10 Questions

Each month in the Inventor Newsletter I ask 10 Questions of an established inventor or game company. The results are posted below and will be updated monthly.

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Ravensburger (Jan '08) as answered by Lothar Hemme
Q - What are Ravensburger's greatest hits, and how would you describe your line of games overall?
A - The Amazing Labyrinth (more than 10M copies sold), Memory® (in the US licensed to Hasbro), Scotland Yard, Make 'n' Break (the latest game that made it to the top)
The strengths of Ravensburger are:
Children's Games
Educational Games
'Traditional' Board Games for families and adults

Q - Is there anything currently that you are looking for that is different than what you have done in the past?
A - We do 3-D-action games (with a twist), which we did not do many of them in the past.
We will pay more attention to electronic components and concepts in the future.
We will do more games for people 10+.

Q - How many games do you or your company review in a year?
A - We stopped counting them. Must be about 500 - 800 ideas. We reduced the number significantly by using an agency as a gate keeper.

Q - How many games does your company usually release in a year?
A - About 30 (without Children's Cards Games)

Q - Do you look at games by unknown inventors?
A - Of course - there might be a diamond, you never really know!

Q - For beginning inventors, what would be the ideal way to approach and submit game ideas to you?
A - Either approach us through the agency ( www.projekt-spiel.de ) or make an appointment with us at one of the Toy Fairs (Nuernberg or New York) or at one of the other events (e.g. Essen, TGIF).

Q - How long does it take from the time you receive a submission to the time you say 'yes' or 'no'?
A - Maybe five minutes - maybe a year. It depends on the first impression and the result of the tests. And sometimes a submission is off strategy. It also depends on the time of the year when we receive a submission, because we make most of our decisions in November.

Q - Does it depend on the time of the year, and if 'yes', what times of the year are best to submit?
A - Yes, it does (see above)! It is ideal to receive submissions by September.

Q - What is the most common mistake you see from inventors?
A - I do not mind mistakes - as long as people regard them as an opportunity to learn and to avoid mistakes in the future. I want inventors to believe in their ideas, but they should be open for recommendations given to them.

Q - If you were to give beginning inventors one bit of advice, what would it be?
A - Go out to the stores, check the websites of companies you want to approach, play your games with 'normal' people and listen to what they say to you.
Don't spend a lot of money on design - we will change it anyway.


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