Obvious Concept & Gameplay – 4/55 Features Of Best Selling Board Games
Having an overtly obvious concept & gameplay can be one of the key success factors for new board games. Classic games with heritage in the market, whereby people already know what the game is and how it plays, they can have quite complicated gameplays and obscure concepts. This can often confuse those new to the board games market into thinking that they can mirror these classic games. The reality though is that the modern mass market gamer tends not to have the attention span to make the effort to work out something complicated. Therefore having a blindingly obvious gameplay and game concept is important for new games.
Eventually it is the substance of the gameplay which will define success – if the experience of playing the game is not compelling then post launch reviews and bad word of mouth may kill the game, but before game play quality and experience can result in further sales due to the social proof of others liking and recommending them, enough games need to be sold initially. Think of this in terms of a virus pandemic like the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus spreads, and people who contract the virus then pass it onto more people, who pass it onto more people and so on. The same principle applies to marketing board games, and just like with a virus the higher the levels of exposure achieved in the first instance the bigger the impact.
One further point on this feature of best selling board games – the primary form of marketing for board games is the packaging. If the person hasn’t seen or heard of the game before, and if the marketing for the game has not reached them then the purchase decision will be driven primarily by the on pack communication. The implication of this is that we can forget trying to create clever abstract artworks with our board games packaging – we need to really clearly communicate what the game is, who it is for and why the person should buy it. This applies both in physical retail and online. The dynamic may be a little different but if the person looks at the pack or the image of the pack and can’t quickly see what it is and why they should want to buy it then they will look elsewhere.
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