Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Game Industry News

Two very interesting bits of industry news, for those who are inclined to follow such things (like game publishers... ahem).

The first is from TechCrunch, and focuses on Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler. Of particular interest in the gaming realm is this:
Strickler pointed to board games as one of the community-driven enthusiast areas that the platform has been able to support — noting that as of this week Kickstarter will pass $100 million having been cumulatively pledged to board games.
“Last year there was actually more money pledged to board games than video games,” added Strickler. “It’s like $55 million in board games. It’s kind of counterintuitive to the way that we think the world is moving but I think the board game market on Kickstarter is very illustrative of what it is that we actually do.
“I remember meeting someone is 2009 or 2010 — really early for us — who said that Kickstarter was the first thing to change the board game industry since the early 70s. Basically it’s this huge fan community… They weren’t in a scale to where the Parker Brothers or Milton Bradley would drop a huge chunk of change on it. So we ended up stepping in and being this perfect conduit for these communities to exist.”
There's more at the link, of course, including a reiteration of Kickstarter's intention not to get into the company-equity business. That decision probably has a lot to do with the legal implications; there are all sorts of Federal regulations around such activity, and Kickstarter probably feels it's just too much trouble and risk.

The second is from the New York Times, which has a very nice article on board games in relation to video games:
New tools now power the creation of tabletop games -- many in the strategy or fantasy genres -- from idea to delivery. Crowdfunding sites provide the seed money and offer an early gauge of demand. Machines like 3-D printers can rapidly create figurines, dice and other prototype game pieces. And Amazon, the online retail giant, can handle shipping and distribution, cutting out the need for middlemen.
Sales have followed. While the video game business long ago eclipsed its low-tech cousin, sales of tabletop games have continued to grow. ... Amazon says board game sales increased by a double-digit percentage from 2012 to 2013.
All in all, it's a great time to be a gamer. And a game publisher.

(h/t to Global Toy News)

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