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Industry News: Floodgate Finds Fog of Love, and the Fantasy Flight Games Center Becomes Gamezenter

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Fog of Love
Let's catch up on game industry business news, both old and new — mostly old — in this round-up:

• U.S. publisher Floodgate Games has acquired Jacob Jaskov's Fog of Love, a two-player game originally released by Jaskov's own Hush Hush Projects in 2017.

Aside from the existing three expansions — It Will Never Last, Paranormal Romance, and Trouble with the In-Laws — Floodgate plans to release "a full expansion that focuses on queer and transgender stories and the situations that reflect those communities", something Hush Hush had originally announced in October 2018 with designer Nikki Valens as the lead on that project.

Board Game: Fog of Love: Love on Lockdown

On top of that, Floodgate will release Fog of Love: Love on Lockdown, a new expansion due out in Q4 2021 to coincide with the re-release of the base game that consists of a love story that explores the situations and challenges that we all became familiar with over the strange events of 2020.

Board Game: Codex Naturalis
Board Game: Glow
• In April 2021, French publisher Bombyx announced distribution deals with Luma Games for North America, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand and Dexker Games for China, Japan, and Thailand.

Bombyx' CODEX Naturalis and Glow, which debuted in France in (respectively) December 2020 and February 2021, both sold out their initial print runs, with CODEX now headed back to retail outlets and with Glow being available again in France in June 2021 and due out in other locations in Q3/Q4 2021.

Board Game Publisher: IDW Games
• Despite appearances to the contrary on its Twitter account, IDW Games has apparently ceased activity. In a June 14, 2021 posting that summarizes the second quarter fiscal 2021 results for parent company IDW Media Holdings, Inc. — $10.1 million in revenue for the three months that ended April 30, 2021 — a $500,000 loss of income was listed under IDW Publishing, which contains IDW Games, and the loss was explained as follows:
IDWP: The quarter's loss was primarily attributable to non-routine factors including a write-down of capitalized expenses related to tabletops games, a line of business from which IDWP has exited, and severance expense as well as increased personnel expense.
Maestro Media is a new U.S. publisher that split off from Studio71, taking several games with it in the process: Tapeworm, Sugar Heist, The Umbrella Academy, and The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Requiem, which collected US$6.7 million in a mid-2021 Kickstarter project.

Maestro Media also sells a $55 "LED face mask with voice-activated smile and emojis" called the JabberMask, so that's something else you might want to check out for game day.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
• In April 2021, Gamezenter, Inc. acquired the retail operations of the Fantasy Flight Games Center from Asmodee North America, Inc., Gamezenter being (to quote the press release) "a new company owned by investment and holding company Strange Stars, LLC".

And what is Strange Stars? In case you missed this explanatory post from September 2019, it's a venture capital company that has Christian T. Petersen as its principal investor and managing partner, Petersen being the founder of Fantasy Flight Games, which launched the Fantasy Flight Games Center in 2009. Here's more from the press release:
"I'm very excited to continue my involvement with this special place," said Petersen. "Despite the devastation that COVID-19 has wracked upon our world and on many tabletop game retailers, I strongly believe that our tabletop gaming community is eager to again share great gaming experiences face-to-face. We hope to make this destination an even more amazing place in the future."

"We're delighted to have struck a deal to return this wonderful place back into the caring hands of its original founder," said Lorenzo Bassi, SVP of Finance, Operations, and Shared Services for Asmodee North America. "As neighbors and gamers, we cannot wait to see what Gamezenter has in store for us."
• Through September 6, 2021 or until 250 spots are filled, game designers are invited to sign up for "Ravensburger Game Inventor Days", an event that will take place September 10-11, 2021.

For details in English, German, and French, head to this page, which explains how you can pitch 1-2 game ideas to the company. If they like the sound of them, they will book a half-hour with you during the event to cover your ideas in more detail, after which they might ask for a prototype.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

• In June 2021, Wizards of the Coast filed for trademark on the word NETRUNNER in "the categories of downloadable electronic games to be used in connection with computers, console gaming devices, and wireless devices".

From gallery of W Eric Martin
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