At Gen Con, Stronghold Games and Indie Boards & Cards announced a pending merger which will lead to the creation of Indie Games Studios. Indie Boards & Cards, Stronghold Games, and Action Phase Games, a company previously acquired by Indie Boards and Cards, will all function as distinct brands under the new publisher.

Travis Worthington, CEO of Indie Boards & Cards will serve as Indie Game Studios CEO, overseeing the operations of all studios within the new company, as well as continuing as President of the Indie Boards & Cards and Action Phase Games brands. Stephen Buonocore, President and Owner of Stronghold Games, will continue as President of Stronghold Games. Buonocore will also become the spokesperson for all brands within Indie Game Studios. Nick Little, previously Director of Product Development & Manufacturing at Indie Boards & Cards, has been promoted to Vice President of Game Development and Manufacturing. Indie Boards & Cards merged with Action Phase Games in 2016 (see “Indie Boards and Cards and Action Phase Games to Merge”).

No changes to the distributor or retailer teams and conditions for any product lines are expected as a result of the merger. Both companies use PSI (Publisher Services International) to handle hobby and mass-market distribution. Indie Game Studios will be managed from Oakland, California. Stronghold Games will be managed from Boynton Beach, Florida. Each brand will continue to have a large presence at major conventions worldwide.

"I am delighted to join forces with Stronghold Games," said Worthington. "Stephen is a tremendous individual that has grown a loyal following over the past decade and we've had a long running relationship of working together over the years. Our skill sets are very complementary, and I look forward to even greater growth as we work together as one team in the future. The timing was critical for both our companies. As the industry consolidates around a few major corporate players, we needed to get bigger in order to compete as an independently owned creator of the world's best board games."

"We have entered a new era in the hobby board game industry," said Buonocore. "We cannot simply operate as we did 10 years ago. To grow our business, we must acquire 'mindshare' via increasing visibility of our brands, additional customer focus, and hiring new talent. This merger will do exactly this. Indie Game Studios will allow us to increase our global reach, better fulfill gamer needs, and enhance our product development efforts throughout all of our brands. Indie Game Studios is uniquely positioned as an independent entity, ready to battle the giant corporate owned conglomerates of the hobby board game industry."

Stronghold Games has been publishing games in the hobby industry since 2009. Stronghold is known for Terraforming Mars, Great Western Trail, and Village. Indie Boards & Cards, also started in 2009, is known for The Resistance, Coup, and Aeon’s End.