Strategic Decisions   It takes time to make a good game. That’s why we have an 18-month period between the moment we start work on a game and its release. This means that we often sign prototypes 2 years before the final version appears on store shelves! This development period that we give ourselves requires us to look more efficiently toward the future and to plan better. 

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2019: In Words and Numbers

Well, here we are: the 4th Scorpion Masqué Year-End Review (and the first to be translated into English!), in words, thoughts, and numbers!Year End Review?For newcomers, my name is Christian Lemay, and I founded Scorpion Masqué in 2006. Every year since 2016 I’ve put together a review of what we’ve been doing for the past 12 months, and also added my thoughts on the board game industry, the marketplace, and how it has evolved over the year. In addition to this, I also give some very juicy financial details. The thinking behind sharing this kind of information was inspired by Steve Jackson Games's Annual Stakeholder Report, as written up by their CEO, Phil Reed.

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Leaving a Mark in the Board Game World

When we released Decrypto, I gave myself the goal to reach the 300th position in the ranking at I even dreamt of 200th place, without really believing it. I also told myself that if Decrypto didn’t make it to 500th position, I would give up this whole publishing gig!! Why? Without taking away anything from the other titles in our catalogue, Decrypto had the best potential to connect with the ‘connaisseur’ gamers (notice the quotation marks!) that often visit Board Game Geek, and who play hundreds of games. Our other top-sellers, Monster Chase, and J’te gage que… (I Betcha), don’t appeal to that crowd, despite selling 200,000 and 400,000 copies respectively. If Scorpion Masqué wasn’t able to get Decrypto to 300th place, we would have to be doing something wrong, perhaps without even knowing what… and there’s no room for improvement if we can’t identify our mistakes.

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Are Less-Demanding Games More Popular?

Games today are less confrontational because they measure us subjectively rather than objectively.

Every time a journalist or radio host interviews me, they invariably ask me why there has been such a resurgence of interest in board games. Rediscovering human contact and the desire to avoid screens are the kinds of answers that the media like to hear (yes, yes, it’s always best to tell the media what they want to hear). But is there more to it than that…?I’d like to propose another hypothesis here: games today are less confrontational because they measure us subjectively rather than objectively.Trivia games dominated the ‘adult game’ marketplace throughout the '80s and into the '90s. In this type of game you either know the answer to a question… or you don’t. Your knowledge or abilities are being measured objectively.

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Board Game Stats and the 'Value' of a Game

To ‘get your money’s worth’ out of a game, you absolutely must take into account the ‘opportunity to play’ factor.

 I downloaded the Board Game Stats app at the beginning of January. tool allows me to keep track of ALL the statistics of every board game that I play: how many plays of which games, with whom, when, where…? How long did the games take, who won, with how many points, and a ton of other information that we don’t really need. A tool for total geeks. Like me.

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In the face of the explosion of excellent games that release each and every year, we (gaming enthusiasts) buy (a lot!) more games now than we did 10 or 15 years ago. Even when we do our best to control ourselves, we see our friends busily backing 3 Kickstarters every week, going to endless festivals and conventions, and of course, bringing back all the hot-ticket games that generated buzz and were “absolute must-haves.”The result of this glut of titles is that we end up playing each game far fewer times, regardless of the quality of the game or how much happiness it brings us.

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2019: The Year To Come!

I’m very pleased to wish you all a happy 2019. I hope that you are able to do all the ‘stuff’ that is most important to you in the coming year. :)As I usually do in my ‘civilian life,’ I use January to give myself objectives to achieve before the end of that year. Some have to do with numbers, like the end-of-year sales figures, or the number of subscribers to our Facebook page. Others tend to be actions (in the broadest sense of the word) to be taken. For example, publishing a certain game, reviewing our production methods, or putting in place some marketing technique.

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About Scorpion Masqué

Scorpion Masqué is a leading Montreal-based tabletop game publisher part of the Hachette Group. Since 2006, our passion has been making quality games for children, adults, and the whole family, with the goal of creating memorable moments for everyone. With more than 40 published games, Scorpion Masqué is a recognizable and renowned brand on the international scene. We have a presence in more than 45 countries and have sold over 2.5 million games since the studio founding. Some of our successes include multi award-winning titles such as Zombie Kidz Evolution, Decrypto, and Turing Machine.