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Machi Koro and TMNT: Shadows of the Past publisher IDW Games will not release any more board games

Following the cancellation of multiple projects, including Metal Gear Solid and Locke & Key adaptations.

Update: In a statement to Dicebreaker, an IDW representative confirmed that the publisher will release its announced Ghostbusters and Batman titles, but confirmed that no future board games will be released by the studio due to "rising trade costs".

“IDW is committed to completing the following top-notch projects: Ghostbusters x Men in Black: Ecto-Terrestrial Invasion and Batman: The Animated Series Adventures (including Shadow of the Bat, Arkham Asylum, and all the many packs that make up the “All-In Bundle” outlined in Kickstarter), and we will provide the same level of excellent customer service that our backers have come to expect," the representative said. "However, due to the rising trade costs, IDW Games is not currently developing further games or expansions beyond those mentioned above.

"We’ll continue updating our social feeds and individual backer pages with the latest information on our upcoming releases. We would like to thank our fans for support through the years, for building an active community with countless hours of gameplay and fun, and we’re excited to bring you some of the best work we’ve done over the next few months.”

Original story continues below

IDW Games, the publisher behind the original release of Machi Koro, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games and various other licensed board games, has reportedly closed its doors.

Launched as a division of comic book publisher IDW in late 2013, IDW Games released a number of games based on major animated properties, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Legend of Korra and cartoon channel Nickelodeon.

The label also joined forces with Pandasaurus Games to co-publish hit dice game Machi Koro, as well as its Harbour and Millionaire's Row expansions, 2015 Deluxe Edition, and spin-off Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City. Pandasaurus subsequently took full control of the Machi Koro franchise, releasing its legacy spin-off and announcing an upcoming sequel.

As well as its roster of licensed titles - which spanned from ‘80s franchise Dragon Ball Z and Ghostbusters to retro Atari video games Centipede, Missile Command and Asteroids - IDW Games republished classic board games including Torres and released original designs such as StarFall, Seikatsu, the Outpost survival series and overlooked adventure game Escape from 100 Million B.C.

Among the studio’s biggest successes was the scenario-based co-op game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past, which spawned a number of spin-offs and a 2020 reboot in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures.

IDW Games’ closure was revealed in a recent Q2 2021 fiscal report from IDW Publishing (spotted by BoardGameGeek), in which it noted “tabletops games [as] a line of business from which IDWP has exited”.

Despite the company’s apparent exit from the tabletop industry, the IDW Games Twitter account remains active as of today (August 27th), posting about its Men in Black board game, Sonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course and Batman: The Animated Series Adventures in recent days. The latest Kickstarter update for the latter game, posted on August 18th, confirmed shipping details for the adaptation of the cartoon without acknowledging any impact on its planned release as the result of IDW’s closure.

The news follows reports of multiple IDW board games being cancelled over the last few months, including the long-awaited and much-delayed Metal Gear Solid board game from Specter Ops creator Emerson Matsuuchi, a previously unannounced Metal Gear Solid game titled Psycho Mantis Battle, and an adaptation of multiplayer video game Bomberman canned due to “unforeseen issues”. All three titles were based on video game franchises licensed to IDW by publisher Konami.

In an August 5th post on the BoardGameGeek forums, designer Neil Kimball revealed that upcoming comic-book adaptation Locke & Key: Shadow of Doubt had also been dropped by IDW, claiming that additional titles had been cancelled.

“Sadly this game got cancelled (along with a slew of other games they had in the pipeline) just before it was going to go to press,” Kimball said. “I am in talks with other publishers to perhaps re-theme and update the game, but sadly a Locke & Key version won't see the light of day.”


Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.

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