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Millennials are driving the board games revival

JANUARY 15, 2017 Millennial Marketing Insight from HypeLife Brands: "Millennials are driving the board games revival"

Games benefit from a ‘growing desire to interact and socialise away from screens,’ say publishers

Board games are returning as a mainstream entertainment among families, kids, and even childless millennials looking for a new way to socialise with friends.

The board game boom has not only led to the creation of new games but also to cafes and bars focused on gaming.

Global sales of games and puzzles have grown from US$9.3 billion in 2013 to US$9.6 billion in 2016, according to Euromonitor International, with expected year-on-year growth of more than 1 per cent this year.

The interest in board games is at a significantly higher level now than it was five years ago, says Peter Wooding, owner of independent board game retailer Orcs Nest in central London.

“The renaissance of board games interest started around five or more years ago with the big increase in interest in Euro Style games. In the past two or so years it seems to have hit a plateau and the market has become more or less saturated, with some products being very good and innovative, but a lot of not so good items that are just really bandwagon jumpers,” Wooding told CNBC via email.

Euro Style games are a genre of board game which generally emphasise strategy and co-operation over conflict and luck, and often revolve around economic themes.

The best example of Euro Style games is “Settlers of Catan”, a German board game first published in 1995, which popularised the genre around Europe and the US. The game involves a group of players colonising an island, building a settlement and requires the players to trade for resources, emphasising co-operation, negotiation and social skills.

“I like Catan because it’s so easy to pick up but you can add so much depth to the game just by how you play and who you play with, so no game is ever the same,” Alice Bell, a video game journalist and fan of the board game, told CNBC via email.

“I think I’ve only ever won a game of it once, but I still love it.”

More than 18 million copies of the game have been sold worldwide, according to The New Yorker, and in 2013, it was the fourth largest board game brand in the US…[read the full article at]