Yesterday the preorder for Viticulture World and the Wine Crate went live on the Stonemaier Games webstore. We were flooded with orders and enthusiasm, which meant a lot to me personally, as it was at this same time 9 years ago that Viticulture–my first published game–released to retailers.

US Store | Europe Store | Canada Store | Australia Store

Due to some special circumstances, the announcement and release process for Viticulture World and the Wine Crate ended up being quite different than what I originally imagined. However, due to the consistently inconsistent world of freight shipping, the preorder date was pushed back and remained uncertain until just a few days ago when the last few bits arrived at our fulfillment center in Canada (Hubtrotter).

This ended up being a great exercise in keeping the spotlight on Viticulture World for much longer than usual (i.e., stalling). I had already revealed everything about the expansion by the end of April, leaving me at least a full month to sporadically share content about the cooperative expansion. By the end of that time, over 5600 people had signed up for the launch notification, so today I thought I’d look back at the content I created and shared along the way to keep the spotlight bright.

Articles

I don’t use this blog to promote Stonemaier Games content; rather, the goal is to add value to my fellow creators. But if I can add something of value while talking about an upcoming product that’s on my mind, it’s a win-win.

I have a few articles related to Viticulture World; several in April (here and here) and one in May about all-in bundles vs an ala carte strategy. The latter resulted in us starting to implement a hybrid of the two strategies–soon with a single click you’ll be able to buy all products we offer for each of our brands.

Early Reviews

We sent advance review copies many months ago and featured those reviews during the April reveal. Normally I would wait closer to the preorder to send out additional review copies, but with a month to fill, I proceeded to send out a batch of around 40 early review copies.

Thanks to these amazing reviewers, I frequently updated the Viticulture Facebook page and the Viticulture World page on our website with new reviews, and throughout May I shared a variety of posts and reviews on Instagram (a process the media made easy by tagging @jameystegmaier on their posts).

Facebook, Instagram, and Board Game Geek

In addition to sharing reviews on these platforms, I also posted occasional tidbits on these platforms. Tim Chuon’s beautiful photography makes this easy. I tried to create posts that would add value in some way, like the packing guide for the Wine Crate:

E-Newsletters

We send a general newsletter every month, so in the May newsletter (and the Champion newsletter), I updated people on the status of Viticulture World, shared reviews and playthroughs, and featured a new image format I’ll use for future products that highlights how the expansion works:

Custom Wine Labels

A few of our creative shareholders made an interactive system for people to answer a few personality quiz questions and generate a custom wine label to share on Facebook and Discord. Here’s one I just created:

YouTube

Last, as I’ve done for a few products now, I filmed a video discussing many of the components we tested during the development and production process for Viticulture World, providing a sneak peek behind the scenes of the process. I scheduled this video for just a few days before the preorder so it would be fresh on peoples’ minds.

I also appreciate our sponsored channel, The Mill, for highlighting Viticulture World and the Wine Crate several times over the last month.

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At long last, Viticulture World and the Wine Crate are finally available on the Stonemaier Games webstore (at a special preorder discount and all other Viticulture products on sale through June 4), with shipping happening throughout June from fulfillment centers in the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Huge thanks to designers Mihir Shah and Francesco Testini, artist Andrew Bosley, graphic designer Christine Santana, solo specialists Automa Factory, and all of the playtesters, proofreaders, and now customers for bringing this expansion to life!

What do you think about these methods for keeping the spotlight on a product between announcement and preorder? What would you like to see more of in the future?

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