Monday, February 12, 2018

Why Mayfair Games mattered to me

On Friday, February 9, Mayfair Game’s announced that they were closing up shop.

Let’s be honest. It wasn’t a giant surprise. When Mayfair sold Asmodee the US rights to the Catan franchise a couple years ago, it was obvious that things were winding down or at least changes were in the air.

For me and a lot of my friends, it’s the end of an era. Although, to avoid being too melodramatic, I got to admit I’m sure most of the games are still going to keep on getting printed, just without a Mayfair logo. But Mayfair was a big part of our lives.

And all that can really be explained by Catan. 

First of all, Mayfair, of course, brought Settlers of Catan over to the US. And Settlers of Catan was a major entry point for me and many of my friends into the world of games outside war games and mass market games. I first played it in 2002 or 2003 when visiting a friend in another state and it took me a little while to really get up to speed. But it was a big deal.

Second, the Catan tournament scene. While I have played in the tournaments over the years, I was never that serious about it. But a lot of my friends were very serious. (I’ll be honest, part of my participating in the tournaments was so I could hang out with them)

But, over the years, playing over the years, even I got to know and become friends with the folks with regularly played in the tournaments. I also got to know a number of the people who worked for or with Mayfair. I’m certainly not claiming to be any kind of insider but I was at least part of the extended family of the serious tournament players.

What I’m not doing a great job saying is that Mayfair didn’t just introduce to games but the way they ran their tournaments introduced me to a lot of people and friends. They didn’t just help me  develop my hobby but honestly changed my life.

When I started writing this, I thought about talking about some of the other games Mayfair has produced or my GenCon experiences with Mayfair. And I might still write about those. I mean, I could write a couple blogs just about train games and I never even got into crayon train games. And I still might. 

But this is the most important thing I have to say about Mayfair.

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