Here is the board game (and board game-related!) news that caught our attention for the week ending March 27, 2020.
- As we all work together to figure out how to deal with the pandemic, I want to take a moment at the outset to please, please, please urge everyone to practice social isolation and follow the recommendations of the CDC and other responsible government agencies. I miss my game nights as much as anyone, but our health (and safety and the health and safety of those around us) is much more important. We will get through this.
- The pandemic is, of course, impacting everyone everywhere, and for us in the game industry, we’re starting to see some of those effects. Several companies have, in the last few days, announced that they are shutting down their warehouses to keep their workers safe, so we will quickly start seeing games becoming scarce on the few remaining stores that are open and selling them. Amazon, of course, classifies board games as “non-essential” and is slowing shipping on them, so if you order a new game now through the site you probably won’t see it until the end of April. There’s been a reported higher-than-normal failure/cancelation rate on Kickstarter campaigns, and of course, with China only starting to recover, manufacturing and shipping of games from there is delayed. Please be patient with those creatives who are struggling through this time just like the rest of us.
- Of course, every convention or other large gathering has been canceled at least through the end of April. Kubla Con, which was supposed to occur in May in the hard-hit San Francisco Bay Area, has been canceled. The two big events on a lot of our calendars—Origins and Gen Con—remain in doubt. Origins, in mid-June, has posted on their site that they are going to make a final go/no-go decision “by May 1st.” Gen Con has a little more leeway, as it is at the end of July, but their site says that they are keeping a close eye on things. At this point, they do not anticipate any changes but are monitoring the situation. As of now, GeekDad is still planning to attend Gen Con and host our annual Gaming with GeekDad event.
- Asmodee has announced that while at this time they plan to keep their warehouse open, all new releases are being pushed back until at least May 1.
- WizKids has closed its Ft. Wayne, Indiana warehouse and is has posted a list of April releases that are delayed “until further notice.” The company has also placed all organized play events on hold until June, they have canceled all public events for Q2 and Q3 (which includes formally pulling out of Origins), and is informing customers that fulfilling replacement part orders will take longer than normal.
- Renegade is pushing back all new releases and while their staff continues to work from home developing new games, they have stopped shipping altogether.
- On a happier note, Portal Games is offering free downloads of new scenarios for several of their games.
- Plaid Hat has released a free download for a solo variant of Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein.
- JapAnimeGames is launching an incredible program where they will donate 50% of all online sales to a local game store of your choice.
- A local game store in British Columbia found a unique way to sort of stay open: they partnered with a local pharmacy, which agreed to turn over some shelf space to stock games.
- The fine folks at Meeple Mountain have put together a list of common game terms, their tongues firmly in their cheeks.
- And finally, the American TableTop Awards, whose committee includes our own Jonathan Liu, has announced their winners for 2019.
GeekDad and GeekMom Reviews
What We’re Playing
Finally, here’s what the GeekDads played this week:
- Greg Howley played Point Salad and Smash Up.
- Jonathan Liu played Abandon All Artichokes, Imminent Collapse, My Little Scythe, and Robinson Crusoe.
- Michael Knight played Plunder: A Pirate’s Life, Heroes of Stalingrad, and Western Legends.
- Michael Pistiolas played Family Charades, Uno, Race to the Treasure, Checkers, Unicorn Glitterluck: A Party for Rosalie, Marvel Champions, and Love Letter.
- I played Stool Pigeon and Atelier: The Painter’s Studio.