Are Board Games Still Popular in a Digital Society?
Thanks to technology, there are numerous ways to communicate with and hang out with friends. You can play video games as a group or spend hours in a virtual reality experience. You may thus be wondering, are board games still popular? The answer is undoubtedly yes.
How Big Is the Board Game Industry?
The board game industry has exploded in recent years. In 2021, the global board game market reached a value of $13.75 billion. The growth is not expected to slow down, either. The industry should reach a $30.93 billion valuation by the year 2028.
If you play a ton of board games, you should thus take solace in the fact that you are not alone. One recent survey interviewed more than 500 gaming enthusiasts. More than 40 percent of them owned at least 25 games, and nearly 11 percent owned over 100. A plurality of these gamers play board games at least several times per week.
As manufacturers continue to release new products, devoted gamers are magically finding more room on their shelves. The same study found that more than 60 percent of gamers purchased at least five new games or expansion packs in the prior year. Approximately 25 percent of those gamers bought 11 or more games/expansions during that time.
These gamers are willing to spend money – real money, not Monopoly money – on their hobby. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 22 percent of the gaming enthusiasts surveyed paid more than $1,000 for new games during the prior year. More than 90 percent of the gamers forked over at least $100. As long as these devoted gamers continue their spending habits, the board game industry will remain alive and well in upcoming years.
What Types of Games Are the Most Popular?
Some people still enjoy traditional board games such as Clue and Monopoly. However, some of the most popular games are cooperative ones that require all the players to work together like Escape From the Asylum. These hobby games are fairly complex and often take hours to play. They are thus ideal for rainy days when you are stuck inside with your relatives. Instead of sitting around and having awkward conversations about your love life, you can play a board game to pass the time.
Dice-Based games have also experienced a recent resurgence. In these games, players roll dice to determine their next moves. Life can sometimes feel like a game of chance, so it is perhaps no surprise that people enjoy playing Bunco and Yahtzee.
Why Are Board Games Still Popular?
Board games have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years. Ironically, the trend began in the late 2000s, just as smartphones and social media were becoming ubiquitous. Some think that the board game resurgence results from nostalgia for the pre-digital age. After all, technology has become somewhat isolating, and people want activities that can keep them socially engaged.
Technology has also increased the generation gap. Board games, however, can close this gap. While board games may not stop the proliferation of “Okay, Boomer” jokes, these cross-generational games can help children bond with their elders. Games like Bamboo Bash are great for kids and adults!
The coronavirus pandemic only accelerated the growth of board games. While people were quarantined indoors, they turned to board games to pass the time. Settlers of Catan, for instance, saw its sales increase by 144 percent in the first five months of 2020. Since people could not go out and explore the world for themselves, they apparently decided to create their own (fictional) settlements and cities instead.
There may also be a link between the 2008 recession and the increased popularity of board games. When the economy collapsed, people needed a cheaper form of entertainment. Board games were reusable and inexpensive options.
What Are the New Trends in Board Gaming?
While board games harken back to the analog age, they are not completely stuck in the 20th century. Many companies are creating hybrid games that combine a physical game board with a digital application. There are also online board games, so you can embarrassingly defeat your friends even if they live on the other side of the country.
Nowadays, it seems as if nearly every up-and-coming business starts with a crowdfunding campaign. The board game industry is no exception. Since 2009, backers have pledged more than $778 million for gaming products just on Kickstarter. In 2019 alone, more than $176.5 in Kickstarter funding went toward tabletop games.
As a result, many board game ideas get funded just hours after they are launched. Many of these games are based on popular movies and television shows.
Not all of these games require excessive donations, either. In 2019, more than $4.6 million of funding went toward Kickstarter game campaigns asking for less than $5,000. Thanks in part to Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites, there is a wide variety of board games available. This makes it easier for gamers to find one that appeals to them.
How Do Board Gamers Connect With Each Other?
The internet has helped gamers from around the world connect over their love of tabletop games. Numerous websites and forums allow gamers to discuss strategies or ask questions.
Similarly, there are Facebook groups related to various board games. No matter what game you play, you will likely be able to find a community of fellow gamers willing to help you improve. There are even competitive leagues and tournaments for certain board games, such as Ticket to Ride and Munchkin.
Devoted board gamers also enjoy various conventions around the world. These interactive events let fans try new games and buy gaming merchandise. Gamers can also attend panels and speak with different game designers.
There are several podcasts devoted to board games, as well. This emerging board gaming community has allowed the industry to grow even more.
Since playing board games is so popular, participating in this activity is a great way to make new friends. Of course, you will need the proper equipment to help gameplay go smoothly. Thankfully, Sleeve Kings sells numerous board game accessories, including a variety of player tokens. Head to Sleeve Kings to check out our selection.