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Seven Takeaways from SPIEL ’22

by W. Eric Martin

Has it already been a month since SPIEL ’22 took place? The calendar says yes, and my brain says, sure, I guess so, so before too much more time passes, I wanted to assess some of my revelations from that show.

Not revelations about games, mind you, as most of those are still unplayed, but rather about the event itself and goings-on in the game industry, which includes BGG itself. Here’s a summary of what I’ll talk about in more depth in this video:

1. People missed the BGG booth at SPIEL ’22. Whether to check out GeekBuzz, buy stuff at the BGG Store, watch folks being interviewed, ask questions about where a booth is located or whether a game is present, folks had many reasons to visit the BGG booth — but we weren’t there in 2022.

2. Customs can wreck a publisher’s plans, whether through errors on the part of the publisher or through delay due to all sorts of circumstances.

3. Games prices are up, and manufacturing schedules are jam-packed. In short, things in the game industry aren’t back to normal — unless perhaps this is now normal. We won’t know, of course, until a couple of more years pass.

4. Nothing was hot, at least not on a wide-scale measure in which you hear about a game from many different sources, all of them saying, “You gotta try this!”

5. The game industry is vast, and we’re all just a tiny part of it. For good or ill, you can be overwhelmed by choices, and it’s hard to wrap your mind around what’s going on in the industry at large.

6. QR codes were everywhere, partly to make up for staff shortages and partly because they’re one more way to get information about a game to potential interested parties.

7. BGG can be overwhelming, which is not news to me and probably not to you, but I was reminded of this thanks to many questions from designers, artists, and publishers I met.

In response to these questions, I’ve decided to start mailing publishers advice once a month on how to use various aspects of BGG. If you work for a publisher, feel free to sign up on my publisher mailing list. I do tons of tiny tasks on the BGG database, and ideally I can share information about how you can do such things yourself so that I can focus more on writing posts and creating videos like this one.

Youtube Video

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