An Interview with The Op

Nelly Steiner Blog, Board Games

Earlier this month we announced that The Op was our Publisher Spotlight for July. The OP (formerly Usapoloy) not only manages the licenses for many games that we know and grew up with, including Monopoly, Yahtzee, Jenga, and Clue, they have also added some incredible new titles to the line up including Codenames, Hues & Cues, and Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist.

Ross Thompson, Marketing & Community Manager of The Op, took some time out to answer our burning questions about what’s new and exciting at The Op. Keep reading to find out more about what The OP is all about.

(Mox) What makes The Op unique in the tabletop gaming industry?

(Ross Thompson) The Op (Usaopoly) is a leading tabletop game company, with a diverse product line from party games, hobby games, licensed games, and co-branded games. The Op has been in business for over 25 years and continues to help bridge the gap between pop culture and the tabletop with games that bring in new people and families to the hobby. One our of real strengths how we are known for our co-brands, working with established game companies and license partners to bring games that may not have happened to life. We are glad that we can be the company that brings our favorite shows, movies, and fandoms to the tabletop, as well as create fun party games for families to enjoy.

(Mox) With increases in technology blending with analog tabletop gaming, do you see this influencing game development with The Op within the next 5 years?

(RT) We are always looking at new ways to bring new technology to our games. At our core, we love how we can pull people off of screens, gather around a table, and share an experience. Our games create memories and fantastic game nights, so you will always see us promoting these on different platforms sharing our games, and engaging with the community to share the fun. For example, we have been so excited to see how much Telestrations has been blowing up on TikTok.

(Mox) If you could live in the world of any of the titles in your catalog which would it be, and why?

(RT) That’s a tough question! We have so many different licenses with our titles, it’s hard to pick just one. From Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter, Godzilla, and more. Id have to say that Harry Potter would be my pick though, Hufflepuff pride!

(Mox) With such a diverse catalog of items including party games, strategy games, puzzles, and thematic versions of classic games like chess, how does The Op decide what to develop when a new intellectual property gets brought in?

(RT) We are always looking at seeing which hot licenses and properties can be brought to the table with co-brands and popular hobby games. We have a team that works hard looking at all the different opportunities that we can create. From conversations with different partners and licenses, there is a lot that goes into figuring out just what will make the cut and then to the game table. We are fans just like everyone else, so there are some pretty great discussions that are had, just like any other thread like this on the internet. At the end of the day, we want to bring products to the table fans love.   

(Mox) Is there a theme you would love to see in a game that you haven’t yet?

(RT) Good question! There are so many different themes and licenses out there and with so many different platforms showing off new shows and movies there is a lot of untapped potential out there. Personally, there are some really cool shows on Netflix and some Youtube series that I would love to see become board games. Who knows what will happen in a couple of years, always new themes and mechanics coming out.

(Mox) The Op noticeably joins forces with other companies like Steve Jackson Games, Czech Games Edition, and Hasbro. What is The Op’s philosophy on cooperation and collaboration within the industries and what do you think the industry could gain if more companies were open to collaboration?

(RT) We love that we get to work with fantastic partners in the industry. From Munchkin, Codenames, and classic games, each partner brings something different to the game shelf. Being able to work with different companies who share our values in creating memorable experiences with games and open to exploring new ways to gain fans through licenses is something we bring to the table. We have been able to make some very exciting games because of that with more partners than even what you mentioned. There are so many creative and passionate people in our industry. Collaboration and sharing of ideas is something that the board game industry does very well and from shows (conventions) to online community groups, the sharing of knowledge, experience, and ideas is wonderful. The more companies work together, the stronger games they can bring to fans and grows both their brands. It is always exciting to see who is working together on projects.

(Mox) What is your favorite food to eat while playing games?

(RT) Hopefully, while your cards are sleeved right? Big fan of pretzels over here!

(Mox) Mmmmm pretzels with a good mustard FTW. Thank you Ross for your time and the insider scoop on The Op.

Make sure that you stop by Mox before the end of the month because all month long we are offering 10% off any The Op titles. Don’t forget, you can play your new game in the restaurant, and relax with delicious food and a cold beer.

-See you at Mox