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Shiny Games Day: 7 Years of Shiny Games

Shiny Games is seven years old today, so it seemed like a good point to reflect on where we are and where we’re going in the next year (or seven).

27th October 2015

While Shiny Games didn’t begin overnight, the company officially came into being on 27th October 2015. That was the point it was declared to be more than just a nice idea, or wishful thinking. The idea was to support great games that were hard to find in the United Kingdom. This seemed especially true of many good skirmish games, but we knew it needed to include roleplaying games too.

The Company Name

Our company name came from two places. Firstly, we intended it in the Firefly/Serenity sense of Shiny simply meaning good or cool. Also, it felt like the gaming industry was dominated by grim, dark settings and we wanted to focus on brighter and literally shinier environments and atmospheres. We’ve sometimes ignored this guiding principle for games, especially when customers specifically asked for them, but we always try to honour that initial intention as best we can.

Our Games

We chose some of our product lines because we knew how good the games were, others because customers wanted them and couldn’t get hold of them. If we stocked a game, we tried to get the whole line and keep it in stock. This is where we felt our place in the gaming ecosystem was, as a specialist in specific games. Local games stores might stock the core of a game, but with a local customerbase it probably wouldn’t be worth it for them to stock all the associated accessories (bases, matching card sleeves, etc.) for the less popular games. So we wanted customers to be able to get anything they wanted here, so long as it was a game we stocked.

That led to quite an eclectic mix, which was a concern for a fledgeling retail business. Would people check out an online store to see if our seemingly random selection of games included the one they wanted? We got some bigger games in stock to try and overcome this, but ironically they never sold as well for us as the smaller games we specialised in.

Our Customers Keep Us Going

Most of our success we owe to our loyal customers spreading the word about us online. We could always tell when someone had mentioned us in an online forum or group, because we’d suddenly sell a flurry of related products in a matter of hours that had otherwise sold relatively slowly. It was due to this that the Star Wars roleplaying games—Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion and Force and Destiny—became an early success for us, probably outselling all the other RPGs we stocked put together. BattleTech also became one of our most popular lines in similar circumstances and it has been great to see the resurgence of popularity for the game, along with great miniatures sets to support the fans.


As Shiny Games developed, it became evident that having lesser known games available in just our store didn’t give them the visibility they needed to thrive in the UK gaming community. Distributing those games, to make them available to other retailers without each one having to import them, was the way to go forward. We currently distribute Heavy Gear Blitz and Jovian Wars for Dream Pod 9 with a view to distributing further lines in 2023.

With Brexit creating a tax wall between the EU and UK for gamers, we initially focused on getting European retailers to carry our distributed products. It’s one of the things we’re most proud of that we managed to do that to make the game easily available within the EU, despite no longer being part of it ourselves. Now we need to focus back on the UK and get both games better known and supported here.

27th October 2022

Seven years on we’ve got some great and loyal customers, but we feel like we’re just getting started. Here’s some of the plans we expect to see changing and developing Shiny Games going forwards.

More Shiny Content

Making great games available to buy isn’t really enough. These days, in order to grow as a community, games need online content for would-be players to check out. We hope to start making some useful content for Heavy Gear Blitz, Jovian Wars and others in the near future.

While you shouldn’t expect a barrage of YouTube videos overnight, we’re hoping to do regular unboxings of our core product lines (Heavy Gear, Jovian Wars, Cyberpunk and maybe others) and develop from there based on what seems most useful.

Jovian Wars Fleet Builder Application
Jovian Wars Fleet Builder application

Something we tried to do from the start for specific games was community pages listing online forums, groups, applications and social media to check out for specific games. This is something we intend to revisit and spin out where necessary into small websites that point new players in useful directions.

Last year we also worked on a fleet builder application for Jovian Wars, which given all the recent advances in the game needs rework and further development to continue supporting the game. This is something else we’d like to do more of, given time and opportunities.


The Shiny Games stand at Border Reiver Wargames Show on 17th September 2022, products displayed on green tablecloths, with Richard standing behind holding a cup of coffee.
The Shiny Games Stand at Border Reiver Wargames Show on September 17th 2022

Events and cons are another important way of bringing our games to the community. Pre-pandemic, we went to a couple of local wargames shows and they were a lot of fun. This is something we’re going to do a lot more of in 2023 and beyond. We made a start by going to Border Reiver in Gateshead in September but we plan to get into plenty more events next year.

Expand Distribution

The Shiny Games Distribution homepage at

We’ve been distributing Heavy Gear and Jovian Wars for a few years now. We’re planning to do a lot more active marketing of this going forwards. If you’d like to see your local store carrying Heavy Gear or Jovian Wars, let them know that you’re interested and where to come for information.

We’d also like to expand the range of games that we’re making available through distribution, but more on that as it happens.

Economic Realities

Without wanting to dwell too much on this (we try to avoid grimdark, remember), the current economic circumstances in the United Kingdom are not ideal for selling games imported from overseas. At the same time, in the UK we’ve seen a lot of uncertainty about the cost of living in the last year. Meanwhile, the increased barriers that Brexit brought meant European orders fell away to almost nothing.

However, we’ve also seen plenty of people using games as a way of coping with everything going on in the world. All we feel we can do as a company is try and carry on making those games available as best we can.

Unfortunately in some cases that’s not been possible. We were proud to be able to make Knights of Dice scenery kits more easily available to customers in the northern hemisphere for over five years. However, a combination of shipping costs and the economic circumstances of KoD has meant we’re no longer able to do so. We hope will change in the future, but for now it’s unfortunately an MDF bridge too far.

So here we are

I hope if you’ve read this far you found our seven-year ‘State of Shiny Games’ interesting. We’re as reliant on customer feedback as ever, so if there’s something you think we should be stocking, or doing, or not doing, please let us know.

Thank you for listening, and thank you for your support.

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