Eric Helmick of BOSCO'S on Promoting Board Games

'Show People What's in the Box'

Published: 11/02/2011 12:34am
Eric Helmick of BOSCO'S in Anchorage, Alaska read Dan Yarrington's latest column (see "Get In The Game--What Makes Games 'Meh'?") and had this to say.

All good points.

I admit, I was reading this column with a goal already in mind.  I was curious if Dan would mention products that don't give you a clear idea of what you're getting.  He kind of covered it and most companies do a great job covering it when designing their packaging and promotional material.

The example of when this did not happen vexed me.  It shouldn't surprise most of you that carry games when I mention, Survive Escape From Atlantis from Stronghold Games.  I have fond memories of playing the original board game growing up, so you can imagine my surprise seeing the new version arrive.  Then I looked at the box and all my hopes were dashed, or more aptly held in limbo.  My hopes weren't sure if they were going to be cast below or receive redemption.  Not only did it have a $50 price tag but there was no picture or artwork showing what it looked like.  The childhood memories I have of Survive was of a board game that was very simple and who's board and pieces wouldn't have warranted more than a $20-25 price, even by today's standards.  Did they go all out and craft the new version out of better materials and in finer detail?  How would I know?  They didn't give the consumer any clues.  By the time I found pictures to satisfy my curiosity we had already sold the game.  So, obviously, there were other people out there whose nostalgia or curiosity outweighed their reluctance to part with $50.  And, since it took awhile to restock, there were many other people that felt the same way.  It just makes me wonder what a hit they would have had if they had tried promoting their game by bothering to show people what was in the box.

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