Gen Con News

Catan Celebrates 25 Years of Bringing People Together — While Staying Apart

Guest Post by Catan Studio

In 2020, CATAN® celebrates its 25th anniversary. As we all know now, it’s not the anniversary year anyone envisioned. We’d like to share a little bit with you about the year that could have been, and why we are so excited now about the future.

The year got off to a great start at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair where German publisher Kosmos and CATAN GmbH celebrated 25 years with game designer Klaus Teuber and his son Benjamin. 

We had big plans to celebrate this milestone anniversary in an exciting way. It was supposed to be a journey that would span the entire globe, exploring what it means to be a part of the CATAN community in different regions of the world.

The celebration would then culminate at the 2020 CATAN World Championship which was to be held in Valletta, Malta in November.

Of course, we all know how our world has changed since January. Companies started canceling work travel, schools closed, and shelter-in-place orders went into effect all around the world.

It became clear rather quickly that all these world-spanning events that so many people had put so much time and effort into would have to be postponed to 2021.

So how can we celebrate the 25th anniversary when we can’t gather for a celebration or travel to be together?

We saw our fans playing CATAN virtually over video conference calls, and we were inspired to start working with GEGGHEAD to help them create their first virtual board game live stream. So far, they’ve streamed 11 CATAN games and more will follow. (On Friday, Aug. 31, the GEGGHEAD team gets a new challenger: CATAN Canada National Champion Sarvat Tahir.

We started developing free print-and-play materials as a part of our #StayAndPlay program, giving fans new ways to play their old favorites while locked down with their families

And, like so many other people all over the world, we kept doing what we do best: Making games.

Despite some COVID-related production delays, CATAN – Legend of the Conquerors is making its way to store shelves August 7. This game is really one for the true fans. A three-chapter scenario for the Cities & Knights expansion, it’s the most intense challenge for CATAN ever designed by Klaus Teuber and his son Benjamin. Klaus Teuber even wrote a developer’s blog series about it.

You can demo this game virtually at Gen Con Online!

The CATAN 25th Anniversary Edition will be released in October. It’s a limited edition set that includes the CATAN base game, the CATAN 5-6 Player extension, Helpers of CATAN scenario, plastic card sorting trays, Gamegenic card sleeves, and special iridescent player pieces and dice. It’s a great way for new players to get started with CATAN.

And stay tuned for additional information coming soon about the 5-6 Player extension for CATAN – Starfarers!

We’ve also marveled at the way shows and conventions have been so innovative, creative and nimble, putting on events in brand new ways in just a few short months. Thank you, Gen Con coordinators, for all your amazing hard work.

Despite the loss of all our grand plans, we can’t be anything but grateful. We have heard so many stories of families coming together over games of CATAN, finding moments of joy during a distressing time in our history.

We are honored to introduce so many new gamers to the wide and wonderful world of tabletop games — there is probably no better way to celebrate 25 years than that.

Donna Prior
Donna Prior

Community Director at Catan Studio