No Export For You: Tabletop Games

  • Tabletop games produced outside of the US rarely make it to our shores, to the point that it's easier to list the exceptions — although this is starting to shift, at least for Roleplaying Games, with crowdfunding, print-on-demand and digital release making the effort and expense of translating such games somewhat easier to bear.
    • Games Workshop's products.
    • Maid RPG got packaged into one book by combining the core game and expansions during the translation. It helps that this quirky game is very well done and became quite popular.
    • Engel got a few books brought over to the US, before the US version of the line unceremoniously imploded, with the majority of books remaining untranslated.
    • In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas got a loose adaptation by Steve Jackson Games — very loose; they have some of the same concepts, but the execution is hugely different.
      • Specifically, the original is clearly a satire. The Steve Jackson version is a more serious take.
    • The card game King's Blood was originally Japanese.
    • The RPG, miniatures game, and card game Anima: Beyond Fantasy were originally Spanish. Even there, though, most of the sourcebooks haven't come over yet.
    • Mutant Chronicles and its Spinoffs... but not the RPGs that led into it, Mutant (in either edition) and Mutant RYMD.
      • Considering the fact that the third edition of Warzone was published by Excelsior and Mutant Chronicles: Collectible Miniatures Game was published by Fantasy Flight Games, and both companies have their HQ in the US, this is doubly odd.
    • Kult.
    • Qin: The Warring States has made it over, but the translation process is understandably sluggish, almost to the point of Development Hell.
    • Victoriana RPG and its Abney Park Spinoff Airship Pirates
    • Tenra Bansho Zero
    • Little Wizards
    • Golden Sky Stories
    • The Dark Eye
  • For boardgames it's very different, with many German and other European games being released in the US.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has two forms of this: early cards, and promo cards. In the former case, the earliest sets released internationally were cobbled together from several Japanese sets, which meant a lot of cards didn't make the cut. Since most of these cards are Com Mons, few people care - there aren't a lot of people begging for The Drdek. More painful are promo cards, or cards released with video games or for special events. They're getting slightly better at releasing these, but they still tend to lag. Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon is probably the most infamous one; despite being one of the most iconic cards in the anime, it was released in 2000 and didn't get an English release until 2007. Even Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon, its upgraded form, was released in 2005. Sixth Sense might set the record for a promo, being released in 2003 in Japan and 2013 in the West... though many wish it hadn't.
  • Magic: The Gathering has the entire Three Kingdoms block, based on (you guessed it) Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Originally produced for an Asian audience, the set only saw an English printing in Europe and Australia, never officially making it to US shores. Only a few cards from the set have ever officially made it here as reprints.
    • The Unglued and Unhinged expansions were only printed in English, due to the large majority of the plays on words, puns, and other jokes that didn't translate well into other languages.
    • The ante cards in early sets never made it into Porteguese print editions. Why? Well, it turned out that Brazil was/is the major market for these editions - and gambling is illegal there.