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Metal Gear Release Plans Less Than Solid, and UNO Gets Remixed

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game: Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game
• At PAX Unplugged 2018, IDW Games announced Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game from designer Emerson Matsuuchi, teasing the game as "Coming 2019" in a tweet from the show.

Yet 2019 has come and gone, not to mention 2020, and on Feb. 15, 2021 Matsuuchi announced on BGG that the game is not coming to market anytime soon — at least not with IDW Games:
The decision was made back in December [2020] not to move forward with the MGS Project. Since that time, I have been pursuing a myriad of options to keep the project going. I have offered to put in capital from my company to help fund the last leg of the project, and even to buy out IDW's interest in the project along with purchasing all of the assets. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any traction with those options.

The rights to the design were finally given back to me a few weeks ago. So I have reached out and enlisted the help of a friend that is a bonafide expert in licensing and has connections with Konami. We're working to keep this project alive and exploring possible options. While there are no guarantees that our efforts will bear fruit, I'm still optimistic that we will be able to get the MGS game to market, to the patient fans that have been kept waiting.
Answering questions in that thread, Matsuuchi says that crowdfunding the design with a MGS license is not an option based on the licensing agreement, and he is willing to re-theme the design should it be impossible for another company to acquire the MGS license.

For a taste of what could have been — and what might still be — you can watch this overview of the game from Matsuuchi that BGG recorded at Gen Con 2019.

Board Game: UNO Remix
• Let's follow up my profile post of Damon Saddler, a Key Lead Designer at Mattel, with news of yet another new version of UNO, one that will likely feel familiar to folks who play hobby games.

UNO celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021, and to mark the occasion Mattel is releasing many editions of the game, which makes sense given that by many accounts UNO is the best-selling game in the world. Thus, we now have a specific "50th Anniversary Edition" that includes a gold-ish coin as well as a small box version that has gold Wild cards, not to mention five themed versions for the various decades in which the game was sold.

In addition to all of those — and what is undoubtedly more to come throughout the rest of 2021 — in February 2021 Mattel released UNO Remix, which works as follows:
UNO Remix features familiar UNO gameplay, with players trying to empty their hand by playing cards that match the value or color of the topmost discard play, but now you can personalize the deck to make it your own and change what's possible during the game.

At the start of each round, you add special cards or write-on cards to the deck. You can personalize cards to specific players, e.g., "Skip to Aldie" or "Draw 2 Chad", you can add a mark to a card to increase the number of cards drawn the next time it's played, you can introduce cards that block penalty cards, and much more!

Board Game: UNO Remix

And as always, when you have only one card left in hand, you must yell "UNO!" to warn others that you're about to win.
Yes, legacy elements of game design have come (back) to mainstream titles, and their implementation here makes perfect sense given that (due to their low price) these UNO titles are often viewed as disposable commodities anyway and (due to the condition of the world) you're probably going to be at the table with the same group of people, which will make the in-jokes more entertaining, as with the legacy-originating and now decade-old Risk Legacy.
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