BoardGameWire is one year old today – and we’ve had more than a quarter of a million readers!

I launched BoardGameWire exactly one year and a day ago, on a hunch that the industry had grown so large that there was a market for professionally written, business-focused news and features that just wasn’t being filled by other outlets. I told myself I’d give the project everything I could for the next 12 months, fitting in as much interviewing, investigation, news and feature writing as I could around my day job and taking care of my two children, and then take stock as to whether the project had legs.

I’ve been a professional journalist for 16 years, writing for local newspapers and court reporting for national titles before more than a decade specialising in business writing. I hoped I could bring that experience to reporting on the board game industry: digging out interesting news, interviewing industry names and decision-makers and providing timely insight and analysis that goes beyond just rewording a press release.

Hand on heart, I couldn’t have dreamed of the response. A trickle of readers in those first days and weeks grew to an astonishing 278,000 unique users in the last 12 months – that’s about the attendance of four Gen Cons – and we’ve already reached 198,000 readers in 2024 so far. There are dozens of great stories from the last year that I’m incredibly proud of, but exclusives such as Facebook banning ads for Votes for Women’s KickstarterCoolStuffInc explaining how Amazon pushed it out of the online board game market, and the revelation that Essen Spiel, the world’s biggest board game fair, was using AI art in its posters and marketing are among the ones that I think really put BoardGameWire out there as an industry-leading news source.

I’m from a slightly older school of journalism which has a tenet of “don’t make yourself the story”, so writing an article like this feels incredibly self-indulgent. But I’m honestly so proud of what BoardGameWire has become in its first year, and wanted to thank all of our readers and newsletter subscribers for being part of it – especially those of you who have committed a few dollars a month to keep the site going. It’s hugely appreciated, and I’m excited about sharing another year’s worth of articles with you all.

That’s enough from me – but here are some incredibly kind words from people within the board game industry about BoardGameWire’s first year, and below that I’ve included links to some of our best work.

Jamey Stegmaier, founder of Stonemaier Games: “It’s only been one year?! The impact you’ve had seems much longer than that. Here’s what I appreciate about the approach you’ve brought the to the tabletop game industry: you’re willing to ask questions, and you don’t let the answers stop you from creating fully independent journalism content.

“It’s incredibly easy for journalists to ask questions to publishers and various tabletop creators, yet it’s incredibly rare for a tabletop journalist to ask probing questions instead of just rehashing what another article or video said in different words. That’s the type of journalism I’ve been hoping to see in this industry. Thank you for having the journalistic integrity and diligence to dig deeper, and I greatly look forward to another year of BoardGameWire.”

Arnaud Charpentier, CEO of Matagot: “BoardGameWire almost instantly became a favorite website and trusted data source. Board game journalism is rare and important, maybe that’s why it seems it’s been here forever. It’s even allowed me to discover new people, connect with them and continue the article over fruitful exchanges. Pretty incredible place.”

Ignacy Trzewiczek, founder of Portal Games and co-host of the Board Games Insider podcast: “BoardGameWire is doing journalism the way it should be done – reaching to the source of the news, getting valuable commentary from all parties involved in the story and presenting a comprehensive piece of information that can be trusted. This is the best board games news site in the Internet today.”

Stephen Buonocore, founder, Stronghold Games and co-host of the Board Games Insider podcast: “I support Ignacy’s statement, except that I must rewrite it into native English and give it a fun spin.

“BoardGameWire – true hobby game journalism. They reach out to the source of the news, get valuable commentary from all parties involved, and present a comprehensive story that can be trusted. This is the best board games news site on the internet… with the possible exception of Board Games Insider podcast. Congratulations on a great first year! We at Board Games Insider look forward to many more years of great hobby game industry coverage.”

Geoff Engelstein, game design and co-founder of the TableTop Game Designers Association: “As board games continue to grow in popularity, the trickle of news we were used to has become a flood. BoardGameWire has become my go-to source for keeping up, and I’m glad BoardGameWire do the legwork so I don’t have to!

Connie Vogelmann, designer of Wyrmspan and Apiary: “BoardGameWire provides an excellent service to the board gaming industry. In a field filled with previews, reviews, and crowdfunding hype, BoardGameWire’s independent journalism is a breath of fresh air. The site is a key source of news for those interested in keeping up to date with the industry, and provides information that is difficult or impossible to find elsewhere.”

Kevin Bertram, founder, Fort Circle Games: “BoardGameWire is one of the first things I check every morning – the coverage is invaluable for keeping up with the industry.”

Uwe Eickert, founder, Academy Games: “BoardGameWire helps me track our industry in a fact based way. I do not have time to browse the internet, so BGW is my main source in industry news.”

Andrew Esposito, Product Marketing Manager at The Op Games: “You’re doing a wonderful job! Thank you for being a great source of industry news and analysis for us here in the board game industry! Love reading your articles. Well written, to the point, and informative!”

And please enjoy what I think is some of the best work from BoardGameWire’s first year:



AI Art

One comment

  1. I’ve been in journalism all my life. Literally. I’ve been working for a newspaper owned by my family for the past 20 years. The paper was started the year I was born, and I grew up around it. I never got into the writing aspect, I leaned more to design, but I love well-written articles. From my experience, you do a great job of properly interviewing to get the information you need to write a clear, objective piece covering what’s going on in the industry. Your success is well-earned. More industries need more journalists like you.

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