Publishing lessons

Board games & crowdfunding

Most anticipated game lists

27th July 2023 2

Every year, there are hundreds of board game conventions happening all around the world, and some of them could be considered special events within the industry. Shows like Gen Con and Essen have become so large that they frequently see hundreds of new games and expansions being released, with thousands of other games available to demo and buy.

In the weeks leading up to these mega events, social media fills with people discussing which games they are looking forward to, and many content creators put together their most anticipated games lists, generating a buzz of excitement in the gaming community. Board Game Geek tries to maintain master lists of new games and expansions that will be available at the show in some form. With Gen Con 2023 just 1 week away, there are now 521 titles on their list.

This year will be the first convention I have ever attended where I will have a new game available at the show. In the past, the timing hasn’t worked out, and I am left wondering how different the show will feel as a result.

Race to the Raft is currently 3rd on the list, behind the new expansions for Cascadia and Lost Ruins of Arnak, making it the most anticipated new game on the list. It is also appearing in many anticipation lists, such as ThinkerThemer, BoardGameCo, The Board Game Garden, and ManvsMeeple. If nothing else, it is exciting to see so many people enthusiastic about the game and interested in trying it out.

Personally, I find anticipation lists an interesting way of discovering what people are currently looking forward to, and I use them to help guide my time. They aren’t a measure of how good a game is but perhaps a measurement of a company’s marketing efforts or, at best, how intriguing a game may sound.

Professionally, I find anticipation lists to be a helpful tool for determining how much stock to take to the show and a great indicator of what other games are coming soon. I’m always interested in discovering new things so I can further improve myself, and seeing what gets people talking is a very valuable lesson.

Do you ever browse anticipation lists for shows?

I am looking forward to seeing what happens at Gen Con next week, and perhaps I will see you there.

Frank West

Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!


  • Adam Eschborn

    27th July 2023 at 2:01 pm

    Hype is good, but it has to be realistic. If you’re susceptible to hype like I am, you end up with a list of over 50 games you want to check out.

    I will undoubtedly leave from Gen Con on Sunday with only 2 or 3 of those games, plus 2 or 3 that didn’t have any hype at all. Within a couple days, I’ll forget about most of the games I skipped and move on.


    • Frank West

      27th July 2023 at 3:46 pm

      I also find that I tend to leave a show with as many games I wasn’t aware of before the show as from my lists. While anticipation can be great, I do enjoy the sense of discovery walking the halls.


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