Can you introduce yourself and your company to those who might not know?
Hi everyone, I’m Johnson – CEO of EmperorS4 Games. EmperorS4 Games is a Taiwan publisher founded by 4 board game designers (and heavy gamers) who are particularly addicted to crafting strategy games.
Why the name EmperorS4?
Actually, this name is decided from a Tarot card picking ceremony. I picked The Emperor, number 4 card in major arcana. No matter if it was just a coincidence or not, “EmperorS4” is somehow very meaningful for us.
Your game Hanamikoji is a smash hit. Did you expect this level of enthusiasm for the game?
In the beginning, there was a very simple and pure concept in Hanamikoji: It’s an awesome game, and we want to introduce this great game to gamers all over the world!
Before the very first release of Hanamikoji in Taiwan, we could not expect any response from the gamers – we just did everything we could do. Thanks to God and all the fans, it’s your support and love that makes Hanamikoji flourish!
Hanamikoji and your other games have gorgeous artwork and graphic design. How important would you describe the role of the presentation of a board game?
Indeed, we put lots of effort in our artwork and illustration.
However, great artwork alone could not make a game perfect.
Board game publishing is an art of mechanism designing, theme/story weaving, artwork crafting and user experience. Achieving the ultimate level and balance in these four factors is the leading principle in EmperorS4 Games.
Nevertheless, we are still very happy to know that fans love our artwork, and thank you for the support to Meisharly, our illustrator.
Modern designer board games are relatively new to Taiwan. How would you explain the many great games that have recently come from Taiwan?
Nowadays, if there is any good situation in Taiwan board game industry, we need to first thank Swan Panasia, 2 Plus, Taiwan Boardgame Design and all the trailblazers here. They put lots of effort into bringing the wonderful gift of “Board Game” to Taiwan.
However, Taiwan is a very interesting market. We were once a very big market in the digital game industry and, furthermore, people here are deeply influenced by multicultural factors.
Even in EmperorS4 Games, a publisher with 6 members, we recruit genius people from everywhere – not just the board game industry, but also medical, digital games, financial, and all different fields.
Diversity is great for game designing!
What would be your advice for someone who wants to start a board game publishing company?
Since EmperorS4 Games is still a young publisher in the board game industry, sharing our principles and the advice we’ve been told is much better than simply giving our own advice.
Board game publishing is a career full of responsibility. We are responsible for building happy memories for our fans all over the world.
Please accept lots of responsibility for your career first.
We could do nothing without our partners. Please seek great people to work with.
However, to be a worthy teammate among great people, everybody must push each other to become better and better – in the end, a great team appears.
If we don’t have enthusiasm in what we’re doing, we will never become excellent.
The reason is, the path to excellence is too painful and intolerable. Anyone with logical thinking will give up if they don’t have enthusiasm.
Actually, these are principles for all start up companies. We must realize that it is a tough but meaningful pathway to run a business, whether you’re a board game publisher or something else.
Any new games on the horizon?
Of course! EmperorS4 Games prepared lots of great new games for fans in Essen Spiel 2017, especially Hanamikoji 2.
Some games are already released in the past few months and others will soon be released this summer. Please keep following us, and I can’t wait to see you all at Essen Spiel 2017!