The Resurgence of Board Games: Exploring the Comeback
In recent years, board games have been making a comeback, but what exactly am I getting at when I say “comeback”? Well, let’s look at the past. Board games have been around for thousands of years, and they have always been a popular form of entertainment. However, with the rise of digital distractions like video games, board games started to lose their appeal. The 1990s and early 2000s were tough times for board game publishers, with many going out of business. It seemed like board games were on their way out.
But fast forward to today, and the situation has changed. As I mentioned in a previous blog post where I discuss some of the trending board games on the market, board game sales have been steadily increasing over the past few years and the industry as a whole is thriving. In fact, in 2020 alone, board game sales in the US increased by 21%, generating over $3 billion in revenue. This resurgence can be attributed to several factors, with the pandemic being the most significant contributor.
The Factors Behind the Comeback
The Pandemic: A Catalyst for Board Game Sales
The pandemic has played a significant role in the renewed interest in board games. With lockdowns and social distancing measures, people were forced to find new forms of entertainment that didn’t involve leaving their homes or gathering in large groups. Board games provided the perfect solution, as they are a fun and engaging way to spend time with family and friends. They allow people to bond, make memories and have fun, all while staying safe.
One game in particular saw a huge surge in popularity during the pandemic. You probably guessed it–“Pandemic,” a cooperative game where players work together to stop the spread of a deadly disease.
The Power of Social Media in Promoting Board Games
In addition to the pandemic, social media has also contributed to the resurgence of board games. Many board game enthusiasts share their experiences and recommendations on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This has helped to build a community of board game lovers and has introduced many people to games they may not have otherwise discovered.
Virtual Gaming Platforms: Meeting Demands for Remote Play
The desire for innovation has also played a role in the renewed interest in board games. The pandemic had a significant impact on online gaming, leading to the rise in popularity of platforms like Tabletop Simulator, Board Game Arena, and Tabletopia, as players continued to seek to replicate the experience of playing games together in a virtual setting. Even social media giants like Facebook got in on the action, introducing games like Chess and Uno to their Messenger app.
Crowdfunding and the Rise of Indie Game Designers
Another factor contributing to the comeback of board games is the rise of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms. These platforms have allowed independent game designers to raise funds and bring their ideas to life.
One example of a successful crowdfunding campaign is “Gloomhaven,” a cooperative game where players embark on a quest to defeat monsters and explore dungeons. The game raised over $4 million on Kickstarter, becoming the highest-funded board game campaign at the time.
This success has led to a proliferation of new and innovative games that appeal to a wide range of players, which has also helped to promote the industry as a whole.
Immersion and Creativity: The Unique Appeal of Board Games
Finally, board games offer an immersive experience that can’t be replicated by video games or other forms of entertainment. Games like Gloomhaven, Scythe, Arkham Horror: The Card Game, and Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate allow players to step into a world of fantasy and adventure. They require players to use their imagination, strategy, and critical thinking skills to succeed, making for a rewarding and engaging experience.
And through an increased interest in games with unique and creative themes, many players are now being drawn to games with interesting storylines, immersive artwork, and unique gameplay mechanics.
The increasing trend towards board games has sparked the creation of a new generation of games that offer players an experience that goes beyond just rolling dice and moving game pieces. As a result, there has been a surge in the number of games that cater to specific interests like science fiction, horror, and fantasy, making board games more diverse, inclusive, and accessible than ever before.
The Final Score
So, are board games making a comeback? The answer is YES! And in a big way. Board games are becoming more popular and are enjoyed by people of all ages. With their unique social experience, wide range of themes and styles, increased accessibility, and overall fun factor, it’s no wonder that board games are on the rise.
If you haven’t played a board game in a while, now is the perfect time to get back into the scene. But where to start? A great way to immerse yourself in the world of board games is to look up your local game stores and board game cafes and check out their events. Many of these places have events multiple times a week, every week. This is an opportunity to try out new board games and meet other game enthusiasts.
Attending these events is also a fantastic way to learn about the latest and greatest board games. You can hear firsthand from other players about their favorite games and what makes them so enjoyable. This can be especially helpful if you’re looking for a new game to add to your collection.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to begin. Most game stores and cafes are staffed with knowledgeable employees who are passionate about board games and eager to help newcomers get started. They can recommend games based on your interests and skill level, and they’re always happy to answer any questions you might have.