Writing this on day two of four in the train from Essen to Dusseldorf, where we have our Airbnb. What a show. I never imagined that a boardgame show could be as big as Spiel’17. Someone said that today alone there were 120 000 visitors in the event. We sure saw our share of the action although our stand is in hall 6 among the more indie games, role playing games, and e.g. the Board Games Geek stand. The latter is valuable, because it is the stand of the bile of many the boardgame fans and whose recommendations many follow, when they plan their itinerary through the massive halls.
We have made many sales, possibly able to cover our participation costs by Sunday afternoon, but even more valuable have been all the retail, distributor, and publisher contacts we have made from markets like the US, China, UK, France, Korea as well as more exotic markets like Armenia and Indonesia. Looking forward to another two days of new industry customer contacts. Lots of following up to do in the coming days and weeks.
Equally valuable always are all the consumer contacts we make, when we get to talk to people buying our games and playtesting them on our stand. One of the best quotes we got today was from the Dragon League role-playing group, who came to our stand twice, so that they could play it again. They said that in their minds LUPO is more of a role-playing game than a board game or a card game, because most of the fun comes from the storytelling and role-play acting when designing the new home for humanity in ridiculous world with their strange new co-inhabitants. They said that the game has enormous replay value, thanks to the scenarios being so different every time. The scenarios are defined by the 16x16x16 card combinations, plus additional wild cards and of course the different groups of people playing it ensuring that every game experience is different.
Besides B2B and B2C customers, we also met many suppliers. We have learned from our test marketing with Amazon, that we must improve the robustness of our packaging, so that it can withstand the bouncing by the automated warehouses that Amazon operates. We also need to make the packaging reflect the value of our game, e.g. the replay value for entertainment as well as the pedagogical value on top, which few other games can offer regardless of price tag. A game like UNO, which has sold over 70 million copies, offers arguably a lot less replay value, so despite both being simple card games, our packaging should indicate to a casual retail stor visitor the different value proposition that we can offer.
Next weeks in our startup adventure will be about following up on both India EdTech Campus and Spiel game industry contacts looking toward 2018 opportunities, as well as focusing on selling our existing test marketing inventory during the upcoming holiday season in retail stores in Finland as well as maximising the tools Amazon offers in the UK and US online for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas shopping season, which often accounts for as much as half of the annual game sales. Exciting times ahead. Until next time!
Author: Nouri Mikko Werdi