10 major video games getting board games in 2023

Some of these have been in the works since the pre-pandemic days.
Image via Themeborne

Licensed franchises are an important piece of the modern tabletop market, especially when it comes to bringing in new players to the hobby. Among the titles inspired by hit TV series, movies, and books, you can find everything from the Harry Potter version of the party game Dobble to highly thematic and strategic games like A Game of Thrones and Eldritch Horror. And it’s the latter trend that video game adaptations usually fall into.

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With hundreds of miniatures, huge boxes, and often complex rulesets, most of these games look to emulate or complement the experience of their digital counterparts in detail and immersion. Many also rely heavily or at least partially on luck, following the trend for American-style modern tabletop games—dubbed “ameritrash” by part of the players.

2022 gave us board games based on Skyrim and Monster Hunter World, and that is just the beginning of a new wave of adaptations. A board game based on Elden Ring recently made headlines for being fully funded on Kickstarter in less than 10 minutes, but the 2024 release is not the only title in the works for digital gamers.

Here are 10 video games that are getting new tabletop adaptations this year.

Epic Seven Arise (Epic Seven)

Image via Farside Games

This one is, as the name indicates, based on the hit mobile game Epic Seven, released for Android and iOS by Korean developer Super Creative Inc in 2018. It was licensed by Smilegate Megaport to be released by Farside Games Entertainment and was successfully funded via Kickstarter in January 2021. COVID-19 restrictions in China delayed the production of components, though—a scenario that applies to a lot of games on this list. 

Epic Seven Arise plays like a cooperative campaign, with a plot and some side quests that you can take along the way. Each character has a few different skills to help out the team, and each chapter of the story is independent and standalone, meaning you can play them in any order you want. Though it is meant to expand the world known to fans of the mobile game, the main focus of this adaptation is on the cooperation between players.

6: Siege — The Board Game (Rainbow Six Siege)

GIF via Mythic Games

Originally estimated for June 2022, 6: Siege — The Board Game is an asymmetrical tactical experience inspired by the hit shooter Rainbow Six Siege. In real-time, two to four players control their teams of five operators as attackers or defenders and must fulfill their objectives while denying their opponents. With different maps, missions, and operators, it seems to incorporate even the smallest details from its digital counterpart on the board. 

Though it was a short campaign, it raised over $1.5 million on Kickstarter and unlocked several add-ons that further enhance the experience, like 3D tokens and miniatures. Optional pledges also included expansions based on the game’s seasons and new map packs. 

Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of Night City (Cyberpunk 2077

Image via CMON

Not only does Cyberpunk 2077 have an expansion and a sequel in the making, but it also inspired a licensed board game. An ambitious, big box project with four expansions, Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of the Night City was developed by CD Projekt RED in collaboration with publisher CMON. The list of game developers involved includes Andrea Chiarvesio (Kingsburg, Marvel United) and Eric M. Lang (Arcadia Quest, Rising Sun). 

According to the Kickstarter campaign, which was fully funded and hit a number of stretch goals, the game is a competitive experience set in Night City where one to four players take on the role of gang leaders and fight for dominance.

Divinity Original Sin: The Board Game (Divinity Original Sin)

Image via Larian Studios

Originally estimated for 2020 after a million-dollar Kickstarter campaign, Divinity Original Sin: The Board Game brings the iconic Divinity franchise to the tabletop world. And like any good RPG, this is a cooperative legacy adventure for one to four players. That means each step of the story affects the next, and players need to modify or even destroy components along the way.

With highly detailed components ranging from miniatures to a clock-like game board, Divinity Original Sin: The Board Game promised to live up to the series and raised the fans’ expectations. Unfortunately, the project was not as close to finished as it looked, and in the years since its funding, it has faced its fair share of design-related issues. The team seems to be working hard to run tests and fix everything they can for a 2023 release, though.

Cookie Run: Kingdom — The Board Game (Cookie Run: Kingdom

Image via Gemblo

Based on the hit mobile gacha RPG Cookie Run: Kingdom, this is a worker placement territory-building board game where you have a variety of actions at your disposal each turn, but can only perform a limited number at once. What that means thematically is that players are kings competing with one another to build the best kingdom, using their workers known as Sugar Gnomes to collect resources, build, and expand. It plays on the city-building mechanics of the mobile game. 

Fully funded on Kickstarter, Cookie Run: Kingdom — The Board Game is published by Gemblo.

Heroes of Might & Magic III: The Board Game (Heroes of Might & Magic III)

Image via Archon Studio

The cult classic 1999 turn-based strategy game Heroes of Might & Magic III also got a tabletop adaptation that was fully funded on Kickstarter prior to a retail release.

With a ton of colorful miniatures, unique dice, and a modular board, Heroes of Might & Magic III: The Board Game is a strategic adventure for one to four players that can be cooperative or competitive, depending on your mood. You can recruit heroes specialized in Might or Magic and gather resources to complete your mission, all while expanding your territory and facing dangerous enemies. As you level up, you get more powerful and move closer to your goals.

The Last of Us: Escape the Dark (The Last of Us)

Image via Themeborne

A board game based on The Last of Us was first announced by CMON in 2020, but that is still not the game that fans are getting this year. In fact, the current state of that project is unknown, as developers haven’t shared any news since the initial announcement. 

The Last of Us: Escape the Dark is a separate project published by Themeborne, bringing the world of the game to the system of the Escape the Dark tabletop series. Designers Alex Crispin, Thomas Pike, and James Shelton, who worked on Escape the Dark Castle (2017) and Escape the Dark Sector (2020) together, are the ones behind this new cooperative, atmospheric adventure. Crispin also serves as the main artist for the games. And one of the reasons this collaboration came to be is the fact that Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog co-president and The Last of Us creator, is a fan of the Escape the Dark series. 

Fully funded on Kickstarter in 2022, The Last of Us: Escape the Dark is set to ship in November 2023.

Zoo Tycoon: The Board Game (Zoo Tycoon)

Image via Treecer

In late 2022, designers Marc Dür and Samuel Luterbacher (Darwin’s Choice) teamed up again to bring the Zoo Tycoon casual simulation series into the tabletop world. Estimated to ship before the end of the year, and afterward delayed to 2023, the adaptation had a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, unlocking stretch goal rewards that go from new board designs to more detailed meeple designs.

Zoo Tycoon: The Board Game is a colorful, stunning game that tasks one to four players with the same objectives as its digital counterpart: building and managing their own zoo. With individual wooden meeples for each different species, they can choose their favorite strategies to make sure the zoo can grow and thrive, whether it’s focusing on conservation, protecting endangered species, or making it as commercial as possible.

The Witcher: Old World (The Witcher)

Image via Go On Board

Before the TV show starring Henry Cavill ever premiered, The Witcher series, based on the fantasy books by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, was already an old friend of the tabletop world. And that is largely due to game developer CD Projekt Red, which embraced the idea from the start. Beginning with its own physical card game The Witcher: The Adventure Card Game in 2007, the developer launched two more digital tabletop games for the franchise.

The Witcher Adventure Game, released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2014, sends players on various quests in the world of the series, playing as its most iconic characters. CD Projekt Red developed a digital version of that adventure game, released in late 2014. With the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015, a free digital CCG called GWENT, inspired by a game characters play in the universe of Wild Hunt, also came out.

And now it is time for a new chapter in that story, with an adventure board game created by Polish designer Łukasz Woźniak (Titans, Valhalla). The campaign for The Witcher: Old World, set to be a prequel to the saga of Geralt, was fully financed in mid-2021 via Kickstarter. While the game was originally intended to ship in mid-2022, production was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions in China.

The Elder Scrolls: Betrayal of the Second Era (The Elder Scrolls)

Similarly to The Witcher’s case, this is hardly the first board game set in the world of Tamriel. The narrative and immersive The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms, filled with miniatures, came out in 2019, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – The Adventure Game, a cooperative adventure, was released in 2022. Both have their share of bonus content and expansions. Thematic versions of Monopoly and Risk are also available.

The Elder Scrolls: Betrayal of the Second Era, however, draws inspiration from the system of an existing dice-building tabletop game called Too Many Bones. Developers at Chip Theory Games announced the adventure for one to four players is coming out in March 2023. Story-wise, it is set “during Tamriel’s Second Era — specifically during the events of the Planemeld, as the Order of the Black Worm plots to secure the Amulet of Kings.”

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Author
Jéssica Gubert
Jéssica is a writer, editor, and translator working at GAMURS since 2019, but with a lifelong experience in word games and TV shows. She can also be found at concerts or babbling about board games anywhere.