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David Lowry

David Lowry

One of the more frustrating thing when writing board game reviews is trying to find info on the game you are reviewing. Case in point, today I wrote a review on GeekEccentric.com about Dungeon Roll from Tasty Minstrel Games. It was a favorable review as the game is great for what it is. However, I know the publisher saw the review because they commented on it on BoardGameGeek.com. They pointed out how I had the MSRP wrong. Valid point for sure. However, first of the all the publisher should have taken the time to thank me for the review but they most certainly didn’t. Secondly, the board game publisher should have had the MSRP listed on their site. Guess what? They don’t. As a matter of fact, the game isn’t even listed on their site. Only a link to the kickstarter which expired back in March. So five months later and still no page for the game on your site (which is just a tumblr page but that is a whole other article.)

I know publishers have their “favorite” game reviewers, however, if they come across one they really should put forth the effort to say thank you. They should learn to effectively use social media and actually publish the reviews but for some reason they don’t. This is a HORRIBLE mistake and really bad marketing. The more buzz you put out about your game the better period. That is simple marketing 101. Every other entertainment medium lives by this but somehow board gaming has yet to figure this out.

Furthermore, as a board game publisher to make it easier not only for customers on your site but potential board game reviewers, you should have all the info listed as well as hi-res images to be used by the board game reviewers with licensing now not being an issue and the quality of review will remain high at least image wise. At least be willing to send them by email in a timely manner not days later. This is a GOOD thing when it comes to selling product.

I know especially on twitter, that the publishers and a few reviewers are very cliquish and don’t respond to others even when reviews are being posted and contact is being made. This is bad business and it certainly won’t help people want to keep reviewing games if you treat them bad or ignore them but talk to everyone else. The idea behind every company should be to create “raving fans” or “disciples” for your product and create a warm friendly environment for them to feel good about your company and products.

On social media I thank everyone who retweets, reposts or shares anything from my company period. They don’t have to do it and it is just plain nice to thank people for taking the time to promote me or my clients for free.

We know you won’t have games to send to all reviewers but regardless, if people are reviewing your games and paying for them with their own money, the least you can do is say thank you and maybe retweet the link or post it on your site or Facebook. There is no point in having social media sites if you aren’t going to use it appropriately. Sharing is king here.

Mayfair Games is BY FAR the best at this and trust me it is well appreciated. Gamelyn Games was very good about this as well. The rest…. nothing. Rio Grande thanks by email as well as Fantasy Flight Games but most don’t even respond to the emails sent to them with the links. Most publishers don’t have reviews posted anywhere either. It really is an odd thing as music stars are constantly thinking their people for reviews and sharing them and trust me, they are a hell of a lot busier than someone at a desk or having their social media people/interns doing it for them.

Publishers, we love your games. We love to spread the word to people who don’t know you or your games. Please help us by actually using social media appropriately, sharing the reviews, thanking the reviewers and having all the info on the page on your site like it should be anyway.

Thank you so much to the publishers that get this! Thank you for making great games and we look forward to working with all of you and spreading this incredible hobby of board gaming!