New Game Smell (Part 3)

A couple of blogs ago, I started a series about how game companies keep things fresh for their existing game lines. The three methods I wanted to focus on in this 3-part series were errata, expansions, and editions. This third blog covers game expansions, a fairly hot topic in the world of gaming.

Many games these days release new editions of their game in some fashion. Games we haven’t seen for decades are showing up on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms after a decade or more of silence. Some of the longest-running miniatures games have released new editions in the past couple of years. And yet other game companies are looking to break the mold of what a new edition looks like.

I had a great deal of involvement in the most recent versions of Warmachine and Hordes. Their new edition has made quite a splash, with a great deal of positive feedback as well as some negative feedback. New editions always invite controversy. No matter how careful a game developer might be, there will be changes that disappoint or upset some subset of their players. BUT… the key is that they generate discussions and shake up the meta. Models that used to be sub-par have a new lease on life while models that used to impress now pale in comparison to other options. This generates new discussions, new army list options, and (most importantly for the game company) new sales.

Some companies use edition “resets” as a means to refresh their catalog, heavily revising their actual product lineup. Other companies pledge to keep all current models available in the future edition. Models might be more or less attractive in the new edition of the game, but all purchases remain an option in theory if not in practice.

Video game companies like Blizzard have long used a system of “dynamic updates” to their games. This allows on-the-fly adjustments to game balance and the rules behind the scenes. Traditional game companies have started to use some of the power and potential of a dynamic update system. The aforementioned Warmachine and Hordes game lines have pledged to begin annual balance updates while games like Guild Ball already introduce a new “season” each year allowing for incremental change that shakes up the meta.

No matter your opinion on new editions of a game, the fact remains that they create an opportunity to reinvigorate a franchise. New editions initiate new discussions which then initiate new sales that allow the game to continue for years to come.

Feel free to share you thoughts on new editions and which companies are making effective use of the edition change cycle in the comments below.

One thought on “New Game Smell (Part 3)

  1. I provide the board game lending library, schedule demo reps, and in some cases provide play-to-win board games for ten (10) conventions in our area. These conventions have a total estimated attendance over 41,000 people. Here is a list of the conventions that my lending library will be traveling to over the next year.

    NarbyCon – Gautier, MS – December 2016
    Pensacon Pensacola Comic Con – Pensacola, FL – February 2017
    CoastCon – Biloxi, MS – March 2017
    OG Con – Gulfport, MS – May 2017
    Southern Geek Fest – Hattiesburg, MS – May 2017
    Mobile Comic Con – Mobile, AL – May 2017
    Hubcon – Hattiesburg, MS – September 2017
    CONtraflow – Kenner, LA – September 2017
    Gamer Fete – Biloxi, MS – October 2017
    CoastCon Jr. – Biloxi, MS – November 2017

    I am currently seeking games to add to the lending library. If you would like to send me some copies of your games I would love to add them to the library. Since these games will be added to a traveling library and will be shifted around and handled by all sorts of people I would like to request that you send games that you could not typically retail due to boxes damaged in shipping, dropped, scratched, etc. This way you are not sending a game that you could have sold and I am still getting to add the amazing titles to my library for players to enjoy.

    My shipping address is as follows:
    Steve Huckabee
    Gulf Coast Gaming Events, LLC
    10474 Steeplechase Drive
    Gulfport, MS 39503

    Thank you very much for your time and consideration of this request.

    Like

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