, Dark Moon, and Wiz-War. The last two weeks I've gotten Dark Moon and Cyclades to the table, with the help of another friend who is also sick of the weekly one-off. Not sure if we can keep it up though. But I can always try.

Even if I get each of these to the table, I'll keep bringing that box, because I'd be fine playing just those games for the next few years.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 19:56 #264505

I still say El Grande and Stone Age pretty much cover the gamut of shit I want to play anymore outside of miniature war games and puzzles.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 20:40 #264507

Yea same here. One guy posted a link of an article, on a board-gamer steps of evolution or something like that. You end up being a board game guru who have played thousands of title. I wanted to post about what about guys who realize the players are as important, if not more than the actual games itself, and a few good titles should be able to accommodate a hobbyist. But refrained.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 20:52 #264508

"A periodicals business". That's a great way to put it and it's so very true.

I went up to Total Con in Massachusetts a week or so ago. Just for the day and mainly to hang with a small contingent of ASL guys but I took a few minutes to walk the hall and see what was being played. I swear there wasn't one table playing any game over six months old. Reminded me why I don't care much for conventions anymore.

It is a shame where sitting down to play a game where you already know the rules is a complete rarity.
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Boardgames are the new Comic Books 04 Mar 2018 21:37 #264510

An article by Faidutti about exactly this just posted today, although he compares it to books rather than periodicals.
The English version stats after the French version, so scroll down if you aren't Zavos.

http://faidutti.com/blog/?p=9177
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