Category Feature

After 25 years in the board game industry, Z Man and Play to Z founder Zev Shlasinger just ran his first crowdfunding campaign. Here’s what he learned

Few people in the modern board game industry can boast a career as long and storied as Zev Shlasinger. After launching Z-Man Games 25 years ago, he found huge success bringing games such as Agricola to the US market - as well as signing one of the biggest board games of all time in 2008's Pandemic. After leaving his seven-year role as director of board games at Wizkids last June, Shlasinger wasted no time launching a new publishing house, Play to Z Games, and the company launched its first offering onto Kickstarter at the end of February - marking the first time Shlasinger had dipped his toes into crowdfunding. He tells BoardGameWire how he approached the campaign, lessons learned and what he plans to do next.

Gen Con-style events, an extra hall: UK Games Expo mulls expansion options as it preps for its biggest, most international event yet

UK Games Expo director Richard Denning has been organising the show since its foundation in 2007, when 900 gamers converged on a Birmingham conference centre. After a record 32,000 attendance last year, the event is now considering its future expansion - with Denning citing Gen Con's vast swathe of live entertainment as a key inspiration.

Designer Diary: How we made Carolingi

History teacher Sebastian Freudenberg describes his years-long journey to publishing his debut game Carolingi, in which players act as Charlemagne’s grandchildren fighting over his vast realm using a bag-based action selection system to control areas of the map, unite regions, develop their realms, attract followers and gain glory. Carolingi is the first game from Sea Cove Games, the joint publishing company launched last year by Peter Eggert, who created Eggertspiele in 1996, and Spielworxx’s Uli Blennemann.

Four years after leaving Asmodee, Dead of Winter creator Plaid Hat is finally free to do things its own way

Four years have passed since Plaid Hat creator Colby Dauch bought back the Dead of Winter studio from Asmodee - but an exclusivity deal signed as part of the exit has put limits on what the newly-independent studio has been able to experiment with. That deal expired ten days ago - and Dauch has wasted no time in spreading Plaid Hat's wings for its first-ever foray into crowdfunding, with the launch of its latest narrative-fuelled Crossroads game, Wandering Galaxy, set to go live on Kickstarter in the summer.

How board game maker The Op got 8 million TikTok views last month

In an industry where selling several thousand copies of a game can often be considered a success, getting eight million people to look at your products is something most publishers would bite your hand off to achieve. Board game media and marketing specialist Ray Billings, who has years of experience under her belt with companies including Czech Games Edition and Resonym, told BoardGameWire how her foray into TikTok since joining The Op five months ago has led to eye-watering engagement figures for the company - and explains how other publishers should be following suit.

Marketing on BGG “has been very much hit or miss, especially lately”: Mindclash Games’ CEO on effective marketing, crowdfunding’s rocky patch and the ‘smoke and mirrors’ of stretch goals

Mindclash Games has made a name for itself as a Kickstarter-focused heavy board games expert since the launch of debut title Trickerion on the crowdfunding service in 2015. BoardGameWire spoke to CEO Viktor Peter about the company's changing approach, its recent use of Gamefound rather than Kickstarter, and how some avenues for marketing its games are not proving as lucrative as in the past.

Death threats, doxxing and IP deals: Mythic Games’ co-founder on the fallout from its CMON deal, and where it all went wrong for the company

Mythic Games' fall from being one of the most successful crowdfunding-focused board game publishers of all time to one beset by financial woes has been swift. Company co-founder Leonidas Vesperini spoke to BoardGameWire about the decision behind the CMON deal, the death threats he has received since, and where the future lies for Mythic's two remaining projects.

How we made Wyrmspan: Designer Connie Vogelmann on creating 2024’s hottest game so far

Stonemaier Games' big reveal of Wyrmspan - a new game "in the world of Wingspan" - last week might have descended like a dragon out of the blue, but it's no surprise Elizabeth Hargrave's hugely lauded 2019 design is getting a spiritual successor. The task of designing "Wingspan with dragons" was given to Apiary creator Connie Vogelmann - but as she explains in this Q&A interview, the new game is far more than just a reskin of its feathery predecessor.