Episode 14 – Predictions for 2020

In our latest episode, we want to try our hand at predicting what will happen in the board game world in 2020. We also discuss the game terms CCGs, analysis paralysis and COIN games.

Music: Black Moons by The 126er on YouTube

Games List


2 Replies to “Episode 14 – Predictions for 2020”

  1. RogerBW

    There are a few games I’m still interested in buying, even some new ones, but I’m also buying a lot less and concentrating on playing the games I have.

    To me the crucial point of the CCG as opposed to LCGs or other games with expansions is that you don’t know what you’re getting. That’s why I don’t play them; I don’t buy a pig in a poke. Keyforge too; that tries to get round the “Mr. Suitcase” problem of the player who can buy all the best cards, but it gets round it by forcing all players to keep buying new decks if they want to play in organised tournaments.

    For an alternative to CCGs that you (Oliver) might find interesting, you might like to consider Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, now out of print but still fairly easy to find. It scratches a lot of the duelling-mages itch while not forcing you to buy piles of new cards.

    I think the term “COIN” is specific to that series of games by Volko Ruhnke, not a general description of a style or game mechanic.

    I’d be happy to see the “Kickstarter Game” genre, lots of minis and lots of stretch-goal expansions, become a thing of the past, but while people I know are mostly bored with that style there still seem to be plenty of takers.

    I work and play with computers already; if I wanted to play a computer game, I’d just do that. The more an app demands the players’ attention, the less attention they’re giving each other. Also, I like the hackability of board games: I want to be able to design my own alternate setups, change rules, etc., and the more app integration there is the less I can do that.

    I’m hearing rumours that there might be a bit of a shrinkage coming in games publishing – apparently some of the big upcoming shows having trouble selling all their booth space, that sort of thing. So I don’t think you’re alone in cutting down your new game consumption.

    If there are more unique component games, I think they’ll probably come from FFG; it’s a huge amount of money to risk for any other company, and Discover: Lands Unknown was a fair old failure. (I’ve seen a credible argument that Discover was mainly the test run to see if the logistical problems of a unique component could be solved.) My concern about this whole class of game is that the more variable it is the less an individual buyer can be confident of getting a good balanced game when they pick up the box.

    My prediction for the market is more consolidation of design: more tried-and-true game styles and themes, with a fresh coat of paint to make them look different. And more companies refusing to credit their game designers (shame on you, Forrest-Pruzan Creative/”Prospero Hall”, who are preventing your designers from building their own reputations).

    One thing that I think puts off a lot of BGG members, at least, is a solo mode added late in the KS campaign – it’s often perceived as a hasty addition to try to get in the backers. Have a solo mode from the start and that’s a bit more convincing.

    It’s odd that solo boardgaming is seen as strange; nobody thinks it’s weird when people play computer games alone…

    • Oliver

      Thank you so much for putting together your thorough comment – and of course for listening to our podcast. Thank you also for your recommendation of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. I’ll have to take a look at that. Your comment about the term COIN games is also interesting. There seem to be a number of game types that I’m just not very familiar with. So they’ll be worth exploring more. All your other points also make sense and I can agree with all of them. It’ll be interesting to see what 2020 brings. I’m glad to hear that you’ll be focussing on the games you’ve got more this year. So thank you again for listening and sharing your thoughts with us.

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