Why Are Board Game Publishers So Weird?
Board game publishers have to make a lot of difficult decisions. With limited resources, deciding which games to publish and which ones to abandon is vital. Publishers that aren’t picky don’t last long.
It doesn’t stop there, though. Board game publishers have to respect the feelings of game developers who pour their heart and soul into their games. They have to predict the unruly tabletop gaming news cycle and determine which way the market will go.
When juggling all these factors, it’s no surprise that board game publishers make decisions that look really strange from the outside.
The board game industry has changed an enormous amount in the last few years. We’re seeing more million-dollar Kickstarter campaigns. We’re seeing “good ideas” go to Kickstarter and struggle to fund, if they fund at all.
For the last few years, we’ve been living through a glorious age: the Great Board Game Renaissance. I wouldn’t have expected history to unfold like that when I was a kid, but here we are.
For the last several years, wildly successfully Kickstarter campaigns have redefined the rules of success in the board game industry. You no longer had to submit your game to publishers or raise a bunch of money to bankroll your own print run.
It’s no secret that board game publishers like to reduce risks. Most publishers have a system in place to help them filter marketable game ideas from unmarketable game ideas.
There are weirdo group dynamics that are exacerbated by the technological advances of our era, namely search engines, social media, and an unending deluge of data.
Creating board games takes an enormous amount of time and effort. The simple fact is that there are a lot of distinct tasks that have to be handled to turn a game from an idea into reality.