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Hasbro and Indiegogo want to find the next great party game

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Late last week Hasbro announced it would partner with crowdfunding site Indiegogo for a contest to find the next great face-to-face party game. The winner will receive a cash award from the toy and game manufacturer, as well as a trip to Hasbro headquarters to be mentored on bringing their game to market.

FiveThirtyEight recently crunched some numbers and found that crowdfunding on Kickstarter alone is driving kind of board game renaissance, accumulating more than $196 million from backers since mid-2009.

Anecdotally, it seems like every other table on the floor of the nation's largest tabletop convention, Gen Con in Indianapolis, is promoting crowdfunding as their sole means to self-publish. So it should come as no surprise that one of the biggest publishers of board games is taking notice.

Hasbro's contest is fairly straightforward. Game ideas must be submitted online by the end of September. The Hasbro Gaming Lab will then review all of the submissions, and choose 5 finalists. They will then help those finalists promote a crowdfunding campaign. As with all Indiegogo campaigns, game designers will be allowed to keep the money they earn without hitting a pre-determined goal.

The game that raises the most money earns a $10,000 check from Hasbro, and "a trip to Hasbro HQ to work with our game development team to help make your party game a reality."

Polygon reached out to Hasbro's public relations team. They told us that "the prize does not include a contract to publish the game, but if Hasbro decides to officially acquire or license the winning idea they would then work out an agreement with the winner."

We also talked with legal experts about Hasbro's terms and conditions, and they seem favorable to designers who will retain control of their intellectual property throughout the entire contest and after.

We'll keep tabs on the contest, and let you know who the winners are as soon as they're announced.

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