PowerNine Games is closing its doors after 20 years of operation at its State Street location.
The move comes after the store’s former owner — Daniel Bock— moved out of state. New management, as well as some employees, will move to a location on the 400 block of State Street and will be called Gamer’s Library, employee of four years Coleman Yubl said.
PowerNine’s new owner will be Andrew Boudwin, who was previously the store’s manager. Bock passed down his legacy as a game store owner in Madison to Boudwin in what Yubl called “a passing of the torch.”
Renovation at the new location is set to begin in the upcoming weeks, Yubl said. The store used feedback from customers on what upgrades they’d like to see at the new location.
For example, the renovation will make this location’s play space more accessible to people who use wheelchairs. The current space for the store’s Power Night event is down a set of stairs and there is no elevator access.
Additionally, the store will be operating under Wizards of the Coast, a company owning six studios specializing in building fantasy and science fiction games.
“We’re trying to make it basically the new and approved version of the old store,” Yubl said. “So we also are working under Wizards of the Coast, and they have a very rigorous set of requirements for a business like this. And we’re basically upgrading a bunch of things like player accessibility and player experience to match what their standards are. For us, that will be a strict upgrade from learning games.”
Yubl said PowerNine also recently acquired software that will allow customers to host a remote-play event with products purchased from the store. This new software will be implemented at Gamer’s Library.
The software is used to run Swiss pairings on for events, meaning it uses a system for giving people a bank code and having them run an event at home. Boudwin said it creates an option for players to participate and get products from the store remotely.
“[Players] can pick software up or we can even ship it to them, potentially,” Boudwin said. “And then they can play via the camera with their friends without actually coming to the store and playing inside.”
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The store’s goal is to have Gamer’s Library open by February. Yubl said the store will likely host Magic the Gathering events, Dungeons and Dragons games and weekly board game nights.
Yubl said he is ready for the State Street location with improvements that will further the advancement of the store in the Madison gaming sphere.
“We’ve had a good run — I think it’s time for a new successor on State Street. I think that everything about the new store is going to be new and improved,” Yubl said. “So I think it’s just time for us to move on with the game store because game stores have just been upgrading over the past few years.”