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Subject: Banangrams story on NPR.org rss

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Duke of Lizards
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http://www.npr.org/2011/08/18/139725678/the-addictive-appeal...

They mention the Hasbro's game sales are down. Perhaps if they published better games...devil

cross-posted on General forum
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Bryan Jensen
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polychrotid wrote:
Perhaps if they published better games...devil


Perhaps if Hasbo-Mattel were run by designers and creatives instead of accountants and suits. The MBA is the bane of entertainment-oriented businesses, not just toys.

Still Bananagrams isn't an entirely hopeful trend for us fans of designer games. Great to see a niche company thriving, for sure, but Bananagrams isn't exactly paving the way toward a healthier boardgaming industry. They are milking their one-hit wonder; they are hardly leveraging their strongest idea to build deeper brand loyalty or even to publish strong game designs from other designers and thus gain retail shelf space; their iterative "fruit bowl" spinoffs are worse concepts than the original banana.

You can't discount the fruit-shaped packaging cuteness factor but that is surface stuff. It appeals to wholesale buyers, who tend to be supervised and incentivised by their MBA overseers who generally like to play it safe by the numbers for the short-term; and of course, most American buyers only buy what they see on the shrinking mass market big box board gaming shelves.
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Does Bananagrams really even have a story? They just copied the game Syzygy, changed the color of the tiles, had you say 'Peel' and 'Bananas' instead of 'Draw' and 'Done', and packaged it into a banana pouch. It's funny how they invented a game 6 years ago that has been available for 14.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Bananagrams is a sales success story. It has:
- A cute name
- Cute packaging
- Low price point
- Short play time
- Easy rules

and it is a better game than its mainstream competition (Scrabble). In a way, it occupies a similar niche as Monopoly Deal Card Game (but without the help of the well-known trademark).

I'm thinking: What can other publishers learn from this?
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Randy Cox
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DoomTurtle wrote:
Does Bananagrams really even have a story? They just copied the game Syzygy, changed the color of the tiles, had you say 'Peel' and 'Bananas' instead of 'Draw' and 'Done', and packaged it into a banana pouch. It's funny how they invented a game 6 years ago that has been available for 14.
Or instead of "Pick Two" or whatever they say in DoubleQuick. :)
 
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