We love board games and we love sharing information about them. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of board game industry statistics! Read on to learn more about how the board games industry is growing, which games are the most popular among children, and more.
We know how important it is to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and figures in the gaming industry, and we want to make sure you have access to the information that matters most. Whether you’re a game designer, producer, or just a casual player, these stats will help you make informed decisions about your business.
Let’s get straight to the list now.
General Board Game Industry Statistics
1. In 2021, the global board games industry generated $12.1 billion in sales.
It’s no secret that board games are having a moment. The global board games market was estimated to be worth $12.1bn this year, the latest figures from research firm Euromonitor show. This is a healthy increase from the previous year; in 2020, the market was valued at $11.3bn.
|Year||Board Games Market Size|
This increase is attributable to a number of factors, including:
- growing demand for online shopping (which enables customers to browse and purchase games more easily than in-store shopping)
- increased interest in tabletop gaming among millennials, who are more likely to spend money on this type of product as opposed to video games or other forms of entertainment (such as movies)
- increasing popularity of digital board games such as Infinity Game and Monopoly!
Board games are also becoming more popular with younger generations because they offer an alternative to video games – which can sometimes be too intense for young children’s brains – or online social media interactions where people can say mean things without being able to see if their words are hurting someone else’s feelings until later when they’ve had time to think things through more clearly (and hopefully apologize).
Said growth is expected to move at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% between the same period, with 2021’s year-over-year (YoY) growth being estimated at 7.14%.
The UK, Germany, and France are the markets estimated to contribute the most to this growth. Besides them, there is also the US and China as the key board game consumer countries.
4. The United States generated more than USD 3 billion in revenue for the board games industry in 2020.
The United States holds the largest share of the board games industry, with over 3 billion dollars in revenue. The next five largest markets by revenue are China, Japan, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom respectively.
That’s because the US has a large population and the fact that it has a thriving tabletop gaming community. It is also home to many of the world’s most popular board games, including Monopoly and Scrabble. It’s easy to see why these games are so popular—they’re fun, interactive, and easy to learn how to play.
Each country has its own style of board games that they enjoy. In China, people love mahjong games and chess while in Japan, they love card games like poker and gofish.
5. Younger generations of Americans found board games to be more enjoyable than older ones.
In a recent survey, 82 percent of Gen Z (9-24 years) respondents found playing board games enjoyable, while only 67 percent of respondents from the Silent Generation (77-94 years) did so.
As for why that might be the case? Our guess is that younger generations are more familiar with modern technologies like smartphones or tablets–which makes it easier for them to navigate through apps and websites where they can play various types of board games online.
Or perhaps they simply have more time on their hands (since they’re not working yet) so they’re able to spend more time playing games with others!
|Age Demographic||% that find board games enjoyable|
6. 57% of players own between 1 and 25 board and card games.
Another 22% have between 26 and 50 of them, while the third-largest portion of players (10.9%) own more than 100 board and card games. 4.2% have between 51 and 75, while 5.9% of players own between 76 and 100 board and card games.
7. At 41%, the majority of board game players purchase 5-10 new board games or expansions a year.
The second-largest portion of board game players (35%) purchase four or fewer, while another 24% purchase 11 or more new board games or expansions a year. Out of those, 27% buy more than 30.
8. 34% of US consumers find playing board games very enjoyable.
Another 44% agree that playing board games is somewhat enjoyable. On the other side of the spectrum, 11% say board games aren’t very enjoyable while another 7% say they’re not enjoyable at all. A mere 4% say they didn’t know whether board games are enjoyable or not.
9. 22% of players spend over $1,000 a year on board games.
Those spending between $600 and $1,000 follow closely, accounting for 21% of board game players. Another 19%, 16%, and 15% of board game players spend $200-$399, $400-$599, and $100-$199, per year, respectively. Only 6% spend less than $100 on board games a year, while a mere 1% of players are unsure of their spending.
10. Over 88% of players purchase board games from their local game stores.
Amazon ranks second, being the place where nearly 60% of players purchase their board games, followed by Kickstarter – the marketplace of choice for 41% of board game players.
Conventions and big box stores (more often in-person than online) are other popular purchasing options for board game players, while a few of them also like to shop at Indiegogo or trade games at BoardGameGeek.
11. 71% of players discover new board games through word-of-mouth.
Only 17% of board game players discover new titles through online advertising, while other common ways of discovering new board games include attending conventions, as well as platforms like Amazon, BoardGameGeek, and Kickstarter.
Board Game Popularity and COVID-19
12. Global online sales of educational board games rose by 18% in 2020.
While the segment is expected to reach $13 billion by 2026, retail outlet sales declined in Q2 and Q3 2020, accounting for $50 million in market revenue. All of these figures add up considering the shutdown of schools and retail marketplaces as a result of the pandemic, which ultimately made educational board games remain relevant among modern parents.
The global play and entertainment company’s stock peaked at $126.87 in July 2019 and maintained a $100+ value until February 2020 when it started facing a dramatic drop to a mere $46 due to the uncertainty related to the pandemic’s effect on the economy.
The COVID-19 lockdown, however, brought about increased demand for board games and educational toys, resulting in a boost in sales of Hasbro’s products. This, in turn, boosted their stock value to $51.87 and brought about the reactivation of their supply chains in China.
14. ‘Board game’ Google searches increased by 82% between February and March 2020.
‘Board game’ searches previously stood at 550,000 and rose to a staggering million around the time when lockdowns were introduced. In terms of country demographics, 42% of those searches came from the United States.
15. At 306.6%, Pandemic was the board game with the highest increase in Google searches between February and March 2020.
The only other time when Pandemic has recorded a notable spike in popularity was during the Swine Flu pandemic in 2009 when it got around 82,000 searches. In terms of popularity by country, the pandemic was most popular in the United States in March 2020, with over 50% of searches coming from the country.
16. At 173.7%, Ludo ranked second on the list of board games with the highest increase in Google searches between February and March 2020.
During the same period, Battleships and Game of Life followed with an increase of 123.5% each.
In South America, Ludo was most popular in Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil. Across the pond, Ludo was most sought-after in Egypt, Sudan, and Angola in Africa, as well as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh in Asia.
17. Monopoly noted a 123.2% increase in Google searches between February and March 2020.
Monopoly was the most popular board game in terms of the number of countries that searched for it within the same period. Said countries include Greenland in North America, then Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras in Central America, followed by Columbia and Argentina in South America.
In Europe, Monopoly was most popular in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.
Lybia was the only African country where Monopoly was most popular, while moving East, it was the most sought-after board game in Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
18. Scrabble was the third-most-popular game in terms of the number of countries that searched for it the most between February and March 2020.
Scrabble was the most popular board game across Africa, with Morocco, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, DR Congo, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia being the countries recording the highest number of Google searches for it.
It was the most-searched-for board game in Canada and the US in the Americas, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea in APAC.
In Europe, Scrabble was most popular in Poland, the Czech Republic, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Austria.
19. At 246,000, Pandemic was the board game with the highest number of worldwide searches in March 2020.
Risk followed at 90,500 searches, while Catan, Cluedo, and Monopoly shared the third place with 60,500 searches each. The list of the top ten most popular board games in terms of global Google searches in March 2020 was rounded by Jumanji (49,500), Life and Sorry (40,500 each), Ticket to Ride (33,100), and Ludo (27,100).
Statistics on Board Game Players’ Habits
20. 40% of board game enthusiasts most often play at their homes.
About 33% of players do so locally at game stores, while a mere 4% of gamers play elsewhere, e.g. cafes, bars, board game conventions, etc.
21. 43% of board game enthusiasts play several times a week.
Another 25% do so once weekly, and a further 17% play board games between two and three times a month. 6% of board game enthusiasts play daily, and an equal portion do so only once a month. A further 3% of gamers play board games less often than once a month.
22. 58% of board game enthusiasts always choose their friends/acquaintances to play with.
Another 37% say they usually choose their friends to play with, while a total of 5% of board game players say they never, hardly ever, or occasionally play with their friends.
23. 20% of board game enthusiasts always play with their families/relatives.
A further 28% say they usually play with their families, while 24% do so sometimes. Another 28% of board game players agree they never or seldom play with their families/relatives.
24. 41% of board game enthusiasts sometimes play with people they don’t know.
Another 18% say they usually play with one or more strangers, while just under 10% of board game players agree they never choose strangers to play with.
Crowdfunding in the Board Game Industry
25. 57% of players have funded a board or card game campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
Out of those, 90% have done so on Kickstarter only, 9% have funded campaigns on both platforms, while a mere 1% have funded a board or card game campaign on Indiegogo only.
26. Frosthaven became the highest-funded board game to date after raising nearly $13m on Kickstarter.
If you’ve been paying attention to Kickstarter over the past few years, you might have noticed a trend: board games are making a comeback. The reason? They’re fun! And they’re also a great way to get people together and connect.
Frosthaven, a board game by Isaac Childres, has shattered records on Kickstarter. The project raised over $13 million from over 83,000 backers, making it the highest-funded board game to date on the platform.
The success of this campaign shows just how much potential there is in this market!
The thing that makes board games so popular right now is that they’re easy to play. You don’t need fancy equipment or an expensive computer; all it takes is some dice, cards and some friends! That’s why we think this trend will continue into 2022 and beyond—because people love playing board games with each other!
27. Over $1.9 billion has been pledged to game projects on Kickstarter since it was launched in April 2009.
The platform has launched over 67,600 projects in the game category, with a success rate of over 45%. Out of the total pledges, $1.79 billion went towards successfully funded projects, while a little over $102.6 million weren’t collected as pledges to unsuccessful projects.
28. At nearly 42%, the majority of successfully funded game projects raise between $1,000 and $9,999.
A little over 23% of successfully funded game projects on Kickstarter raise between $20,000 and $99,999, followed by 17% that raise between $10,000 and $19,000. Another 8.7% and 8.3% raise $100,000-$999,999 and less than $1,000, respectively, while less than 1% of successfully funded game projects on Kickstarter raise over $1 million.
29. Over 66% of unsuccessfully funded game projects raise between 1% and 20% of their goals.
13% of projects raise between 21% and 40% of their goal, while another 6.7% and 3.3% raise 41%-60% and 61%-80%, respectively. 7.9% of unsuccessfully funded game projects on Kickstarter receive no pledges whatsoever, while 2.7% raise as much as 81%-99% of their goal.
30. 82% of players say a clear gameplay explanation is a critical factor when deciding whether to support a crowdfunding campaign for a board or card game.
72% of players find well-written campaigns very important, followed by 55% who say that a well-made video is somewhat important.
Another 55% of gamers say reward-level pricing is a major factor in decision-making, while 67% agree that frequent campaign updates and responsiveness to questions are critical when deciding whether to fund a campaign or not.
The stretch goals of the campaign and whether the creator has previous successfully-funded projects are very important decision-making factors to 34% and 27% of gamers, respectively.
Another 38% of gamers agree that Kickstarter and Indiegogo exclusives affect their decision-making to some degree.
31. 23.3% of gamers who fund campaigns await to receive their rewards in four to six months.
19.6% are willing to wait between nine months and a year, while another 19.2% look to receive their rewards in as little as one to three months. 18.3% of gamers are fine with waiting six to nine months to receive their rewards, while an equal portion of 3.2% each would either wait over a year or less than a month. On the other hand, 13.2% of gamers don’t care when they will receive the rewards of the money they have pledged to a campaign.
32. Among gamers, 55% are likely to opt for a reward tier that grants them a version of the game containing deluxe upgrades and/or exclusive options.
The lowest reward tier where campaign funders get a professionally manufactured game copy is the second-most-popular option, followed by a tier that allows printing and playing the game (7%) and the lowest-priced reward tier that only grants funders campaign updates (1%).
We hope this article has been useful for you in understanding the state of the board game industry and how it has changed over time. We also hope that you found some interesting facts that can help inspire your next design!
We are always interested in hearing your thoughts on our articles, so feel free to send us an email if you have any thoughts or questions.
Until then, keep gaming!