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Red Herring Games makes successful move into board games with Spielwarenmesse launch

Red Herring Games is celebrating a successful move into board games following a strong response from international audiences when it launched its latest family titles at Spielwarenmesse earlier this year.

The firm – widely known for its murder mystery business – made the move into board games upon receiving two different grants in order to diversify its business and tap into the current demand for tabletop titles.

Red Herring Games launched its premiere titles in the space – Burglar and Swag – at this year’s International Toy Fair.

“It was our first time at the International Toy fair,” said Jo Smedley, managing director of Red Herring Games. “We were really pleased with how well our latest board games were received by the international buyers and we’ve already had our first order and have two other firms interested in distribution.”

Burglar was created in 2019 and the first manufacturing was funded successfully on Kickstarter in November 2019.

Meanwhile, Swag was originally the stretch goal for Burglar, but was since funded in its own right via the crowdfunding platform in early February 2020. Pledges are due to be shipped to customers this week.

“Burglar had been stuck in the drawing board stages for nearly five years before a new Business Inspiration grant funding programme, run by Bishop Grosseteste University, provided 50 per cent of the funding to secure expert help in design, testing and development of the game,” continued Smedley.

It was Matt Knott of Matt Knott Interactive, and Anna Whitehead of Ingenium games  who then provided assistance to the firm throughout the games’ design phase.

The support was made available via match funding received through the Business Inspiration programme run in conjunction with the European Structural and Investment Funds, Business Lincolnshire and Bishop Grosseteste University.

This support meant that Red Herring Games were then eligible to the Department for International Trade Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) grant scheme to part fund their attendance at the International Trade Show.

“We’d never have got here without the grant funding support,” added Smedley. “Both schemes made this expansion of our business possible.”

Red Herring Games usually retails murder mystery dinner party games and event services. Board games are a diversification of their product range.

“We were advised a number of years ago that to attract trade buyers we needed a wider range of games and price points,” Smedley said. “And so we stepped back from trade and concentrated on direct retail for five years while we tried to raise enough money to fund the diversification.

“It’s been a learning curve, but also incredibly exciting time, and we’re looking forward to reaching out to more international buyers as we gradually fund the translation of our products in 2020.”

Burglar and Swag will both be available at Amazon and retailers by the end of February 2020.

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