March 15, 2021 – Z-Man Games To Discontinue Their Euro Classics Line. With a heavy heart and a ode to the genre, Head of Studio, Steve Kimball announced that because the world is changing, the line will no longer move forward.
The roughly five year old Euro Classics line is dedicated to redesigning select Euro-style games and making these classics available to wider audiences. Games include Taj Mahal, Through The Desert, Ra, Samurai and Tigris & Euphrates.
The next game that was planned, Princes of Florence, though deep into development, will not be moving forward. In addition to that game, no other titles in the line will be published by Z-Man anymore. Rights are being reverted back to original owners so that these games can find a new home and continue their journey.
There were a few major issues that were cited for the reason:
Z-Man is no longer an Indie Publisher and must look after their franchises. “Z-Man is no longer an indie publisher. We have many existing obligations, like supporting our four major game brands of Pandemic, Carcassonne, Love Letter, and Citadels, not to mention breaking exciting new ground in last year’s critically acclaimed Pandemic Legacy: Season 0 and the recently announced Cryo.”
The way these games get made and released is different. “Even in the short 5 years since the new version of Tigris launched the line. Crowdfunding is a force to be reckoned with, and it is the ideal place to relaunch new versions of beloved classics. The gorgeous reimaginings done by Roxley, Grail Games, Restoration Games, and Burnt Island Games are all living testaments of that truth!”
There is too much product coming out to make a splash. “If you do attempt to re-release a game via traditional distribution channels, then you need to pray that any number of witty UK board game influencers take notice and give you coverage. Those folks hold massive sway over the current industry’s focus, and without a ringing endorsement poshly articulated in the Queen’s English (“Best Euro Ever” anyone?), your revised labor of love is headed for a Miniature Market fire sale.”
Steve waxed poetically about his time in this space and his love for the genre:
“I have a confession to make. I love Eurogames, and frankly I always have. And what’s not to like? Euros like Ra, Samurai, and Through the Desert are easy to teach, have simple setup/teardown, are incredibly approachable to introduce to non-gamers, and of course feature short(-ish) playtimes. In essence, their design elegance made Euros hit the table more often than any of my thematic dice-chuckers. Simply having an evocative setting alone wasn’t compelling enough for me. What really attracted me to Euros—and kept me coming back—were clever mechanics and engaging gameplay. Suffice to say, I was a huge fan.”