Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

The billion dollar hobby

IcV2’s latest industry update is available, and they have a new and larger estimate for the total size of the hobby games industry. $1.2 billion in their new figure and this includes board games, card and dice games, collectable cards, and RPGs. Or, as they put it:

We define “hobby games” as those games produced for a “gamer” market, generally (although not always) sold primarily in the hobby channel of game and card specialty stores.  We define the “hobby games market” as the market for those games regardless of whether they’re sold in the hobby channel or other channels.

They have factored Kickstarter sales into their total, and with some of the larger board game projects being funded recently, I am not surprised at this decision. Here’s the breakdown of that figure between categories:


Collectables, led by Magic: the Gathering and the like, are the largest category by a fair margin in terms of sales. Board games have grown massively too, and looking at the top 10 there are some big changes here:


In the past, Catan and Ticket to Ride were firmly in the top two spots on this chart. That can changed with newcomer Star Wars Rebellion, and successful game Pandemic gaining the top 2 spots this time around. Elsewhere Blood Rage obviously gained some momentum on the back of its successful Kickstarter, while Mysterium’s different approach to gameplay won the purchasing approval of many gamers.

Last time the big news from my perspective was in miniatures, with Warhammer 40,000’s long stay at the top of the charts finally ended by Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars X-Wing game. Games using the Star Wars licence have come and gone in the past, but the combination of a strong licence, solid ruleset, and a steady stream of releases have proven a winner yet again:


Hordes and Age of Sigmar remain outside the top 5, and I wonder where they would sit if this chart were extended to the top 10 sellers. With the new expanded size of this segment, I’d argue that was worth doing.


Remember, these are US and Canada sales only, and may not reflect a global ranking, but it gives us a point of data to indicate who is doing well, and who isn’t, and also whether the market as a whole is still growing, which it seems to be.








This entry was posted on August 13, 2016 by in Industry, Uncategorized and tagged , , .
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