BoardGameGeek’s W. Eric Martin on Recycled Designs in Gaming

W. Eric Martin is an editor for BoardGameGeek and posts pretty regularly from the site’s official Twitter account. This morning, he shared some observations about the game industry and this year’s new games, prompted by the trends–or lack thereof–he noticed at this week’s New York Toy Fair industry trade show.

(“Spiel” refers to the Spiel des Jahres, a prestigious German Game of the Year award for board games.)

(Spielwarenmesse is the German version of New York Toy Fair.)

While Martin is clearly focused on the more product-driven board game industry, his observations are equally relevant for roleplaying games. With the advent of Kickstarter and sites like DriveThruRPG lowering the barrier of entry for indie designers and publishers, there are more RPGs in circulation today than every before. While some are truly innovative, there are a lot of recycled and rebranded design elements.

As Martin suggests, that’s not a bad thing.


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