Everyone knows video games have become more popular than traditional tabletop board games in recent times. But the rise in playing games on screens does not mean board games are not faring well.
How popular are board games?
According to a study published by ReportLinker in 2019, the global board game market is expected to reach a value of more than $12 billion by 2023, which would see a growth rate of 9% from 2017. So, there is no doubt that the board game industry is not only thriving; but also growing. That is partially due to people wanting alternatives to online and console games after experiencing a technology overload. Board games are also still popular because they bring families together, they are great team-building tools at work, and they can decrease stress.
Board Game Cafés Have Become All the Rage
If you think board games are confined to family get-togethers at Christmas, you need to think again. In recent years, board game cafés have become extremely popular around the world, and their number is growing all the time. Board-game cafés and bars attract everyone from teenagers to seniors. Do not underestimate how popular such establishments are. In 2016 alone, the US saw more than 5,000 board games cafés open. And the business model is highly popular in European countries. For example, in Sweden, the first board game café to open was Cafe Taktik in Gothenburg, which had an impressive selection of over 450 game titles. It may have closed now. But that does not mean Swedes’ only gaming options are land-based casinos and web-based platforms like Casumo online casino, because plenty of other board game cafés have opened up in place of Cafe Taktik.
Board Games Can Reach a Global Audience More Easily Than Ever Before
People do not just play board games at home or at specific cafés and bars. Today, there are events and gatherings around the world dedicated to board games, such as the annual Kenyan Board Games Con, which is the largest games gathering in West Africa. Furthermore, since the advent of the internet, it has been easier than ever before to sell products to a global market, which means new board games from both global and small independent companies are able to reach the furthest corners of the globe and tap into largely untouched markets. In the old days, most new board games did not reach markets beyond their home turf. That has changed, so you can expect to see the growth of board games on an international level in the coming years.
The Board Game Industry Is Focusing More on Diversity
The board game industry is currently focusing more on appealing to all types of people, so diversity is now at the forefront of board game designers’ minds. In recent years, board games have certainly been attracting more diverse groups of people, and makers of games are keen to ensure their games are inclusive of people from all backgrounds. It is not just board games themselves that are becoming more diverse. More and more diverse board game makers are making headway in the industry.
Markets Are Shifting
More independent companies are making successful board games than ever before, which means the leading board game manufacturers’ market share is shrinking. Therefore, leading board game companies are having to adapt their business models to remain competitive. For example, the one-time powerhouse of miniature wargaming Games Workshop completely overhauled its franchise in 2015 with its Age of Sigmar system.
The board game industry is most certainly changing to keep up with the times, and with the growth rate continuing to rise each year, it does not look like board games will disappear anytime soon. Indeed, the future of board gaming is bright.