IDW Exits Tabletop Games Industry

IDW has shuttered its tabletop games division due to "rising trade costs." Earlier this summer, IDW reported to its shareholders that it had "exited" its tabletop games line of business during a quarterly report on earnings. The comics publisher and media company noted in the report that it had experienced a one-time loss related to tabletop games with the write-down of various capitalized expenses. The report also noted that IDW had exited from the tabletop games publishing business. IDW Games had recently let go of several key staff members in recent months, with no replacements immediately lined up.

IDW's game imprint, IDW Games, had published a number of high-profile licensed projects, including a series of games based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. The TMNT games were campaign-style board games based off of IDW's reboot comics series and raised over $1.5 million between two Kickstarters. IDW Games also published two board games based on Batman: The Animated Series. The most recent game, Batman: The Animated Series Adventures, raised over $1.6 million last year. However, despite the success of these and other Kickstarters, there were signs that IDW Games was in trouble. IDW Games had cancelled several announced projects, including several Metal Gear Solid board games, a Bomberman game, and a Locke & Key game.

In a statement to Dicebreaker, IDW confirmed that it was winding down its tabletop games business. Although IDW would complete both the Batman: The Animated Series game line (which is still in the process of fulfilling Kickstarter pledges) and the upcoming Ghostbusters x Men in Black: Ecto-Terrestrial Invasion game, it had no other games in active development due to "rising trade costs." ComicBook.com reached out to IDW Games for comment, but had not received a response as of press time.

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The board game industry as a whole has experienced a tumultuous year, due to supply chain disruptions and other rising costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One running trend within the comics industry is the rising cost of shipping, as the cost of shipping from China (where many games are published) has increased immensely in recent months. This has led to either delays or increased prices in many recent board game releases.