Catan GmbH enjoyed unbelievable success in cooperation with publisher Kosmos at the Spieltage game trade fair in 2015. Billed as the Catan Big Game, the organisers succeeded in getting almost 1000 players playing together and building settlements at the same time at one game table. Of course, the term “game table” does this little justice. The organisers hired out an entire exhibition hall and used a sophisticated system to accommodate hundreds of players engaged in harvesting, trade and construction at the same time. Through such initiatives, Catan still remains young and topical after 20 years. And is again the focus of reports.
There is also a noticeable preference for using attention-grabbing marketing activities for a publisher's core games rather than to push new ones. Publishers know that familiar ideas and ground rules are simply easier to sell than completely new game ideas. Consumers can be somewhat slow to mix things up and like to fall back on the old familiars, though perhaps in slightly amended forms.
For example, the Ravensburger classics Memory and 11er raus! (“Elevens Out!”) now have board game versions with the same titles. Whole families of games are centred around successful titles such as Catan, Carcassonne, Monopoly, Uno and Bohnanza. If a game is named the “Spiel des Jahres” (German for “Game of the Year”), thereby boosting sales by a factor of twenty or thirty, you do not have to wait long until a junior version, card game or travel version of the core game is unveiled.