— A big thank you to 999Games for sending us a copy of Wingspan!
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The title of this comic might be a little farfetched. 😉 (Don’t get it? Click here)
So we’ve played Wingspan and think it’s a great engine building game and an amazing production showing how beautiful games can be. It did get us thinking about how its demand and reception surpassed every expectation, even from industry people. While this leads to some fun thoughts about shady powers behind the scenes pushing the popularity for certain games, it also got us thinking about paid (p)reviews and content for board games.
The number of people playing board games is growing and so are the number of games, the amount of publishers and people creating content about board gaming. Because of this, it is hard as a publisher to get your games noticed and some content creators offer paid previews to facilitate this demand for attention. While there is nothing wrong with paying people to create media around your product we do think that it is absolutely critical that it is clear when somebody is getting paid to make certain content. There are some examples of people being very non-transparent about which content of their content is paid for by publishers which, we think, in the long run, could damage board gaming as a whole.
As content creators that offer paid content ourselves, we have many discussions among ourselves how we should communicate paid content and luckily in the Netherlands, there is a social code put together by the RCC (Dutch organ for advertisement) and content creators how you should handle with these types of situations. We hope we are transparent when we have received games, when a comic is sponsored and what our deal with CoolStuffInc for additional comics entails. If you have any questions that are not covered by our FAQ, please let us know in the comments or message us when you feel privacy is needed.
To be clear, we do not accuse Stonemaier games of doing shady things, we hold Jamey Stegmaier in the highest regard and his blog is a treasure trove of information that is helping board gaming forward. We’re also not going to point fingers at creators saying they’re doing things wrong, we specifically drew ourselves in this comic taking bribe money to prevent accidentally making it look like somebody else. We do want to make sure people know that not every positive post, video or picture about a game is as spontaneous as you think it is and we hope that if you are a creator and are creating paid content you do everything possible to be upfront about it.
Speaking of paid content, time for some promotion!
In a little over two weeks, we’ll be at the UK Games Expo and we’re getting hyped about it. This year we want to experiment with selling signed prints of comics at cons! We’ve been giving away signed prints as prizes and people seem to be really enjoying them and others have asked if they could buy one, which is a great idea. For £10 you can have a print of your favorite comic signed by Rachel and handed by us personally to you at the expo. Because we can’t carry around our whole archive you do have to order your print before the 26th of May using this form. Once we’ve received the order we’ll contact you to decide on a time and place etc. If you don’t want a custom print, we still hope to meet you at the UKGE and talk about games. 🙂
They’ve precisely the same difficulties as you and some of them happen to
be in the game longer and thus include tips to talk about.