So, 2018 is drawing to a close, and the Hub Games office is slowing winding down before we all break for the holidays. As is fitting for the time of year, we wanted to take a look back at what we’ve been up to and what we achieved, as well as take a quick peek into the future to see what we’ll be looking to do in 2019.
Of course, one of the big things for us was releasing Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr. Following the (relatively small) announcement at the Nuremberg Spielwarenmesse trade show early in the year, we brought our prototypes to shows across Europe and the USA, running as many people through the early stages of the game as we drummed up interest in all manner of gamers. The buzz around Holding On was incredible to experience, with demos at shows like Origins, UK Games Expo and Gen Con getting filled within moments of the slots being released. A game with the premise of putting players in the shoes of carers with a focus on helping one person deal with their regrets was a risky proposition, but with so many folks willing to support the game both on their tabletops and behind the scenes, we were delighted to see it do so well at Essen when it was finally launched. Since then, copies have been hitting stores around the world as more and more people get to meet Billy Kerr. In the new year, we’ll see the game translated into more languages, so keep an eye out for future announcements!
We’ve also had some people ask us whether we’ll be doing more Holding On, whether through an expansion or an entirely new story. While it’s still early days, we can tell you that we are certainly considering it - but there’s no way it’ll be released in 2019. What we can definitely elaborate on is that it’ll be focused on a brand new character because Billy’s story is complete. We have a rough idea on who the new person is, and we now need to flesh out that story with help from… outside sources. This definitely isn’t a tale we can tell on our own. What we do know is that the format of the game will feel familiar, sure, but will be different enough for players to realise that we’re not retreading the same ground. We’ll make announcements as and when we have stuff to say, but if you see us later in the year, who knows what we might have hidden away in our prototype boxes?
Blankdemic was also recently released, and working with Matt Leacock (and his daughter Colleen) was a lot of fun. The first Designer Booster Pack for Blank, it took the base game that we adored and put a very Matt spin on things, transforming something wild and wonderful into a very different gaming experience. Pushing the focus of what was a very open game system to something tighter was really interesting, and seeing how inspired Blank players were by the new cards that were created entertained us no end. As the game gains more and more traction, we can’t wait to see what you folks come up with!
We met a lot of people this year, and it’s safe to say that they made every single event that we attended special. Rory and Michael clocked up a huge amount of miles, and the rest of the team did some pretty significant travelling too. We ended up going to Nuremberg, GAMA, Alliance, ACD Games Day, UK Games Expo (where we won the Best Family Game for Untold: Adventures Await - thank you!), Origins, Gen Con, Essen and BGG - as well as loads of other non-show-related journeys - but one thing brought each of those trips together, and that’s the passion for games that we see in so many of the folks we talk to. Whether they’re industry colleagues, gamers who know our stuff, or people who just wander up to our tables at a show with no clue about what to expect when they sit down to play, the unifying fact is that we’re all here for the games that make us happy. We can only hope that this keeps going next year.
With 2019 just around the corner, we’re already deep in planning mode. While our games for next year will officially be announced at Nuremberg at the end of January we can talk a little about them here. Rory’s been working on a fantastic arena fighting game that offers players a huge range of options and customisation while still remaining affordable and understandable. Meanwhile, Michael has collaborated with the talented Jordan Draper on a city building game where you actually build a unique city every time you play. More details will appear on both of these games soon, but if you want to see them first, you should check out our Twitter and Facebook for updates! We’re also working on bringing our first licensed title from Japan to the world, news of which will also be released in January. What unites all three titles is that all of them feel like Hub Games releases through and through, and you’ll get to play them all very soon. We’re really looking forward to sharing all of them (and much more!) with you, the players. At the moment we’re finalising our convention plans for the year, so you’ll be able to find us at PAX East, UK Games Expo, Gen Con, Essen and PAX Unplugged - and there’ll probably be more!
For now though, thanks for all of your support throughout the whole of 2018. We all hope that you have a fantastic end of the year and wish you a wonderful 2019 - see you next year!