Scent of a Gamer

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

Hobby games grew again in 2019

I almost missed ICv2’s March industry update, which was news of an overall positive 2019. The events of 2020 means this certainly can’t be repeated.

However the hobby market grew 5% in a year described as “tough”. I wonder what word they will use to describe 2020. My guess is: nothing longer than 4 letters.

Games Workshop riding high

I miniatures, Age of Sigmar has solidified its second place to Warhammer 40,000. It’s not that long since Start Wars X-Wing was top and Age of Sigmar was not even in the top 5. Games Workshop have turned things around remarkably, and hopefully this pays off for them in the months to come.

Board and cards games still matter

Games suited to indoor play should be seeing a boost – certainly all the games on this list are better for household harmony than Risk or Monopoly!

I played my first game of Wingspan, and borrowed a copy from my local games club. With the games club shuttered for the time being, I will have the chance to place this fun game more times. Even our 11-year-old got into the game and developed strategies on her first play through.

Wizards of the Coast are well-positioned

Both Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons are top dog in their respective categories:

In fairness, Magic: the Gathering becomes #2 to Pokemon when you include mass market sales on top of those through hobby stores.

Where next?

Normally in these articles I like to point to broad trends and maybe spend a few sentences talking about where I think things might be going.

Photo by Chris Panas on

It won’t just be games stores which are hard hit this year. Many of the smaller publishers you see on the lists above may not be with us in 2021. I don’t like to be a doomsayer, but I think that in a year these charts will look quite different.

The larger companies will be okay, as will those who have multiple channels to market and aren’t entirely reliant on hobby stores. Other games may be absent because they are now out of production, and not because they aren’t popular but because some of these publishers, like hobby stores, aren’t going to make it through.

That’s a sad note to end on. But it’s all I have right now. Stay well, everyone. Look after yourselves, and those around you.

8 comments on “Hobby games grew again in 2019

  1. Bookstooge
    March 28, 2020

    I agree that I think we’re experiencing a sea change in how games are delivered but also played.

    It also wouldn’t surprise me if Hasbro execs sacrificed their children to Moloch to bring about the coronavirus to make mtg:Arena more of a thing than paper.

    But then, I’m just cynical that way…

    • davekay
      March 28, 2020

      I have been surprised by how quickly a lot of people I know have moved to online games – not videogames, but as this post was going up I was being contacted by someone who was using Zoom to play Codenames – and loving it!

      • Bookstooge
        March 28, 2020

        What is zoom?

      • davekay
        March 28, 2020

        It’s a videoconferencing package, with some level of free use available:

      • Bookstooge
        March 28, 2020

        Gotcha. Thanks. So kind of like skype or something then.

      • davekay
        March 28, 2020

        Yes, some people who have problems with Skype find Zoom easier (and vice versa) and Zoom seems better for larger groups of people from different locations

  2. theimperfectmodeller
    March 28, 2020

    Maybe some of the larger companies will buy up the smaller ones? Time will tell. UK Government is doing a lot to help companies of all sizes but I doubt they cannot prop them up for ever.

  3. Pingback: 30 days of write | Scent of a Gamer

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on March 28, 2020 by in Industry and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: