Race For the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts Delayed. Again. (Plus a Bonus Rant!)

AlienBy Firestone I'm starting to think we're going to discover actual alien artifacts before the new Race For the Galaxy expansion is released...

BGG user KissaTalkuri noticed that the Rio Grande Games site now has a release date of 12/1/2013 for the game. You might remember that I wrote about Rio Grande Games telling us December of 2012 that the game's release was imminent. I expressed some doubt about thatβ€”given Rio Grande's past issues with release dates.

Sometimes I hate it when I'm right...

Here's what's in the box:

  • ~45 new cards and start worlds to add to the base set, plus a set of action cards and start hand for a fifth player.
  • ~45 cards and Alien tokens used to represent the Alien Orb which players jointly map and explore, gaining tokens of various types that provide powers and VPs. There are also five new Explore action cards used to map the Orb (instead of gaining an additional card or greater card selection).

How in the world can it take so long to print that? Rio Grande Games is becoming a joke. I can't trust anything that comes out of Jay's mouth regarding release dates.

TikalLet's look at just a few examples.

  • Years ago El Grande was out-of-print and it took YEARS for the reprint to show up, despite repeated and then bumped release dates given. And then the game had errors on the action cards!
  • Tikal was also out of print for years. We also got promises and bumps. It finally arrived and it wasn't nearly as great as the others in the Mask series! (Okay, that's not Rio Grande's fault... But it's still true!)
  • Then we have Arctic Scavengers. It took Rio Grande THREE YEARS to get this one out. Way to strike while the iron is hot...

This is no different. Race For the Galaxy is an amazing game, and this expansion is certainly going to be snatched up by all of the fans out there (myself included!). But...I can't remember the last time anyone in our group played RFtG. It's a classic, but not one that's often thought of anymore. The longer you delay the expansion, the less relevant the base game seems.

Jay at Rio Grande doesn't seem to have any problems getting Dominion expansions out the door. Of course, that game is still hot enough that printing a new expansion is like printing money. It would be nice if he put some of the same effort into games that aren't Dominion...

ArcticRio Grande used to sit atop the heap when it came to Euro publishers. That's not the case anymore. Lots of new companies have come risen up to challenge thatβ€”and they're winning. There are lots of factors when it comes to why these new publishers have been able to grow and become players in the market, and I'm convinced that one of them is Rio Grande's inability to hold a release date on anything that's not Dominion.

Ask yourself this: If you had a new game design, and Rio Grande was publishing it, would you be excited, or worried that they'd make you wait three years, while the nimble publishers out there are printing game after game every month?

I truly hope Rio Grande turns things around. My earliest games, when I jumped into this hobby nine years ago, were almost all Rio Grande ones. I love what they've done and I love what they do. I just wish they did it better.

Sorry this news piece turned into a rant...but COME ON!

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