New Board Games: November 25th, 2016

Castle Panic: Engines of War Expansion
Dungeons and Dragons RPG: Volo’s Guide to Monsters
Doctor Who – Time Clash Starter Set
Guild Ball: Kick Off
Great Western Trail
Guilds of London
Mage Wars: Arena – The Lost Grimoire Volume 1
Jim Henson`s Labyrinth: The Board Game
Magic the Gathering 2016: Commander – Box of All 5 Decks
Ars Alchimia
Pocket Madness
Shadows of Brimstone: Frontier Town Expansion
The Mysterious Forest

New Board Games: November 17th, 2016

7 Wonders: Duel – Pantheon
Aladdin and the Magic Lamp
Bloodborne: The Card Game
Bull Moose
Burger Up
Burger Up: Burgers of the World Expansion
Dice City: By Royal Decree
Evolution: Climate
Fabled Fruit
Gingerdead House
Last Friday
Munchkin: Marvel Edition 3 – Cosmic Chaos
Nightmare Forest: Dead Run
Shadowrift (2nd Edition)
Shadowrift: Eve of the Sickle Moon
The Princess Bride: A Battle of Wits
The Daedalus Sentence
Thunderbirds: The Hood
Thunderbirds: Above & Beyond
Ultra Tiny Epic Kingdoms
Vinhos Deluxe with all Kickstarter Goals

New Board Games: November 16th, 2016

A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King
Arkham Horror LCG: Core Set
Dream Home
Escape Room: The Game
Final Touch
Five Tribes: The Thieves of Naqala Expansion
Fuji Flush
Mighty Monsters
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Villain Codex
Risky Adventure
Star Wars LCG: Meditation and Mastery Force Pack
Space Dandy: Galactic Deck-Building Game Deluxe Limited Edition
Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails
Unspeakable Words (Restock)
Unspeakable Words Deluxe Edition
World Monuments

New Board Games: November 9th, 2016

7th Sea: Second Edition (Core Rulebook Hardcover)
7th Sea: Second Edition (Limited Edition Core Rulebook Hardcover)
A Game of Thrones LCG: Lions of Casterly Rock (2nd Edition)
Android: Netrunner LCG – Intervention Data Pack
Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne
Kingdom Builder: Marshlands
Om Nom Nom (Qui Bouffe Qui)
Undying RPG (Softcover)
Undying RPG (Hardcover)
Star Trek: Frontiers
Zimby Mojo

New Board Games: November 3rd, 2016

Around the World in 80 Days
Battle for Sularia: Blood, Profit and Glory
Codex: Starter Set
Codex: Flagstone vs Blackhand
Dropfleet Commander: 2 Player Starter Set
Escape from Colditz: 75th Anniversary Edition
Love Letter: Premium Edition
King of New York: Power Up Expansion
Munchkin Zombies Guest Artist Edition
Project Mars
Star Trek: Ascendancy
The Guardians: Explore
Zombicide Black Plague: Special Guest – Neal Adams
Zombicide Black Plague: Special Guest – Gipi
Winds of Fortune

Tarred with the same brush (Distribution Issues)

tar_brushA day after we did our post about distribution challenges in the gaming industry, we receive news that PSI has now informed their US distributors not to sell to online only physical stores.  If you don’t know, PSI does the distribution for nearly 30% of the industry (most everyone who isn’t gobbled up by Asmodee like Steve Jackson Games, Arcane Wonders, Catalyst Games, Stronghold Games, Indie Boards & Cards and more).  This is the same day that a post on Reddit titled “My local game store smells so bad that I don’t want to go in” hits 852 upvotes and generates a ton of conversations.

PSI (potentially at the pushing of it’s publishers, potentially by themselves) decided that game stores that reek so bad that potential customers refuse to go in are better ambassadors for the game trade than we are.

Hyperbolic much? Maybe, but since we seem to be tarred with the same brush, why don’t I use it on all B&M stores? No fair, but then who is being fair or reasonable here anyway?

Let’s be clear – there is an issue in the industry where board game prices in particular have hit a point where many B&M stores are reducing or even removing their support of the category beyond fast-selling staples.  There are a lot of reasons bandied around but the reasons that get spoken about are:

  • Alpha gamers picking up the ‘hottest new games’ from Kickstarter releases direct
  • Online discounts on average at 30-40% off MSRP.
  • Mass market businesses poaching gateway gamers from B&M stores (who now can’t / don’t have the chance to convert these customers like they used to).

Here’s the thing.  If you look at the above issues, 2 of 3 of those problems are created / supported by publishers because it works very well for them.  Kickstarter allows them to launch more games with less capital and make more money.  Mass Market sales allows them to generate more sales with a much, much bigger footprint than probably the entire B&M store industry.

That means online discounts (and online discounters) are the only people they will go after to look like they are doing something.   There are numerous policies coming into play to stop this.  In the US, ANA decided to just restrict sales to a few online stores.  In Canada, some have gone with a MAP program (even if it is technically illegal).

PSI’s strategy is to restrict it to B&M stores only.  However, that’s not going to work.  Most of the large players in the online world are B&M and online, so it wouldn’t stop them from purchasing.  Worst, half (at least!) of the problems come direct from B&M stores who find themselves with too much product and are just dumping the product.  Solutions like this are more PR than actual solutions, intended to appease than fix the real issues.  Mostly because the real issues are either extremely expensive to fix or because, perhaps, they aren’t fixable.