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Subject: Rio Grande merges line into Out of the Box rss

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Robert Cannon
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Wow, big news for our hobby. Since Out of the Box has a presence in the big chain stores, I wonder if it will help get some of the Rio Grande titles into Target/Walmart? (and would that be a good thing?)

http://www.gamingreport.com/article.php?sid=20261
 
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Greg Hinkle
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That is pretty big. I didn't know OotB was one of the largest publishers in the country. The press release came close to giving Apples to Apples all the credit that Scene It so richly deserves.
 
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Michael Webb
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Seriously good news...this should get Rio Grande a lot more exposure than it currently has and grow the hobby in the long term...I'm thrilled to hear about this.
 
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Brian Jones
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I guess this is good for gaming/gamers, but I cannot help but be a little worried. Not because of the merger of these two companies (if that is what is happening), I like their products. Better distribution can only help grow designer or Euro boardgaming. My worry is that now Hasbro has a reason to notice them (if they did not already). Hasbro has made a business of buying out or merging with every large competitor they can find, hopefully it will not happen here. Their attention, I believe, would not bring positives to this segment of our hobby.
 
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Ed Bryan
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bclayj wrote:
I guess this is good for gaming/gamers, but I cannot help but be a little worried. Not because of the merger of these two companies (if that is what is happening), I like their products. Better distribution can only help grow designer or Euro boardgaming. My worry is that now Hasbro has a reason to notice them (if they did not already). Hasbro has made a business of buying out or merging with every large competitor they can find, hopefully it will not happen here. Their attention, I believe, would not bring positives to this segment of our hobby.



I doubt there is enough money in the hobby for Hasbro to be interested.

I'll be interested to see if OOB/RioGrande increase their print runs. It'd be nice to be able to pick up the first run of a hot game without having to pre-order it, or camping out at my FLGS.
 
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Wow, this is excellent news.
 
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Jorge Montero
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I'd not be all that worried by a future Hasbro buyout. When a company like Hasbro buys a niche competitor, they don't do it just to sink them: They do it to expand their market base. Currently, Hasbro sees little money in selling Euro-games in the US. If they thought there was enough money to be made, they'd hire big name designers, just like they do in Germany. Who do you think distributes Fabrik de Traume in Germany?
 
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Boards & Bits
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To the best of my knowledge, these companies have NOT merged.

Out of the Box is just sliding over into Distribution as well as publishing and will be another source for retailers (and customers) to buy Rio Grande games.

The two companies will still publish their own product lines.

Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken.

Tom
 
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Shawn Low
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BoardsAndBits wrote:
To the best of my knowledge, these companies have NOT merged.

Out of the Box is just sliding over into Distribution as well as publishing and will be another source for retailers (and customers) to buy Rio Grande games.


Tom


I think that Tom is right. It's more of a distribution agreement it seems.

Right now, OoTB has the clout, presence and contacts to get into the large chains like Wal Mart, TRU, etc.

RGG needs to get their foot in the door. This will give them the boost needed. Hopefully, the buyers from these large stores like RGG games!

 
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Brian Jones
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hibikir wrote:
I'd not be all that worried by a future Hasbro buyout. When a company like Hasbro buys a niche competitor, they don't do it just to sink them: They do it to expand their market base. Currently, Hasbro sees little money in selling Euro-games in the US. If they thought there was enough money to be made, they'd hire big name designers, just like they do in Germany. Who do you think distributes Fabrik de Traume in Germany?


True, Jorge. They are surely big enough to hire the best designers, I just wish they would do it here in the States, and also put their names on the box.
This is very good news indeed if it means larger print runs of Rio Grande Games and better distribution for them.
 
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shawn_low wrote:
Right now, OoTB has the clout, presence and contacts to get into the large chains like Wal Mart, TRU, etc.


And they have gained their success without either Wal-Mart or TRU. That is good news.

The agreement is great news since Rio Grande's weakness has been in marketing. Out of the Box is definitely one of the best in that field.
 
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Jeff Baker
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This is very BAD news. It will be the kiss of death for Gamers Games in the US. I can see us all having to buy via web from Europe in the future. Why the doom and gloom? Here is my reasoning for the KISS OF DEATH:

1- Target Selling for Mass Market: The big box stores are only interested in selling items that appeal to a mass market (lowest denominator, dare I say simple minds) with high volume movers like Candyland. The general public, the ones that are targeted at Walmart/ToysRUs, won't even pick up a box of Anno 1503 much less Hacienda.

2- Manufacture for Mass Market: Ok so Niagara is cute and will sell because of that (I think it a good game), but I think the bits will be produced with a mass-market production mind set, i.e. PLASTIC boats! (cheap bits). I like the wooden bits and thick card stock that Rio Grande Games reproduced like the original version.

3- Deal cutting by Big Box stores: The big box stores tend to strong-arm wholesalers to cut costs and increase profit margins (i.e. plastic bits, limited number of different game titles).

4- Current Market Share of Out of the Box is really just 1 game with many add-ons: They currently show all the signs of a typical USA game company that makes 3 games with lots of add-ons but not interested in making any really NEW games in their line-up. That would cut down on shelf space (competing with themselves)in the Big Box stores.

I am very worried that this day marks the end of an era when true European games will be gone from the US market place. I will probably have to buy all my future games overseas at much higher prices.

 
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Jim Pulles
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Deal cutting by Big Box stores:... i.e. plastic bits,...

If you think that plastic bits decrease the cost of a game, take a look at Descent or World of Warcraft! Besides, I'd take the new plastic pieces in Die Seidler von Catan over the old clunky wooden pieces any day...

I look at the Rio Grande deal with Out of the Box as nothing but a good thing for the hobby.
 
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Dustin Miller
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I hope Out of the Box produces great components for the Rio Grande line of games. Their recent release, Wallamoppi (http://boardgamegeek.com/game/11412), gives me reason to believe they will.
 
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Chieftain wrote:
This is very BAD news. It will be the kiss of death for Gamers Games in the US. I can see us all having to buy via web from Europe in the future. Why the doom and gloom? Here is my reasoning for the KISS OF DEATH:


I highly disagree here. My biggest disagreement is that Rio Grande isn't the ONLY distributor of "Gamers" games. Mayfair, Days of Wonder, Eagle, Face 2 Face, Fantasy Flight, Z-man, Uberplay are just a few of the others.

Quote:
1- Target Selling for Mass Market: The big box stores are only interested in selling items that appeal to a mass market (lowest denominator, dare I say simple minds) with high volume movers like Candyland. The general public, the ones that are targeted at Walmart/ToysRUs, won't even pick up a box of Anno 1503 much less Hacienda.


This is possibly true. At the same time, who cares? Out of the Box targets all the small, specialty stores, not just the big ones.

Quote:
2- Manufacture for Mass Market: Ok so Niagara is cute and will sell because of that (I think it a good game), but I think the bits will be produced with a mass-market production mind set, i.e. PLASTIC boats! (cheap bits). I like the wooden bits and thick card stock that Rio Grande Games reproduced like the original version.


Like another poster mentioned, what's wrong with plastic? Have you seen an Eagle or Fantasy Flight game?

Quote:
4- Current Market Share of Out of the Box is really just 1 game with many add-ons: They currently show all the signs of a typical USA game company that makes 3 games with lots of add-ons but not interested in making any really NEW games in their line-up. That would cut down on shelf space (competing with themselves)in the Big Box stores.


Have you seen OOTB's lineup? While their games are often too lite for most "heavy" gamers, they certainly are diverse. Yes, they get a lot of success from Apples to Apples (as they should), but they have at least twenty to thirty other games of excellent quality.

Quote:
I am very worried that this day marks the end of an era when true European games will be gone from the US market place. I will probably have to buy all my future games overseas at much higher prices.


I don't know how to respond to this one - other than to say that I don't understand your reasoning for such a bold statement. I can see only good coming from this move.

But let's wait and see. Don't worry, play games!

Tom Vasel
 
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Iain K
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Don't worry, play games!


Best advice I've heard all year . . .
 
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JonMichael Rasmus
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Also discussed here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/99363
 
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W. Eric Martin
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All I can say is that if I see Rio Grande titles in Barnes & Noble next to the big honkin' stacks of Apples to Apples, I'm buying something. The Fantasy Flight line really isn't my thing, but I'd love to see Carcassonne, Louis XIV, Magna Grecia, and other titles in a major bookstore chain nationwide, and I'll buy a few titles to support the effort. (I knew there was a reason I hadn't purchased Magna Grecia yet.)
 
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Danny Webb
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Chieftain wrote:
This is very BAD news. It will be the kiss of death for Gamers Games in the US. I can see us all having to buy via web from Europe in the future. Why the doom and gloom? Here is my reasoning for the KISS OF DEATH:

4- Current Market Share of Out of the Box is really just 1 game with many add-ons: They currently show all the signs of a typical USA game company that makes 3 games with lots of add-ons but not interested in making any really NEW games in their line-up. That would cut down on shelf space (competing with themselves)in the Big Box stores.



I think you are wrong on most of your points, but I'll stick to refuting the one I know the most about. Out of the Box certainly is more than Apples to Apples plus the expansion. Sure, Apples to Apples is their vanguard product, but all game companies hope to end up with a product so popular that it becomes key to their identity--like Rio Grande has had with Puerto Rico and Mayfair has had with the Settlers line. More importantly, Out of the Box has already been successful introducing designer games to the mainstream. Here is a list of games from OotB beyond Apples to Apples from major designers--nearly all of which can be found on the shelves of mainstream brick and mortar establishments:

10 Days in the USA (Europe, Africa, Asia)--Moon and Weissblum
Gold Digger--Knizia
Blink--Staupe
Cloud 9--Weissblum
Basari--Staupe
Easy Come, Easy Go--Knizia (this is a OtB original)


Also, I can't wait to be able to scream "Walmart is carrying Cape Horn! Walmart is carrying Cape Horn!"
 
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Russell Grieshop
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Henry Rhombus wrote:
All I can say is that if I see Rio Grande titles in Barnes & Noble next to the big honkin' stacks of Apples to Apples, I'm buying something. The Fantasy Flight line really isn't my thing, but I'd love to see Carcassonne, Louis XIV, Magna Grecia, and other titles in a major bookstore chain nationwide, and I'll buy a few titles to support the effort. (I knew there was a reason I hadn't purchased Magna Grecia yet.)


Even if the bookstores do carry those titles, will anybody buy them at full price? Or will people wait until they go on sale for half price before they'll purchase? Did many people buy the FFG line that Barnes and Noble was selling *before* they went on sale (to clean out that inventory).

I'd like to see those sold in a major bookstore, too - and if more gamers were willing to support the effort, it might help the stores to decide to keep stocking them... but, I'm sure this has already been heavily debated many times before.

I think it *does* help the hobby to help a wider audience get access to those games, but so long as the current audience for those games won't support the retailers who do take the risk of trying a new line of games, those same retailers can hardly be blamed for not being interested in stocking...
 
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Henry Rhombus wrote:
Even if the bookstores do carry those titles, will anybody buy them at full price?


I think this is especially true of the typical “nongamer”; those individuals who are essentially being targeted for this wider distribution. While it does seem much more likely that some of TGOO will see more light, I still think that the typical American game buyer will choose a $20 copy of Monopoly whatever over a $33 copy of O Zoo le Mio.

Unless, of course, the poor souls become like us…
 
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Werebear wrote:
Even if the bookstores do carry those titles, will anybody buy them at full price? Or will people wait until they go on sale for half price before they'll purchase? Did many people buy the FFG line that Barnes and Noble was selling *before* they went on sale (to clean out that inventory).


If ever this union were to run into a problem, this would be it. How many of us are going to support brick and mortar shops that carry OotB/RG games? Just putting Louis XIV on a shelf next to a pile of Apples to Apples isn't going to expand the hobby any unless the masses are told to buy Louis XIV.

Some of the more accessable games like PR, Carcassonne, Bohanza, etc. could succeed in a mass-market, big-box-store environment and that is where the deal could be sweet for everyone. Smaller titles will still probably be bought online or specialty brick and mortar shops.

The best thing I can see coming from this is larger print runs in the short term.
 
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Gibbo wrote:
Some of the more accessable games like PR, Carcassonne, Bohanza, etc.


Puerto Rico accessible? To a mainstream audience? Wow, we must have all smoked the funny grass from the same pipe if we think Puerto Rico is accessible.
--mike
 
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Puerto Rico is very accessible - in my experience. I have taught it to groups of complete novices with great success. (I don't play too: novices just need a very little help to bootstrap, and it's a distraction if the "helper" is a competitor.) After seeing each role in action once (or perhaps twice in the case of the Captain) all of the Monopoly-Risk-and-Rummikub players I've inflicted Puerto Rico on have "got it."
 
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