Trade day at Gen Con is a special opportunity for retailers, publishers, and other industry participants to discuss the business of games and preview new and upcoming products. It also provides a forum for participants to share strategies for using games in educational endeavors. Trade day takes place the day before the opening of the expo hall and general gaming events, and this year I had the opportunity to attend. I won’t go in to detail now—instead, using the information for future installments of The Business of Games. However, I will highlight a few of the things I learned…

Fantasy Flight Games has apparently repositioned its Midnight Chronicles video production as a two-part pilot for a television series instead of a movie. While busy shopping around the video to potential broadcasters, Fantasy Flight is already prepared with a story bible and plans for up to four seasons of 13 episodes. This all explained by Christian Peterson, CEO.

With competition from online sales, the decline in revenues from collectible card games, and the many pressures faced by all kinds of small businesses, many local hobby game retailers are finding it very difficult to stay in business. Those who are reporting success, however, attribute much of that to their support of local gaming communities. This includes providing meeting and gaming space inside their stores. But it also includes work with schools, libraries, and churches, where game activities grow the size of the local customer base.

Revolution!, a board game previously self-published by its designer, Philip duBarry, will soon be published by Steve Jackson Games. I had the opportunity to play this game and I highly recommend it. Revolution! has much of the deep strategy of the modern Euro-style games, but the mechanics are very simple and literally take five minutes or less to teach. Each turn, players simultaneously bid on professions found in a typical colonial-era town, then award the benefits of each profession to the prevailing bidder. The winner of the game is the player who has gained the most “support” through control of strategic town assets, such as the market, port, tavern, and cathedral.

A new board game from White Wolf Publishing is making its debut here at Gen Con. Preview copies of Exalted: Legacy of the Unconquered Sun will be on sale at White Wolf’s booth but the game will not ship to retailers for another month. This is a very good looking game with some neat mechanics. I especially liked the method of accounting for movement. Instead of the typical movement allowance, any travel distance is possible but requires an investment of time. If you follow White Wolf’s Exalted RPG setting, or enjoy adventure board games, you might want to take a look at this one.