Business Overview

Many people enjoy playing board games with family and friends. Board game businesses design and make board games for people to play.

Despite the growth of online platforms, the board game industry continues to remain strong. It’s grown since 2013, and the industry almost broke $10 billion in sales in 2016.

Who is this business right for?

People who are passionate about board games may enjoy owning a board game business. Developing a good board game that people will want to play requires testing and retesting a game design many times. Therefore, only those who like playing board games should try developing one.

What happens during a typical day at a board game company?

Each board game that a business develops has three distinct phases:

  • the development phase, which involves testing the gameplay and designing the game’s components
  • the manufacturing phase, which involves actually making the physical board game
  • the selling phase, which involves marketing and selling the game

During each of these phases, the focus of a business shifts. Development involves a lot of playing and replaying, as well as conceptual design work to create the pieces and artwork. When manufacturing, there are many logistical items to see to. Once a game is on the market, selling requires advertising a game and connecting with potential players.

Businesses that have multiple games in production may be involved in each of these three phases simultaneously. Those that only develop one game will be focusing on one stage at a time.

What is the target market?

Board games appeal to a broad demographic. Even millennials are playing lots of non-digital games.

Most board game businesses, however, focus in on a particular demographic that they want to develop games for. For instance, a business might make party games for social outings, strategy games geared towards thinkers or generational games based on certain decades.

How does a board game company make money?

A board game business makes money by selling its finished board games. Games may be sold directly to customers at retail prices or to resellers at wholesale prices.

What is the growth potential for a board game company?

A board game business may be a small operation that has just one game, or it can be a major international company that has many games created by multiple designers. Cardboard Edison, which has two games, is an example of a small-time board game business. Cards Against Humanity is another, having one main game and several add-on packs of cards. Hasbro is one of the largest board game publishers.