The designer of Sushi Go!, Phil Walker-Harding, has launched a new board game studio called Joey Games.
Co-founded by Phil and Meredith Walker-Harding – an illustrator and textile artist – Joey Games is a publisher that is dedicated to releasing tabletop titles via sustainable means. The board games themselves will focus on the theme of Australia, teaching children and adults about the country’s culture, environment, wildlife and people. Decisions around game design, manufacturing and supply chain partnerships will reportedly be shaped by the need to “protect our planet and care for our communities.”
According to the studio’s website, all games are manufactured using 100% renewable energy, sustainably managed materials, with no plastic shrink wrap and unnecessary game components. Additionally, 1% of the company’s profits will be donated to Mudgin-Women's Place, a nonprofit organisation that supports local indigenous communities.
The newly founded publisher has already announced three launch titles, all of which will be centered on elements of Australian ecosystems and culture.
Busy Beaks is an upcoming card game about Australian birdlife, whilst Scribbly Gum will be a drawing game that will have players recreating the iconic scribbly gum trees of Australia – which are known for their grey bark etched all over with scribbly lines. The third board game coming from Joey Games is Pass the Party Food, a co-op board game themed around beloved buffet food of Australia.
Phil Walker-Harding is the creator of all three of the launch titles coming from Joey Games, with illustrations from artists Meredith Walker-Harding and Sarah Allen.
Besides Sushi Go! - and its follow-up titles Sushi Go Party! and Sushi Roll – Phil Walker-Harding is also known for creating the beginner board game Bärenpark, a tabletop title about building an amusement park populated by different species of bear, as well as the Egyptian-themed board game Imhotep.
Joey Games is one of many recently launched tabletop gaming studios promising to operate more sustainably. In 2020, Andrew Navaro – once a studio manager at Chip Theory Games – launched Earthborne Games, a publisher dedicated to finding more environmentally friendly ways of producing and distributing board games. Postmark Games, a collaborative studio co-founded by Elysium co-designer Matthew Dunstan and Skora creator Rory Muldoon, was launched in November 2021 with the aim of providing eco-friendly print-at-home titles.
Crowdfunding campaigns for Busy Beaks, Scribbly Gum and Pass the Party Food will be launched sometime this year.