Thursday, March 19, 2015

Too Much OP

Just returned from the annual GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas and one of the things that struck me (besides the decline in smokers in the casino) was the increase in organized play programs from various companies targeted at boardgames. The companies behind Red Dragon Inn, 7 Wonders, and King of Tokyo all announced OP programs. Even the king of boardgame companies, Mayfair Games, announced it plans to launch an organized play program later this year. Two things about this worry me:

1.  Staffing. We have all these programs coming out but who will run them? That's right, the stores, which means more staffing and co-ordination devoted to making sure the events run properlyMost stores run a fairly tight ship in turns of staffing already, which means we will have to pick and choose carefully which programs to run.

2. Everybody into the Pool. In the past, when a number of companies have started jumping on a trend, it winds up bad. For those of you who were in the industry or playing TCGs in the 90s, you likely remember the 30 plus trading card games that hit the market within two years after Magic released. Of all those, only Legend of the Five Rings still gets much play. After 3.0 Dungeons & Dragons release, we had the OGL tsunami. Only a handful of the companies that launched with OGL products  still have viable products. Granted, what we are seeing today are program rather than product launches but I still wager a number of them will crash and burn.

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