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Game Business Growth Anything But Funny

Despite the economy, board game industry growing double digits.
Scottsdale, AZ, United States of America ( 08/12/2010

Imagine an industry that in the worst part of the current economy still grew at 23%. Any guesses what it might be? What if you knew that the industry had nothing to do with technology and in fact was low-tech in nature? Once you understood that the basis for this industry was as old as mankind, would it change your guess?

If you discovered that this industry has nothing to do with sex, alcohol, or gambling, would you now have the answer? Last question, can you guess which industry it is if it was family friendly, had a low participation cost, and saw a similar renaissance during the great depression?

OK, here is a hint for you: Parker Brothers, Hasbro, Milton Bradley all participate in this category. The category is the ultra low tech board game business. While electronic games have continued to grow at a constant 7% pace, the board game business in the last few years is on a meteoric climb, growing as much as 23% year-over-year.

Board games have literally been around for centuries having game pieces made of sticks, stones, bones, and other naturally occurring objects. Mancala, a simple board game consisting of several small stones and a plank of wood with several deep impressions in it, has been found in archeological digs in Ethiopia dating back as far as the 6th or 7th century. Even ancient writings dating back to the 14th century are suspected of mentioning the game.

Incredibly games like Mancala, Liar’s Dice (another centuries old board game), and others, that have had a long and rich history, and are still in production today. In fact the movie, Pirate’s of the Caribbean highlighted Liar’s Dice. Right after the movie was released, Disney partnered with a company called USAopoly to license a “Pirate’s of the Caribbean Liar’s Dice” game.

While Parker Brother’s, Hasbro, and Milton Bradley still control a lion’s share of the board game industry, it is punctuated with many small manufacturers or publishers as they are called. One such publisher, Four Clowns Game and Toy Co, recently released their own take on Liar’s Dice, calling it Diception™ ( ). Diception™ while sharing some similar features with Liar’s Dice has some interesting and proprietary twists that make the game unique and adds a new level of challenge and fun to the game.

The company spokesperson, Larry Shin, recently stated that Diception™ like so many other games, started as home-brewed game. “We knew we were on to something when we saw 9 year kids, the 20 year old baby sitter, 40 year old parents, and the 75 year old grandparents all enjoying and equally competing in the same game.” Shinn went on to state, “This game is fast to play and can be wild at times making it a perfect way for a large or small group to spend quality time together.”

Diception, like other one-off games have a unique opportunity on their hands to capitalize on this growing market segment. Most retailers stick with well known, proven, and time tested brand name games. But the consumer is searching for something different and with the continued growth of online shopping, Diception™ and others are able to find an audience and even connect with them at a deeper level than the big guys can.

So while the news media continues to report doom and gloom in the economy it is nice to know that there still are industries, companies, and even start ups making a splash. It is fair to say, that while nobody knows the future, it still remains bright for the board game business. People love a distraction and the low cost fun of board games still can bring a family or group of friends together like nothing else can.

P.O. Box 15152, Scottsdale, AZ 85267
Toll Free: 1-888-611.DICE (3423)
Local: 206-338-0540
Fax: 888-427-8453


P.O. Box 15152, Scottsdale, AZ 85267 Toll Free: 1-888-611.DICE (3423) Local: 206-338-0540 Fax: 888-427-8453


Larry Shin

Four Clowns Game & Toy Co, LLC P.O. Box 15152
Zipcode : 85267