What Are Your Thoughts on Anniversary Editions?

6 April 2020 | 47 Comments

On a recent Facebook Livecast, someone asked me what I thought about anniversary editions of tabletop games. I had a few off-the-cuff remarks, but it isn’t a topic I’ve thought about much, so I thought I’d explore it more in detail today. While I’ll focus on games in this article, some of these concepts could apply to other categories as well.

My initial thoughts are that I think anniversary editions can be a nice way to revive out-of-print games for people who don’t already own them but that they do a disservice to those who supported the original versions of the games. Let’s dig deeper to see if those thoughts hold up.

The anniversary editions I examined for this article are mostly games released 10 years after their original versions. While many of them feature significant changes and updates, they seem to be more celebrations of their predecessors, not necessary modernizations (opposed to, say, the Diplomacy 50th anniversary edition). Of these, I’ve played all of the original games except Container, and the anniversary editions I’ve played are Ticket to Ride and Notre Dame.

  • Ticket to Ride (10th Anniversary): This edition includes full-sized cards, painted train tokens, custom player tins, a much bigger map, and a new, bigger box. There’s also a recently released 15th anniversary edition that I don’t know much about.
  • Notre Dame (10th Anniversary): From the outside, this edition looks pretty much the same as the original. But on the inside it includes an expansion and apparently an expansion to that expansion.
  • Container (10th Anniversary): This edition went big–it even has “jumbo” in its name! It looks like the box, the art, and some of the components were reworked, most notably the big ship miniatures.
  • Dungeon Lords (5th Anniversary): This appears to essentially be the original game plus the hefty Festival Season expansion.
  • Belfort (10th Anniversary): Belfort went out of print for a while, so this is a reprint plus an existing expansion and a new expansion.
  • The Castles of Burgundy (20th Anniversary): With 7 existing mini expansions and 1 new expansion, this is essentially a big-box game plus revamped art and graphic design.
  • Stone Age (10th Anniversary): This edition includes a double-sided board (original and new), enhanced player pieces, a revised rulebook, and a few mini expansion.

As far as I can tell, some (but not all) of these anniversary versions required a significant investment of time and money to update into the new editions. In my opinion, that’s a good thing–if you’re celebrating a rebirth of an older game, shouldn’t you do it with a flourish? Across the board, it does appear that sales have reflect that the investment was justified (at least as far as I can tell from BGG ratings and Kickstarter results for Dungeon Lords and Belfort).

But is it the best thing for the game? Here are a few thoughts as I puzzle through this:

  • Timing and availability: If the game has existed for a while (10 years is the earliest I would ever consider it) and it’s been out of print for a few years, I can see how an anniversary edition might be worthwhile. Ticket to Ride and Stone Age are the exceptions here–not only were the originals in print when the anniversary editions were released, but the originals have also remained in print while the anniversary editions are unavailable. Is it better for the anniversary edition to replace the original? If it’s just a temporary special edition, isn’t that more of a collectors edition?
  • Gauging demand: I think most publishers might hear anecdotally from time to time that fans want an updated version of a game they can only find on Ebay for a 300% markup. But is hearing from a few fans enough to justify a print run of 1000+ units? Yes, you can use Kickstarter to gauge demand, but at that point you’ve already done some market research to justify revamping the game, and if you already have that research, why not just go ahead and make it?
  • Introducing new content and compatibility: A few of these anniversary editions introduce new content. I applaud TMG for making that content available by itself through the Belfort Kickstarter and that it remains compatible with the original version. But that may not always be possible, particularly if you change component size.
  • Potential for confusion: Multiple editions can cause headaches for consumers, even when previous editions are well out of print. I’ve been through this with Viticulture: Even though the first two editions of the game only have around 10k units in print and the Essential Edition (90k units in print) is the only version we’ve made since 2015, we still find hear from confused consumers about the differences between the editions.

The biggest factor for me is respecting fans who have already invested in the original game (and expansions/accessories), especially if tens of thousands of copies of that game are in circulation. As some of the above games have shown, it’s possible to do that, but there are many hurdles to overcome.

So would Stonemaier Games ever consider an anniversary edition for one of our games? I’m not going to say no, but I think it would take an unlikely series of circumstances to align for us to do so. For example, we’ve never let one of our games go out of print for longer than a few months–if people want our products, we’re going to continue to make them.

Plus, if I’m going to make an anniversary edition, I want it to be a full-on celebration of the game, meaning a significant investment in components, art, etc…but what does that say about the quality of the original? Plus, then you create compatibility issues, and at least some people who have the original might feel a bit jaded that they invested in an inferior version of the game.

Looking through our 9 games, I’m just not seeing one that fits my requirements for an anniversary edition. But we’ll see–maybe the responses to this article will convince me otherwise. :)

What do you think about anniversary editions? Have you ever bought one? See poll below, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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47 Comments on “What Are Your Thoughts on Anniversary Editions?

  1. The only anniversary edition I currently own is El Grande Decennial Edition (I think there’s a 20th edition out now too). I wanted to play the granddaddy area majority game! I couldn’t find it in the mid 00’s and when this came out it was the only way to get it. We really enjoyed the game, but there were some production issues in which cards were misprinted such that the full text was not in the cards. The cards were not replaced because the full text was in the rule book. Though the financial considerations were also understandable, this was still disappointing.

    One anniversary edition of a game I already own that I wish I snapped up is Puerto Rico. I purchased the original shortly after it came out and we played this game constantly. It remains a favorite, if rarely played. The anniversary edition was pricey for me at the time, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be there if there’s a 20th anniversary edition!

    I don’t know if anniversary editions make sense for many games today. The production value has improved, the price has increased accordingly, and there are many ways to improve your personal copy with accessories and upgrades. These simply weren’t available options for previous generations of games. The market was still devoted but much smaller, so getting the game out there was most important. I can’t imagine what anniversary editions of games like Scythe, Blood Rage, or 7 Wonders would look like – especially if publishers took the route of throwing in all the expansions!

  2. I think this all comes down to whether you are adding value in the anniversary game. The TTR 10th anniversary was well worth it – a huge board, great improvement on the railroad cars, tine to store them in. Altogether a class act, what I would expect from Alan Moon.

    The anniversary game for Stone Age on the other hand was pathetic. No improved components – all they did was redraw the original game in Winter, add a few minor extra pieces, and charge a whole heck of a lot of money for it. I looked at it and laughed. I won’t buy it, because there is little to no added value.

    That sums it up for me.

  3. I mentioned something about this last year concerning Scythe. You pointedly suggested that Scythe was/is done with the NEW. Although I still think a 10th Anniversary Edition will happen even if you don’t have one PLANNED. Here’s what it should include. The Artbook. A faux Silver or Gold Leafed Embossing on the Box and possible the Game Board itself. Every Expansion (Possible room for 2 editions here (or 3) the base, all the expansions, and just an Expansion box. Extra bits and pieces. Access to the Digital Edition (+extra code for a friend). Also even if you don’t include expansions, add the board expansion with the embossing detail. Some sorta of collectable item such as clothing, cup, statue, weapon… I could see a combination of things here, so for folks with the base game and all the expansions (and painted miniatures), possible an opportunity for us to upgrade the board and box (since some are no doubtingly becoming worn. Also a couple of those sticks to push things around the game board would be cool to own. That’s all I got. I’ll more than likely pick up something to do with the 10 anniversary of Scythe.

  4. Hey,
    I love new editions and anniversary editions to games. Lost cities 2019, Castles AE, Suburbia CE, Stone Age AE, Puerto Rico DE, Power Grid rechatged, etc… My only issue with new editions is iupdateds and free downpoads should be made available to those who want them. Power Grid recharged rules are up even if you dont want the new artwork.
    Cheers, Neil

  5. I feel like this could go in a couple of ways that would make me interested, even if I own the original version of the game.
    If it’s just meant to be a reprint of something that is out of print, I would be looking for maybe an update on artwork and definitely a rework of the rulebook if there were significant rules questions with the original. I would expect this to supplant the original permanently.
    If it’s meant to be a special edition one off, I’d expect very enhanced artwork and components, and a well designed storage system as well as the same rewrite of the rulebook. I would expect to pay significantly more for such an edition, and would do so because I love to see a beautiful game on the table with pieces that are satisfying to handle.
    If it’s basically an identical copy of the original, with an anniversary cover, unless my game was so worn as to warrant replacement anyway, I can’t see being interested.

  6. If I bought a game ten years ago, I would have no problem with a better quality version of the game coming out now. If the improved version came out six months after the original one, now that would be a different story.

  7. In looking at our collection it appears the only anniversary edition game we own is TTR 10th anniversary. And the reason we bought it is because 1. We didn’t already have a copy of the original 2. My family is HUGE into TTR and between my parents and my brother own maybe every single map and expansion. So when we want to play other maps, we play with my family.
    And given the size of our overall game collection, just the original version is perfectly acceptable and more likely to hit the table at our game nights. So we bought the anniversary edition because it was big and beautiful and more special than the ones we play with my family.
    The only game I find acceptable to have more than one copy/version of is Clue, and that’s a whole other thing in and of itself. 😉

  8. My biggest issue with the 10th anniversary TTR edition is that it being jumbo meant it wasn’t compatible with additional maps (making it a poor prospect if you don’t already own the game), and if you do already own it… Why would you buy it when the standard sized cards in the 1910 expansion is a significantly cheaper way of getting the part of it that is compatible with the additional maps.

    I can see a point to anniversary editions – particularly for bringing back out of print titles – but I’m basically never the audience for them. If it’s a game I’ve been trying to get hold of but couldn’t find, then I might wind up buying (but it hasn’t happened yet), but aside that? I tend not to be interested.

  9. I voted Yes if I don’t already own it but I would look at the Collector’s edition with serious intent even if I do already own it.

  10. In light of the comments made by Mr. Bliss, I went back though my collection (via BGG) and checked to see what Anniversary/Collectors/Special Editions I have. The answer is: more than I thought.

    I have two wooden, hand-crafted copies of the game Bin’Fa (a.k.a. Hexagony; I have it two different color schemes so I can play all six players); they were made by the creator of the game, Ken Hodkinson. The story of how I acquired this is fun to tell, but would be far too long for a post here (and a bit off topic).

    — I have the wooden 10th Anniversary Edition of Catan. I was quite disappointed with this release (e.g., errors on the longest road/largest army tiles, etc.); if it were not a gift from a friend, I would likely sell this one off.

    — I have the 50th Anniversary Edition of Diplomacy. Also disappointed in this one. The board is gorgeous; the playing pieces are cheap and lack any visual weight on the board. I am currently looking into how to get better pieces to put on it.

    — I have the Ogre Designer’s Edition. I *never* get to play this, and that is just sad. It is an enormous box taking up space… but I love it.

    So… in my collection, I have 4 different games I have purchased or received that are Anniversary/Collectors/Special Editions of the game. Of those:

    — Only one is a game I purchased despite having the earlier edition(s): Bin’Fa

    — Only one is one where it was what was added that made the purchase worth it: Ogre

    So… not sure where that puts me at this point.

  11. Jamie – in the world of book publishing, we think hard about anniversary editions. Your post and the wonderful comments here highlight the trouble with updates to existing products.

    In books, anniversary editions are created to show lasting power and build trust with readers. Sometimes, a new foreword is added or maybe “lost” material that hadn’t been seen before. They also work because publishing in a 200 year old commercial pursuit.

    The biggest problem to solve is making sure buyers know they are getting the original “material.” Will the book (we could insert boardgame here) function the same? This is the core tenet that publishers need to keep in mind.

    1. Interesting. I recall getting the expanded version of THE STAND by Stephen King. That was a good read… but in the end, I was not sure if the additional material was worth the read (if that makes any sense).

  12. If an Anniversary Edition is meant to replace the original edition, I prefer the term “Second Edition.” In this case, I want a distillation and evolution of the original game plus all of its expansions. Years of expansions often feel like a massive, patchwork of neat ideas that are not designed together. Often, simultaneously playing with all expansions results in an a long, somewhat unwieldy game. A Second Edition is an opportunity to be inspired by that patchwork to create a whole new blanket… better than the original. This new blanket can be expanded again but in new ways informed by the previous designs. Note: There is a difference between playing different scenarios (as in Marvel Champions and Unlock!) and incorporating compatible yet unwieldy modular expansions.

    Alternatively, if an Anniversary Edition is meant to be a limited-run, I prefer names like “20th Anniversary Limited Edition.” In this case, I will only be interested if it is a “definitive” edition. This means maximizing the aesthetics and component quality. Giant sizes and improved materials are particularly appreciated. Most importantly, it means including all… or a curated subset… of the expansions. I don’t want spend a huge sum of money and then wish I just bought the regular edition. As an example, I wonder whether King of Tokyo: Dark is better or worse than the original with expansions.

    In either case, I think a minimum of 10 years works well. That’s long enough to amass numerous expansions to distill and much player feedback to incorporate. Plus, that timing likely avoids anger from first adopters. Note: I’m not a big fan of releasing a Collector’s Edition alongside the original edition as the game hasn’t proven itself yet. It’s a Catch 22. Do I go all-in blindly, or do I risk regretting not buying the upgraded version? Optional upgrades like playmats are welcome though because they can be purchased after the original.

  13. Puerto Rico Anniversary Edition is probably my favourite anniversary edition of all time. That is, until you guys put out a killer Scythe Anniversary Edition of course 😉

  14. I’m very happy with my TTR 10th Anniversary edition. I didn’t buy the original, and my wife hunted down this one for a milestone birthday present, and it’s been a gem in my collection since. This is the way to do it in my eyes, if a game hits 10 years and is still popular, print a limited edition, deluxe version of it, and let that be it. Don’t change gameplay, don’t add extra gameplay-impacting things, but celebrate with a nice version and maybe some readily available expansions included.

    People who have never bought in before might be enticed to purchase, and after 10 years lovers of the game might be due for a replacement anyway.

    If you were to do Viticulture, I’d do it as one box with all expansions included, no new content, and maybe a minor component upgrade…although I’m struggling to think what that would be, maybe red/white/pink/yellow tokens for grapes/wine instead of just the clear white ones. That said, I own all of the Viticulture stuff already (Essential version) and I’m hard pressed to think what it would take for me to repurchase a 10th anniversary, or what would need to be included for me to pull the trigger.

    The difference? Basic Ticket to Ride looks like rubbish compared to the 10th anniversary edition, but Viticulture has such high production values already, it would be tough to imagine how much components would need to be upgraded to feel worth it.

  15. I think Ticket to Ride 10th Anniversary Edition did it best. Beautiful components, included both expansions and limited quantities.

    I think an anniversary should be special and while I see your point about if it’s regularly in circulation then original owners may feel jaded. I think having an update package could be a way to handle this. No different than an new version.

    I think viticulture could work. Having the expansions included, add some new cards and some new packaging and perhaps some updated components.

    I am confident based on the success and fans of the games in your library an anniversary edition of viticulture, scythe, wingspan etc… Would all sell out when the time is right.

    I look forward to whatever is next!

  16. I’ve seen a few comments here about owning both editions of the game simultaneously and I’m not sure that I’d ever be the kind of person to do that. If the two versions are similar enough (I would hope the anniversary edition would have the same content plus new stuff) I would only buy the anniversary edition if the new stuff was compelling, or I liked the game enough that I’d be willing to gift/sell the original.

    If I’m out looking to buy a game that has existed for a while, I’ll research what the best version out there is. I did this recently for Railways of the World buying the 10th anniversary edition. If I had bought this game and found out that the rail hexes were bigger than all the previous expansions and the description didn’t tell me that, I would not have been a happy camper.

    In my opinion, I do not think Anniversary/Collectors editions would work well with Scythe or Tapestry or Charterstone. The scope of Scythe is just too large and the table presence of Scythe and Tapestry are already immaculate as they are. And with Charterstone being legacy that just plain wouldn’t make sense to me.

  17. I have a couple of Anniversary Edition (Dungeon Lords and Galaxy Trucker) and I purchased those even I already owned the regular edition (that I put on second hand trade).
    I love those games so much that I want to have the best edition for them (with all the expansions, the improved components, etc…).

    In the case of Stonemaier Games, the one I have (Scythe from KS) has already really good component, and it seems it is the case with most of your games.
    For Scythe now the big box exist, I can’t see an anniversary edition relevant.

  18. I love the idea, but I hate feeling like I invested in a game, and now a better version has been released that I can’t justify buying. Portal games have just announced a box of all their promos for Robinson Crusoe… promos which I just spent two+ years seeking and buying separately at much cost to myself… Feels like a real slap in the face.

  19. Jamey,

    I really need to enjoy the game AND the look of the revision to get an Anniversary edition. For instance, I’ve never owned Stone Age, but I love what they did with the original. Castles of Burgundy? Not so much…to me, it’s garish. AS an aside, and while it’s not technically aan Anniversary edition, I absolutely love Roxley’s version of Brass. As for your games, they’re still far too new…as Viticulture isn’t even a decade old and you added great content to it, via Tuscany only a year or two later, there’s no need. Because your games came out post 2012 timeframe, coupled with your attention to detail and providing great components from the beginning, there’s far less need for the Anniversary (read: revision) edition in the future.

    1. If Stonemaier were to make an anniversary edition of Viticulture, they would probably need to begin discussing ideas for it by the end of this year, especially if there were major component and/or art upgrades. I actually could see a Collectors/Anniversary Edition of Viticulture, with upgraded components and enhanced artwork, perhaps include all of Tuscany in the box. As I said in a different comment, it would have to be almost a display piece, playable but produced more as a tribute to the game itself. But with all of the different versions of Viticulture that have been sold over the years, I’m sure adding to buyer confusion would again be at the front of Jamey’s mind.

  20. I’ve never bought an anniversary edition of a game, but I could imagine doing so for a game I already own if it is a game I absolutely adore. Scythe and Tapestry would be an example of 2 Stonemaier games that could fall into that category. The problem is that I don’t know what Stonemaier in particular could do to make an anniversary version of your games. The components and art already feel “deluxe”, and you’re great about producing expansions that make sense. Would it be a new wooden box? Pre-painted metal mechs included in the game? Ceramic landmarks? Those could be mind-blowing but would also drive the price up so much that it probably wouldn’t make sense after all.

    Ultimately, I think that’s the problem you have with a possible anniversary edition: your games are already deluxe-fied as it is. What more would you do?

  21. And if you released an Anniversary/Collectors edition of Wingspan, I would buy it in a heartbeat. Bigger box, upgraded components, bigger board, handpainted eggs, Almanac on bird watching, wooden card box, etc. Price point of $250-$300 dollars

    1. Whoa! That’s pretty pricey! :-O I just want an empty box to store all the dice, eggs, cards, and my already-upgraded food bits and wooden dice tower (from Meeplesource) (and recently received another dice tower in a Tower Rex insert) and my own hand made player action tokens ;) You can buy a bigger goal board from Meeplesource as well. that while the bigger board is not a Stonemaier Games product, it is officially licensed by Stonemaier Games. I just want an empty box to put all the stuff I already have, and room for the additional planned continental wingspansions! ;) LOL

  22. I voted “Yes, even if I already own it,” but this would really depend on what it offers.

    For example, if there’s something new that isn’t available separately, or if I’m missing something that is included in the new edition that I can’t otherwise obtain like a past expansion or promo (without paying gouging prices), or if it includes upgraded components or artwork that strikes my fancy more than the original (provided that I haven’t already upgraded the components on my own through third parties), then I’m more apt to upgrade to the Anniversary Edition.

    Can we talk about an elephant in the room : storage solutions! ;p

    I think many people, myself included, may also be apt to buy an Anniversary Edition, even if already owning the originals, because they tend to provide that ever-elusive Big Box to store the game + all expansions in one place (and then we hope any future expansions also fit in it)! ;)

    I know it’s hard to know exactly how many expansions may be made for a game, of course depending on reception, popularity & such, but I wish more publishers would create a ‘Big Box’ as soon as they have an idea for an expansion that they know will absolutely not fit into the base game box (with or without any other expansions). I would love to see this become a new trend where *more* publishers make a Big Box storage solution that is able to be purchased on its own (empty) after a point where expansions will not fit into either the base game box or a max of two boxes. I love my Scythe Legendary Box. Others who have made big boxes include Smash Up’s Bigger Geekier Box, Star Realms/Hero Realms/Epic (White Wizard Games), Raiders of the North Sea series Collector’s Box (Garphill Games), Sentinels of the Multiverse Collector’s Case, Queen Games just made a pledge level available in their most recent KS to a Merlin expansion that included the new expansion + upgrades in an empty box big enough to house the base game & prior expansions, and I’m sure there are others that exist that I simply don’t know about because they’re likely for games that I don’t own.

    So, when are we getting a “Wingspanded” (Expanded) Box for Wingspan to store everything thus far + all planned (known) expansions? ;)

    TL:DR – I will buy Anniversary Editions even if I already own the original(s) if it
    (1) offers something new (expansion/ scenarios/ alternate board with alternate rules)
    (2) includes all expansions/ promos that I may be missing
    (3) has upgraded pieces that I haven’t upgraded on my own yet
    (4) offers a large enough storage box to consolidate all said past expansions/ promos (and hopefully room for future expansions/ promos if still in the works)

    1. These are great points about “big empty boxes,” Kim. I’m certainly open to making a big empty box for Wingspan someday, though I just can’t see us doing that until we know what’s in all of the expansions, especially if we want to include a proper organizer.

      1. I understand certainly since you’ve only got the second expansion in the works and several more to go … Just know that there are likely tons of us who would jump at the chance to buy a Wingspanded Box…we’re just waiting in the wings… lol! ;)

        1. Agreed. I have the Scythe Legendary box for storing EVERYTHING, but I still use the base box for taking to game night when that’s all we play. I would definitely do the same with Wingspan.

  23. I was very happy to have a chance at the new edition of Container. It was not only long out of print, but very expensive on the secondary market. The new edition was a bit ridiculous with the giant pieces and accompanying price, but it was still less than half the cost of buying the original on BGG or eBay, so…

    I believe the expansion it included was also available for owners of the original, so they weren’t missing out on anything. I just wish they’d hired an actual artist for the new art, rather than whatever hack-job graphic artist they used. But the game is still great.

  24. Jamey, it appears I may be at odds with some of the previous comments. I own several anniversary edition games, including Ticket to Ride, Axis and Allies 50th Anniversary edition, Settlers of Catan 10th Anniversary and 15th Anniversary editions. Pandemic Edition as well.

    For me, when purchasing an Anniversary edition I’m looking for an extremely unique experience that I can’t get anywhere else. TTR is a perfect example. I own all the other expansions, and can easily pull out my original TTR if I want to include them, but for a unique experience, especially when teaching someone the game for the first time, the anniversary edition is exceptional.

    My Catan 10th edition is the ceramic tiles that come in the wooden box, with all sculpted pieces. I own all the expansions and when I want to play those expansions, we pull out the traditional game and do so. But when we are looking for a unique experience, we pull out the version that is unlike anything we can ever play anywhere else.

    I’m disappointed when an Anniversary edition has the same components, same box, and ‘adds’ value. I don’t want added value, I want to purchase something that will be a celebratory experience long past the purchase date.

    I recently sent a copy of Pandemic Anniversary edition to a friend and his family to play while they are sheltering in place. He is NOT a gamer but his family is. We were on the phone this morning and he was raving about the incredible experience they had simply opening the box. They haven’t even played it yet.

    You have one shot at this, to create something so unique as a celebration of the years of joy that they game has brought to its fans. Give them something that goes beyond just another expansion or upgrades. Give them something that they place in their living room that is so beautiful that it has become part of the joy of gaming like we do with our Catan game.

    I regret I passed on the Anniversary edition of the War of the Ring. It came in a three foot wooden box, all pieces hand painted. I saw it within the first hour it was available while attending Spiel several years ago. To this day, I am sad that I can’t ever have that experience again.

    1. Thanks for sharing your detailed thoughts, Richard! It sounds like it’s collector’s editions that you value (not all anniversary editions are collector’s editions, though I would only consider making an anniversary edition if it was truly special).

      1. Good point. I have passed on other anniversary editions because they were irrelevant to me. The latest TTR 15th edition was pointless with no compelling reason to own it. Even the 15th anniversary edition of Catan was a disappointment and I gifted it to someone else due to the lack of a compelling experience.

        So my answer is more in line with “Collector edition” vs “Anniversary edition”

      2. Yes! This makes sense: An anniversary edition on its own may not be worth it, but if a publisher uses the anniversary to publish a “Collector’s Edition”, that would definitely be worth it to the fans of the game who have supported the game over the years. I own everything for Scythe, but I’d buy a “Collector’s Edition” of the game in a heartbeat. I might still play the regular version more often, but it could be a great display piece and brought out for “special play-throughs,” whatever that might mean. Does that make sense?

    2. Richard, if you’ve at all enjoyed the game Small World over the years, then it sounds like the Small World Designers Edition would be right up your alley….

    3. I have the collector’s edition of WotR that I might consider selling, if you are interested, Richard…

  25. The 10th Anniversary edition of TTR made the mistake of making the pieces and map larger – sure, they looked nice but you could not actually use the pieces for any expansion maps! The 15th Anniversary edition retained the normal size of the train pieces, so you can use the expansion maps with that set.

    1. I disagree that it was a mistake. It made the experience that much more enjoyable. I love the larger pieces, the bigger board, and the beautiful box. It continues to bring a lot of joy to our gaming experience.

      1. Richard: I’m curious, then, what you think about TTR expansions that aren’t compatible with that edition. I’m guessing you’re fine with it since you own the original TTR too, but what about people who don’t own the original, buy the anniversary edition, and then learn the expansions aren’t compatible? I think that would be frustrating for me (and it would decrease sales of expansions).

        1. You identified earlier that my comment was actually more focused on a Collector’s edition rather than on a purely Anniversary edition.

          But to answer your concern, you are identifying an extremely small subset of potential customers who may purchase the Anniversary as their first game. For me, this is such a small subset of buyers that it isn’t a concern. But then again, I wouldn’t be the one having to deal with an upset customer.

          Those anniversary editions I did pass on were due to the fact that I thought they were ‘gimmicky’ and fell into the tried and true advertertizing tactic of slapping “New and Improved” to boost sales.

          It would come down to intent and purpose. Why are you releasing the Anniversary edition, who is the target audience, and what is the intended outcome? If it is just to sell more boxes, which many appear to be doing, then I’m going to pass, but if it is to reward me, a loyal fan, for years of enjoyment, then take my money and give me something amazing.

          1. Very interesting, Richard. Based on the current poll results, it would seem that more than half of people who buy anniversary editions don’t already have the game. So I’m not entirely sure it’s a small subset (but it’s not like I have a ton of data to prove that point).

            I see what you’re saying about intent: Perhaps the point of a great Collector’s Edition isn’t to welcome new people to the game for the first time. It’s to celebrate the game and its fans with something spectacular.

  26. I have, to date, managed to avoid most Anniversary Editions of games. And I have done so for the reasons you list above. My biggest gripe is the idea that things are no longer compatible. I think there are likely better ways to celebrate a game than to create a version that causes your customer base to have to reinvest in a game they already own; causes new customers to wonder which version to invest in; causes future expansions or products to be problematic in their need to be compatible with both versions; and so on.

    Celebrate? Sure.

    Fragment your own market? Why?

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