Cult of the New (COTN) in the Board Game world!
Big week on Kickstarter with the recent launch of several high expectation campaigns. The current successful theme seems to be projects continuing to hit specific niches within the board game community.
• Conan: Going on strong over a week into the campaign, already easily surpassing the $1.1 million dollar mark and escaping the gravity of the plateau/lull between opening and closing days that many high funded projects seem hit. Definitely strumming the strings of the nostalgic license market and two million doesn’t seem to be out of the question. More focus/scrutiny has come on the stretch goals with concerns about shipping/additional scenarios but that hasn’t slowed backers.
• Tiny Epic Galaxies: Another multi-hundred thousand dollar hit from Gamelyn Games, emphasizing again their Tiny (pocket) empire as their corner of the market. Definitely continuing to strike while the iron is hot especially with end of year 2014 awards give more accolade to Tiny Epic Kingdoms. Not having played the game yet, is over 30 type of one card (planets) now achieved by stretch goal too much, not enough, or just right?
• Exploding Kittens: The surprise of the week in the online community and not without its detractors or concerned citizens. The Oatmeal has marketed and manipulated its fan base into support this card game to heights that no other card game has been able to reach, however you feel about the game itself. Plus, who doesn’t like being able to put “NSFW” in their Kickstarter?
• Epic PvP: Fantasy: It’s a game that takes character creation and melds it with deck building. Definitely going after the RPG market in the tabletop/boardgame world. Not overcomplicating it and adding decks with stretch goals, but I feel spoiled by other games and wish there were more decks being added for the price point. 5th edition what? (**Boston Globe article highlighting D&D’s resurgence due to increasing diversity)
• The Dice Tower 2015 Season 11: Overshadowed by the timing of the launches of the previously mentioned wallet-eaters, it has still managed to hit $160K+ as it nears closing time. Heavily promo based rewards with an arguably too high price point ($60 for one set), but the span of their reach to get as many from so many different games is impressive nevertheless.
• Cones of Dun(ce)shire: A funding debacle from the usual sense, hitting at only 14% currently of their supposed paltry $300K goal. While I’m all for satire, I wonder how thought out this (alleged) PR stunt was.
Suppose you make even a semi-reasonable level for backers to buy the game combined with a reachable realistic funding goal. Mayfair and et al got their 15 minutes in the sun from this campaign from the Parks and Rec base and the mainstream media, but could they have managed to milk it for even more with a campaign that was actually designed to succeed?
Even with a limited supply, the thought behind this could be to create “grassroots-like” demand for a product on a show that likely could become revered about like Freaks and Geeks or even Community; one never given enough support by the parent company and critically acclaimed but never achieving mainstream popularity. Analyze the now success of shows like Firefly, Veronica Mars, etc. that now have a swelling resurgence within the next wave of consumers post cancellation. Why not play more to that strength instead and burn like a candle instead of a sparkler only to flame out quickly?
GAMING RELATED :
•With new BoardGameTables now coming to the dance with gaming tables at a price more can afford, how will this affect the perceived stranglehold GeekChic has on that corner of the market? Starting at roughly 1/3 the $price$ has to open some eyes to an alternative one would think…
COTN Question: How do you feel about incorporating board games + technology?
First was the innovation from Kickstarter funded Golem Arcana’s. With subsequent launches of big titles like Alchemists and X-COM (app based?) and their incorporation of apps/tech, which way will this trend go? Is this the evolution of where games are going to take us?
There’s been talk and discussion about why the “golden age of board games” is upon us; highlighted by the fact that people are trying to disconnect from the technology and reconnect in person in a culture that has rampantly diminished or destroyed our attention span (cell phones at stop lights anyone?). I know that some game groups even go as far as banning phones during game times. Your thoughts?
Predictions? What do you think the next COTN games will be around the community? What am I missing?
Next issue I’ll hope to have a meta (re)view at the board game community’s 2014 games of the year selections.