Barnes & Noble, which ran “Casual Game Gatherings” in 57, or about 9%, of its stores in March (see “Barnes & Noble Plans ‘Casual Game Gatherings’”), is expanding game events to the full 640-store chain, the company announced.  The first event, a “Tabletop Gaming Meet Up,” will be held April 30, around five featured games:  Machi Koro, Superfight, Ticket to Ride, Munchkin, and Qwirkle.

Participants will compete against each other with prizes for the winners, including a Machi Koro Diamine Promo Card Pack, a Qwirkle Brainteaser Book, and Superfight Promo Card Sets, among others, with local store contact recommended for final prize lists.

Barnes & Noble VP-Toys & Games Kathleen Campisano described the progression from the limited events last month to the chain-wide Meet Up in April.  “Seeing our customers respond so positively to the game gatherings we hosted at select stores was not only rewarding, but it crystalized what we believed all along: customers in local communities are looking for an alternative evening out,” she said.

Distributor Publisher Services, Inc.’s Andrew Lupp sees the events as pivotal.  “The tabletop gaming industry has always had a wide appeal to Americans as a fun, engaging pastime, but we see Barnes & Noble’s entry into events and gatherings as a game changer,” he said.  “[T]hey’re creating the social experience and building new communities to bring these games to many more gamers around the country.”