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Global Board Games Market - Outlook and Forecast 2023-2028
The global board games market, valued at USD 18.93 billion in 2022, is projected to reach USD 39.99 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 13.27% during the forecast period. Despite facing fierce competition from digital forms of entertainment, the board games market has remained resilient and continued to thrive. In recent years, the market has expanded into previously untapped regions and countries. This growth can be attributed to various factors, including the rise of board game conventions, gaming cafes, the influence of nerd culture, and increased spending by millennials driven by nostalgia.
Entertainment value is a key driver for the market, and continuous innovation is crucial for sustained success in the industry. In the past five years, there has been a significant increase in consumers’ willingness to explore different board game products. Innovation plays a vital role in this industry, which operates on narrow profit margins. Vendors have embraced technology, incorporating digital elements into their games to enhance the gaming experience. They are also introducing new themes and mechanics to create unique and engaging gameplay. For example, Wingspan features birds and their habitats, while Gloomhaven combines elements of role-playing games and tactical combat.
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USD 18.9 billion in 2021
Product, Theme, Distribution Channel, and Geography
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The growing number of game cafes worldwide has attracted a large number of buyers in recent years. These cafes have gained global prominence and achieved remarkable success. Board game cafes are particularly popular in western European countries like the UK and France, as well as in North America. These establishments provide a space for people to play games and interact with fellow gamers. Some cafes and shops even offer snacks and drinks, enhancing the overall gaming experience. The increasing popularity of board game cafes enables manufacturers to better understand the preferences of a broader player base, allowing vendors to cater to customer demands and drive the steady growth of the board games market.
One significant challenge faced by the global board games market is the impact of global trade wars and tariffs imposed across borders. Factors such as restricted access to credit, job losses, bankruptcies, low consumer confidence, and other macroeconomic conditions can significantly affect the demand for board games. Changes in trade relations between countries, such as those involving the U.S., China, or the EU (including the Brexit outcome), can have a profound impact on major vendors such as Hasbro and Mattel, affecting their financial status.
Political trade tensions around the world are particularly concerning for certain manufacturing industries. For example, the trade war between the U.S. and China, two major players in the board games market, creates uncertainty and tension among printers worldwide that have direct or indirect trade relations with these countries. There is a potential risk of further escalation and retaliatory actions between the two nations.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including product, theme, distribution channel, and geography.
Segmentation by Product
Tabletop Board Games
Collectible Card Games
Card & Dice Games
RPG Board Games
Segmentation by Theme
Educational Board Games
Strategy & War Board Games
Fantasy Board Games
Sports Board Games
Others Board Games
Segmentation by Distribution Channel
Offline – Specialty Stores, Mass Market Players, Other Stores
Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain
Asia-Pacific – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia
Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Argentina
Middle East & Africa – South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Egypt
In 2022, the global board games market saw the puzzle type as the dominant segment, generating a revenue of over USD 6.9 billion. This segment includes jigsaw puzzles, 3D puzzles, slider puzzles, Rubik’s cubes, and other brain teasers. Following puzzles, tabletop games emerged as the second largest revenue generator, holding a share of over 23% in 2022. Tabletop board games are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to foster social interaction and strengthen bonds between players. The industry has observed a surge in demand for various tabletop board games, with preschool kids gravitating towards chance-based games and strategy-based games gaining popularity among grade-schoolers, teenagers, and adults. These tabletop games have proven effective in developing cognitive skills in children.
The educational board games segment dominated the global board games market, accounting for over 41% share, driven by the widespread adoption of puzzles among end-users. This segment is expected to experience significant demand in the coming years, as these games aid in the development of basic preschool skills. Educational board games offer benefits such as color matching, letter and number identification, counting, shape and pattern recognition, fine motor skills development, and strategic thinking.
The strategy and war board games theme accounted for approximately 26% of the global board games market share in 2022. These games, known for their engagement and requirement of tactical and logical skills, are particularly popular in countries such as South Korea, Germany, Japan, and China.
The offline segment held the highest market revenue, with over 54% share in the global board games market in 2022. However, with the increasing internet penetration worldwide, the offline segment will face strong competition from the online segment in the future. Retail giants like Walmart, Costco, Sears, Best Buy, and Target play a significant role as they stock and showcase board games in their outlets, ensuring greater visibility for these games in the industry during the forecast period. Nevertheless, the online board games market is experiencing high traction, particularly in the US and European countries such as Germany and the UK. Sales from the online channel are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 13% during the forecast period.
North America dominated the global board games market, accounting for a 28.88% share in 2022. The preferences for board games in North America differ from those in Europe, with Americans favoring luck-based games that emphasize defeating opponents. However, American-style board games are often less engaging, as players can be easily eliminated from the game. Consequently, Euro-style board games, such as The Settlers of Catan, have gained popularity in the US board games market in recent years.
The APAC region’s board games market was valued at USD 5.38 billion in 2022. End-users in APAC are highly price-sensitive and tend to opt for lower-priced local brands rather than expensive premium items. However, APAC represents a significant potential market for board games during the forecast period. The countries in APAC exhibit higher annual saving ratios compared to the US and European countries, with China’s ratio around 50%, and India and South Korea exceeding 30%. These figures position APAC as one of the largest potential board games markets in the coming years.
The board games market is experiencing heightened competition, primarily driven by the entry of numerous local players. The popularity of board game products has seen a significant increase, particularly among residential users. Compared to markets such as mobile gadgets and video games, product development in the board games industry requires relatively less investment. However, this influx of new players has contributed to tighter profit margins for global companies. Furthermore, the presence of counterfeit products, particularly in card and dice games, has added complexity to the dynamics for larger commercial players.
The United States, China, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and France are key countries with substantial demand for board games. To succeed in this market, vendors must formulate strategies for product launches, customer-centric marketing, and strategic geographical expansion during the forecast period. In the coming years, intense competition can be expected across different regions. In light of global economic fluctuations, vendors may need to explore cost-cutting measures or instill a sense of nostalgia to drive their products in challenging markets.
Moreover, the expanding competition across regions has resulted in shorter product life cycles. The increased number of vendors has led to frequent introductions of new products. Consequently, users often do not dedicate significant time to a specific game before moving on to another, given the wide range of options available. Consumer preferences are changing rapidly, making it challenging to create storytelling experiences and design products that appeal to both children and adults.
Key companies profiled in this report include Asmodee Group, Hasbro, Mattel, Ravensburger, Asmadi Games, Bezier Games, com, Buffalo Games, Clementoni, CMON, Disney, Funko, Games Workshop, Gibsons Games, Goliath Games, Grey Fox Games, IELLO Games, Indie Boards and Cards, INI, Epoch Everlasting Play, Imago Group, Kamings Trade, Learning Resources, Lifestyle Boardgames, Loony Labs, Ludo Fact, Melissa & Doug, MindWare, North Star Games, Orchard Toys, Panda Game Manufacturing, Pegasus Spiele, Piatnik, Reaper Miniatures, Rio Grande Games, Schmidt Spiele, Spin Master, Spontaneous Games, Sunsout, Surprised Stare Games, Talicor, Trend Enterprises, Ultra Pro International, University Games, USAOPOLY, Winning Moves Games, WizKids, Zobmondo, 1xBet, 888 Group.
Key Questions Answered
What is the size of the board games market?
The board games market globally was valued at USD 18.93 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 39.99 billion by 2028.
What is the growth rate of the board games market?
The board games market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.27% from 2022 to 2028.
Who are the major players in the global board games market?
Major players in the global board games market include Asmodee Group, Hasbro, Mattel, and Ravensburger.
What are the main driving factors in the board games market?
Strategic product innovations, capitalizing on board game conventions, increasing focus on leisure activities, and adopting a digital-first approach are significant driving factors in the board games industry.
Which region dominates the global board games market?
North America holds the largest share in the global board games market, accounting for 28.88% of the industry.