Black Diamond Games, a hobby gaming store in Concord, California, mainly sells games in four categories: CCGs, RPGs, Tactical Miniatures, and Board and Card Games. The first three categories are all mature markets – they each have a market leader with well over 50% of the sales (Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer 40K). Board games, on the other hand, has lacked a market leader. Gary Ray from Black Diamond Games thinks that Asmodee is close to bringing the board game market to maturation.
After Asmodee acquired Fantasy Flight Games, they’ve become the clear board game market leader. Their market share at Black Diamond Games is 36%, with the next closest company at 7.5%. This is similar to a mature market, where the market shares drop off significantly after the leader.
According to Gary, this is significant for a few reasons. Firstly, the company that owns Asmodee also invests in other things like parking lots, and the fact that it has backed the board gaming industry with millions of dollars is an indication that the board game industry is not a bubble – other people see that the games are a means to make money. Secondly, it shows the maturation of the market, and will probably mean a change in the distribution model – Asmodee will be able to distribute themselves instead of relying on distributors.
With the maturation of the board game market, we may see a lot of changes in the coming years. For more detail and thoughts on board game market maturation, check out the blog post here.