Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: About spiel des jahres rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ido Abelman
Israel
Hod Hasharon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A recent blog post (I think it was by the user ender's game but not sure) talked about the relevance of spiel des jahres to modern gaming. The conclusion was that spiel des jahres makes games sell better, even if it's just the casual ones.
But as someone that does not live in germany and wasn't around when SDJ started, I wonder what in those awards make the games sell more? What makes the German/Worldwide public count on the jury's opinion more then any other opinion? Basically I want to know how it became popular, who are the jury and how is the list presented.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Foolery
Canada
Cambridge
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This provides at least a little bit of insight, although doesn't list who, specifically, are involved in the judging process:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiel_des_Jahres#2005_awards

As for why the Spiel des Jahres serves to increase sales so immensely, I think one of the main reason comes back to what most people know about German style games: Catan. Basically everyone who is mildly interested in board games has played or owns this game, and the Spiel des Jahres is right there on the front of every box. So if a buyer is not ambitious enough to seek out resources such as this site, but is ambitious enough to go and buy some more games, the one recognizable aspect of an otherwise foreign game might be this very award that they have previously seen on the box of their beloved Settlers. Retailers pick up on this sort of trend as well and are more likely to stock games that have won, so the games see another increase in sales based on availability alone.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Melissa
Canada
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HalfAwakeGamer wrote:


As for why the Spiel des Jahres serves to increase sales so immensely, I think one of the main reason comes back to what most people know about German style games: Catan. Basically everyone who is mildly interested in board games has played or owns this game, and the Spiel des Jahres is right there on the front of every box. So if a buyer is not ambitious enough to seek out resources such as this site, but is ambitious enough to go and buy some more games, the one recognizable aspect of an otherwise foreign game might be this very award that they have previously seen on the box of their beloved Settlers.


Exactly this.

I only knew that Catan was THE game to get when getting into boardgaming. If I hadn't been told about BGG, I probably would have bought more games based on that alone because I enjoyed Settlers so much. Nevermind that the SDJ winners games are usually rated pretty highly among BGG's
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David
Switzerland
Buchs
St. Gallen
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Back when the "Spiel des Jahres" award was first given out the world was a lot different. I for example was still cleaning stars and board gaming was a lot smaller too. The internet as we know it today with websites would not be invented for more than a decade let alone be something the average consumer would utilize. If you wanted a recommendation on a game your best source would be the salesperson. Maybe (I have no information on this) there might have been some reviews in newspapers, magazines or the radio. SdJ established an authority by assembling a knowledgeable jury and taking a look at the majority of new titles and holding them to a common standard. The resulting recommendations turned out to be something the consumers valued greatly. And the more people started talking about how good the SdJ choices were the more the casual gamers (which still is a far larger market than us BGG folks) accepted it as a guide to their purchases and consequently began talking about it as well.

Essentially it was just a great idea at the right time. This coupled with the fact that the award originates from the country that's still the heart of the board gaming industry gives it a reputation that few competitors can even begin to approach.

Even today with "hardcore" alternatives like BGG - in the market for the broad masses that is otherwise dominated by endless line-ups of Monopoly editions and its cohorts an award like SdJ carries a promise of fresh but simple family fun that people have come to trust.

I fully admit that I have outgrown the Spiel des Jahres category but I'm sure many people have similar sentiments towards the Academy Awards as well. But no matter that, they are nonetheless the biggest thing in their respective industries certainly in part because they started in the same places their target got big in first.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andreas
Germany
Nagold
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I chime in as I myself am a huge fan of the award and I do have a few ideas myself of why the award is so important for the industry, the hobby and families in general.

It wasnt Settlers per se. You see Settlers won the SDJ in 1995, when the award was 16 years old. The very first award was 1978, but no press coverage and thus they cancelled it and with the help of a government grant got it started anew in 1979. In the period between 1979 and 1994 some games got the award that are still known, published and played now 20+ years later, which is quite some feat in the boardgaming industry. You may know Scotland Yard, Hoity Toity, Hare and Tortoise, Enchanted Forest, Auf Achse, Top secret spies and other games that are in this category. Even more so Settlers does not sport the award prominently on the box cover, as the company does (rightly I think) believe their franchise and name recognition is so great they do not need it.

No the reason for the game award is something different: They set it up in the right time, when board gaming was still popular but under threat from video games, and the press was aware of those "lesser" alternatives. So they got publicity also to help against television video and computer games as much as to help for gaming in general. Then they did pick up some really great games (in my opinion they never picked a bad game in all those 30+ years). And the award drove sales. Department stores were willing to help by promoting the game of the year and selling it in droves, people found out they got a really good game (as opposed to anything published by Hasbro), and the industry saw exploding sales which in turn spurned them to invest more in good gameplay, novel ideas and especially quality of artwork and components. So much so that the jury could abandon the prize for the beautiful game as all games were beautiful to quite some extent.

In fact You see its a cycle: Press = exposure = retail efforts = more exposure = sales = confidence by the public = even more sales = more money in the system = more publishers more investment = even more sales etc etc.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.