Back for a second time Renegade Game Studios is our Mox Spotlight for August. We last interviewed them in 2019 when Clank! Legacy was about to release, so much has changed since then, but one thing remains the same; Renegade Games is still producing high quality games that are top sellers at Mox Boarding House. Today we have Sara Erickson (Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Renegade Games Studios) with us to give us all the insider secrets at Renegade games.
(Mox) When last we sent you some questions you said you’d love to see a board game more prominently featuring insects. Have you found any in the last couple years you can tell us about and has your dream game theme changed at all?
(Sara) There have been a few good bee themed games over the years but a game celebrating the broader scope of entomology has not yet arrived at my gaming table. While not specifically about insects, Subastral has one of my favorite themes for the year. I’ve loved biodiversity since reading E.O. Wilson’s The Diversity of Life as young child, so I was thrilled to be part of this project celebrating the many different biomes that make up our incredible planet. Beth Sobel’s art really hit the mark.
(Mox) Also following up from our last interview we also asked about your venture into Role Playing Games. You made a promise that the following year would be awesome and you very much delivered on that with Vampire The Masquerade 5th Ed, Alice is Missing, and Altered Carbon. Are you planning on a repeat performance for 2022?
(Sara) We still have a lot in store for 2021! We’ll be sharing more about all our upcoming RPG projects at the end of August. 2022 will focus more on supporting all the game lines that we’ll be announcing and releasing by the end of the year. We do have some great stuff planned!
(Mox) Renegade has gained some great licenses over the years with quite a bit of diversity like Power Rangers, Vampire: The Masquerade, and soon you’ll be releasing the Transformers Deck Building Game. What is it like to develop games for licenses that have loyal fan bases for decades? Have you seen much overlap in the fanbases for these games?
(Sara) Working with existing fan bases is exhilarating. I love games, and I love sharing games with people who haven’t experienced them in a modern way yet. Tapping into a group like Power Rangers with a wonderful diverse group of people who have shared a love of this one thing for so long is really easy. They already exist and have their own groups and ways of communicating. What’s tricky is making something that’s better than whatever they already have. These are people who could easily continue watching their show, playing the video game they love, or buying the action figures that have been on the market for years. So why do they want to sink effort into learning your game? Our industry can be very intimidating so when we are able to make something that resonates with an existing and passionate community, we know we’ve really done something right. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great licenses and I always look forward to meeting new communities with each one.
(Mox) With more people staying at home last year due to Covid, Renegade began publishing puzzles! And more are on the way including Scott Pilgrim, Power Rangers, Tea Dragon Society and even Transformers! Do you see puzzles remaining popular in the coming years? Can we expect to see more puzzles based on your board game covers?
(Sara) Jigsaw puzzles saw a huge amount of growth in the past 18 months. I think that a whole generation of people experienced puzzling for the first time as adults recently and it’s going to be fascinating to see how that affects the industry. We hope to bring high quality puzzles to people who want more than an image of a misty seaside village or pastel garden. Puzzles are very competitively priced and in the past it was hard to pay for a big screen license like Transformers and still make a solid high quality puzzle. But we’ve been working with cardboard for decades so we have certain expectations and really want to raise the bar. We’ll have some really beautiful covers with some pretty unexpected art releasing for the holidays this year. We look forward to seeing new people jump into the hobby!
(Mox) There are still a lot of challenges we are facing in the industry with the supply chain and the availability of materials. Can you give us some insight into the process and how long it takes to produce a board game in 2021?
(Sara) This has been a huge pain point for everyone in the industry this year. Everything is more expensive and takes longer. My recommendation is to do your holiday shopping early! Production/shipping time when from a total of about 3 months to 6 months. It’s a lot of time that we didn’t have in our original schedules for this year. However, I think we’re in a really good position because we were paying close attention and knew that things were going to be challenging this year. So we reprinted all our best games early and are just now seeing those reprints arriving. Games like The Fox in the Forest, Clank! A Deck-building Adventure, and Power Rangers Heroes of the Grid, are all arriving again soon. We also have so many more releases of brand new games like Crimes and Capers (the perfect 2021 game because you can play in person or over video conferencing services) & the Transformer Deck-Building Game, and refreshes of evergreen games like Gravwell Second Edition and reprints of the Vampire: The Masquerade RPG core books. We came into 2021 with a lot of fire in our bellies to make this a great year and I can’t wait to finish it off with a bang.
(Mox) Are Bean Boozled jelly beans still your favorite long gaming session snack? Or have you found a new favorite food for gaming?
(Sara) So many good memories! Bean Boozled Jelly Beans are still hilarious but we’ve been supporting our favorite local bakery, Wild Crumb, lately and it’s been dangerously delicious. Their carrot cake and raspberry iced citrus pound cakes are the perfect way to start off a long day of Clank! Acquisitions Incorporated Legacy!
(Mox) What are some ways people can engage more with Renegade Games Studios?
(Sara) We have multiple different Facebook groups for our communities like Power Rangers, Transformers, and more so that’s a great place to start. We also have a very active Vampire: The Masquerade Rivals community on Discord, and we live stream on twitch multiple times per week. We’d love to have you join us!
Mox is offering 10% off all Renegade Game Studios Products throughout the month of August. Stop by and pick up something new got game night, and don’t forget our knowledgeable staff is always there to answer any questions you may have. In-store dining is now available in a few of our Mox locations, so enjoy a bite and/or cocktail while you play.
-See you at Mox!