Purple Pawn has posted an interesting report about the state of the business in 2010. Their research claims that 85% of game businesses did at least as good as they did last year or better. The list at the end of the report which showcases the most popular games – based purely on a survey, not real sales necessarily, is interesting. There are a few obvious games in there like Settlers and Magic, but also some surprising ones like Dominion (which I knew was popular – but not as popular as Settlers!). Check it out here.
Found another interesting list on boardgamegeek today. This one shows the sales of over 200 board games including uber-popular ones like Monopoly and Yahtzee. I was surprised to see how high some sales were and how low other sales were. I see that many of the stats are out of date – but they still are a good indicator. Follow this link to check out the list.
While Monopoly boggles the brain with its sales of over 275 million units, one of my favourite games, Entdecker, has sold only 25,000. There’s a direct correlation between the complexity of the game and its sales – with most of the top sellers being party or family games. There are some exceptions of course, as Settlers of Catan as sold over 15 million units – with an interesting side note that Mayfair plans to sell one million a year in the near future.
So while there are the few breakouts, they are few and far between. Hopefully this will answer the question I get from people when they find out I design board games: “Oh, are you going to be rich soon?”