One of the things we like to do here at the Malted Meeple is give some extra attention to our favorite board game publishers and designers. In our monthly Publisher’s Spotlight we provide a bit of background on the publisher, discuss a few of their games, and may even announce a visit to The Meeple by some of the publisher’s representatives!
This month as we finally shake loose the cold of winter’s chill, we are proud to shine the light of our Publisher’s Spotlight on our friends from Minion Games! This Milwaukee based gaming company was founded by James Mathe and his team of friends and designers. Minion Games earned its name from the founder’s existing corporation: Minion Development Group which made multi-use chat and game systems in the early nineties. According to founder James Mathe, “we thought it just sounded cool.”
The story of Minion Games began seven years ago when Mathe was interested in increasing sales at his game store. He noticed that the largest growth in the industry was in hobby board games. He spent nearly half a year going to meetups and events, learning everything he could about modern board games. The knowledge that he gained allowed him to sell board games with confidence. This might have been the end of the story, but Mathe’s years as a computer programmer caused him to catch “the bug.” He wanted to design his own game. Together with his friends who handled the layout and artwork, they began the process of creating their own game. Pitching the game to publishers in the days before Kickstarter was an arduous process, so instead Minion Games self-published their first title. The early days of Minion Games encouraged Mathe to share his experience, his advice, and his insight in the form of his blog. JamesMathe.com offers advice for new and up-and-coming games designers and anyone who is interested in joining the board game industry.
One thing that sets Minion Games apart from the rest is that they strive to help new designers with less mainstream ideas see their visions become a reality. In fact, one of the ways they accomplish this is by sharing the profits back with the designer instead of giving them royalties. This means that if the game is a hit, the designer gets more of a share in the success of their game.
The mission of Minion Games is to bring interesting new games to the hobby game market. They specialize in thematic games with a unique mix of euro-style mechanics and direct conflict. Their flagship game, The Manhattan Project, is a popular euro-style game and sees play often here at the Malted Meeple.
Next time you visit the Malted Meeple be sure to ask your Game Master for The Manhattan Project from Minion Games!
Karington Hess is a lifelong gamer whose passions for hospitality and all things game-related led him to Ravenwood Castle, where he served as an Innkeeper before joining The Malted Meeple. When not pouring beers, crafting milkshakes, or teaching boardgames, Karington can be found behind the DM’s screen, weaving intricate stories for his fellow gamers.