Sneak Some Education Into The Gameplay – 31 of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Sneak Some Education Into The Gameplay – 31 of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games           

Creating fun play patterns based on educationally beneficial topics, content and theme can lead to massive sales success. If you look at classic perennial games which have been good sellers over a long period of time, a large proportion of these games are fundamentally educational. For example, Scrabble has sold over 150million copies over time…that’s a massive sales volume. This type of long-term high sales can’t be driven just by marketing spend – marketing spend may help, but it is only possible where the concept of the game and the play experience are genuinely compelling.

It’s not just Scrabble though – Boggle, Upwords and Rummikub have sold many games over time.

The reality is that ‘edutainment’ products can be really successful. What drives this is the desire for parents to play with their children and spend quality time, while also aiding their child’s development. This purchase driver is not limited to board games, we see the same things with Science kits, puzzles and other toy products.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

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Give People A Knowledge Test – 30/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Give People A Knowledge Test – 30/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Trivia is a long-established board games genre. In fact, according to Board Game Geek, the first trivia game was The Traveller’s Tour Through The United States which released c. 1822.

Proving how much we know is a really interesting game play format. Trivial Pursuit is of course the best-known trivia game as well as the highest selling with over 100 million copies sold since launch back in 1981. When Hasbro purchased the brand back in 2008 for a reported $80m from their long-time licensor Horn Abbot, you can bet that Horn Abbot saw the value in games based on testing the knowledge of players.

The additional advantage of trivia games is just how easy they are to extend – if we again look at Trivial Pursuit, there have been many different versions testing both general and specific knowledge including a Family edition, a Disney version, Star Wars editions and much more.

The challenge today of course is that there are so many trivia games out there already, and the format is considered to be completely done i.e. hard to tweak or twist to add any real innovation. That being said though, we have seen that every few years someone does manage to tweak the formula and create something new compelling and commercially appealing based on giving players a knowledge test.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

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Create A Game Around Something Kids Love – 29/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Create A Game Around Something Kids Love – 29/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Themes are really important for board games companies. Creating games around themes your target consumer is interested in has to be a good way to go.

The most prominent and successful example we can think of this is Candyland. Since 1949, over 50 million games have been sold.

Making a game around Candy (sweets/lollies/bon bons etc), seems like an obvious hit from the start, because Kids just LOVE ‘Candy’! The gameplay in itself is not exactly cutting edge, but it is fun and has survived the test of time due to a theme that is so loved by children.

Kids don’t only love ‘candy’ though. What else do kids really love that you could make a game out of?

 

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

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Change The Format – 24 of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Change The Format – 24 of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Let’s face it, this is not the most imaginative of options, but it is arguably the most proven and the most effective path to creating top selling products.

There are many examples we could use, but one which seems to fit really well with this factor is Yahtzee. Poker is a generic game, and although Poker sets seem to have a moment in the headlines every decade or so, it is hard to have anything ownable or unique with Poker sets. You could run licensed Poker sets perhaps, but then you could do a licensed version of anything arguably!

What Yahztee does though is to take a known, generic game play and twists the format to create something more unique and ownable, which can then have a brand built around it. Since launch in 1956, Yahtzee has sold tens of millions of copies, so there is no doubting it is a best-selling game.

The question then becomes what other established Gameplay patterns could be out there just waiting for you to apply a format twist to? Now for everyone who has worked in the games business for a while there is at least one, if not ten, stories of someone who thinks they have reinvented Chess, but these ‘reinventions’ are often a bit lame, make the game less accessible and slower to play and don’t really add value. If you could reinvent Chess in a way which makes it quicker, easier to access, unique and can apply a brand over it you could find a best-seller. But there are of course many other game play formats out there just waiting for adaptation.

In addition, sometimes a company has an existing successful game that has been under extended. Brand extensions are a massive part of the board games business – any board games expert will tell you that – so if you have a successful perennial game there might just be a format change which will allow you to drive incremental sales. But remember Reece’s Law of Brand Extensions – a realistic target for a brand extension game should be 1/3rd of the original games sales. Like all rules there are exceptions to this rule, but you can’t just expect to keep churning out new formats of existing games with no limits, eventually sales start to reduce or cannibalise, but if you set realistic expectations you could just win big.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

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LET PEOPLE PLAY A ROLE – 22nd OF 55 FEATURES OF BEST-SELLING BOARD GAMES

Let people play a role – 22nd of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Board games can offer escapism for players. Indeed, before the advent of video games, this was a major part of playing board games – getting so ‘into’ the gameplay that all else outside the game disappeared. Nowadays of course it is harder to get people this deeply immersed and focused on a board game due to all the other noise and gadgetry around us.

But roleplaying can be a powerful way for people to learn about others, to empathise, to fantasise, and merely to have fun. Dungeons and Dragons is a classic example of how taking on a role and stepping into a fictional world can be very compelling. Today Dungeons and Dragons is heading towards the 50th anniversary of launch, and the underlying strength of the gameplay pattern and mechanisms remain as strong as ever.

At the lighter end of the spectrum that ol’ favourite Game of Life stands tall. Players take on a new persona and follow their character through life’s ups and downs, through life stages and try to head into a happy retirement. Game of Life has sold tens of millions of copies since launch back in 1960, and several generations have enjoyed playing their way through their own life journey with this iconic board game.

Game of Life proves that role playing doesn’t have to be for hard core gamers only.






Get People To Exercise Their Brains – 21/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Get people to exercise their Brains – 21/55 Features of Best-Selling Board Games

People like to stretch their Brains, and they especially like to prove they are smarter or know more than their friends and family, so brain teasing Games can work really well. There is a reason why Scrabble has been one of the best-selling games of all time, total sales reportedly exceed 150 million copies.

It’s not just Scrabble though – Boggle is another word game which has enjoyed considerable success over time. And of course, then there is the Sudoku phenomena when it seemed like everybody was buying games testing their numeric problem-solving ability.

There is no way you could describe these types of games as high-octane or as highly entertaining, but they do allow us to test our mental acuity, to prove how clever we are, to compete with others and to develop and sustain our brain power.

This type of game then offers much potential for high sales levels.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

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Pander to the urge to dominate – 20/55 Features of Best-Selling Board Games

Pander to the urge to dominate – 20/55 Features of Best-Selling Board Games

If you looked at the media reports about board games, they would tend to suggest that because board games are a positive activity which encourage social interaction, and have a range of other benefits that players play games for entirely worthy reasons.

But just because board games have positive benefits does not mean that the darker side of the human psyche remains in the bottle during playing board games. There are plenty of gams which encourage (sometimes vicious) competition. Monopoly, for instance, is a game which is all about dominating your opposition financially and putting other players out of the game. Risk is the ultimate game of megalomania, the game is about conquest and crushing your opponents.

People tend to be full of contradictory characteristics, but also families tend to be made up of people who view game playing differently from each other. There are plenty of people around who love to play games because it gives them an opportunity to compete and win against those closest to them.

The fact that the two games listed above have sold hundreds of millions of units should be good enough proof to show that games which appeal to our basest competitive instincts can be vastly commercially successful.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

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Chuck Some Technology In The Box – 17/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Chuck some Technology in the box – 17 of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Featuring the new technology of the moment can be a great way of driving Sales.

There’s no reason why you can’t add in a gameplay feature needing people to refer to / use their smartphones, social media or whatever else is the current hot technology.

The key point though is that whatever technology is added in needs to enhance the gameplay experience. Very simple mechanical technology can provide a thoroughly compelling gameplay, whereas sometimes having super high tech with the massive development costs that go along with that can look whizzy but be confusing or not deliver a great experience.

The way to have success with technology added to board games is to focus first and foremost on why people play board games, and how any tech can improve that play experience. People play board games for social interaction, so how can an added element make that social interaction better? For example, there have been several board games featuring a lie detector, and while the technology behind lie detectors and the efficacy of lie detectors is perhaps questionable in terms of accuracy, that almost doesn’t matter with social experience. The point is to deliver fun first and social interaction second.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

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Make a Game Around a Celebrity – 16/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Make a Game Around a Celebrity – 16/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Celebrities are a huge part of societal culture nowadays. They are well known and tend to have massive social media communities and followings which be accessed to sell merchandise.

Board games based on celebrities are not new – our research found an Elvis Presley game published in 1957, an MC Hammer game we think was launched in 1991 and a Britney Spears version of Twister in 2012.

It’s kind of obvious how this works, find someone really famous, pay them bucket loads of money, slap their face on the box and off we go! But beware, the secret is to fit the Celeb together with Gameplay that makes sense.

This type of game tends to be quite hit and miss, just because the person is famous doesn’t automatically mean that fans will want to buy a board game based on that celebrity, but a celebrity that fits well with a particular game format or as a brand extension can lead to commercial success.

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

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Find A Way That Kids And Adults Can Play Together – 15/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Find a way that Kids and Adults can play together – 15/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

It can be a major frustration factor in playing family board games when the Adult has to keep losing to ensure the kids remain happy, so Games which balance out the Adult advantage can sometimes sell well. For instance, family targeted versions of Trivial Pursuit often feature different questions for children, and harder questions for Adults, or sometimes the nature of the Game/License makes it easier for the kids to win i.e. in a Disney edition of Trivial Pursuit, kids generally know more of what’s happened in their favourite Disney films, while the adults tend to have a hazy memory of the films they watched as kids themselves.

There are plenty of examples of a family game being aged downwards by simpler rules and themes e.g. Monopoly Junior and Clue/do Junior editions. But creating a game play that can genuinely prove compelling for both children and parents can open up big opportunities for board games. So many ‘Family’ games are really pitched at children and patients playing along to aid the development of their children. BUT if you can deliver a fun and compelling social experience for both within the same game you might just be onto a winner!

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

Sign up now for our free BoardGameBiz newsletter offering insights, news and analysis of the business of Board Games. We’ll also send you a free copy of our book ’55 Features of Best-Selling Board Games’ – just click here to sign up