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Board game market trends

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Hi -- wondering if anyone here has any general figures on board game sales industry-wide since the advent of video/PC gaming. Obviously, sales of the latter have mushroomed over the past decade; the question is, how much (if at all) has that cut into sales volume for board games in the traditional sense (including new games recently introduced by newer companies)? Thanks for any insights on this issue.

Butch & Co.
Baseball Games

Board games sales - sports genre

Okay, we'll answer our own question (while inviting confirmation,
refutation, or updating) and pose a more specific one:

a little light research turns up some fairly consistent quotes claiming
anywhere from US$5.5 to US$7 billion in video/PC game sales annually
(circa 1999-2001), with sales continuing to grow but at a progressively
slower rate (10-15% annual increase) than, say, ten years ago. The
same sources claim in the neighborhood of US$380 million for board
games sales in the same 1999-2001 period, but with better annual
growth (21-23% annual increase) than video/PC games and than
the overall toys-and-games market (6% annually for the latter).

So if any of those sources (Toy Manufacturers of America, New York
Times, Seattle Times) are reliable, video/PC games account for roughly
15 times the volume of board game sales in terms of dollars, or maybe
8 to 10 times the number of units, since vid/PC games tend to cost
(again, very roughly) twice what a board game costs, with distant-second
board games actually slightly gaining ground on vid/PC games.

Our more specific question, then, because we've found nothing on this,
is what percentage (roughly) of sales are accounted for by sports-themed
games? Anyone have anything on this? Have sports board games
followed the same recent trend as board games generally? Or are they
the exception, losing ground (in terms of number of units and money
earned) to sports games in video/PC formats?

Butch & Co.
Baseball Games

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Board game market trends

Interesting info, Butch -- thanks for doing the work to pull that together.

While I have no statistical validation, I would assume that true stats-based sports board games would be over-taken by PC-based sports stats games (easier for the computer to do more complex, potentially statistically-true accounting and calcuations) and less realistic sports-themed games (fantasy sports or not-true-to-stats sports games, trying to up the in-your-face entertainment factor).

My brother and I nearly wore out a set of 1984 APBA cards back when we were in high school -- we played our own 16-team league with mixed up rosters and fictional city/team combos ... man that was fun! But once I saw what a computer could do with sports stats games, I never went back. While that's *my* story, I wonder if that falls in line with the majority of stats-sports fanatics or not.


Zzzzz's picture
Joined: 06/20/2008
Board game market trends

Here is another piece of information about recent board game sales:

Still not sure how to gage the sports area specifically....

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