From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
ICv2 have their periodic look at the tabletop games industry up. The growth over the past three years has continued. Very few industries (or businesses) can say they grew by 20% in the past year, but tabletop games (or Hobby Games, as ICv2 classifies them) did.
Tabletop games are broken down into six categories by ICv2, making a more nuanced view possible. A few summary points:
Magic is still king. Sitting comfortably at the top of the collectable games rankings, and with another year of growth behind it, this 20-year-old game is going from strength to strength. As a game, Magic is tremendously complex, but its popularity is only increasing. It has become something of an entry level product for tabletop games (especially those involving cards) even though it’s among the most complex. If you can get to grips with Magic, any other tabletop game will be easy to learn in comparison.
Pathfinder still conquers. This independent RPG grew out of player frustration with fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons, and is now the top selling RPG game. Pathfinder is now a powerful brand in its own right, with the Pathfinder Adventures game topping the card/dice table this time around.
Pre-painted is now a thing. Among non-collectable miniatures, two of the top 5 selling games now feature pre-painted miniatures. As little as two years ago this would have been considered unthinkable.
While pre-painted models of the past were atrocious things, these days some serviceable models have appeared for focused games. These have been the space battle games based around Star Wars (by Fantasy Flight) and Star Trek (by Wizkids). The quality of the models and the games combined with the draw of the franchise in question have seen these new released miniatures games fire straight into the top 5. Star Wars miniatures holds the third place spot behind Warhammer 40,000 and War Machine, while the newer Star Trek games holds fourth, outselling the more established Hordes line from Privateer Press. It is unusual for a brand new miniatures game to fire straight into the top 5 (the last to achieve this was 1st edition Malifaux) and it remains to be seen if Star Trek will prove a momentary flare.
Warhammer is no longer a thing. Moving out of the top 5, pushed out really, is Games Workshops’ Warhammer fantasy miniatures game. Anecdotally, this game has been suffering for a new years now in terms of falling sales. It must be disappointing to Games Workshop to have a major game slide in the face of 20% growth across the industry. Many companies in the chain benefit form this growth, but with sales flat Games Workshop are not one of them. The fact that Warhammer 40,000 remains at the top of the rankings is testament to the selling power of this game and its iconic Space Marines.
Icv2 typically provide these updates every six months, and it will be interesting to see if the top 5 shift again in 2014.