Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dollar slide may affect global gaming community

The dollar lost significant ground against the euro and yuan today:

This may impact the gaming world, especially U.S. gamers who like euro games and/or nice bits.
On the other hand, European gamers may find US products a bargain for a while, so long as they don't include too many Chinese-made parts.

I wonder if they'll be any repeats of anything like Axis & Allies: Anniversary Edition anytime soon. I'd expect a price increase for things like Axis & Allies miniatures or BattleLore as well.

Buying products from Europe is likely to become especially expensive as the dollar to euro ratio moves towards 2 for 1. Will people pay twice as much for a German game as they do now? On the other hand there may be some nice bargains the other way.

1 comment:

  1. The eurogaming world has been struggling with this for some time, atlhough to be honest so many of the games are published by US companies (and the parts such a small part of the price after you take cuts for the distributors and retailers) that I don't think it's been as big an issue as it normally would be. Over the last ten years, I've seen a big shift from imported games to mostly piggy-backed print runs from US publishers (like Rio Grande), and very few games on my radar are actual imports from Europe.

    I think the real issue will be the economy. Boardgames are great, but how many do you need to stay entertained? We've been in a belle époque for the last ten years (arguably, the eurogame peak hit about five years ago), and it's rare when people in such a period both notice *and* understand that it will end at some time. I think wargames are in a similar position, with the peak hitting right about now. Most of these companies operate on a knife edge, and I worry that those without deep pockets behind them will start to drop off of the map as people can't afford to buy a couple of $80 games a month anymore.

    You've already shown that the cheap parts from China have been the result of a confluence of factors that is unlikely to be repeated, that will only drive the plastic and bit-oriented games out. Expensive paper is the other problem.

    My feeling is that we'll see a decline over the next several years until the economy finally recovers, and then we'll all be playing games on smart paper or a holographic game tank that sits on your table. Enjoy the last days of the empire.