Thursday, April 11, 2013

International TableTop Day 2013 - Aftermath and Future Impact?

I think it is safe to say that the First Annual International TableTop Day was a success.

If nothing else, the pages, and pages, of results I received from typing "International TableTop Day" into my favorite search engine, combined with all the positive posts from retailers on my BGG thread, pretty much seals the deal.

My friendly local game store (FLGS), Off the Charts Games in Gresham, OR, told me that his store was packed and rocking all day. They even had walk-ins investigate what was going on and stick around to participate. I'm sure this type of thing occurred more than once.

If you want to see a recap video, or want to share your photos/videos with TableTop, or read more about how the day went, you can check it out here.

How will this day impact the industry? It's another example that the hobby is experiencing strong growth. Events like this will help keep the buzz going.

Does it portend continued growth for the hobby? I think so.

As the hobby grows, there are some things to watch for, and think about, while you are designing, selling, and marketing your games, planning your Kickstarter campaigns, and otherwise launching your Global Gaming Empires.

The obvious one is that as the hobby increases in popularity, there will be more gamers looking to buy games.

But the thing to watch for is how many of the new gamers move up and down the board game spectrum, starting with "gateway" games, then trying out different types and complexities of games.

And finally seeing how many of the new gamers stick around and become hardcore gamers, forming their own game groups and become ambassadors for the hobby.

The general impact should be a sustained increase in sales.

But the risk is going to come into play when you are trying to forecast what types of games will sell. And depending upon how long this window of popularity stays open will have a huge impact on those predictions.

Hopefully, we're not going to experience a board game bubble-burst, where a convergence of Kickstarter over-saturation, over-extended hardcore gamers, a board game publisher scandal, and a podcaster going into early retirement, causes the hobby to sink like a .com stock in '00 and leave you stuck without a game group to enjoy all your new games with.

Everything goes in cycles. And in the meantime, we're going to have a huge number of new games to enjoy with our friends and families.

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