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how do i find games that have been sold and then discontinued

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super-ape games
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I guess my first question is which section of the forum i should ask my question? which is how do i find games and their designer that have been sold and then discontinued due lack of sales/ low interest. My interest is in non-abstract family games.

many thanks in advance.

Best regards

Tony

Jay103
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Board game geek? You'd just

Board game geek? You'd just have to search around. That probably describes most games :(

I don't think it's likely that anyone is maintaining an explicit list of games that weren't that popular and that you can't buy.

questccg
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I think it's a case-by-case type of scenario

Basically you need to FIND the game on Board Game Geek: (https://www.boardgamegeek.com)

You can SEARCH for the name... And then there is usually a Designer and a Publisher, etc. And you can reach out to either via BGG's own internal e-mail system. I would target the Designer FIRST, because usually it's their baby and they can tell you if it is still available and from where.

But like @Jay103 indicated MOST games are out-of-print in the BGG database. Only the lucky few (Evergreens) are stocked at most game stores in North America... Others you may be lucky and get an out-of-print game directly from the Designer (sometimes they get extra copies of a game) who might be willing to sell one of his extra copies...

Good luck with your "search"... What is it that you are specifically looking for??? (May I ask?)

Note #1: Games are not "discontinued" they are "out-of-print" ... So it might be easier to use the correct term when e-mailing Designers or Publishers.

super-ape games
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out of print games

Hi thanks very useful. i am looking for a family board game to improve, re-vamp and sell alongside my own game Evolve which i coming out early 2020. i understand most distributors dont like a single game offering from a supplier hence this what i am trying to find.

Best regards

Tony

questccg
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It's not a good "strategy" TBH

While I understand "distributors" not wanting to handle a single game product (like your game Evolve)... I don't know if you have ever gone down the "publishing a game" road. Some hurdles are (but are not limited to):

A> Licensing the IP from the "defunct" owner/designer.

I know how hard this is... Because I'm knee deep in it. Managing FILES associated with most games is a hassle. Unless rather simple, if they are no longer in print, two (2) things might have happened: insufficient sales (which might probably NOT help you), no one to finance the game (Ahaa... That could be good for you!)

B> You have to complete all the steps for that game too.

That means playtesting, coached playtesting, demo-ing prototypes, and last blind playtesting. All the DEVELOPMENT work, you will need to do again. Why? Because you just can't sell something that is "out-of-print".

C> Not only do you need to license it, you need to PAY for manufacturing.

Do you have sufficient disposable income to just BURN on a 2nd game??? Most people that I know don't (or won't). Are you willing to risk a nest egg on someone ELSE's game??? See if it's cr@ppy... No distributor will want to buy, because it WON'T SELL. You'll need to be VERY selective and find something GOOD (or better) that just didn't have the backing it needed to become EVERGREEN.

D> Division of time and labor.

Can you afford to invest that much time in SOMEONE ELSE's game? Believe it's not the right road for many products. You'll have to be really fortunate to find a game that is "out-of-print" but HOT enough to encourage more sales.

Anyways I wish you the best on this SEARCH... But believe me it's not going to be easy. You probably are thinking about "self-publishing" your own game and believe me, that is also VERY hard. I know I've had one of my games that I "self-published" and I've had my 2nd game "published". I think you learn the more you TRY... That's why I'm not telling you to STOP your "angle" but look at what might be possible.

Best!

questccg
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Another direction...

super-ape games wrote:
i understand most distributors dont like a single game offering from a supplier hence this what i am trying to find.

That's why I've "fluffed" the idea by Evans (@evansmind244) to see if he might be interested in the PUBLISHING side of the business. Sure he has a very nice game... And yes, some games have gone to sell millions of copies during the years... But most Hobby Games won't go beyond 1,000 units or a 2nd print run.

Evans and his wife seem to be gifted with the talent to SELL their own game. But there would be other "designers" that might look for a BGDF Publisher to handle the publishing side of affairs. Who's in this boat:

1. Andrew: Portals & Prophets. I'm not sure of Andrew's MOQ if it's 500 he's probably almost sold out of this game. It's a good game because it has a limited amount of parts and thematically interesting (wholesome game). If he had 1,000 units made, my guess he's probably sold around 50% (I could be wrong). But it's a GOOD game, very clever and Andrew handled all the details around it ("self-published").

2. Jason: Heroes & Treasure. I know Jason's MOQ was 1,000 units. And he's probably sold about 50% of his inventory. It's a game for younger children and is an RPG of sorts. Jason also kickstarted an "expansion" for the "core" game and therefore we'd have two (2) product to sell in the same line. It's for kids mostly but parents can play the quest master role and guide the children as they play. It too is "self-published" (both "core" and "expansion").

There are some others (due to confidentiality I cannot discuss them as-of-yet).

The bottom line, is that there are some EVERGREEN games that could FIT into a Publisher's catalog. Just nobody is interested in taking the oar and rowing in the muddied waters. We need someone who is good at SALES. @Evans seems to be doing pretty good with over 100+ units sold, NO KS. Although his own game does not fit with the Hobby Market and is very seasonal... It can be a blessing or a curse, yet to be seen. A mass market appeal is GREAT because you can hit Target, Walmart, Toys'R Us, etc. But usually mass market means no Hobby Gamer appeal (distribution).

So there is an Upside and a Downside. And I think there is some monies to be made with some of the GOOD BGDF games... The monies are in Publishing NOT designing. So in a way, your ideas is not completely "wrong" ... It's just hard to find people looking to be represented by someone who is not 100% dedicated to THEIR "brand" or "product"!

A BGDF Publisher might be a decent opportunity IF they want to grow IN THIS BUSINESS... Making and Selling games is a tough gig. I've had two (2) games and I still have not made money (in the RED). And being a "side-line" to another game... Could be "questionable". Do you want someone who ONLY sees your product as a "way in" to be represented by another Designer with little to no experience???

It might be a HARD SELL.

questccg
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Also ...

While it is true that "distributors" look at "product lines" and not only ONE (1) Game, you might not want to get too much AHEAD of yourself.

What I mean is that you should focus on your OWN game FIRST. I am just guessing because you have not stated that you are indeed wanting to "self-publish" your own game. This means one of two (2) things:

1. You have enough income (savings or revenues) to invest into your OWN game. which is quite possible, I was in that boat with my first game too.

2. You plan to Kickstart your OWN game sometime in 2020. This is also realistic.

BUT... Without ANY experience or understanding about what happens to games... You really should NOT invest your own money into your game. Holding a Kickstarter is an avenue but requires a lot of time gathering an audience for your potential game.

HONESTLY I would say that NOT having any experience with your OWN game is just plain "bad for business". I say this because EXPERIENCE in knowing the hoops Game Designers need to go through are fairly difficult. It's a tough market, will your game be accepted or not... And then if you FAIL, how do you plan to succeed with "someone else's game"?!

Do you kinda see what I mean??? I wouldn't form any alliances with someone who has not been "at bat" and understands the overwhelming PRESSURE to be successful be it "self-publishing" or dealing with a "Publisher".

This is a very hard business and while it looks like everyone is on the same LEVEL, it's not usually true. Big game companies like CMON or Mantic can put out an amazing Fantasy Chess Set or this awesome 3D Miniatures lines! But they are not your average "Game Designer"...

You've got to really LOVE Game Design if you are interested in making games.

I'm just presenting to you the REALITY behind the "Glamour".

Jay103
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My response is just wondering

My response is just wondering why you'd want to find a game that DIDN'T DO WELL and then revamp it, rather than just designing another game.

I mean, if you were talking about being like the Fireball Island guys, sure, maybe, but you're actually looking for something that died in obscurity as a base?

As QuestCCG said (I think), if you believe a publisher/distributor would only talk to you if you had multiple games, wouldn't you want to show that that YOU designed multiple games?

Jay103
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super-ape games wrote:Hi

super-ape games wrote:
Hi thanks very useful. i am looking for a family board game to improve, re-vamp and sell alongside my own game Evolve which i coming out early 2020. i understand most distributors dont like a single game offering from a supplier hence this what i am trying to find.

Best regards

Tony


Is this different than your own earlier game, Evolution? Or a revamp itself, similar to what you say you're looking for?

Jay103
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questccg wrote:2. Jason:

questccg wrote:
2. Jason: Heroes & Treasure. I know Jason's MOQ was 1,000 units. And he's probably sold about 50% of his inventory. It's a game for younger children and is an RPG of sorts. Jason also kickstarted an "expansion" for the "core" game and therefore we'd have two (2) product to sell in the same line. It's for kids mostly but parents can play the quest master role and guide the children as they play. It too is "self-published" (both "core" and "expansion").

Speaking of which, head to https://heroesandtreasure.com/shop and use code HOLIDAY for $20 off :)

questccg
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Got to get parents involved!

Jay103 wrote:
Speaking of which, head to https://heroesandtreasure.com/shop and use code HOLIDAY for $20 off :)

That's a 33% discount of the "base" game! Pretty interesting people...!

For all those parents looking to spend "quality" time with their children, this product does exactly that: let's you be the Quest Master while your children play the game... Of course you can help your players along too...

Good for group parties (with up to 4 children too). Means five (5) players including Mom or Dad!

(I think that's what you need... more parental involvement!) Cheers...

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