The ICv2 Awards are the on-line continuation of a tradition that began in Internal Correspondence, the print predecessor of ICv2, over a decade ago.  These awards are given as a way of reflecting on the events of the year and to draw some conclusions from them.  They're based entirely on the business impact of events on retailers, as determined by the editorial staff of


Game Phenomenon of the Year -- Organized Play
2002 will go down in the record books as the year when game company-supported league, tournament, and demo programs went large for more companies, and transitioned from a nice marketing extra to part of the cost of doing business for CCG and CMG companies.  We did a series of stories in which we interviewed retailers about the importance of these programs and how they made them work, and the retailers' voices are probably the best way to learn more about organized play (see 'The Ins and Outs of In-Store Gaming, Part I,' 'Ins and Outs of In-Store Gaming -- Part II,' 'In-Store Gaming -- Part III,' and 'Interview with Tom Ray of Ground Zero').



Game Deal of the Year -- Wizards of the Coast Divestitures

In 2002, the deals with the biggest impact on the game business were the unwinding of the ambitious integrated strategy that had been pursued by Wizards of the Coast under its pre-Hasbro management.  Hasbro as a whole made a commitment to focus on its core businesses to turn around its fortunes, and its WotC subsidiary was not spared.  In the process, Wizards of the Coast sold GenCon, the country's largest gaming convention, to company founder Peter Adkison (see 'Wizards of the Coast Sells GenCon to Peter Adkison'); Dragon, Dungeon, Star Wars Insider and the Star Wars Fan Club to ex-employees of the company (see 'WotC Spins Off Magazines, Star Wars Fan Club'); and the powerful Wizards of the Coast on-line retail operation to another ex-employee group (see 'Wizards of the Coast Cuts Loose E-Commerce').  Rumors of the sale of the brick and mortar retail operations did not turn out to be true, at least by the end of the year. 



Game Controversy of the Year -- Not Enough Yu Gi Oh

Nothing gets retailers more agitated than insufficient supply on a hot product (see also the Comic Controversy of the Year in 'ICv2 2002 Comic Awards, Part 2'), and Upper Deck's Yu Gi Oh CCG was white hot and retailers couldn't get enough, so the frustration was palpable at times, especially in the first months after launch.  By June, with starters still hard to come by and Japanese product at times selling for less than American, retailers could taste the sales they were missing and didn't like it (see 'Yu Gi Oh  Still in Short Supply in Hobby Stores').  Many retailers bought product on the secondary market to re-sell at premium prices.  We received many retailer comments on the issue for our Talk Back section (click here for links to some of them).  The controversy ran about six months, until supply increased to levels that allowed most retailers to satisfy most of the demand. 



For part 1 of the ICv2 2002 Game Awards, including the company and product of the year, see 'ICv2 2002 Game Awards, Part 1.'