What trends do you anticipate in 2020?

Supporter

They could be trends in the type of games that are released, price, representation in the hobby..... 

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Supporter11 months ago

I would love to see more of what Awaken Realms offered in The Great Wall.  Games that give you a price option on Meeples vs Minis.  I think a lot of people on here know that most of the time I prefer Meeples.  I'd love to see a trend moving away from games touting how many minis they have.  As if this is the only/main selling point of their game.

Supporter11 months ago

There was a recent kickstarter where their main promo/ad image had a headline about the number of its minis or something. Actually made me feel bad for them thinking, "there's no way this is going to do well..."

Supporter11 months ago

This is not uncommon.  I feel like I see includes 476 minis! or something like it all the time.  

Don't get me wrong.  I have some games with Minis and they are great.  I'd say IA wouldn't work well without minis.  But can you imagine if Root went the mini root (pun intended), the aesthetic of the game would be ruined.

Supporter11 months ago

That is so true. Same games can actually, in my mind, be hurt by inclusion of minis. 

Supporter11 months ago

It is sad to see stuff like that. 

Supporter11 months ago

Yes. I would love to see more companies offering these sorts of options. 

Supporter11 months ago

Something I have been wondering about is the role of Kickstarter in the coming years. 

In their last fiscal year CMON reported a dramatic drop in revenue from Kickstarter. While, at the same time, a dramatic upswing in sales on the retail side. If course I imagine some of that has to do with their partnering with Asmodee USA for distribution, but I really don't know. Anyway. I wonder if we might see some established, Kickstarter heavy companies like CMON or Awaken Realms switch back to more of a retail stratagy. 

Anyway. I don't know what CMON has planned for the coming year, if they will do more or less Kickstarters than in previous years. But, I have been wondering what is going to happen with companies like that in the future. 

Supporter11 months ago

One trend that I see happening is publishers limiting the number of games they release in a year and focusing more on 1-2 (maybe three) solid titles. I believe that's been the approach for Stonemaier Games, and then there are publishers such as Pandasaurus Games who are going that route as well. This is what Nathan McNair, owner of Pandasaurus Games said in his article "The Board Game 'Bubble' Doesn't Exist" in the section "There Are Too Many Games":

This is almost certainly true.  But I can’t do anything about it.  Neither can you.  Maybe one day something will come along to change that, but for right now Pandasaurus Games has no control over how many games come out.  We can reduce our release schedule to 50% of what it was last year, but that is a drop in the bucket of the number of games that will come out next year. 

The reason we make fewer games is so that we can make better games that we are more focused on.  We don’t make fewer games because there are too many games.  We make fewer games because we need to make games of the utmost quality so that they stand out.  We also want to curate our release list so that customers generally trust that our games are good.

There are a lot more publishers than there were a few years ago.  There will be even more next year than there was this year.  This is the result of a growing market and a relatively low bar of entry.  This isn’t film making or video game programming.  Anyone who wants to spend 3–4 months learning about production and hires a few specialists (designer, graphic designer, illustrator) can launch a Kickstarter.

This means there will be new publishers so long as there are people willing to back those games.  Or if people are willing to go to conventions and buy them.  Or people willing to look at new designers and publishers and consider purchasing their games.  Or if new start-ups are willing to make game publication a side-gig and not their primary source of income.  You can produce a board game for relatively little money in the grand scheme of starting a business. 

This is a good thing.

I may be the only publisher you ever hear say that.  Competition in the board game space is the reason our market has grown as much as it has.  The average game that comes out in 2019 is better than the average game that came out in 2009.  Competition is a furnace, and the games that come out the other side are better for it. 

The fact that the average game quality has gone up is the reason the hobby has grown.  Someone walking into a store and playing Azul makes them more likely to discover Machi Koro.  Someone playing Dinosaur Island may lead to them buying Root.  What you don’t want to have happen is the cause of a ton of video game busts:  low quality shovel ware.  You can go read about the video game market crash of 1983. 

I would also argue that the D20 and CCG crashes were caused by the same thing:  the market being flooded with incredibly low-quality games that were churned out to quickly.

Supporter11 months ago

I finally actually read the article instead of just your quote. And, I really like it. He had a lot of good points to make. I however think that while board games are much better than 10 years ago, sometimes game play isn't actually better. There are games, especially Kickstarter games, that are aimed on the amount of plastic they contain rather than the fun they contain. 

Supporter11 months ago

I'd definitely say Kickstarter has led to certain trends in design especially in regards to the stress on aesthetics. And I'm sure the lower risk nature of crowdfunded projects adds to it as well.

Supporter11 months ago

That is something that I could get behind all the way. 

11 months ago

I think there will be more attempts at truly epic games. I say "attempts" because the majority probably won't hit the mark. My "truly epic" I mean those games with an in-depth theme (i.e. heavily story driven), legacy-style (without necessarily being legacy), minis, music/soundtrack, etc. 

While I wouldn't be opposed, it's gonna take a TON of effort and YEARS of development to make them work right. Let's hope designers have already been working on it :)

Supporter11 months ago

I anticipate that we will see more story elements in Euro games. I think that the games Alexander Pfister released at the end of this year are really going to get other designers interested in incorporating story elements in their games. 

I expect we will finally start seeing a decline in the roll and write genre. By decline I mean the number of roll and writes being released. I do expect that we will see more heavier complicated roll and writes. I admit that this is maybe more of a hope than a expectation. I do not really enjoy roll and writes that well as a general rule. 

I expect that there will be more solid games available in the under 25-30 dollar price bracket. This may be far out. But it feels like the market is getting more expensive and cheaper at the same point. 1 or 2 years ago it seemed like 45 or 50 dollars was what you usually needed to pay. But now there are a lot of sub $30 games. If course, this could just be a change in my perspective. 


These are all pure speculation. I have absolutely no inside information. 

11 months ago

I'd love to see heavier roll and writes. Some are meh, but some are really good.

And story elements in Euros? Sign me up!