Saturday, November 10, 2012

More math.

I decided to calculate the game sales over the last five years, as well.  (Not counting card games, which I've always carried.)

This category has had more of the steady type increase that I was envisioning was happening with books.

When I started getting serious about boardgames, they were about 60% as big as book sales.  Currently, games are within 92% as big as book sales.

Game sales are two and a half times bigger now, than they were in 2006-07.

So why don't I feel as confident about game sales as I do books, since they are nearly as big and have had a much steeper trajectory of growth?

Simply put:  I believe the downside is big, and the upside is small.

I fully expect the chainstores to start carrying more and more boardgames, and at cheaper prices than I can compete.  Much of this kind of competition in books is already factored in, up to and including digital.  That is, I see room for improvement despite the competition in books. 

And I think there is a ceiling to how big the game category can grow.  Unlike books, where I think the sky is the limit.

Finally, I'm going to give myself a big pat on the back for having the guts to grow two new categories during the Great Recession. (This is really tough to do -- investing while you're making less money takes brass, if I do say so myself.)

 I believe this is why I've been able to stay in business, because I've always been willing to take chances exactly when logic would tell me to be more careful.

It's when things are bad that you have to make improvements.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I have another theory on why you feel uncomfortable about the game market: you don't understand the product as well as you do books. You've read thousands of books and authored a few. How many boardgames have you ever played or designed?

I think your concern about big stores picking up boardgames is unfounded. They are a tiny market that take a lot of shelf space and require some expertise to stock and sell effectively. Note B&N's retreat from this segment. I'm not sure that hobbies that involve thinking will ever go mainstream in America.