Why Board Games Sell Better In Some Countries Vs Others

Why Board Games Sell Better In Some Countries Vs Others

Board Games are a cultural product. Like books, movies or music they come from somewhere and someone. Therefore, each game is heavily influenced by the culture of the creator and of the company publishing the game.

Of the many reasons why board games succeed or fail, one of the most important is cultural fit. Board games are most often based on a combination of a). social interaction dynamic i.e. the process of playing the game and b). content. Both of these factors vary from country to country and from culture to culture.  In terms of the gameplay dynamic for instance, we could compare the mass market gamer of Germany with the average person who buys and plays a game in the UK. In Germany, what would be considered a family game which children could play and enjoy is (taking a general view) far more complex than what would be seen as the right level of complexity in the UK. From a content point of view also, culture can have a massive impact. Games with trivia content for instance only tend to work on a global basis when they are based on a global entertainment franchise which is all about the show, or when the topic is universal…but even then the content may need some local tweaking.

Artwork is another cultural point of difference. Quite often when we work with companies looking to sell more games outside their own country we have to help them to understand that artwork styles vary a lot by country – the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Japan – these may all be markets in which you want to sell your game but if you are using an illustrated box front it can be quite hard to find a global pack design which appeals equally in each market and does not look out of place.

The media landscape also varies significantly by country and therefore by culture. This can have a massive impact – product placement for instance offers great opportunities to promote some types of board game – for instance advertising a gameshow based game during the gameshow itself or in the advertising break can be extremely effective in terms of driving sales. The challenge though is that media and advertising regulations vary by country.

Therefore, if one of your primary goals is to secure global distribution for a game, you need to incorporate this into your planning and product development process from the start to ensure you end up with a product which meets those goals.


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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