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Is the board game resurgence coming to an end? 4 must-read articles for anyone in the industry (or looking to get into the industry)

The board game industry is booming!

But have you ever stopped to think, how long will this last? Can it really keep growing forever? Will there still be a market for my game?

I recently interviewed Curt Covert from Smirk and Dagger Games for the Board Game Design Virtual Summit. He is someone with a real ear to the ground for what’s going on in the industry. We talked about the recent changes in distribution and how it’s becoming even harder for small to medium sized publishers to get their games into stores. It was a fascinating discussion and it really opened up my eyes to what’s going on in the industry right now.

It also reminded me of a fantastic series of articles by Isaac Shalev at Kind Fortress I read earlier this year dubbed “Drowning in Gold”, which talked about the state of the industry and where it’s heading. I wanted to share this series with you to give you some insights into the future of the board game market.

Part 1 – How Too Many Games are Breaking the 3-Tier System – In this first article, Isaac talks about the traditional 3 tiers of publishers, distributors, and retailers, and how they work together to get games out to fans.

Part 2 – The Rise of Online Game Stores – Online retailers have a number of advantages over brick-and-mortar stores, especially when it comes to keeping costs down. In this second installment, Isaac explores the impact of online game stores on FLGS (friendly local game stores).

Part 3 – The Mass Market Strikes Back – It’s well known that Amazon has gotten us used to low prices and free shipping. They’ve had a big impact on the board game market, as have big-box stores like Target and Barnes & Noble. Check out this article to see exactly how they’ve cut out the middleman and taken their own slice from the board game market.

Part 4 – The Kickstarter Menace – Kickstarter has broken down barriers for new creators. Publishers are no longer the gatekeepers they used to be. But is this a good thing? Read on to hear one creators thoughts.

It appears there was a fifth and final article in the works. Unfortunately, this was never posted. It may have been due to the pandemic or any number of factors. And the pandemic certainly has changed things even further. Yet, everything in the above articles is still very relevant and helpful to understand.

I also love it how Isaac used Star Wars references in most of the titles. ?

What are your thoughts on the state of the board game industry? Did any of these articles surprise you?

Comment below and let me know!

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