…may very well be hexagonal.
The cat is not fully out of the bag yet, but I think we are finally at a stage where we can admit there is a cat and a bag, and the two are in proximity, and the cat is very much alive. Not so much Schrodinger’s cat as Humdinger’s.
Also, look out for a very interesting ARG-related announcement on 1st October, which will explain why this post has the ‘charity’ tag.
Mattel Expands Games Portfolio with Award-Winning Apples to Apples®, Snorta® and Blink® Games
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., August 28, 2007 – Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) today announced it has acquired the rights from Out of the Box Publishing, Inc., to manufacture, distribute and market several games properties, including the award-winning Apples to Apples®, Snorta® and Blink®.
This is fantastic news. Not just for Out of the Box—though all the games named above are terrific fun and work as well for serious gamers as they do for families with kids—but for publishers of boutique board- and card-games. It used to be that when a new independent scored a success with a game, Mattel, Hasbro and their various arms had an ignominious record of producing a knockoff in time for the next holiday season (yes, Taboo, I’m looking at you). This deal seems to indicate that the majors are prepared to do the proper thing and make an offer for the rights. Hurrah for all concerned.
When John Kovalic first told me about Snorta, I was astonished that anyone could have the chutzpah to publish a Snap variant as a boxed game. If you’d told me two years ago that someone could publish a Snap variant and sell it to Mattel I would have laughed very hard, and not with you. Congratulations to the OOTB crew for proving me utterly wrong. Snorta is, incidentally, probably the best new drinking game of this millennium and I recommend it utterly.
Why do shops in international airports sell video games? Handheld games make sense, sure, but PS/Xbox/Wii games are all region-locked. Yet I’ve never seen a sign by the display racks reading “Warning: these games won’t work in non-European consoles and your nephew will cry and you will feel like an ass for wasting £35″ or something similar.
Of course, the chance of the purchaser being able to bring the game back to that specific shop—the one in the departure lounge of a major airport—are pretty slim. So the airport shop racks up good sales-figures while other branches have to deal with the inevitable returns and recriminations.