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Renegade's Origins: A Look Back To the Beginning!

Renegade's Origins: A Look Back To the Beginning!

Posted by Renegade Game Studios on May 16th 2024

It's our 10th anniversary! Look back at 2014 and 2015 and see where it all began!

2024 marks 10 years of making games for Renegade Game Studios! In 2014 Founder and President Scott Gaeta created the company with the mission to publish games that are fun, challenging, and unique.

In those first two years, Renegade consisted of just Scott and his wife Robyn. Between the two of them, they handled everything from taking pitches, sales, marketing, events, manufacturing, finance, and just about everything else you need to do to get a new game company off the ground. They also relied on a small group of contractors such as Anita Osburn to help with graphic design, layout, and art.

The first game published by Renegade was Gravwell, a game Scott signed from designer Cory Young at his previous company. Scott took this game with him as part of his buyout when he sold his stock in that company and left to start Renegade.

The second printing of Gravwell in 2014 was first shown off at BGG Con in November 2024. When released in December 2014, the fresh art and components captivated not only existing fans but a mass amount of hobby gamers.

In June 2015, Gravwell added to its already impressive list of awards, winning an Origins award.

Gravwell continues to be a well-loved staple in Renegade’s expansive catalog, with a second edition of the game still available today. It has enjoyed 21 printings since it first launched in 2014.

At that same November BGG Con, Scott met Randy Hoyt who also had a small game company and had just finished his Kickstarter campaign for Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, designed by Christopher Chung. After some discussion, Scott and Randy decided to team up and co-publish Lanterns. Randy’s company, Foxtrot Games, would handle the development and Renegade would take over and handle manufacturing, sales, and marketing. This would allow Randy to focus on game development and take advantage of Scott’s expertise in bringing games to market. Their co-publishing partnership would go on for years and launch an amazing string of hits such as The Fox in the Forest and The Search for Planet X.

Renegade launched Lanterns: The Harvest Festival with an innovative campaign. Scott selected 20 of the best and strategically located stores in the country and demoed the game for them. He made a deal with these stores. If they took 50 copies of the game and committed to a large display and dedicated demo table near that display for six weeks, he would take back any remaining copies after the six weeks were up.

At the end of the six weeks, all but one store had sold all their stock or enough that none wanted to return even a single copy. The buzz among retailers was terrific and Renegade sold out of their first 5,000 copy print run in just a few weeks and a second print run was already on the way. This aggressive reprint strategy and ability to forecast demand would become a cornerstone of Renegade's success in those early years.

“Lanterns is going crazy, it hit #1 new release in board games on Amazon today,” wrote Gaeta after 2015 ACD Games Day.

Since 2014, this game has been a bestseller. It has been printed in many different languages and received multiple industry awards and seals, including the Mensa Select Award.

FUSE by Kane Klenko was first announced in October 2014. Scott was introduced to Kane during a publisher and designer speed dating event at Gen Con by Cory Young. Kane had just recently had his first published game released by Mayfair Games. He had a real-time dice game he was looking for a home for.

Kane demoed the game to Scott at Gen Con and a deal was struck almost on the spot. FUSE was exactly the type of game Scott was looking for to help establish Renegade as a company that made accessible games for everyone.

“Kane Klenko gave retailers a sneak peek of FUSE and they really liked it a lot. Lots of comments about it being very fresh and original.” wrote Gaeta after the 2015 ACD Games Day.

FUSE hit shelves in August 2015 and has received high praise. The custom 10-minute app timer, though not necessary, even had some nice touches at launch. The computer voice that counted down the 10 minutes you have to complete the game came in two versions. The standard was your typical monotone computer voice and the “snarky” version of the voice has a bit more personality. The computer gets testy with your group because let’s face it, if you fail she dies too!

"It's fun, it's simple, it's easy, it's cooperative. It ticks off a lot of categories for me!” wrote Tom Vasel from The Dice Tower.

Fun fact! The computer voice was inspired by the wife of current Renegade VP of Sales Andy Lupp. Anita was working for a distributor Renegade was using and was Scott’s contact for the Renegade account. Scott had known Anita from when she was the general manager for a hobby game distributor in the UK. Not just the voice draws from a real person in the gaming world. The look for the holographic image of the ship's computer in the rulebook is based on the wife of the designer himself, Carrie Klenko! Carrie is instrumental in the development of all of Kane’s games and is forever immortalized in that rulebook.

Since its release, FUSE has sold thousands upon thousands of copies and has been printed in multiple languages. By 2016 it was named as a Mensa Recommended game. In 2022, FUSE: Countdown was released, expanding the timeless fun of the original game.

With the first two years of Renegade off to such a great start, the company was poised to grow. The next few years exploded so stay tuned! This is just the beginning of Renegade’s story!