Board Games Make a Comeback: What’s Driving the Boom?
Mon, October 25, 2021

Board Games Make a Comeback: What’s Driving the Boom?

Chess, Scrabble, and Monopoly are only some of the popular board games of all time. Yet, there came a time when children and young adults became more interested in video and digital games that the demand for old-fashioned games waned until recently / Photo by: David Lapetina via Wikimedia Commons

 

Chess, Scrabble, and Monopoly are only some of the popular board games of all time. Yet, there came a time when children and young adults became more interested in video and digital games that the demand for old-fashioned games waned until recently.


The Renaissance of Board Games

Board games are slowly returning as a popular form of entertainment among kids and families as a way to socialize with peers. Millennials are reviving the modern board gaming industry. The interest in the old-fashioned games is also higher today than five years ago, business and financial news provider CNBC shared.

Melissa Rogerson, a lecturer at the University of Melbourne’s School of Computing and Information Systems, said that there are four main elements that make board games popular and enjoyable not only for dedicated hobbyists but for families. One of which is that they are social. Board games are played with other individuals and players can choose the game, learn from it, understand the rules, and eventually experience the fun. Even if the board game is mediocre, it can be memorable and fun when played with the right team.

The second main element of why board games are becoming popular is that they present a challenge of intellect. Players have to think strategically to win and move in a way that will surprise their opponent. In most modern games, luck doesn’t always determine the winner. Third, board games are real as objects are made of things. They have substance, weight, and beauty. There is that sensual and tactile delight to moving the game pieces which makes the players appreciate the game more. Some would even protect their games by covering the included individual cards and items with plastic.

Board games are slowly returning as a popular form of entertainment among kids and families as a way to socialize with peers. Millennials are reviving the modern board gaming industry / Photo by: JIP via Wikimedia Commons


Things That Matter in Board Games

Rogerson said that there are several things that matter in board games, such as the theme, mechanisms, and the expected duration. This is why board game designers are meeting such a demand. For instance, the Legacy board game enables players to modify the game while playing it. Players can discard the game components or the rules and write on the board itself. They also invite the players to play in sessions, which means modifying the game all throughout.

The Growing Interest in Euro Style Board Games

London-based game store Orcs Nest’s owner Peter Wooding has also told CNBC that there is more of a growing interest in Europe Style board games today than five years ago. Such a genre of board game emphasizes the importance of cooperation and strategy over luck and conflict. A good example of which is the Settlers of Catan, which first appeared in 1995 and was popularized in the US and Europe. In such a multiplayer board game, players serve as the settlers that attempt to build holdings while acquiring and trading resources. They gain points as their settlements grow, emphasizing social skills, negotiation, and cooperation to be successful in the game.

“No game is ever the same,” video game journalist Alice Bell answered when asked what is the reason for liking Catan. She added that there is “depth” to the game and it’s easy to learn. Video games platform Escapist Magazine published that Catan has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide in 2014. It has been played by the likes of Mozilla CEO John Lilly and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The game’s popularity also lasted for over 20 years.

London-based game store Orcs Nest’s owner Peter Wooding has also told CNBC that there is more of a growing interest in Europe Style board games today than five years ago / Photo by: Geraldshields11 via Wikimedia Commons


Tabletop Gaming Industry: Statistics

The global market value of board games or tabletop games was valued at US$7.16 billion in 2017, according to German database company Statista. It reached $7.8 billion in 2018, $8.5 billion in 2019, and is forecast to reach $9.27 billion in 2020. The global market value of board games is also expected to reach $12 billion by 2023.

Ravensburger, Mattel, Hasbro, and Asmodee Editions are the key vendors in the board games market according to a 2019 to 2024 forecast of press release site Business Wire. They say that the best way to set aside electronic devices and gadgets is with the use of board games. This is beneficial because gadgets today are keeping modern families so busy, they have less time to get together to play an interesting game. Despite the technological advancements, there are still families that consider bonding and connecting with their members over traditional board games. Other prominent board game vendors included in the forecast are Goliath, Asmadi Games, Bezier Game, Buffalo Games, CMON, Disney, International Playthings, INI, IELLO Games, Panda GM, RoosterFin, Surprised Star Games, Rio Grande Games, Zobmondo, and WizKids.

In 2017, the global puzzles market was valued at US$ 9.1 billion and it is expected to increase at 15.1% CAGR from 2018 to 2025. More and more parents are becoming convinced to purchase puzzles for their kids because of the belief that it will increase their brain capacity. The statistics are based on financial site MarketWatch.

Playing games is a part of the culture of many countries because of its social function. It gives a framework for players to interact with another individual more easily, too. No wonder the board game industry is booming.