Board games have always been a fun way to get people together. Not only are they fun, but they are important tools to facilitate communication skills, develop knowledge and critical thinking skills in both kids and adults, alike. As COVID-19 rages on, people largely remain indoors and have shifted to an ‘online’ lifestyle which creates the yearning for meaningful in-person interactions and board games perfectly fit in this picture. Families and friends can shun their computers and mobile phones and group for an interesting game of cards or Monopoly. This trend is expected to continue to drive the demand for board games for the next few years.
The global board games market size was worth an estimated USD 13.1 Billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 9 percent during the forecast period 2019-2025.
North America is the largest market for board games globally. It was worth an estimated USD 4.4 Billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 10 percent. The US market emerges as dominant in the region. Television series such as Game of Thrones and Big Bang Theory are increasing the demand for board games in the region. European strategy games are becoming popular in the region too.
Europe was the second-largest region for board games by GMV. It is expected to touch USD 4 Billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 6 percent during the forecast period 2017-2023 There is a strong demand for premium strategy-based games in this region, particularly in Germany, France and the UK. Kids, teenagers and adults all alike seem to enjoy playing these games, and game developers are constantly seeking to invent new concepts and innovate on existing, familiar games to grab a larger share of the market.
APAC is the fastest-growing market. China and Japan are the largest markets in APAC. India has high adoption rates, but the adoption rate relative to the APAC market is slow. The demand for low-cost products characterizes the market in APAC.
Rapid urbanization and increasing disposable incomes are expected to drive the growth of the African board games market. The demand in Latin America is mainly from Brazil, where RPG ones are highly popular.
Board games are segmented into Puzzles, Table-top games, Collectible card games, Card and dice games, Miniature games and RPG board games.
Table-top games include games like Monopoly, Ludo, Scrabble, Checkers, and Chess hold the highest market share, estimated at about 67 percent. Monopoly retains its Monopoly as the most popular board game with a 30 percent share of market within the Table-top category. Scrabble and Chess are expected to witness high growth rates. In North America, however, the collectible card segment dominates with a market share of about 35 percent. Card games are known to impart some valuable social skills such as verbal communication, group interaction, among others. Poker, UNO, Rummy, and Spades are some of the popular playing card games. If we look at the segments from a ‘theme’ perspective, popular themes include Education, Strategy and War, Sports, and Fantasy. Education-themed board games are seeing considerable demand across all the markets - APAC, North America and Europe.
Brick and mortar retail channel accounted for the largest market share of more than 65% in 2019. Most consumers seem to purchase board games at retail stores which are projected to fuel the growth of the board games market. Board game gaming cafes have been popping up across the world. In these cafes, people don’t purchase board games, rather they tend to go, play, and engage with other players from the society. With a rise in these café cultures, people are witnessing many cafes and shops offering snacks and drinks in various gaming events.
E-commerce is expected to witness solid growth rates of CAGR 8.9% between 2019 and 2025. The rising online presence and easy access to mobile gaming platforms are some of the major growth drivers for the segment. The rapid rise of online media coupled with a rise in the working population across developing countries such as India, Bangladesh, and China is projected to create growth opportunities for the segment. Besides, the rapid growth of the online games and toys market is expected to drive the growth. Kickstarter is turning out to be an important crowdfunding platform for new and upcoming board game developers. A surge in board games on Kickstarter relies on the boosting demand for tabletop games.
The market has become extremely competitive in recent years with several independent companies springing up in competition to the well-established ones like Hasbro and Mattel, although Hasbro and Mattel still hold a considerable amount of the market share. Other key companies in the global board games market include companies like Disney, Buffalo Games, Ravens burger, and Asmodee Editions.
The popularity of board games went up when the COVID pandemic was at its peak. In the US, Jigsaw puzzles - which was already trending before COVID led the way for the board games market with sales up 228% for the week ending on March 21, compared to a year ago, according to the NPD Group. Board games, especially the old-school versions, also started trending. As semblances of normalcy begin to return, the day is not far off when board game cafes and board game conventions make a comeback to the scene.
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