Friday, March 22, 2002

Puerto Rico next week and a few other Alea thoughts

For those of you who may have missed it in r.g.b., Jay Tummelson of
Rio Grande Games
stated that the Rio Grande edition of
Puerto Rico
would be out next week.

Alea (the publisher of Puerto Rico in Germany, among other things) has
done exactly what good marketing and brand building should do. As I
understand it, several years ago, Ravensburger, maker of a great many
outstanding family board games, decided to start the Alea label to be
a brand for gamers games. They created a numbered series of "large
box" games; they are Ra, Chinatown, Taj Mahal, Princes of Florence,
Adel Verpflichtet, and Traders of Genoa. Additionally, they started a
small box series (Wyatt Earp is #1 and Royal Turf is #2).

Now, had Ravensburger released these games under the Ravensburger
label, they would still have been well received, but a few
things would have been different. First of all, there's the chance
that some consumers would be turned off by the complexity of some of
the Alea games and think that was characteristic of Ravensburger, and
Ravensburger would lose a customer of it's excellent line of family
games. Second of all, with the Alea brand they now have a reputation
among many gamers that dramatically exceeds the reputation (which is
good) of Ravensburger itself. Even with no review or knowledge of the
game, I would purchase an Alea big box game sight unseen. I know
others who would do the same.

This is the way "branding" should be done.

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