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Allow People To Show Off – 9th of 55 Features Of Best Selling Board Games

Allow People To Show Off – 9th of 55 Features Of Best Selling Board Games

Not everybody is a show off, but many of us are!

Allowing people to show can be a powerful driver of Games sales. Whether it is showing off general or specific knowledge (i.e. Trivial Pursuit), a particular skill (i.e. drawing in Pictionary) or just general performing (i.e. Charades).

Showing off leads to conversation, banter even, which in turn brings people together generally speaking.

Not everyone is a show off. In fact, some people hate being made to perform. But they can often still enjoy watching someone else make a fool of themselves! Most importantly though, we tend to have different areas where we are in a position to show off – this is where classic games like Cranium come in, because some players will be good at one of the elements, whereas other players will be able to show off different strengths elsewhere. This may be one reason why Hasbro paid $77m for Cranium back in 2008.

 

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

Facilitate Social Interaction – 8th of 55 Features of Best Selling Board Games

Facilitate Social Interaction

Board games deliver an experience. It isn’t just about what you get in the box, it’s about the social experience your game facilitates.

In an increasingly screen obsessed world, board games can be such a beneficial mechanism to bring people together. Those classic moments we remember so fondly – arguing over a game of Monopoly, someone upending the board because they lost or someone getting caught cheating – these are all imperfect conduct, but also become part of family lore over time!

Increasingly human beings are in the same room physically, but in different digital worlds mentally. Good board games give us a reason to interact in a real genuine way. There are a million ways to execute this within a game – but for instance, if you draw a card which lets you steal a card from another player, that instantly brings things to life in terms of interpersonal interaction, because then you need to decide which player you will take a card from, and perhaps you will even feel the need to gloat about doing that. These small and simple mechanisms is where much of the social benefits of board games come from.

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 hundreds of 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

IMMERSE PLAYERS INTO ANOTHER WORLD – 7/55 FEATURES OF BEST-SELLING BOARD GAMES

IMMERSE PLAYERS INTO ANOTHER WORLD – 7/55 FEATURES OF BEST-SELLING BOARD GAMES

Immerse players into another world. Some people just love to lose themselves in a Fantasy world with their Friends. Games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and Warhammer are examples of this genre, but these are mostly considered for the more ‘hardcore’ gamers. Over time, we have seen great success for games which tried to make this type of immersive fantasy gaming more mainstream and more accessible. Heroquest and Heroscape were two games which tried to make deeper gameplay based on fantasy universes and scenarios accessible to a broader audience, and they achieved genuinely massive commercial success.

Some people love escapism – maybe they watch Netflix sci-fi content to escape the humdrum of everyday life, but that is a passive form of escapism. What this type of board game can do is to offer the same escapism in a more active, social fashion.

As with most other types of board games, there have never been so many ways to reach the type of person or groups of people interested in or at least open to more deeply immersive gaming. Community is everything today, and there are so many marketing tools available to board games companies to reach and activate audiences who were hitherto hard to get to.

 

We help board games companies grow profitably. We help companies understand and access board games markets around the world. Our consultancy services have helped more than 100 companies to date. To find out more about what we do & the services we offer to help board games companies profitably grow, just click here: 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

 

 

Include Replica Money – 6 of 55 Features Of Best Selling Board Games

Include Replica Money – 6 of 55 Features Of Best Selling Board Games

 Families love games with money in e.g. Monopoly, Payday, Game of Life, Go for Broke and others have been top sellers for decades for a reason. These family classic games from Hasbro Gaming are perennial because the need for them is also timeless. Families use these games to teach their children about how money works, basic arithmetic and about the importance of protecting your money and not throwing it away needlessly!

Money of course is not just physical, especially not these days. When Hasbro removed the physical money in a version of Monopoly and added in a device which effectively ran the bank, the product was a massive smash hit, beyond even the usually meteoric sales levels of Monopoly versions.

Clearly it is hard to replicate the success of these classic family games, and so for people developing new games the point is to think forward about how money is changing and how it can have a role to play in games. For instance, one of our favourite games to play is ‘Cash And Guns’ from Repos Production, in this game bank robbers try to pull off a successful ‘heist’, and of course cash is one of the big features.

 

We help board games companies save money on manufacturing. We work with an industry leading board games factory in China. But we can also offer considerable cost savings via our board games factory partners in India. For more information or to ask us to quote for manufacturing for your games, please get in touch via the ‘Contact’ page on this website.

Find A Big Enough Niche – 5/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Find A Big Enough Niche – 5/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

 

Not every game has to appeal to everyone. By picking out (large) niches, you can deliver successful Games. If you look at Monopoly, the Brand is often extended into new niches with good results. If that can work for a Brand Extension, it can work for an entirely new game.

 

It has never been easier to target a specific group of people who are fans of a particular brand, TV show, celebrity, trend etc. Social media allows us to target pretty much any group of people out there. Whereas once our consumer targeting was dumb, and therefore we had to use very mainstream themes for our board games in order to get distribution, things have changed significantly. We no longer need to develop catchall games which appeal to everyone. We can use PPC, social media and of course the power of Amazon to deliver niche products to market with success.

 

This trend towards products targeted at niche audiences is only going to grow as technology gets smarter and further embedded into our lives. There is of course significant opportunity in selling mass market games to retailers like Walmart, Carrefour and Tesco, but in the end, that is a tough, tough game – because you are one of many companies trying to muscle your products in to limited shelf space with thousands of competing products also vying for the same space. Why be one of many when you can be one of one? There are so many opportunities out there today – and with content proliferation ongoing, opportunities to develop board games based around fandom and niche identity/groupings abound.

 

What exciting times these are!

 

 

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

 

 

Obvious Concept & Gameplay – 4/55 Features Of Best Selling Board Games

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.

 

We help board games companies grow profitably. To date we have delivered $tens of millions of new sales revenues for board games companies across the world. We have also saved our clients around $10m in manufacturing cost savings. Our work has helped more than 100 companies. To find out more about what we do & the services we offer to help board games companies profitably grow, just click here: www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services

Simplicity Works – 3/55 Features of best selling board games

Simplicity works.

This is the 3rd out of 55 features we identified of best selling board games

Some really great games are just simple. There are some really classic long term successful games which have really simple gameplay i.e. Checkers/Draughts or Uno. As long as a game is great fun it doesn’t need to be complex. In fact one of the primary attractions of this type of game is the ease of understanding.

General apathy from the occasional mass market gamer towards investing the time and effort required to learn how to play a game is the biggest barrier for games companies to overcome. Unless you are a company offering super complex games for a hardcore gamer with an instruction manual that is as thick as a house brick, simplicity and quick start instructions are critical to achieving mass adoption of your game.

As long as your game mechanic and the social dynamic it creates is compelling, simplicity can be a really good thing.

 

We help board games companies grow profitably. To date we have delivered $tens of millions of new sales revenues for board games companies across the world. We have also saved our clients around $10m in manufacturing cost savings. Our work has helped more than 100 companies. To find out more about what we do & the services we offer to help board games companies profitably grow, just click here: www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services

Variety Is The Spice Of Life – 2/55 Best Selling Board Games Features

Variety Is The Spice Of Life – 2/55 Best Selling Board Games Features

 This is the 2nd of the 55 features we have identified that can underpin best-selling board games.

Creating Games which have a varied play pattern should ensure that players don’t get bored. Games with dull & predictable play patterns don’t tend to sell well over the long term. Games which keep the players ‘on their toes’ often do!

This variety can come in many forms – from different question categories in a Trivia game, to a scenario changing card or event, or a ‘random’ card or mechanism in a game. By twisting up the gameplay, the experience can be made more compelling but also less predictable. There are plenty of games where the result is evident long in advance of the end of the game, which can become boring and can limit repeat play value in a game. And repeat play value tends to be one of the primary long term success factors for board games.

The variety that is required needn’t be difficult, deep or complicated though. As an example, take Asmodee’s outrageously successful card game Dobble. Dobble has the power to transform a room full of people, and that is a really special thing. The game itself doesn’t become boring because every time a new card is turned over the game changes, and the visual observations have to start again. Introducing compelling variety into game play can be this simple.

If you found this article interesting, please share with your friends and colleagues in the board games business.

 

We help board games companies grow profitably. To date we have delivered c. $90m in new sales revenues for board games across the world. We have also saved our clients around $10m in manufacturing cost savings. Our work has helped more than 100 companies. To find out more about what we do & the services we offer to help board games companies profitably grow, just click here: www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services

Inventing Top Selling Board Games With Richard Heayes

Inventing Top Selling Board Games With Richard Heayes

Richard Heayes has been there and done it when it comes to board games development. He came up with the concept behind Monopoly Here & Now, a landmark brand extension of the long running Monopoly board game brand which was a huge top seller according to sales data in the public domain.

In this latest episode of the Playing At Business podcast hosted by Steve Reece, Richard tells all – from his time designing creative play products at Hasbro through to his time working with iconic board games like Monopoly and others, through to his work today as a leading independent mind working to create immersive social play experiences.

To listen to this podcast episode, just click here:

https://playingatbusiness.libsyn.com/creating-best-selling-board-games-with-richard-heayes

 

 

55 Features Of Best Selling Board Games – No. 1 Reinvention

55 Features Of Best Selling Board Games – No. 1 Reinvention

This is the first in a series of articles looking at various key themes and features of best-selling board games. This is a serialisation of our book ’55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games’.

 

Reinvention can sell more units than mere Invention! Some Types of Games just work really well, and so why completely reinvent, if there is part of a proven formula you can ethically use, and can genuinely add value to and improve, then use it (but take legal advice to avoid infringing other people’s rights – the tangible and karmic implications of legal disputes are not to be entered into lightly).

There are a number of classic examples of this, for instance, when Monopoly board game added a calculator to replace the physical money they found they had a massive hit product on their hands despite the fact that the original version of Monopoly had already been in the market for generations. This is reinvention, and there is no bigger example of successful reinvention than ‘Monopoly Here And Now’. If you want the inside track on how this game came to be, you can listen to our podcast interview with Richard Heayes the ex-Hasbro Games designer credited with the original idea:

https://playingatbusiness.libsyn.com/creating-best-selling-board-games-with-richard-heayes

Reinvention though doesn’t just need to apply to best selling games like Monopoly. Maybe there is an old fairground or arcade game you can rediscover and bring to market in a board games format, or maybe a game you played once as a child but haven’t seen for decades since. If it worked once, maybe it will work again!

We’ll be back next time with Feature No. 2 of best selling board games.

 

We help board games companies save money on manufacturing. We work with an industry leading board games factory in China. But we can also offer considerable cost savings via our board games factory partners in India. For more information or to ask us to quote for manufacturing for your games, please get in touch via the ‘Contact’ page on this website.