Following the launch of its Kickstarter project to bring its Fruit Ninja board game series to shelves, ToyNews talks to Lucky Duck Games founder Vincent Vergonjeanne about the future of the board game market.
Can you tell us about Lucky Duck Games, how long have you been developing board games for?
Lucky Duck Games is a 15 year old publishing company based out of Poland and California. The company was founded with a mission to bring popular online mobile licenses into the best possible laptop experiences.
We have been able to contact large online games like Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride, Zombie Tsunami, Vikings Gone Wild and more that cannot be announced just yet.
The key for us has been to connect world-class game designers and grow our distribution worldwide.
How have you seen the board game space evolve in recent years and how does the decision to develop Fruit Ninja into a board games series reflect that change?
There is clearly an amazing growth supporting this industry at the moment, carried by a renewed interest by the public.
We believe in a mission to bring new players to our hobby, using licenses and emotional references to the one they could connect, while discovering modern board gaming.
The Fruit Ninja license is a monster of reach with over 1B downloads of the app, and was the perfect subject to carry on multiple mechanics over a series of games.
What has early reaction to the move been like? Do you see a growing trend for bringing mobile games to the board gaming space?
The response to the idea has been extremely positive, either from industry peers (mainly distributors whiling to carry these products) or from the players themselves.
There is a clear and successful trend of bringing video games IP to board games.
What are the challenges in working with mobile game IP and adapting that for board game play?
There is a promise of 'continued emotion' that cannot be broken. What I mean by this, is that people expect to 'feel' the way they felt when playing the mobile game.
The key to make this work is to ensure the board/card game still embed the expected emotions from the original IP. In Fruit Ninja: Card Master, the 40 second time pressure added to the real-time aspect of the gamepley truly brings people into a similar mindset as the one they could have in front of their phone.
What’s the next step for you guys, will you be working on more similar titles?
2018 will see more mid-core/hard-core licenses like Vikings Gone Wild. We want to bring more games to our expert players.
But we will also continue to bring licenses like Fruit Ninja and Zombie Tsunami that are perfect gateway titles or great filler games.
What will be the next big movement in the board gaming space?
We are working on some interesting innovation by bringing the world of VR into board games. Using digital devices in combination with board games can bring some really interesting experiences.
We have signed a partnership with Homido, a French VR-Glasses manufacturer that allows us to include such glasses in a $30 board game. More to be announced at Essen next week.