Meet two very special people at Hasbro. Without them, our games would not be what they are today. Ben Rathbone and Randy Klimpert are game design leads at Hasbro for adult and kids gaming. They have brought games to people around the world for their entire careers and continue reinventing the classics with their teams at Hasbro today.

Ben Rathbone: Ben is the Vice President of Gaming Design, overseeing all adult targeted games including Party Games and Strategy games. Ben works hard to make sure that we are bringing the most fun games and satisfying experiences to our rapidly growing adult gamer audience. Born and raised in the UK, Ben is an English graduate from Brighton University. His passion for designing games started with his brothers at home. His career working in games began at the first ever Games Workshop store in London. From there, he got a job as Assistant Games Designer at Milton Bradley and has never looked back. Ben has worked on designing of many game brands from Clue to Monopoly to Avalon Hill to Dungeons and Dragon. He personally loves games that feature theme and story. Now residing in the US, he loves working in the best area of gaming with the most passionate player audience.

Randy Klimpert: As Director of Kids Gaming, Randy brings the fun to off-the-board games like Jenga, Twister, Bop It and Simon, plus the entire Hasbro licensed gaming portfolio. A BFA in industrial design from the University of Illinois prepared him for an early career in toy invention, where he fathered dozens of iconic toys and games and served as kindly uncle to many more. As partner and creative director at Meyer/Glass Design he initiated and collaborated on such Hasbro classic games such as Pretty Pretty Princess and Catch Phrase. After 3 years as Notionographer at Cranium Games in Seattle he joined Hasbro in 2009 and moved East with the acquisition. He has 15 patents and nearly 1000 ukuleles. Not that he’s counting.

You can find proof here on our blog and a beautiful picture of Ben and Randy here.

We will be here from 3-5pm EST answering your questions.

Comments: 146 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

WillCreary19 karma

Why have you had no hit games in years?

HasbroGamingLab-10 karma

Hi WillCreary. We have an up and coming game called Monopoly. Randy here: what do you consider a hit?

WillCreary14 karma

I mean Monopoly is a very fun game, it's just been around forever. I mean, what's next on the agenda? Can you ever hope for more games as successful as Monopoly?

HasbroGamingLab-10 karma

Ben: Obviously Monopoly has the history and longevity. With more and more new games coming to market every year, it’s always going to be a struggle to get something as big as that without giving it the time to grow and breathe, but that’s our goal!

We can see other games like Catan and Ticket to Ride heading in that direction, but only after having grown their fan base.

Randy: But, It’s tough to beat a classic that’s been a favorite for 80 years.

Syxmoon13 karma

What do you think about those new (mainly european) designer games (such as "seven wonders", "ticket to ride", "zombicide", "agricola")? does it interfere in your market?

HasbroGamingLab15 karma

We believe all of these are great for the gaming market as a whole. The more people that play games the better.

phed9913 karma

Has the rise in popularity of more adult oriented games, such as Cards Against Humanity, changed the way your thinking of game design?

HasbroGamingLab9 karma

Ben: Absolutely. Especially the way we think about party games and how adults play. The content of the game combined with the fast and open ended game play is a winning combination which we have seen spark off a whole new genre of gaming.

Randy: The landscape of gaming is evolving constantly. We try to adapt with games, gamers, and play patterns as they change.

mpb200011 karma

Ben, since you listed a game like Caverna as one you played recently, does Hasbro have plans to produce games in that "euro" vein? They are obviously gaining in popularity in the U.S. but I don't know if the numbers make it viable for a company like Hasbro.

HasbroGamingLab7 karma

Ben: I'd love to do that if we could make numbers viable. We are seeing more strategy-type games come to mass market in the US. Never say never.

slow56k7 karma

What games do you play?

HasbroGamingLab8 karma

Randy: Jenga, Scrabble, Dixit, and Cranium. I’m a big pub trivia fan.

Ben: Wow, tough question. Easy way to answer: games I’ve played recently are Sheriff of Nottingham, Whoonu, and Caverna. Also, can’t wait for Fallout 4!

works_4_lucifer7 karma

How can someone get a job working with/for you creating and designing games?

HasbroGamingLab16 karma

Does your current employer, Lucifer, have a non-compete? Getting too hot for you down there?

Ben: But seriously, we’re always looking for new game design talent. It’s one of the key skills we look for. Another opportunity to work with us is our gaming challenge at

For our current job openings, look at

B1llT6 karma

Do you find the games based on a "simple idea" stand the test of time or do people crave complexity in gaming, just as much?

HasbroGamingLab3 karma

Randy: I am drawn to games that are simple to learn, easy and quick to play, and infinitely snackable and repeatable.

Ben: I tend to agree that the simplest ideas last the longest. But there will always be an audience for complex gaming. Because that audience is smaller, they don’t stand the test of time as well. What do you consider complex? Personally, I have simple favorites like Love Letter, which meets Randy's criteria. I also have some more complex favorites like Arkham Horror, but I don't play them as often because of time constraints.

HasbroGamingLab5 karma

This has been really great. We really love the enthusiasm we’re hearing about our games and the gaming community as a whole. It’s been a great pleasure sharing the process and stories. Ben and Randy, signing off!

kpeoples8975 karma

I am a huge fan of Avalon Hill games. I know they are not as popular as the classic family board games are, but what are the chances that we might see a resurgence of this brand? Maybe a new Axis & Allies game or some reprints of classic AH titles?

HasbroGamingLab5 karma

Ben: Always great to hear from Avalon Hill fans. We are looking at ways to bring some of these titles back.

olivias_bulge5 karma

Ben: I am a big fan of Magic the Gathering, the game is currently doing well, but I feel the property has a lot of room to grow digitally and as a competitive game.

Is Hasbro interested in having Magic compete with things like Hearthstone and League of Legends?

Can you please send some truckloads of money to Wizards of the Coast to make MTGO and event coverage top notch?

HasbroGamingLab3 karma

Ben: I don’t work on the card game, but we just released the board game, which I was part of (and are really excited about). We also announced the first expansion at PAX Prime.

What kind of Magic coverage would you like to see?

34587903 karma

How come Hasbro stopped making WWF wrestling figures in the mid-1990s?

HasbroGamingLab6 karma

Ben: ಠ_ಠ

We're talking about games here!

Frajer3 karma

with children using technology at such a young age do they still love board games ?

HasbroGamingLab7 karma

Randy: Technology will never be a substitute for socialization. Board games offer face-to-face interaction, which technology can augment, but never replace.

Tucana663 karma

I believe it was Hasbro with the "family game night" concept. And for families, it really is a good idea to bring everyone together (aside from dinner table time - which is TOUGH in this age of long work hours and homework, sports, distractions from devices, etc.)

My question: Are you focused more on traditional board games or video game/app development? Will we eventually see VR games from Hasbro, such as the Oculus Rift VR device?

HasbroGamingLab5 karma

Ben: The current focus for Randy and I is face-to-face board games. We work closely with our digital team looking for cross-over opportunities with new technologies like VR.

Randy: With one of the largest gaming portfolios in the world, we create gaming experience that cross all platforms.


Are there any games you guys have made that you would consider failures? And if so, obviously you wouldn't intentionally make a bad game, so what was the surprise that caused the game to flop?

HasbroGamingLab4 karma

Ben: Cluedo Secrets & Spies, which had a texting feature in it. Looking back, it was probably before its time and people didn’t really understand what it was. It taught us to consider carefully integrating technology into board games and to really think about where and when it works.

Randy: Most failures never see the light of day. We work on 30-50 times the number of product that ever makes it to the market.

spicypepperoni3 karma

Any updates in the near future for Battleship?

HasbroGamingLab7 karma

Battleship turns 50 in 2017! We wonder how we’ll celebrate…

potatoguy3 karma

Questions for both.

Which game/toy was the most enjoyable to work on and why?

What is your favorite hasbro and non-hasbro game to play?

RoboRally. No expansions. Why?

Favorite pizza topping?

Ben, what warhammer army did you start with and do you still play?

HasbroGamingLab5 karma

Randy: 1. Catch Phrase. From the inception, it was a game that you throw around. Working on it as an inventor and submitting it to Hasbro and seeing it come out on the market was awesome. 2. Jenga and Dixit. 4. I like simple games and simple toppings. I like meat.

Ben: 1. Heroquest. It was the first game I worked on at Hasbro and it taught me a lot about game design. 2. Monopoly Deal and Race for the Galaxy. 3. Hey potatoguy! Great to know you’re a fan of Robo Rally. Keep your potato eyes peeled for news next year… 4. BBQ Chicken. It’s that easy. 5. When I played, I played dwarves. My GW preference was Blood Bowl, which I still play when I can.

C_Chivo3 karma

What has been your favorite game to work on? And what is your favorite game you haven't worked on?

HasbroGamingLab1 karma

Ben: My favorite game I haven’t worked on is Dungeons and Dragons.

Randy: I love working on Twister and Jenga because I think the possibilities are endless for both. I wish I had been around in the 1960’s when the classics were being invented and worked on, like Mouse Trap, Simon, and Operation.

topher-dot-com3 karma

How do you play test your designs? How do you decide when a design is ready for market?

Which games that you have worked on were the hardest to design?

The new Star Wars Risk has a lot of designer mechanics that se it apart from other hasbro titles, does hasbro have any plans to develop more mechanic heavy or european style (catan, Dominion, Ticket to Ride) games?

Legacy games are back in the spot light, are there any plans to make a sequel to Risk legacy or add the legacy format to other titles?

HasbroGamingLab2 karma

Randy: Designers play test first as we iterate the game. We kitchen play test with other designers at Hasbro. Then, we play test with kids. By the end of every game, dozens of different people have played.

I would say the simplest games are the hardest to design. It’s always tempting to add more rules, which doesn’t often make for a better game.

Ben: Hopefully you’ve also played our Magic the Gathering: Arena of the Planeswalkers board game that was released this year. We have more plans for Risk that we’ll be demoing at Essen Spiel in October. We are very proud of Risk Legacy (the original Legacy game). We are always looking at other potential opportunities.

AdOpsDude3 karma

If you found $300 on the ground. What would you spend it on?

HasbroGamingLab2 karma

Randy: I once found $300 on the ground. It was all muddy at a flea market. It was pounded down into the dirt. I think I kept it.

Ben: Games. It’s cash so my wife would never find out.

Lighetto2 karma

Hi there! Thanks so much for doing this AMA.

What are your plans to stay relevant in a world of independent game design and Kickstarter?

HasbroGamingLab4 karma

Ben: Great question, Lighetto! We are constantly looking at new cultural and gaming trends to bring the best games to the gaming community. One great example of this is our recent game challenge with Indiegogo that you can find here.

kpeoples8972 karma

Also, with the Hasbro Gaming Lab challenge - if my idea is chosen as a finalist can I add some more team members to help me with my project (mainly for artwork purposes, etc.)? I know some great artists, but I didn't list them as part of my "team" in the submission as I am not at that point yet in my development. However, I will likely bring them in to help me if things really start moving in order to meet the Ingiegogo deadline.

Just want to follow the rules.

HasbroGamingLab2 karma

We're pumped that you've entered the challenge. If you have questions about your Hasbro Gaming Lab submission, e-mail [email protected].