Back in 2011, MACE got an email that intrigued us. It was from a game company called Rightgames, and the contact person is Ivan Tulovsky. I emailed Ivan a few questions and here they are with his answers.
Tell us a little about yourself?
We are a team from Russia; we like to create board games. We live in Moscow. Originally we are a lawyer, an economist, a marketing expert, an engineer, a scientist and a teacher.
The first of our games was released in 2002. It was a CCG called “The War” dedicated to the World War II. At that time the board game market in Russia actually didn’t exist. Therefore we had to do everything by ourselves in order to get target consumers. We found a printing-office, created the design of boxes, packed decks and boosters and negotiated with shops. The first tournament of “The War” was held in 2003.
So step by step the creating and development of board games has become our main business.
This year we have prepared 4 issues of the most popular of our games in English and we’d like to introduce them to the international board gaming community.
Tell us a little about Rightgames and the games they sell?
“Rightgames LLС” is a Russian company specializing in game development and publishing. It was created by a group of like-minded people in 2010. The main task for the company is to create and develop board games.
Previously known as «Stolitsa Design Group», it released games made by Sergey Machin. The team not only stayed the same, it grew with new members.
Since 2011 all games released by «Stolitsa Design Group» now use the brand «Rightgames LLС». The company is actively promoting board game culture in Russia.
Together with a non-profit organization “Academia Igr” (Games Academy) we have been organizing gaming zones at role playing conventions and festivals in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. We have over 10 such events a year. The most popular of them is “ZilantCon” held in Kazan city in November.
Since 2003 the company has participated in the annual 2-day “Games Day” held by “Alegris Ltd” in Moscow. This is the most distinguished board gaming event in Russia.
The company has a program that supports board game clubs throughout Russia. At this time, most clubs have board games developed by our company.
The company also participates in trade fairs in Russia, organizes games and seminars on board games, and closely works with themed Russian info-portals.
Why do conventions like MACE attract Rightgames?
In Russia we work with role-playing conventions that support board games areas. For example we hold a championship in our game «Potion-making Practice” during so-called “convention rings” of the CIS and the final competition is traditionally held in Kazan every November.
We like conventions very much. There is a very pleasant atmosphere where one can have a good time together with nice people. People at conventions are mostly open-minded and like new knowledge.
How would you characterize the gaming scene in Russia?
The market of board games in Russia has been booming for the last 5 years. New companies appear and localize foreign novelties that attract newcomers.
Party and family games have become very popular. They help to involve very different people into the board gaming community.
Until recently people could buy board games only in several small Internet-shops but now there is a special chain that sells board games and includes 22 shops in different Russian cities
For the moment European and American localizations dominate Russian market but some small publishing companies are growing and creating their own projects. For example last year there appeared a company that develops Russian historical war games.
How would you compare Russia to the US in terms of gaming?
Russian market of board games is quite new. We suppose it’ll be growing for 3-4 future years. Now you can find localizations of all world hits here in Russia. Every month Russian customers get several games – new for Russia but made in US or Europe some years or decades ago.
As far as I know the US market differs. In your country board games is a real culture with its long history. Every year there appear many novelties but only some of them become bestsellers.
What are your plans for the future in the American market?
This year we’ve released trial issues of our games in English. We want to see how these games will be met in the world. If everything is as successful as it is in Russia we’ll launch our products to the US market.
We have not decided yet if we’ll make our games independently or cooperate with some publishing and trading company.
What is your favorite game? What did you grow up playing?
Till 1991 there were only 3 board games for adults in the USSR, namely chess, checkers and dominoes. Actually board games were considered as a hobby for children; even teenagers played these games very rarely. There were few big factories to produce games.
And then in 1980s “Monopoly” appeared in the USSR. People who went abroad for business trips often brought it. And of course some played hand-made copies.
I remember my parents playing hand-made “Monopoly” at home.
“Monopoly” is the most popular and well-known game in Russia. When people ask me to explain what board games are I say first of all “Do you know “Monopoly”?” and they nod gladly.
I’d like to tell you a short story: once in 1985 several KGB officers who were very serious and stable people met together to play “Monopoly.” And when one of them (a KGB colonel) lost he burst into tears. None of his colleagues had seen his tears before.
One of the first board games we played was “Puerto Rico;” we liked it very much and we play it up to now. It’s also a great pleasure to play “Ticket to Ride,” “Carcasson,” “Colosseum,” “Arkham Horror,” and “Ingenious.” We’ve got “Warhammer” and “The Lord of the Rings” armies of miniatures. We even took part in making Russian localizations of these games by “Games Workshop.” And we like the “Axis&Allies” series.
After we played “ World of Warcraft ” for a long time on PC we began to play board games dedicated to it especially “World of Warcraft Adventure.”