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COVID-19 at the Gaming Table VI: Store Support from Pegasus and Portal, and Worldwide Reports from Czech Games Edition

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: Czech Games Edition
• Many publishers have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by releasing special "play at home" products and creating programs to support local game stores that have closed (more on those below). For its part, Czech Games Edition is sharing reports from its worldwide network of publishing partners on its new blog as to how the pandemic is affecting their part of the world. As CGE's CEO Petr Murmak explains in the blog's initial post:
Thanks to the success of Codenames, which are now translated into 42 languages, we have partners all over the world. At least in those countries, where modern board games are played.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak started, our partners began informing us about their situation in their country and how it affects the board game industry. Our colleagues who are communicating with them pasted that information to our company Slack, where everyone in our company was reading it. It was fascinating to read unfiltered details on how it looks like in different countries and with a bit of board gaming flavor.

After over two dozens of those, we finally realized that it would be the shame if nobody else would have access to these. So we tried to contact a few first of our partners to see if they will be OK to share those stories on our blog. And the response was overwhelmingly positive.

So here we are. For now, it will contain posts connected to the current situation in the board gaming world and what lies ahead of us. Since nobody knows how it will unveil, or how much our world will change in the following months, it is hard to say now how this blog will evolve. So we will have to explore it together.
As of April 15, 2020, the CGE blog has reports from South Korea, Japan, Spain, and the Nordic countries.

Board Game Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Board Game Publisher: Portal Games
Pegasus Spiele, which is as much a distributor as a publisher, has listed stores in Germany that it knows of where people can still purchase games, whether in shop, online, or for delivery to their home.

In addition, if you purchase items directly through the online Pegasus Shop, you can choose a store from a pulldown menu to receive a credit for 25% of the sale.

Portal Games has started its own kickback program to support brick-and-mortar game stores in the U.S., with these stores being able to acquire a unique code — write to to request this code — that they then share with their customers. When these customers use the code at, they receive a 10% discount on the sale, and 40% of the sale of active products will be forwarded to that linked store.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
• On Vox, Emily Todd VanDerWerff profiles Board Game Arena, introducing it to a mainstream audience that might be looking for distractions:
I love board gaming. I love board gaming with friends. But board games are uniquely difficult to play across Zoom, and the handful of free board game sites out there tend to be focused on the classics, like chess or checkers. Don't get me wrong: Chess and checkers are fun. But more modern board games — your Sushi Gos, your Hanabis, your 7 Wonderses — aren't really available online.

Or are they?

You can find all of those games I just mentioned on the website Board Game Arena, which has been around for years but exploded in popularity in recent weeks. It's a site that's been getting me through some tense times and letting me stay connected to friends around the planet. The selection of board games is truly impressive, and the interface is clean and simple to use.
VanDerWerff does warn people that BGA has been slammed with traffic, causing connectivity issues during U.S. evening times, and encourages people to subscribe, if possible.

• SPIEL organizer Friedhelm Merz Verlag tweeted an update about the status of that show, with a response along the lines of what I would expect for now:

• Hidden gamers in the news: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear tweeted about supporting local restaurants, with Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle on the table along with pizza:

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