For the last 40+ years, the Spiel des Jahres — game of the year — awards have been like the Academy Awards of board games. And much like an Oscar can boost box office, a Spiel des Jahres nomination can send game sales rocketing skyward. Win the thing, and a game that went into the field selling just 500 to 3,000 copies — 1,000 to 1,500 is considered successful — can find itself with sales of half a million or more.