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Subject: How to anticipate a game going out of print? rss

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Gary Mertz

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Greetings to all! I am (very very very) new to the board game hobby. Thankfully my fiancee is following right along with me. So far in the last two months we have purchased and played Jaipur, Lost Cities, Hive, Patchwork, Battle Line, and 7 Wonders Duel, literally in that order. I research the heck out of everything and so I chose these games based on complexity ratings, overall ratings, and what I thought would be the most fun and easiest learning curve to progress to more complex games like Android Netrunner, Battlelore, and the like.

So, long introduction to my question. I am trying to figure out the best way to determine when a game might go out of print so I don't miss out on a title that sounds intriguing. I tried a search on the forum for similar questions but only came up with bits and pieces. Certainly if someone can point me to a thread that explains this then please do!

I came up with an idea for a solution that may or may not be on the right track. First of all, if a game is a perennial seller like Carcassonne (that's probably next in line for purchase), Dominion, or Ticket to Ride, I believe it is safe to say that they aren't going anywhere and going out of print isn't even on the horizon. I'm also learning a lot about publishers and am starting to see that certain publishers retain more heavy hitting titles than other publishers. I don't have any specific examples, I'm just starting to look into that.

For games that appear to be from lesser known publishers, or something that really looks great and/or unique, I check Amazon and see if the game is going out of stock. I check MM and see how they are with stock. I check eBay and see what's going on there. If I see low stock at mainstream outlets and high prices on eBay I figure there's a good chance the game is on it's way out.

So, long drawn out post for a basic question so thank you for reading. Any advice for this newbie to the hobby?

Oh, and by the way, this website is AWESOME. So much great information. All of my game purchases and the order in which my fiancee and I played them were based solely on the excellent reviews and information here. We are having an absolute blast!
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Sarah Kelley
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Only a bit of comfort. OOP titles, if they're good, don't stay OOP forever. Be patient. Never pay a a crazy amount for a game just because it's OOP. When it comes back in print and sells for 1/4 of what you bought it for, you will kick yourself.
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Greg
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I would be careful that you don't let FOMO guide your shopping habits. There is a good chance that if the game is any good, it will be back in print eventually. While you are waiting for that game to come back in print, play some of the other thousands of games out there that are in print.
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Gary Mertz

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FOMO? I don't know what that means, but if it means to suggest that my fiancee and I are INSTANTLY addicted to this hobby and want to buy absolutely everything then yes, I need to be very careful!

I had no idea that board gaming is a "thing." I always thought Monopoly and Life were where it started and ended. Now I can safely say that I will never play another round of those games. Ever. Board games have evolved exponentially and it's a great thing.
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Brodie
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FOMO = Fear of missing out
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Adam P
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Welcome to the hobby! My rule of thumb for something going out of print, is if it has been a title that has been lingering around for a couple of years, not so popular, and the Geek Market has very few titles for sale. If it disappears quickly after it has been released, that just means there's another wave of production coming.

I used to worry about out-of-print titles, but learned that it's good to have a few "grail" games that you always want but can never have. whistle
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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There are hundreds if not thousands of games that will sound intriguing when you find out about them. You'll never have them all. Take it slow, play the ones you buy before you start worrying about finding more. Scrambling to buy everything the marketers dangle in front of you is an exercise in frustration, and a needlessly expensive one. The play is the thing; that's where you'll find the joy in this hobby.
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maf man
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there is also another place to check, the bgg market. You can search a title there and look at "price history" and it will give you the bgg market's interpretation on what the game's value is and when you see a game climb that can mean OOP. Also when you see the sales come to a hault it usually means a 2nd printing was announced. Its funny to see because not only do buyers hold their breath for the next printing but so do the sellers. Any other market would just slash prices, makes me confident in using bgg market in determining a fair price for a game.
oh boy went a little off message there, just happy to see a new user.

The best way to not miss a good game is to find ways you can try games before you buy. The less money you spend on games because you don't want to miss something hot means more money for the games that you know are great for you.
You will not like every great game out there. There may even be some you like that are still not worth buying. If you can pass by those and any other flashy game then you collection no matter the size will be filled with only the best and your most played.

I would also ask yourself what you value in a game, try to go through every game you know and rate it and make comments as to why you think it deserves the rating you gave it. Once you start to see patterns of what you like this community LOVES recommending games. Its one of the best tools here.
Spend some time here when you can learning, it has paid off big time for me. We do try to be helpful, though sometimes a funny response is more fun to give than a helpful one.
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river tam
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A good rule of thumb for the typical, not popular enough to get reprinted, euro game with a print run in the 1000-5000 copies ( a typical size run) , is to try to pick it up within a year of being published.

That said, many OOP games are not super hard to get a copy. I made a list of 100 OOP games I wanted at various points of my collecting games and I was able to get 2/3 of them without paying more than MSRP (and often less) from used copes, trades, thrift stores, reprints, etc. About a 1/3 of them were reprinted.

It's mostly the single designer small publishing houses with small print runs that I found are hard to get. But often you can find out how to preorder the games of designers you are very interested in.
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"What do you mean, I can't pay in Meeples?"
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There are very few games with high demand that never come back into production. The rare exceptions are those with licensing disputes or other legal issues, or where the creator doesn't want to/cannot make another run.

That said, a good set of mechanics will eventually be improved upon by another designer and you'll get access to a similar experience. There's no need to fret over games going out of production.

Shelf space though, that's something to fear running out of...
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Bill Cook
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There are easily 100+ games out there you will love. If one goes out of print, don’t worry about it. Just move on to the next one.
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Matt Brown
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bm72 wrote:
Any advice for this newbie to the hobby?


Network. Find local game days/nights, conventions, whatever. You might find someone who you can play with that has that OOP game or one you were looking at. You might get to play with them enough to where you don't feel the need to buy the game and focus on what isn't in your network.

Play games. Your games. Other people's games. Some games are awesome and stay that way. Others fade. Some are terrible and stay that way. Others get better. Find out what you like or don't like about them. Not all games are for everybody. You might even find out in a certain amount of time as you grow as a gamer that previous favorites fade away and new ones emerge. What I liked in year two is different than in year 6+. Find out what works for you and buy those. Purge what doesn't.

Don't necessarily focus on the number of plays before buying, ie 3 is a nice start, but more on the number of sessions. Why? Because after each session you get time to let it marinate in your brain for a time, talk to people about it, and you have time to develop strategies better between plays. Plus, you have more time to find out about that rule you got wrong. Three plays over three weekends will tell you more than three plays in a night will. I have played roughly 300 games with roughly 1.1K plays across 6+ years. I finally caved and got Power Grid and 7 Wonders after 10 combined plays. Two of the safer buys I will ever make. Why? 7 Wonder especially was one to grow on me and took repeatedly plays before I realized how good it was, and I can be decent at it.

Remember, there is more than a financial cost for a game. There is time and space. Don't get caught up in the economy of someday. "I'll buy it now because someday I'll get to play that..." You may or may not.

Games go OOP. They tend to come back at some point. They come back via a reprint, a new edition, an anniversary edition, or a retheme. But generally, they come back. Exceptions include games from a smaller company as in very small or even more niche markets, ie 18XX and wargames. Those very well might only see one print run. "99%" of the time games geared towards the more common market come back.

The one percent is for stuff like Glory to Rome which I will be stunned if it comes back, long story. Not sure if something like The Palaces of Carrara will see a reprint or if it will mainly be in Europe as there was a small print run for North America and there is no talk of a reprint coming despite a credible rating. I doubt Witch's Brew comes back. Broom Service and its card game version essentially stuck a fork in Witch's Brew.

Eat your vitamins and play old Euros.
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Michael Debije
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18xx are train games, not wargames, for clarity.
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Gary Mertz

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Thank you ever so much for all of these great comments. My fiancee and I used to watch a ton of movies, and while now we still do watch some movies, we are finding that we are enjoying gaming more because it is so interactive. I'm having to teach her a lot about strategy because I'm just better than her for now. I'm not trying to be conceited or pompous, just stating fact. So I started thinking out loud to let her see how my line of thinking is. Not that my line of thinking is perfect but it is giving her a better idea on strategic planning. Of course, I may come to regret that but I do want to get beaten my fair share of the time!

My wishlist keeps growing and now I'll take the excellent advice you have provided here and apply it to future purposes.
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John Smith
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I’m a bit more aware of FOMO these days. I’ve snapped up a few games as soon as they were in stock in case they sold out, only to see them in some cases considerably cheaper several weeks later.

The popular board game reviewer Tom Vasel believes in Vasel’s Law, that all good games will get reprinted. I’m not certain about that but from my point of view, there is a FLOOD of very good games, it’s impossible to play them all.

I suppose the main thing I have done keeping an eye on if a game might sell out is to check this site:

https://boardgameprices.co.uk

And for US, there’s:
https://boardgameprices.com

If most places are showing sold out then I get my skates on. Even when the last company on there finally sells out there’s a chance you can still find it from a seller not listed on the site.

And also, if everywhere looks sold out, I check if there is much in-game text (stated on the game’s page on BGG), in some cases there is none or very little so I might be able to pick up a copy in another language. Sometimes those lag behind the English language release so maybe that’s partly why they might still be available in other countries.

I’ve ordered a fair few games from Germany. Sometimes because those versions have been cheaper too.

Have fun!
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Justin Brown

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If you think chasing OOP games is hard, just wait until you find out about limited availability promos. Now that is a maddening pursuit.
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Bill Cook
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mi_de wrote:
18xx are train stock market games, not wargames, for clarity.


Fixed that for you
 
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Gary Mertz

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Continuing great advice, thank you so much.

I really was intrigued by 7th Continent but it looks like you now have to pay an arm and a leg to get a copy.

Getting rare and promo cards, I remember that madness from when my daughter and I collected Pokemon cards. What a fiasco. Fun fiasco, but still a fiasco.
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Chris Willett
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Honestly this is not a perfect science. I know of a few games that are very, very good that are out of print or had long stretches where they were out of print. You are on the right track, but every now and again there is a weird thing to mess you up.

Legendary: Fantastic Four was out of print for a good long time while licensing was being odd. The price spiked like crazy and some people scrambled to get a copy. I had one before the biggest spike, but I paid more than I normally would for it. It's back in print now.

Homesteaders is a fantastic game that me and some friends played and loved. One of my friends spent a *very* long time researching and importing a copy for himself. This being out of print is criminal, as the game is so cool. Also its BACK ON KICKSTARTER NOW! I'm very excited, but I honestly thought it was dead.

Russian Railroads is also fantastic and has somehow disappeared from the United States. I guess I could get an international version? This game is too good to be OOP, but that is coming from me, the guy who wants a copy.

Another interesting example that I want to mention, however, is that some games go OOP as they are replaced. For example, I'm looking at getting a copy of Eclipse: Shadow of the Rift. There is a second edition of the game coming sometime soon (ish?) and I'm not sold on the new one. Primarily, this is because I am invested in the first game. I'm ordering a copy of this expansion now because I have a fear that they won't print more of them while they are working on the second version of the game.
 
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Matt Brown
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mi_de wrote:
18xx are train games, not wargames, for clarity.


I did fix it. I blame being up when I should have been in bed.
 
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bm72 wrote:
Greetings to all! I am (very very very) new to the board game hobby. Thankfully my fiancee is following right along with me. So far in the last two months we have purchased and played Jaipur, Lost Cities, Hive, Patchwork, Battle Line, and 7 Wonders Duel, literally in that order. I research the heck out of everything and so I chose these games based on complexity ratings, overall ratings, and what I thought would be the most fun and easiest learning curve to progress to more complex games like Android Netrunner, Battlelore, and the like.

So, long introduction to my question. I am trying to figure out the best way to determine when a game might go out of print so I don't miss out on a title that sounds intriguing. I tried a search on the forum for similar questions but only came up with bits and pieces. Certainly if someone can point me to a thread that explains this then please do!

I came up with an idea for a solution that may or may not be on the right track. First of all, if a game is a perennial seller like Carcassonne (that's probably next in line for purchase), Dominion, or Ticket to Ride, I believe it is safe to say that they aren't going anywhere and going out of print isn't even on the horizon. I'm also learning a lot about publishers and am starting to see that certain publishers retain more heavy hitting titles than other publishers. I don't have any specific examples, I'm just starting to look into that.

For games that appear to be from lesser known publishers, or something that really looks great and/or unique, I check Amazon and see if the game is going out of stock. I check MM and see how they are with stock. I check eBay and see what's going on there. If I see low stock at mainstream outlets and high prices on eBay I figure there's a good chance the game is on it's way out.

So, long drawn out post for a basic question so thank you for reading. Any advice for this newbie to the hobby?

Oh, and by the way, this website is AWESOME. So much great information. All of my game purchases and the order in which my fiancee and I played them were based solely on the excellent reviews and information here. We are having an absolute blast!
That seems to a good way to go about that. Otherwise, it's like any other "biz", sports betting, stock market... there isn't really any foolproof plan. You kinda need to go on market indicators, and go with your gut.


I won't post anything about habits of overbuying, underbuying, FOMO, etc., but it did lead to a related question which I've started a new GL here....
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/240493/how-many-games...
 
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Jeremiah Power
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SarahKelley wrote:
Be patient. Never pay a a crazy amount for a game just because it's OOP.


This is ome of the best advice you will find on BGG.

There are so many great games available, that unless you have some sentimental attachment to a game, it doesn't make sense to pay outrageous prices.
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powerhouse wrote:
SarahKelley wrote:
Be patient. Never pay a a crazy amount for a game just because it's OOP.


This is ome of the best advice you will find on BGG.

There are so many great games available, that unless you have some sentimental attachment to a game, it doesn't make sense to pay outrageous prices.
On a note of "au contraire", if you anticipate it ends up getting played sufficient amount of times, it could very well be justified. Especially if the alternative was paying MRSP or below MSRP for all your games, and then only playing a fraction of them. In both cases, you paid similar amounts of cash, but didn't get that much more from saying you have more games.
 
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Michael Debije
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matthean wrote:
mi_de wrote:
18xx are train games, not wargames, for clarity.


I did fix it. I blame being up when I should have been in bed.


 
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SarahKelley wrote:
Only a bit of comfort. OOP titles, if they're good, don't stay OOP forever. Be patient. Never pay a a crazy amount for a game just because it's OOP. When it comes back in print and sells for 1/4 of what you bought it for, you will kick yourself.



The one exception to this that I've seen is if there's some sort of weird ownership rights dispute.

Even then, it will likely come back as a game that's like 90% of the original game, and usually ends up better.
 
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