Episode 325 – Board Game Trends with Ross Thompson

Episode 325 - Board Game Trends with Ross Thompson
Episode 325 - Board Game Trends with Ross Thompson

Our topic this week is board game trends – for good and bad. We’ll talk about why during the second half of the show.

So who better for this kind of conversation than Ross Thompson, who has held positions all across the board game industry.

Ross is an incredible ambassador for gaming and we’re delighted to have him on the show.

325 Fact

The Fury 325 is a very tall steel roller coaster with a 6,602 foot long track. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fury_325

Sponsor Message

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Games We’ve Been Playing

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion
Twilight Imperium
Warhammer 40K
Point Salad
The Great Split
Tigris & Euphrates
… some game about stars (sorry!)…
Labyrinth RPG
Abandon All Artichokes
Epic Resort
Head Spin

Quarto game

SNAP Review – Quarto

Quarto is an abstract game that’s been winning awards for over 30 years. Why? Because while it is simple to understand, it has several twists that make it challenging to win.

Watch the video or read the transcript of our review.

Board Game Trends

This is a topic that has been top of mind for us lately because our boys were actually interviewed by a writer for the New York Times and they were in the paper on Christmas day, which is pretty amazing.

So Ross, we talked earlier about how you’ve been all over the gaming industry, so we’ll start with that. What’s new with you?

Ross just started working for Cephalofair Games (best known for Gloomhaven) as their marketing and crowdfunding manager.

What are some board game trends you’re currently into?

“Butts in seats” – more people are getting into board games than ever before.

Marketing that is geared towards a wider audience. Example: the new Clue. Asmodee is including an insert in the box of many of their games with a “if you like this, try this” for new gamers.

Licensed games that are targeted and really intentional designs. (eg. A Goofy Movie game, Quests of Yore, Sorcerer’s Arena) Also lots of nostalgia (Clue, HeroQuest, Magic The Gathering /Warhammer crossover etc.) and in reverse – more gamer culture is getting made into movies!

“I want to see a lot of old games reprinted.”

We’d like to see more games that support more than four players! Especially in short games (under an hour) that aren’t party games. Ross mentions Snow Tails.

What is one trend you would like to see die?

Gatekeeping. Stop saying “you don’t belong here, this game isn’t for you.”

Elliot said “board game covers with art that don’t represent the game inside.” Good job, Elliot!

Wife jokes (about hiding your purchases). This exists in a lot of “collecting” cultures (both male & female dominated).

Freaking out about games being in perfect condition. You can be a board game collector, but that’s different than being someone who PLAYS board games. “When you see a board game [on a person’s shelf] that is beat to crap, what’s the adjective that comes to mind? It’s a well-loved game.”

What’s a game you’re excited for in 2023?

Gloomhaven RPG that will be on BackerKit in April.

Relicblade (a miniatures skirmish game) is adding a solo dungeon-crawl mode.

Find Ross Online:

Tabletop Games Jobs group (Facebook)

@almostkirk on Twitter, Hive, and Instagram,

Also on Facebook, LinkedIn.

Find Cephalofair games:

On Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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