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Subject: Days of Wonder: What have you done for me lately? rss

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Dan Edelen
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Days of Wonder has long been one of my favorite game publishers. I've always been impressed with their quality and attention to detail.

But as hot as DoW has been since the mid-2000s, it also seems to be living off brand extensions. Small World (2009) was their last new game that really took off. And while many game publishers would kill to have a title like Small World, or other mega-franchises such as Ticket to Ride or Memoir '44, it's hard to escape the reality that DoW has had little else going on lately.

Cargo Noir, Mystery Express, and Fictionaire haven't really captured the gamer imagination. Battlelore has become something of an albatross. I've heard nothing about new titles coming from DoW that aren't part of the franchises.

So what's up with Days of Wonder? Any DoW fans who are concerned about one of their favorite publishers?
 
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Lance
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They could reprint Mystery of the Abbey and make a few people happy.

Speaking as someone who was completely underwhelmed by Small World, I wouldn't mind them coming out with something to energize their selection, but they just seem to be content in "playing it safe".
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Aaron Greene
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I actually like Cargo Noir. I think its a nice tense game of the same weight and quality of their other games (save Colosseum, which is a little heavier). But I do realize I am in the minority on that game.
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Dan Edelen
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UndeadViking wrote:
They could reprint Mystery of the Abbey and make a few people happy.

Speaking as someone who was completely underwhelmed by Small World, I wouldn't mind them coming out with something to energize their selection, but they just seem to be content in "playing it safe".
+

Lance, noticed the new avatar. Congrats on the birth of your son! I bet your wife is relieved to be over the long ordeal.

Re: Mystery of the Abbey — That game doesn't get as much love on BGG as much as some of DoW's other titles. I've not played it, but the talk I hear is that it gets old fast. What are your thoughts?
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Lance
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edelen wrote:
UndeadViking wrote:
They could reprint Mystery of the Abbey and make a few people happy.

Speaking as someone who was completely underwhelmed by Small World, I wouldn't mind them coming out with something to energize their selection, but they just seem to be content in "playing it safe".
+

Lance, noticed the new avatar. Congrats on the birth of your son! I bet your wife is relieved to be over the long ordeal.


Thanks man! Caleb Michael, born October 7th.
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Dan Edelen
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pikaia wrote:
I actually like Cargo Noir. I think its a nice tense game of the same weight and quality of their other games (save Colosseum, which is a little heavier). But I do realize I am in the minority on that game.


I think I need to play Colosseum. Cargo Noir too. I've stayed away from the latter due to the mediocre press, and the former has not run through my gaming circle yet.
 
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Doug Bias
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What's with DoW's connection with Serge Laget? I'm really not a fan of his games. When I first got into gaming I picked up Shadows Over Camelot after being really excited about the theme, art and components. Man, I was really disappointed with the game play though. Basically coming up with poker-hands was really uninspiring.
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Dan Edelen
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dbias84 wrote:
What's with DoW's connection with Serge Laget? I'm really not a fan of his games. When I first got into gaming I picked up Shadows Over Camelot after being really excited about the theme, art and components. Man, I was really disappointed with the game play though. Basically coming up with poker-hands was really uninspiring.


And since then, the number of co-op titles has exploded and the quality of play improved, making Shadows look like a relic.
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Jeffrey L.
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I still like playing DoW games, but I have a family with 2 boys age 12 and 10. They like to play Pirates Cove and Cargo Noir the most. We play TTR once in a while and they still like it, Small World wasn't as big a hit as I thought it would be. They liked it, but don't seem to ask to play it much. I like Cargo Noir a lot, more people should give it a try. It's a decent game. I'll probably end up getting Mystery Express, I think my wife and kids would like that one.

Do they have any new titles in the works?
 
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Wade Nelson
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Days of Wonder has a certain appeal to me because I've liked every single DoW title I've played. I'm a big fan of BattleLore. I really enjoy Shadows Over Camelot with the expansion. I've played a few other titles like TtR, M44, Small World, etc. I also just completed a trade for Pirate's Cove which looks like it'll complete my Pirate Trifecta (Blackbeard/Merchants & Marauders/Pirate's Cove).

Not all of their games have been must-purchases for me, but I've enjoyed all of them that I've played. Maybe they're just being picky and not using the shotgun approach (launch everything and see what sticks) to releasing games.

Also the DoW rulebooks are some of my favorites, so if they take extra time with releases to keep getting them right than I'll be patient
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Ed Sherman
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There was a time when I was interested in DoW's offerings, but now they're just the poster child for Milking the Franchise between Small World and Ticket to Ride.
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Rick
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What about DoWs e-board games push lately? Memoir '44 Online. TtR and SW iOS apps. I think they are focusing on other things right now (for better or worse).

I look forward to their next title though whenever and whatever it happens to be. They make games that look great - kind of like FFG - but with much better rulebooks.

Edited for clarity.
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edosan wrote:
There was a time when I was interested in DoW's offerings, but now they're just the poster child for Milking the Franchise between Small World and Ticket to Ride.


And there is nothing really wrong with that. Mayfair rides Settlers. Jackson rides Munchkin. I guess there are just publishers that make their swan song, and franchise off of that for the rest of their days. I mean, why should they take a risk developing and printing a mediocre game, when they can save the printers for a known hit.
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I don't understand the question.

Days of Wonder is producing new games each year, some of which are listed in the initial post. Those games were received well enough but failed to become a smash success... so you are disappointed that they aren't trying harder?

Or maybe you are disappointed that they publish expansions to older, uber-popular games to maintain profitability while looking for their next big hit?

Give them time. The market is constantly changing, and not every game can be a hit. It seems like the expansions that are released make many gamers happy and ensure that new content will continue to be developed, so it's hard to fault that decision. Days of Wonder will continue to produce solid family games and have as good a chance as anyone to release "the next big thing"....
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David C
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If there was any franchise they should try milking, a small expansion deck for cargo noir is something I hear the fans clamoring for. It wouldn't cost them much, and they could do:

a) variable family powers
b) new 'point' cards
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Derek Thompson
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I think you just haven't noticed that though I don't know how big DoW is, they take it slow, about one (non-franchise) new release a year. They aren't FFG, announcing a new game almost every week. 2011 gave us Cargo Noir already. If you want another new non-franchise title, it'll happen, probably once, in 2012. Or if you're like me and love TTR and Small World, you've got much more to be excited about.

You also mentioned you love their quality and attention to detail - well, the price for that is a slow release schedule. Ever tried to read an FFG rulebook?
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Daniel Dube
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From my self i keep wondering WHY they sold the franchise of Battlelore to FF ?? it was great looking game and fun to plat to ....why not just keeping something that goes well and give it some new thing to do with ...i don't know exactely what but something like a addon with IA cards to make a solo or cooperative play or else ??....just don't sell a winning Horse and make it better it's my way of thinking !

Small world is a Good Familly game but for player who like more complicated game that ask more decision or stuff like that this game is just not enough!! WE need more great stuff from DOW cause we have been use to that goo
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Wade Nelson
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magedelanuit wrote:
From my self i keep wondering WHY they sold the franchise of Battlelore to FF ?? it was great looking game and fun to plat to ....why not just keeping something that goes well and give it some new thing to do with ...i don't know exactely what but something like a addon with IA cards to make a solo or cooperative play or else ??....just don't sell a winning Horse and make it better it's my way of thinking !


I think there were production issues. I'm under the impression that they would have had to raise the price to keep producing it at the same level. That and the fact that they had the Memoir '44 system made it sellable.
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Daniel Dube
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Yes but why not keeping both of them and making one of them keeping the way it is right now and take the other one to make some test on new playing mode and be the first one to get it .... i think they could have made a LOT of money with that (but of course they probably sold it for a LOT of $$$$) and FF know a good horse when they see's one and the opportunity was right there !! did they made a good think selling it ??? only future will tell
 
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Dan Edelen
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aldaryn wrote:
I think you just haven't noticed that though I don't know how big DoW is, they take it slow, about one (non-franchise) new release a year. They aren't FFG, announcing a new game almost every week.


Which makes the question all the more pressing. As careful as DoW is with releases, you'd think that their few would all be incendiary. But 2010 and 2011 didn't see any such blistering releases, and with 2012 approaching quickly, does DoW even have a new must-have game lined up?

Seems to me that a lot of companies used DoW as a benchmark, but that reputation seems to be fading as other companies have matched or exceeded DoW in quality, gameplay, rulebooks, and such.
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David C
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edelen wrote:
aldaryn wrote:
I think you just haven't noticed that though I don't know how big DoW is, they take it slow, about one (non-franchise) new release a year. They aren't FFG, announcing a new game almost every week.

Seems to me that a lot of companies used DoW as a benchmark, but that reputation seems to be fading as other companies have matched or exceeded DoW in quality, gameplay, rulebooks, and such.


...which is why I'm not all that concerned. If they were the only company making games out there, I'd be a little peeved with them. Instead, finding stuff to play is not at all hard to do.

But I do understand it's like having a friend with toilet paper on their shoe. At a certain point you'll laugh, but at a certain point you'll tell them to get it off their shoe.
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Ed Sherman
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bippi wrote:
edelen wrote:
aldaryn wrote:
I think you just haven't noticed that though I don't know how big DoW is, they take it slow, about one (non-franchise) new release a year. They aren't FFG, announcing a new game almost every week.

Seems to me that a lot of companies used DoW as a benchmark, but that reputation seems to be fading as other companies have matched or exceeded DoW in quality, gameplay, rulebooks, and such.


...which is why I'm not all that concerned. If they were the only company making games out there, I'd be a little peeved with them. Instead, finding stuff to play is not at all hard to do.


I wouldn't say I'm peeved with them, I really don't think about them very much because they're more-or-less moved out of the "companies worth watching" category for me.
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Dan Edelen
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edosan wrote:
I really don't think about them very much because they're more-or-less moved out of the "companies worth watching" category for me.


That sums up the PR problem for DoW right there. Sad, actually.
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Aaron Greene
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edelen wrote:
edosan wrote:
I really don't think about them very much because they're more-or-less moved out of the "companies worth watching" category for me.


That sums up the PR problem for DoW right there. Sad, actually.


I was planning on writing this earlier, but what games released by Rio Grande in the past 2 years constitutes incendiary or blistering? Or Z-man for that matter. I think we look at the huge hits that companies have, like TTR, Small World, Dominion, Carc and Agricola and say "where are the games like this?" When it seems much more accurate, that these great games are anomalies in the sea of mediocre to good games that are released on a regular basis. There are some really good games that have been released in the past 2 years, but nothing (that I am currently recalling) that fit the high standard of the ones listed above.

The fact that DoW produces games on a much more measured basis, and doesn't license other games, like a Rio Grande or Z-Man, the releases are going to be fewer and in comparison, the lack of Monster hits will most likely be more visible amongst a smaller cadre of game offerings.

Just my 2 cents.
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