An Interview with Renegade Game Studios

Nelly Steiner Mox Spotlight

Renegade Games Studios has consistently published a diverse set of high caliber games including Gravwell and Clank!. These games have made their way onto our Best Sellers table several times over and there is no question that Renegade Game Studios had to be our Publisher Spotlight for September. We were excited to interview Sara Erickson, Renegade Game Studios Director of Sales and Marketing.

Nick Rauzi of Mox Boarding House – What theme would you love to see in board games that you haven’t seen or that you have seen but would like be more prominent?

Sara Erickson – Insects! If I could have a fact-filled game about our six legged friends, I’d be over the moon, and probably playing it all by myself! Pretty much any science based games are exciting for me because I love learning about the world around us. Renegade has one coming up next year that hits the spot for me and I’m excited to be able to talk about it more in a few months!

(Nick) What world of any Renegade games title would you love to live in? 

(Sara) Overlight! It’s so beautiful and unique while still holding on to an underlying sense of danger and adventure. The 7 different continent-sized shards each have a different ecosystem filled with creatures that I could never have dreamed of. I’m in love with the symbiotic Banyari folk that are part plant, part animal. I could spend years on just that one shard.  

(Nick) Renegade has many wonderful and popular games. What are some of the challenges in deciding how much of a game to print after it has already been released? 

(Sara) After a game has released we have some data we can look at including how quickly it sold to our distributors and how excited our retailers and fans are about the game. That really helps us decided when to reprint and how much. The really tricky thing is deciding how many to print before a game releases! With that initial print run, it’s a little bit of science and a little bit of good old gut instinct. We usually have to decide what to print before we even announce the game to the public. That puts a lot of risk on us but we lucky to have a very enthusiastic and dedicated fan base. We are pretty good at figuring out what our fans will love playing!  

(Nick) With technology and games blending more and more do you see Renegade doing more with digital integration over the next 5 years?

(Sara) While many people use board games as a way to escape their overly-digital life, I think a lot of gamers also love what digital integration can offer. We work closely with Dire Wolf Digital to add extra content to the Renegade Games Companion App which enhances many of our games including FUSE, Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, and Proving Grounds. In addition, Dire Wolf Digital has also converted some of our games into full stand-alone apps like Lotus, Raiders of the North Sea, and Lanterns. Offering options means that more players can enjoy our games in new ways. Whether you’re communing home on the train and just want to play a quick Lanterns game, or if you’re at board game night with your friends and want some extra content for Clank!, the apps can help you get more out of the board games you already love. That will continue to be an important part of our strategy over the next 5 years.

(Nick) Recently Renegade has been releasing more Roleplaying Games. Can you hint at any plans to do more blending of board games with roleplaying games like with ‘The North Sea’ recently released?

(Sara) I wish I could divulge some secrets but I can’t quite yet! I think there is a lot of overlap between these two groups and that has led to the surprising success of some games like Gloomhaven and Descent. Even legacy games like the upcoming Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated help players tell a story together and I think that’s very appealing. Most people enjoy a bit of immersion and there are lots of cool ways to do that that are somewhere in between roleplaying and board gaming. Hold tight. Next year is going to be awesome. 

(Nick) Occasionally Renegade Games will use Kickstarter on some power house projects like Power Rangers, Terror Below, and the Overlight RPG. How do you see Kickstarter as an influence on the industry with direct to consumer sales and more independent publishers getting started every week?

(Sara) I think it’s a great tool when used appropriately. We have used it to reach out to new groups that weren’t necessarily aware of us as a company yet and then to create a community around those people we find on the platform. Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid is a good example. We knew there were a lot of fans out there but most of them didn’t play board games yet. Kickstarter allowed us to basically host a month long party celebrating Power Rangers and an opportunity for us to get to know this incredible group of people a bit better. We love having that direct connection to the people to play our games because it helps us make even better products in the future.  

With regards to new publishers using it as a platform, I think it’s amazing to see all this new talent with a way to reach their audiences but I also think that it’s a bit more work than most first time publishers expect. Sometimes keeping your hobby as a hobby is a lot more fun than dealing with the nitty gritty business side of it. Playing board games is a lot more fun than stressing about tariffs and answering emails about lost shipments!

(Nick) What is your favorite food to eat while gaming? 

(Sara) I have group that meets every weekend and we only play campaign games. We usually have a few snacks around since our sessions take several hours. My favorite snack for these longer games are the Bean Boozled jelly beans that either taste awesome or awful and you don’t know what you’re going to get. We dare each other to eat those as a side game in between our real games!    

Thank you so much Sara for giving us the inside scoop on Renegade Game Studios, we are excited for those secret projects you all have in the works. Don’t miss Sara, on September 25th she will she’ll be at Mox Seattle demoing games!

Come check out Renegade games at Mox this month, our expert staff is happy to run some demos for you or get you started on any game. We’ll even give you 10% off any Renegade titles during September.

-See you at Mox