A wide range of video game properties have found their way into the world of physical board, miniatures, and card games in the past six months. Some examples:
- Konami Cross Media NY just announced that its recently relaunched Bomberman and Contra titles would be turned into board and card games, respectively. IDW holds the rights to Bomberman (for card games, pins, and puzzles as well as board games), while Blacklist and Kess Co. are developing Contra.
- Sony Interactive Entertainment extended God of War into a card-based strategy game with licensee CMON. The product is based on the recent PlayStation version of the video game. Separately, CMON is also marketing a Cyberpunk 2077 card game called Cyberpunk 2077 – Afterlife, licensed by CD Projekt.
- Disney and Square Enix gave USAopoly the rights to translate their jointly developed Kingdom Hearts franchise, which features Disney characters, into a tabletop game called Talisman: Kingdom Hearts Edition. It is a version of the Talisman game created by Games Workshop.
- Developer Rare authorized Mongoose Publishing to produce a Sea of Thieves tabletop role-playing game. The video game has a pirate theme.
- Paradox Interactive and its licensee Free League released their previously announced Crusader Kings strategy board game, along with expansion packs.
- Square Enix transferred the Chocobo creatures from Final Fantasy to a board game called Chocobo Party Up! This is a follow-up to a 2016 game with the same character group, called Chocobo’s Crystal Hunt. Square Enix self-produced the new product.
The extension of video game IP into physical gaming is nothing new or unusual. Many, many such partnerships have occurred over the years, featuring a wide range of video game titles, from Halo and Assassin’s Creed to Sonic and Bejeweled. The two categories are certainly compatible, both in the logical fit for product development and in the strong overlap between the fans that are drawn to each segment.
But the marriage between video and tabletop games seems to make more sense than ever these days. There has been a resurgence in board gaming over the past several years, helped along in part by Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms. The category also offers a familiar play pattern that appeals to fans who are used to participating in the digital realm, while providing the added benefit of a live, in-person social experience. Many consumers are looking for that sort of connection as a way to balance a 24/7 lifestyle spent online, whether that be on social media, in front of a tablet streaming a favorite show, or immersed in a video game.