Distribution: Past, Present, and Future

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Oops, it’s been a good long while since my last blog post and the longer you go without writing, the harder it seems to be to get back into it.

My last post was about our intention to distribute games for other small indy companies as we’re growing Cheeky’s catalogue and venturing into overseas markets. Of course, we’ve been distributing for SchilMil Games since our inception. This was logical since it caused minimum disruption for our retailers, as I had been their main contact at SchilMil, and it was helpful to the nascent Cheeky Parrot to have five titles at its disposal. Last year we began helping Statistics Learning Centre source their Dragonistics cards from our Chinese manufacturer, and when they decided to base a commercial product off of these, the Dragon Games, it made sense for us to be able to offer that title to our retailers too.

Past

But to reach out to a foreign publisher and to offer to distribute their game in New Zealand would be a first. We were very lucky to connect with the creators of Karmaka even before it launched on Kickstarter, where it was a huge success. We took about 400 copies to distribute to our retailers, once we’d fulfilled the 44 Kickstarter pledges the game had attracted from Kiwi backers. Karmaka arrived in New Zealand in September of 2016 and our copies sold out last month. That is a blistering pace! I’m grateful my instincts about this game were so good. We hope Hemisphere might reprint it and of course if they do, we’ll take more copies. Our retailers were sad to hear it is out of stock.

Present

This year we were captivated by another first board game by Canadian designers. Kiwetin is a fast-paced forest frolic, with spirits racing toward a sacred flower, rolling dice to jump ahead and to try to hold on where they land. It’s got a chaotic vibe, as it is possible the character with which you begin the game won’t be the one with which you finish, so it’s best as a casual or party game, though when I brought it to Friday Feature at Cakes n Ladders we had one player who wisely saved up his RĂ¼ne cards, bided his time, and made his big move when we were least expecting it. Watch his clever chaining here:

Since this game is priced toward the upper end of our range, we hope it will do well in the upcoming holiday season.

Future

Next year we’ll be teaming up with Undine Studios to bring their game Oaxaca to New Zealand. This is another project we discovered via Kickstarter, where it earned 281% of its target. I had recently played Castles of Burgundy and enjoyed its use of dice rolling to match goods and tiles on the board. Oaxaca has a similar mechanic but it is more of a starter Euro, so a good fit for Cheeky’s target market.

Other irons in the fire for next year include publishing another title of our own and working with Double Exposure’s Envoy program to properly introduce Hoard to the North American market. Our latest quarterly newsletter covers these developments.