Despite the doom and gloom reports of a poor economy, the board game industry is experiencing tremendous growth. Consumers are turning away from higher priced entertainment options and turning towards the low cost, simple-to-play, and ever so lowly board game for recreation. Games like Monopoly, Uno, and Skipbo are seeing a surge in sales. In fact, the board game industry has seen double digit growth each of the last few years.
The speculation is that board games represent a return to family values. The consumer strapped with cash, may be foregoing dinner out with the family, and skipping the latest movie, but they still crave to spend time together. Where video games tend to be a more isolated form of recreation, board games are a way to enjoy each others company.
The big three board game manufacturers, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, and Hasbro dominate the industry and account for much of the $300,000,000 worth of annual sales. But the rules are changing and even small manufacturers are finding a niche. The internet is leveling the playing field and allowing even the newest start ups to find an audience.
Take for example startup game company, Four Clowns Game & Toy Co, LLC out of Scottsdale, Arizona. Founded by four friends who wanted to bring their dice game to the world they have found the internet to be a fast and easy way to gain sales. Diception is the first game launched by the partners and they claim to have a master list they created that contains upwards of three dozen more ideas they would like to introduce.
Other companies have also sprung up to service this growing market. There are now services such Customopoly which allows anyone to create their own version of the all time classic, Monopoly. Another company that is gaining popularity is The Game Crafter. The Game Crafter website (thegamecrafter.com) allows anyone with just a few clicks of the mouse to invent their own board game, have it packaged, and shipped right to their door step. While their prices are not suitable for creating a game that you plan to resell, it is a great and low cost option for creating prototypes.
The Four Clowns Game & Toy Co, co-founder, Larry Shin, stated recently We researched the game industry thoroughly before investing in Diception. What we found is that when the economy is slowing board game sales tend to heat up. Since we are all family men, with children of our own, we wanted to create a game that our kids could play and enjoy right along with the adults. Diception is that game!
Deciding to get into the game business was an easy decision, but finding suppliers who would work with us to create a game was hard. We are nobodies and for the most part, gaming manufacturers want you to commit to huge quantities of games for your initial run. Eventually we did find a solution, but it was a lot of work. Shinn went on to state.
So while the other industries struggle to find business in this ever slowing economy, the board game business is booming. The industry appears to have many more years of increased growth, and companies both big and small are counting on this growth by creating new titles to satisfy the demand. Playing board games has always been fun and looks as though fun has no end in sight.