Does the Exploding Kittens licensing move signal new era for board gaming IP?

Striker Entertainment, the team in charge of licensing out the hit toy IP, Fingerlings and Exploding Kittens has likened the move to merchandise the board gaming property to that of the mobile game Angry Birds.

Speaking to ToyNews, Striker’s co-founder, Russell Binder said that Exploding Kittens presents a unique opportunity both the for the firm and for the wider pop culture space, the area of licensing and consumer products in which it specialises.

“It is a character infused, highly comedic, heavily social and broadly appealing game,” he said. “It breaks out of the niche gaming bucket, but maintains an air of independent and super cool; plus there is always TacoCat.”

Likening the move to bring the hit tabletop game into the wider consumer products arena to the work they did with the Angry Birds IP a number of years ago, Binder added that “fan engagement, regardless of source, can spark a programme.”

“The same question was asked of Striker when we embarked on the licensing of Angry Birds: ‘can a mobile game support a merchandise initiative?’ and the answer is the same – great IP that builds with fan advocacy and engagement regardless of source can spark a programme.

‘The tougher question is always… ‘what’s next and how long can it last.’

In the same vein, Binder has praised the self-publishing, producing and distribution community, one that is highly active in the tabletop gaming space, as a source of innovation in the consumer products arena.

“We also think that with the ability to self-produce and distribute across a variety of mediums including games (digital or physical_), publishing, physical products… will create a new wave of fresh voices and creative perspectives that will start niche, but have potential to become franchise IP with the right brand extension and media strategies in place.”

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