group of dice with one different color

Games You Won’t See from Restoration Games

December 6, 2016

Now that we’ve announced our first three games, it seems like a good time to talk about how we choose the games we’re going to restore. We literally have thousands of games to choose from, and sometimes a contender will just jump out at us. Stop Thief was an obvious choice. Dragonmaster wasn’t far behind. And Top Race (aka Daytona 500) was Rob’s pet project from the start. There were a bunch of other games we considered—indeed many of them are still in the hopper, perhaps next to be restored.

But there are also some games we’re just not going to do, and here’s why:

It’s already been done. We’ve received thousands of responses to our survey and our submission form, with all sorts of games. Invariably, some of these are games that have already been recently reprinted. Some you can get on Amazon right now. And I’m not even talking about the curious requests for Scrabble, Stratego, Monopoly, and the like. (I’m assuming those requests are really about “fixing” the games rather than bringing them back.) One of the games we threw out early on was Waterworks, a light card game from Parker Brothers, published in 1972. It just got reprinted.

The rights are buried in a tar pit guarded by an owlbear. Some games seem like great prospects. Rob and I might have even spitballed a few ideas that had some promise. Some of them we even got really excited about. There’s one that—no, it hurts just to think about it. For every game, we have to consider how we’re going to get the rights to do the game. For some games, it’s not much of an issue. We don’t even mind a little negotiation or strategic avoidance. But for other games, it’s a deal-killer plain and simple. So there are games like ThunderRoad that we’d love to take a crack at. But, right now, it’s just not feasible. Still, we’ll keep the list handy in case things change. You never know. In fact, we have some games on the list that we started negotiating months ago that are still not dead. We’ll keep at those and see if anything shakes loose.

We’re just not feeling it. And some games meet all the criteria but just don’t interest us much. Popular games, that haven’t been done, that would be easy to acquire. But maybe we don’t feel like there’s much to do with it. Or maybe it doesn’t fit our brand. Or maybe we don’t think it will sell all that well. Maybe just meh.

So those are some of the reasons we won’t do a game. But know this: Just because we haven’t announced a game yet doesn’t mean we’re not going to do it down the road. So that game you’re hoping we’ll do. Well, we just might do it after all.