W. Eric MartinUnited States
Wolfgang Kramer is interviewed for ZDF tivi, which I believe is a German children's television show, on how he does what he does – i.e., design games that go on to win awards like Spiel des Jahres. Note the wall filled with Kramer-designed and co-designed titles behind him. Inspiration for newbie designers – or intimidation. Take your pick...
• Gamer Alan Gerding proposes to girlfriend and fellow gamer Crystol Shelton with a little help from Ascension and the guys at Gary Games.
• Barbara Schmidts, editor at German publisher Kosmos, is interviewed (in German) on Brettspielblog.ch. Schmidt said that the company sifts through 600-800 ideas each year, most of them unsolicited; that number is comparable to the thousand concepts that AMIGO Spiel reviews annually, as mentioned in this BGG News item. That's a whole lotta rejection going on there. (And I'm sure someone will chime in to say, "But not nearly enough!")
• German publisher Schmidt Spiele has sold more than 350,000 copies of the 2012 Spiel des Jahres winner Qwirkle, according to press release site Brandora. Sales for the Schmidt game line – which includes both old-school game lines like Ligretto, Yahtzee and Ludo, along with modern children's line Drei Magier Spiele and strategy game line Hans im Glück – reached €34 million in 2011, up from €31.1 million in 2010.
notes on BGG that a reprint of Le Havre, in both German and English, should be finished at the manufacturer "any day now".
• The Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald profiled regular gamer guy Kaleb Michaud, owner of 1,500+ games.
• Another way to pimp your Settlers of Catan on Kickstarter: fancy plastic medieval settlements and cities that have notches in them for the wooden roads – giant notches when compared to the scale of the houses, but perhaps they pull super-wide hay carts in Catan. (HT: Phil Alberg)
• Pull quote: "[A]t a time when plenty of indie filmmakers with excellent ideas struggle to get financing for their films, Universal has paid millions of dollars not to make movies about board games." More details on how Universal got out of its deal with Hasbro for the movie rights to several board game titles on Cinema Blend.
• And in other Hasbro licensing news, this time going in the other direction, CNET reports that Hasbro has signed a deal with Zynga to create games and toys based on its online properties, which include FarmVille. Some Eric who is not me has commented on that news item about Agricola being a nice stand-in for FarmVille: The Board Game. (HT: Dave Kohr)