Gen ConChris Gral, the vice president of marketing for Visit Indy, announced that Gen Con will remain in Indianapolis through 2021 “and beyond”. Gen Con, the world’s largest analog gaming convention, had been looking at other cities to host the event after the current contract expires in 2020. “As Gen Con has grown, Indianapolis has grown,” Gral said. “We would have been devastated if another city had gained their business, so there’s a sense of honor, a sense of pride and a sense of relief that Gen Con is committing to Indianapolis.”

Gen Con’s estimated impact on the city is approximately $71 million. The Future Farmers of America convention, also with approximately the same attendance (estimated 60,000 to Gen Con 2016’s 60,819), has about half the impact on the city, according to former Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard.

Gen Con 2017, the 50th anniversary of the convention, will be held on August 17-20, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Gen Con 2016 logoDid Gen Con Indy seem even more crowded this year? That’s because of the turnstile attendance, which measures the number of people attending the show each day. The 2015 show had 197,605 admissions throughout the show; this year the numbers increased about 2.5% to 201,852. However, the unique attendance numbers were slightly down — instead of 61,423 people attending last year, Gen Con 2016 had 604 fewer people attend. Of the 60,819 attendees, a slightly larger percentage of them purchased full 4-Day passes than in the previous year.

Leonard Hoops — the head of Visit Indy, the city of Indianapolis’ tourism board — said that the gaming convention “drives more than $67 million in annual economic activity” to the city, with past conventions bringing in “more than $50 million” in 2014 and $47 million in 2013. This year, he estimated the impact of the convention at $71 million.

While still a large number, with the return of the Future Farmers of America’s convention to Indianapolis in October, Gen Con won’t be the largest show in town. “Indiana is ready and committed to support this event and welcome with open arms the 64,000 FFA members who will come to our capital city each of the next nine years,” said Governor Mike Pence. However, Mayor Greg Ballard stated that the National FFA convention has an “estimated $36 million in annual economic activity” for the city, about half of Gen Con’s.

Gen Con has a contract with the the convention center through 2020. The 50th Gen Con convention will be held in Indianapolis, August 17-20, 2017.

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Crowdfunding Highlights

Holy cow, I’ve got to learn woodworking and leathercrafting or just get at least $70 together and buy one of these awesome spellbook gaming boxes from Elder Wood. Look at that image below! Oh my goodness! Foam inserts for cards, dice, minis, and more? A reflective surface for use as a dry erase board? The project has already been funded, so follow this link to their kickstarter with your disposable income.


Skip Trace, a party game about bounty hunters featured on Tabletop Deathmatch, is in the final days of a Kickstarter campaign. The boss throws down three cards: an Objective (“Quietly take out…”), a Target (“…delusional cosplayer…”), and a Location (“…at the DMV”). Other players, the hunters, play item cards (“Definitely Not Poison”, “Anime Body Pillow”, and “Enough Legos to Build What You Want.”) to explain how they would accomplish the mission. Back at the $25 level and they’ll send you a goofy fun murder laughfest in a few months.

Hey, whoa, Dice of the Dead? Didn’t I pick up a set of these at Gen Con a few years back? Oh, Battle Bunker Games is making a third set of Zombie-themed six-siders! So a short review time: the set I have are really neat with a biohazard symbol or zombie silhouette on the 6 side of the 16mm die. They’re as good as any of the Chessex six-siders. (I have a feeling that they were custom-made Chessex dice.) This version is purple and silver with four designs (zombie hand, tombstone, skull/brains, and blood splatter) on the six. $15 gets you eight zombie-themed dice.

argoAlthough I don’t have a favorite game designer, I seem to own (and regularly play) a lot of Bruno Faidutti-designed games. So when I stumbled across Burno Faidutti and Serge Larget’s Argo on Kickstarter, I was surprised it wasn’t already funded! UPDATE: Apparently, so were Flatlined Games, who have just cancelled the funding campaign to “reboot it with a better suited
pledge and stretch goals.” They’ll keep us in the loop when Argo returns to Kickstarter. Now, back to the game snapshot already in progress. Here’s the deal: you control a bunch of astronauts, awakened from cold storage, and you’ve got to get off the ship. Because of aliens. But just like the movie Alien, where there were a lot of people in the Nostromo’s crew, the escape pod won’t hold them all. The modular board will have thick, debossed tiles (think Space Hulk) and has been upgraded to include miniatures. Pledge 30 Euros to Flatlined Games (with local shipping options in US, Canada, most of Europe), and you can get your own copy.

The Delta Green RPG is being updated as standalone game and the funding campaign has just over a week left. Take your Cthulhu mythos, move it from the 1920s to the War on Terror, and throw it against an off-the-books government operation charged with stopping the apocalypse and you’ve got Delta Green.  $50 gets you the basic game (or the 1960’s Fall of Delta Green game), and look at all those add-ons and extras, but not too long or you’ll go insane. Geez, as I’m writing this, Arc Dream Publishing just went and hit another stretch goal!


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01_Carousel3_ToD-Adventures_Background_140623_0Following several complaints about the offerings from the D&D All-Access event at Gen Con 2015, Baldman Games published a public apology to all attendees and is offering a physical copy of Out of the Abyss, the next campaign book for D&D 5th Edition by Green Ronin; and a code for a digital copy of Sword Coast Legends, the party-based RPG for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. All-Access players at Gen Con 2015 are requested to fill out the form at to get their packet.

The All-Access Program was a $150 event within the Gen Con convention, which promised a premium gaming experience. The pass gains access to reserved seats for all the D&D adventures in a separated gaming space. At 2014’s convention, attendees also received copies of the D&D 5th Edition Players Handbook and Monster Manual, two weeks before the book’s official release date. This year, several people commented that they received nearly nothing at all. “Another event offered the three autographed rulebooks plus two epics for $140,” wrote user Wisewolverine on the Gen Con community forum. “Everyone who purchased an all access package got royally screwed.” User wgmccanless wrote, “We did get a couple of [D&D Adventurers League (organized play)] Certificates, but none were worth anything. No book, no souveniers, no 2015 commemorative dice, no coupons for future purchases, nothing! I got more swag for ordering a sandwich at Scotty’s [Brewhouse]!”

baldDavid Christ of Baldman Games, discussed how giveaways impact the All-Access Package process. “Every year the program has provided different things and the attendees have valued them in their own fashion,” he writes. “Each year the [giveaway] items were better and better and that is just not a sustainable program.” To help bring the event back to something that is “more sustainable long term” and more of a value to the attendees, the company is considering several options such as a concierge service; custom exclusive adventure tracks for All-Access members; moving the event to a dedicated room to cut down on noise, and offer snacks and lunch items; and adding special guests to the event.

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Gen Con logoFor the past six years, Gen Con Indy has continued to grow. This year’s numbers are in, showing a 9% increase in the number of convention attendees from Gen Con Indy 2014 with 61,423 attendees (unique) and a turnstile attendance of 197,695. Leonard Hoops — the head of Visit Indy, the city of Indianapolis’ tourism board — said that the gaming convention “drives more than $67 million in annual economic activity” to the city, with past conventions bringing in “more than $50 million” in 2014 and $47 million in 2013.

Not only is Gen Con Indy the world’s largest tabletop gaming convention, the growth of Gen Con has made the 2015 convention one of the largest-attended conventions in Indianapolis. However, the Future Farmers of America‘s return to the city in 2016 may topple that: The FFA’s 2014 convention in Louisville, KY, had 64,409 attendees, a 2.2% increase over the previous year. We’ll be keeping an eye on FFA 2015 when it’s held this coming October to compare numbers. (Note: although the NRA 2014 Annual Meeting reportedly brought in 75,269 attendees, repeated inquires to that organization about if those were based on unique or turnstile attendance have gone unanswered.)

Assuming Gen Con Indy’s growth continues, it is on track to overtake the PAX (Penny-Arcade Expo) as the largest gaming convention in 2017. (PAX’s last public attendance records were in 2011 with 69,500 at PAX East.) Housing may start to be a problem for Gen Con in future years as the city only has 20,335 sleeping (hotel) rooms available.


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Games Workshop Misses First Day of Gen Con

gamesworkshoplogo.jpgSo, if you’re at Gen Con and were passing by the Games Workshop booth (772) on Thursday, you may have had some questions. Such as why there’s nothing from Games Workshop for sale at their booth, why it’s staffed by the people at Forge World instead of GW, or why you had to go to the other end of the hall to Forge World’s booth (3033) to make any GW purchases.

Reports of all Games Workshop staff denied entry to the United States and deported back to the United Kingdom are a bit exaggerated, said the UK-based Games Workshop employee Purple Pawn spoke to at the booth yesterday. Although some employees from GW’s headquarters did not gain entrance to the United States, some did as did all the product they brought over. Games Workshop products are for sale at the Forge World booth. The majority of the (admittedly small) GW booth is taken up by an Age of Sigmar diaorama.

“Someone at head office messed up the visa application,” writes the GW-fan site Faeit 212. “Rather than travelling on a Business Visitor Visa they travelled to the US on a [non-Working] Visa.” Apparently, one of the UK employees mentioned that the were going to be working at a convention, which is prohibited under the visas they were travelling with.

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gw09_mainEarly this morning, Fantasy Flight Games briefly posted a page on their website about a Fury of Dracula reprint. Like the titular vampire, the page soon fled away and investigators were left trying to determine where they will find the game next, speculating the game will show up at Gen Con 2015. Fury of Dracula was one of the earliest hidden movement games, sometimes described as “Scotland Yard with Vampires”. Originally published in 1987 by Games Workshop as The Fury of Dracula, and in 2005 by Fantasy Flight Games, the game has been out of print since 2008.

Fury of Dracula is a one-against-many hidden movement game with one player as Dracula travelling through Europe, expanding his vampire family, while up to four other players hunt down the villain and try to put an end to him.

The new version of the game, listed as in development, features new art and graphic design and some changes to game play: “Rounds are now broken into day and night: hunters take actions during both, but Dracula can only act at night. Combat is now more streamlined and decisive, and new rumor tokens allow Dracula to mislead hunters and extend the terrible reach of his influence,” read the game description. Rather than winning the game if he sires enough vampires, “Count Dracula triumphs if he advances his influence track to thirteen; if the hunters can defeat him before then, they save the continent of Europe and win the game.” Playtime is estimated at 2-3 hours.

Fury of Dracula will retail for $59.95.

Edit: Fantasy Flight Games has relaunched the Fury of Dracula page at their website. “Mina, we’ve spotted him,” I cried out. “He’s heading to Indianapolis!” At Gen Con, demos of the game will be run in FFG’s city within the exhibit hall. The game will be available in Q4 of this year. More information at

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Sentinels of the Multiverse RPG

Iron LegacyGreater Than Games slipped in an announcement for a Sentinels of the Multiverse roleplaying game in a large post about the company’s Gen Con plans. The company, primarily known for the Sentinels property, will have demos of the roleplaying game “a few times” during Gen Con 2015. The Sentinels game is described as an “upcoming RPG”. Players attending a scheduled two-hour demo of the RPG also receive a $2 coupon good at the GTG booth (2143).

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Gen Con 2015 Exhibit Hall: Hello, Hall G

Gen Con logoThe Gen Con 2015 Exhibit Hall is even bigger, but we all knew that was coming with the convention’s record growth. This year’s Gen Con has the exhibit hall has 283,000 square feet and about twenty additional vendors than the 2014 convention. In previous years, Hall G was host to Magic: the Gathering tournaments and organized events from AEG, Fantasy Flight Games, and others. There are 390 vendors listed on the official exhibit hall map (available at, about twenty more than in 2014. (Vendors may occupy multiple separate booth spaces.)

An earlier version of this article indicated that 2015 was the first year that the exhibit hall expanded into Hall G. Gen Con expanded the exhibit hall into Hall G in 2014. We regret the error.

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Gen Con logoGen Con LLC, the parent company of the Gen Con gaming convention, published a public letter to Indiana Governor Mike Pence stating their opposition to SB 101. A similar Indiana House bill, passed by 63 of the state’s Republican senators (five Republicans and 26 Democrats voting against), would give legal protection to business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples on religious grounds. The House bill is expected to concur with the already-approved Senate bill later this week before going to Governor Pence, who says he will sign it.

In the letter to the governor, Adrian Swartout, the CEO and owner of Gen Con LLC, said that signing SB 101 into law will “factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.” Last year, Gen Con extended their contract with Visit Indy through 2020.

The gaming convention is the largest convention held in Indianapolis, with more than 56,500 attendees, bringing $47 million to the local economy in 2013, “more than $50 million” in 2014. Citing the diversity of the show’s attendees, Swartout asks the governor to reconsider his support of SB101 as the bill “could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees [which will] have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy”.

UPDATE: has published a statement from Gov. Pence’s office. A spokesperson said, “The Governor has been clear on where he stands on this issue and we don’t have anything to add at this time.”

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