With tabletop games experiencing a major surge in popularity, the world is in what you might call a “cardboard revolution.” Made further popular by brands like The Big Bang Theory and Geek and Sundry, the market is ripe for new and classic ways to gather around the dining room table.
In fact, Amazon says board game sales increased by a double-digit percentage from 2012 to 2013. Video game publishers are tapping into this newfound resurgence by trading in a controller for dice, cards and figurines.
Most recently, Bethesda and iD Software announced DOOM: The Board Game, currently in development by tabletop publisher Fantasy Flight Games. The new game, which will cost $79.99, will have up to five players embarking on missions across an asymmetrical board. Using cards, dice and figurines, players will either assume the side of Marines or hellish demons, each battling the other.
Gears of War, Uncharted, The Witcher, X-COM and Starcraft are just some of the other recent board game cross-promotions. These screen-to-table adaptations accomplish a few things—they increase brand awareness across multiple demographics, encourage personal experiences within those franchises, which helps create brand loyalty, and they tap into a thriving market.
While the video game industry is in no immediate danger of being outsold by their cardboard cousins, sales of tabletop games have continued to grow. Sales at hobby stores in the United States rose 15 to 20 percent in each of the last three years, according to ICv2, a trade publication that tracks the business.
ICv2 estimates that hobby board games in 2014 were around $160 million, and that card and dice games were around $60 million. When you include board game sales from KickStarter, a popular source for new tabletop franchises, the total market size estimate for 2015 ballooned to $1.2 billion.
To put that into perspective, the eSports market has reached nearly $1 billion in 2016 thus far, making cross-promotion between video games and tabletop games a very lucrative endeavor.