Belfort is another one of those games whose genius lies in its simplicity while being tough to be good at it.
Thanks for the review PGN!
Secondly, we’ve been playtesting the Belfort expansions for awhile now, and I have to say that I’m pretty excited about it. We’re toying around with a couple of different ideas and we’ll be pitching them to the publisher soon to see which one we should focus on more. Rest assured that it probably won’t be what you’re thinking, as Sen and I prefer to mix it up a bit and be a little unconventional. We’ll be sharing a link with fans that want to get in on the playtesting once it’s approved by the publisher, so check back here in a few weeks if you’re interested in being a part of the playtest group!
If you’re excited about the expansion then you can head on over and vote for it as an anticipated expansion for 2012. Boardgamegeek is holding a poll and you have until Sunday to cast your vote on which games and expansions you’re most looking forward to this year.
What are the benefits of offering expansions? There’s the obvious benefit that the publisher and the designer will make some money from selling the expansion. There’s the other benefit that the base game often sells more because there’s an expansion. I know I’ve picked up a game that had an expansion and think, “Hmmm…I’ve never heard of this game – but it has an expansion so it must be pretty good.”
Fortunately board games don’t suffer from the same kind of sequel-itis that Hollywood movies often do. In Hollywood, a sequel can and almost 100% of the time will get a green light based purely on the box office receipts of the first movie. In the board game world, sales are harder to come by and are often based more on word of mouth (or reputation of a designer or publisher). It leads me to think that a game has to be pretty good to warrant that many sales.
How many sales are needed before an expansion is warranted? An expansion usually sells between 25%-35% of what the base game sold. So if the base game sold 10,000 units, then you can expect the expansion to sell around 2500-3500.
But what are the down sides to an expansion? Well, if it’s released too soon then some people haven’t had enough time with the base game to fully explore and experience it. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, because there’s nothing making me buy an expansion (except for the fact that I really want to buy it!). I’ll just keep playing the base game until I’m ready to try the expansion. Some expansions can be looked at as a cash grab, if the quality isn’t there – but I find those to be few and far between in the board game world.
In the end, I love expansions. It provides longer shelf life to your games by tweaking the game just enough to provide a fresh experience. We’ll spend another article discussing what makes a great expansion and what makes a poor one. For now, I’m just excited that Belfort has warranted enough interest to even be talking about the possibility of an expansion!!