Posted Monday, 3-Aug-2015
Movie buffs have the Oscars, music fans have the Grammy Awards, board gamers have the Spiel des Jahres.
The Spiel des Jahres (German for Game of the Year) is the most famous award in the board gaming world. The prize is presented each year in Germany by a commission of game journalists and focuses on family-style games.
While the nominations for the Spiel des Jahres is the one of the most-hyped board game events of the year, there might be a few things you still didn’t know about it…
The Spiel des Jahres is by far the most famous board game award, but not the first one ever created.
Established in 1979, it arrived four years after the Origin Award (USA, 1975) and two years after the Speelgoed van het Jaar (the Netherlands, 1977).
The award winner not only needs to have excellent gameplay, but also well-written rules, a functional aesthetic design, and great replayability value.
Being a German award, the winning game also needs to have a German language version available.
The current jury is composed by ten members, all board game journalists from German-speaking countries. Each member plays hundreds of games per year to shortlist the nominations.
The jury meets in person only four times per year, but the members exchange messages on their own Internet forum.
The jury meets each May to create the final nomination list. The list is a combination of each member’s personal top 20 lists of the year.
The final list not only contains five nominees for the prize, but also an extra list of honorable mentions that have been recommended by the jury.
The winner is typically declared in June during a press conference in Berlin.
The awards have no monetary prize, but for publishers and designers having the Spiel des Jahres logo on their game box can be the best moment of their careers!
Spiel des Jahres nominations do not take into account sales figures, but they are themselves substantial sale boosters.
Nominees usually sell around 10,000 extra units, while the winner can even reach 300,000-500,000 extra copies sold.
Published by BoardGamePrices.com
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