Counterfeit designer board games, a problem in the Chinese market, are now being marketed for export. According to Cédric Barbé, CEO of French game publisher, Iello:

In the past, the impact of counterfeits has been limited to sales in China, though that impact has been hard to measure with precision. We have experienced situations in which a Chinese publisher interested in one of our games has changed its mind after finding the game already on its market. Or finding that the game was being sold at such a low price as to be even cheaper than the cost of having it manufactured by our printers.

King of Tokyo on DHgatePurple Pawn, though, has confirmed listings of counterfeit games on the website of business-to-business export broker,, including King of Tokyo and Forbidden Island. The games are listed in case lots at wholesale rates, shipping overseas included. Some are pictured with unauthorized translations and expansions or modified packaging. One King of Tokyo listing, for example, includes a limited-release Brockenbar promotional monster and a never-released Ultraman monster.

Nevertheless, Jason Schneider, Director of Product Development and Marketing for Gamewright, says that so far, counterfeits have had minimal impact on sales:

As for the counterfeit Forbidden Island, we’re aware of it but haven’t taken any legal action against it up to this point. In all honesty, it’s just not worth the amount of time and money we’d have to invest to prosecute… It’s a shame that they’re out there, but until we see a significant dent in the sales of the official product, we probably won’t take action. In the mean time, we’ll stand flattered that our games are popular enough that someone would want to knock them off!

Forbidden Island on DHgateThough Purple Pawn was not able to confirm their status (counterfeit or legitimate) in time for this article, other games found on the same website, outside their normal distribution channels, are Cards Against Humanity, Bananagrams, Yu-Gi-Oh, Temple Run Danger Chase, Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow, and Blokus.

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