Why are board games becoming less popular?
Why are board games becoming less popular? Another way to say it: Notwithstanding the way that practically all parts of our lives are reliant upon innovation, a specialist at the College of Pittsburgh states that the tabletop game is encountering a recovery.
Zachary Horton studies a variety of media, including board games, as an assistant professor in the Department of English at Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. He taught Pitt’s first-class on-board games, Post-Digital Gaming, in the fall of 2019, which covered games from the 1970s to the present. Despite the “huge resurgence in popularity among all age ranges,” he believes that this was one of the few classes in the nation that focused on board games.
Horton and his colleagues in the Department of English used to frequently get together in small groups to play a variety of games before COVID-19 and social distancing regulations came into effect.
In the past few years, there has been a lot of change in the board game industry. By gaining traction for their games through crowdfunding and social media platforms, independent developers have shaken up the market. Game designers and fans now have virtually limitless options than ever before. In point of fact, independent tabletop games now make up some of the most popular games available, something that would have been impossible a decade ago.
We were left wondering as an increasing number of creative individuals joined the independent game design and self-publishing movement: What happens next with board games? When developing a new game, how likely is it for independent game designers to receive support? To find out, we surveyed more than 500 gamers.
Our findings indicate that consumers still desire more games even though there are more games to choose from than ever before. They adore the growing number of independent games and can’t get enough of them. The situation for independent game developers is good, maybe even better than it was before.
Naturally, there is a caveat. When deciding whether to purchase a game or contribute to a crowdfunding campaign, gamers look for a few things. Despite the fact that individual preferences may vary, it is evident that some of these aspects are so significant to the majority of gamers that they have the potential to either make or break sales.
We invite you to examine some of the major trends that are currently taking shape in the board game industry, whether you are an avid board game collector who has always dreamed of developing your own game or you have already created a game and are looking for ways to expand your audience.
Many modern board games differ significantly from Monopoly in that they heavily rely on the game board, cards, and playing pieces. The gamers of today have also evolved. While gamers of today are more likely to own dozens of games than in the past, the typical household may only have a few video games. 57% of respondents own one to 25 board and card games, while 22% own 26 to 50, according to the survey. Next, 5.9% of people own between 76 and 100 games, while 4.2% own 51 to 75 games. Furthermore, an astonishing 10.9% own more than one hundred!
There are now more places than ever to buy games. Even though the respondents to our survey do buy things online, you might be surprised to learn that they rarely buy cards or board games there. Online shopping is not showing any signs of slowing down.
In our survey, participants were asked to list all of the places where they typically purchase games. 482 out of the 545 people who answered said they buy games at their local game store, while 323 of them said they buy games from Amazon. Additionally, 41% of gamers purchase games through Kickstarter.
For their responses, conventions and big-box stores also received a lot of attention (more so than online). A few of the respondents also purchased games through trades on BoardGameGeek or Indiegogo.
Yes, board games continue to be immensely popular. The global market value of cards and board games was approximately 12.02 billion US dollars in 2018 and will reach 21.56 billion US dollars by 2025, according to statistics from Statista. This simply demonstrates the widespread popularity of board games and the industry’s ongoing rapid growth.
I can confidently state that board games are still popular and won’t be going away anytime soon, based on the facts and what we’ve seen in the board game community.