|| The Tak world has come alive. 2020 is ending with some of the biggest news the community has seen in a long time: Greater Than Games has redesigned and produced a “revised” edition of Tak.
To state the obvious: immediate reactions in the community are not looking good. It’s been called underwhelming and a joke. The increased price over that of the first print - a cool $60 USD - is “insane.” As my colleague Simmon succinctly puts it in his roaring opinion piece, when you ask people to pay $60 “you don’t give them cardboard.”
I concede that $60 is steep for a simple game. While I can’t convince you that the price is beyond criticism, I will suggest that it is not abnormal. A look at other popular strategy board games and you can find a few games priced within the same ballpark. Sure, I am unfamiliar with those games and there may be strong arguments about the quantity and quality of materials that go into producing them and how that differs from Tak. Despite that, $60 for a board game is not totally unheard of.
However, that is not the war I intend on waging here. The Tak community has seen a steady decline in excitement and activity over the past few years. Greater Than Games (GTG), and Rothfuss by extension, may be our best lifeline in turning that around in the near future.
Over 12,000 people backed the Kickstarter in 2016 to bring Tak to life. Interest steadily and quickly dropped off through 2017 and 2018. GTG bought the original production company in 2019 and the first batch of Tak games went out of stock. GTG was at a crossroads. Make more and restock? Or discontinue Tak for now, or possibly forever. What GTG chose to do was bring in Rothfuss, redesign the game art (but keep the mechanics) and put it out there for sale, once again. That was potentially a risky choice. Their financial investment needs to pay off, or GTG might regret their decision.
Why should you now go pre-order, if you can, the new edition? My reasoning is simple: First, GTG has the only deep pockets in the Tak world, willing to make investments in the game and community. At GenCon 2019, they provided enormous financial and other support for Tak to be a success. It’s in their interest for Tak to grow, but it is in our interest as well. If GTG’s latest investment in Tak fails, why should we expect them to not think twice the next time the opportunity arises? Second, pre-ordering now supports Worldbuilders, a “geek-centered nonprofit supporting humanitarian efforts worldwide.” That speaks for itself. But even without it, my first point stands.
You might not be like me - I’m willing to pay extra for products at my local bookstore or gaming store when I know the business is investing in a community I am a part of. I see a similar situation here. The price might not be worth it to you for what you get inside the box. But if it’s part of a long-term investment in Tak that strengthens GTG’s corporate support for the game, I’d say that’s $60 well-spent.
Was I successful? Were you going to pre-order it anyway or no way? If so, why? Share your reactions and responses.