Vegas Showdown details emerge

Avalon Hill has started turning the crank on their little board-game-marketing machine, giving us box and board-element pics plus some rules for Vegas Showdown. I visualize the board-game marketing machine as looking a bit like the dice tower from the old Parker Brothers game The Inventors, and as having cost $24.95 at Wal-Mart. Seriously, am I just tired of waiting for games, or is this marketing method of AH’s feeling dry and stale?


  1. I’m not a marketer; I just know I’m bored. I imagine, though, that when it comes to previewing a game, we still have a great deal to learn from the video game industry. AH is clearly modeling the practice of a video game publisher putting up screenshots and such before release, but what really drives that industry is journalists getting to preview a product and report their impressions. (Of course, for the unplugged-games industry to do this reliably, it would require some journalists who don’t rely on free time or volunteers.)

  2. I see what you mean. I think the idea of putting up the flash demos of games is good…but making them demos of games instead of just “play along with the computer” would be better…its what made me break down and buy RoboRally

  3. The RR demo was great, and they practically buried the darn thing. Maybe they’re afraid of a “why buy the cow when the milk is free” effect.

  4. I dunno..I think you could easily write up a ‘single turn’ demo or a timed thing..just like the video game industry.

  5. Of course that’s very possible, but it’s as possible to give away too little of the game’s substance as it is to give away too much. Trying to strike the balance may be making some people nervous, corporately speaking.

  6. Let’s not forget cost, coordination between the powers that be, etc.
    All add into the “can we afford to do this” making process.

  7. That’s true, I hadn’t thought about budget. With the components they’ve been shipping lately, maybe AH has had to put the squeeze on other parts of their operation. (Arguably, parts that are a lot more important than nice bits.)

  8. Budgets for video games dwarf that of board games. When the development costs (and expected returns) for a (video) game can run into the millions, you can easily afford to spend $100,000 or so on marketing.

    Furthermore, the nature of video games makes it (relatively) easy to send a journalist a pre-release demo/screenshots that give a fairly good idea of the final product. With boardgames this is not nearly so easy since so much of the production is outsourced (production of the actual components). By the time you’re able to send copies to journalists, the game is ready to be shipped to retailers.

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