At some point in the past, video games surpassed board games in popularity. However, with the beginning of the pandemic, numerous well-known tabletop games, such as Monopoly, Risk, and Clue, have started their big return among families around the globe.
The board game industry statistics have shown impressive growth in board game sales and production in recent years, so if you want to read some impressive numbers and stats, stick around.
Top 10 Board Game Stats
- The board games market experienced a 15% loss in 2020.
- With 67%, tabletop games had the highest market share in 2020.
- Tabletop games raised $236 million on Kickstarter in 2020.
- Board game cafes in the US had a 35% footfall decline in 2020.
- 18% of the UK was buying more games due to the pandemic.
- A board game designer’s salary is $56,000–$113,000 a year.
- Over 300 versions of Monopoly have been themed to different topics.
- 29% of silent generation finds board games very enjoyable.
- The Queen’s Gambit boosted chessboard sales by 215%.
- 57% of households own between 1 and 25 board and card games.
Board Game Industry Trends
The global board game industry has experienced a significant shift in the past several years. So, let’s start by listing the crucial figures concerning the market and see what the future holds for board games.
1. From 2021 to 2026, the global board games market by revenue is predicted to grow at a CAGR of about 13%.
According to board game statistics from 2021, the market revenue is expected to grow due to global restrictions and lockdowns, even though those same lockdowns have negatively affected the retail sales of board games.
Parents started massively purchasing educational games since their children were sent to temporary homeschooling. This trend continued from 2020, when educational apps were the third most popular apps category.
2. By 2025, the market value of card and board games in the US is predicted to reach $5.04 billion.
Board game industry statistics from 2022 show that the value of the card and board games market on the global level is predicted to reach $21.56 billion by 2025. For the sake of comparison, in 2019, the US market value was estimated at $2.69 billion.
3. In the first half of 2020, the board games market in the US experienced a 15% loss.
The North American region experienced a slowdown in the board games market due to the pandemic outbreak. In the second quarter, one of the leaders in the region, Hasbro, suffered a 30% loss.
4. Between 2020 and 2026, the global board games market is expected to record an incremental growth of over $4 billion.
According to board game market statistics, North America dominates the market. Moreover, Americans are the overall biggest consumers globally, and in 2017, one-third of the total market share belonged to North America.
Tabletop games topped numerous other segments of board games — collectible card games, puzzles, miniature games, card and dice games, and RPG board games.
What’s more, according to board game statistics from 2020, Monopoly held the title of the most popular tabletop game, with a 30% share within the category.
6. In 2020, tabletop games raised $236 million on Kickstarter.
Moreover, tabletop games accounted for almost a third of all the funds raised on this crowdfunding site in 2020, marking another record-breaking year for them. According to board game stats, compared to $176.4 million the year before, that is an increase of 33%.
7. In 2020, board game cafes in the US witnessed a decline of 35% in footfall.
It’s not only the US cafes that suffered but also the cafes across the world. This comes as no surprise since the earnings of a board game cafe depend on the number of customers it attracts, so the lockdown restrictions influenced this decline significantly.
8. 18% of respondents in a survey conducted in 2020 in the UK stated they were buying more games than usually due to the pandemic.
Board game sales statistics from 2020 in the UK show the number of people who played board games more often than usually peaked in April with 18%, but slowly started dropping off in the following months.
9. During the first official week of pandemic lockdown in the UK, sales of jigsaw puzzles and board games skyrocketed 240%.
According to board game industry statistics in the UK, families massively turned to board games to keep themselves occupied while being stuck at their homes. Monopoly Classic, Uno, Dobble, Scrabble, and Cluedo are some of the most popular games purchased.
Statistics on Board Game Sales
In the following section, we’ll take a look at some of the most exciting statistics on board games. If you want to find out what the highest-selling board game in the world is, read on.
10. A game that sells around 10,000 copies is considered a success.
Of course, many published board games don’t hit that number. On the other end of the spectrum, according to board game industry statistics, once a game sells 100,000 units, it is considered to have achieved overwhelming success.
11. A board game designer’s average salary is $56,000–$113,000 a year.
(My Kind of Meeple, Successful Student)
If we take a look at some board games vs video games statistics, the top 10% of video game designers earn more than $130,000 per year.
Naturally, both full-time board game designers’ and full-time video game designers’ salaries will vary based on their role, responsibility, and of course, experience.
12. According to recent board game sales statistics, with 3 million copies sold yearly in the US alone, chess is the best-selling board game of all time.
This board game dates back to AD 1200. The two players play with 16 pieces each, while the goal is to try and capture the opponent’s king.
13. The “Pandemic board game” term was searched 246,000 times in March 2020.
(The Jerusalem Post)
According to board game popularity statistics, this drastically overshadowed the “Risk board game” term, which only had 90,000 searches.
Moreover, since 2004, the “board game” term was searched more often on Google in March 2020 than in any other month. The Pandemic board game had a similar, although less pronounced spike in popularity in 2009 because of the swine flu pandemic.
14. Out of all the Pandemic board game searches in March 2020, the US accounted for over 50%.
(The Jerusalem Post)
Likewise, board game statistics reveal that 40% of global searches for the “board game” term came from the US. What’s more, some countries had more online searches for board games than they had for Xbox or PS4 games.
15. Between 2019 and 2025, the ecommerce board games segment is predicted to witness growth at a CAGR of 8.9%.
The overall ecommerce sales amounted to $3.53 trillion globally in 2019, which is no surprise since the pandemic influenced the closures of retail marketplaces. This also affected the board game market.
Moreover, due to the closure of schools, parents started buying educational games, leading to an 18% increase in their worldwide online sales.
Board Game Demographics
Board games are designed to entertain children and adults of all ages, but what generation purchases them the most? Find out in the following section.
16. A survey from May 2020 shows that 29% of silent generation respondents found board games very enjoyable.
The same survey also showed that younger generations in the US typically like playing board games more than the older ones. For instance, 38% of Gen Z respondents found playing these games very enjoyable.
17. A survey examining the board game industry in 2020 showed that 57% of surveyed households own between 1 and 25 board and card games.
This is a rather large number compared to the figures from decades ago. Moreover, 22% of the survey respondents stated they owned between 26 and 50 board and card games, while 10.9% had more than 100.
18. 44% of respondents to a 2020 survey in the US stated they find board games somewhat enjoyable.
In comparison, 11% stated they didn’t find these games very enjoyable. The same survey showed that 29% of male respondents found these games very enjoyable, compared to 38% of female respondents.
Fun BG Stats and Facts
After we have gone through some important numbers concerning the board games industry, it’s time to focus on several facts and stats that we have found the most interesting.
19. One of the main recorded benefits of board games is reducing the risk of mental disorders.
(Health Fitness Revolution)
Playing board games can also help kids practice essential cognitive skills like problem-solving. Moreover, this activity can lower blood pressure and even boost the immune system.
20. Over 300 licensed versions of Monopoly have been themed to different topics, according to board games statistics.
The topics include various sports teams, movies, TV series, and popular brands like McDonald’s. The first licensed Monopoly game was the version created for British consumers. Moreover, the game is printed in 47 languages and distributed to 114 countries.
21. The Queen’s Gambit boosted chessboard sales by 215%.
This Netflix limited series was released in October 2020, and since then, it has been growing in popularity. This is why it comes as no surprise that it has found its place in the top 10 Netflix rankings across the globe.
22. According to available board game sales statistics, the Jewel Royale Chess Set is the most expensive board game ever, costing $9.8 million.
The board and the pieces are made out of pure gold and platinum, and decorated with various gemstones. Following the most expensive set is a $5 million Charles Hollander Backgammon Set and a Gold Monopoly Set worth $2 million.
What is the #1 board game in the world?
Chess is the most popular board game, both globally and in North America. The chess segment is expected to reach a value of $40.5 million in North America during 2022.
How many board games are there today?
Over 5,000 unique board games or expansions are released each year, and there are sites listing more than 100,000 currently available games. Of course, because of this volume, the exact number is impossible to determine and is changing on a daily basis.
What is the oldest board game?
Senet is believed to be the oldest board game created in ancient Egypt around 3,500 BCE. Historians are not sure what the rules of the game were, but the research on the matter is still ongoing.
The Bottom Line
A decade ago, The Guardian stated that we live in a golden age of board games. Little did they know that the inbound pandemic will further increase the demand for board games, as they are a great source of entertainment that provides a much-needed distraction from life’s hardships.
Hopefully, these board game industry statistics will amuse the board games aficionados and persuade those who prefer other forms of entertainment to gather their families and spend some quality time with them.
- Booknet Canada
- Business Wire
- Health Fitness Revolution
- Money Inc
- Money Inc
- My Kind of Meeple
- PR Newswire
- Successful Student
- The Guardian
- The Jerusalem Post
- The Richest