2012 was the fourth consecutive year of substantial growth in the hobby game market, according to a recently released report in ICv2’s Internal Correspondence #81 (see "ICv2 Releases 'Internal Correspondence' #81"), with roughly 15% growth in the hobby game store channel over 2011 sales.  The last year hobby game sales shrank was the crash year of 2008.

A number of retailing factors drove growth, including improved store health, a significant number of new stores, and expansion of product lines and sales in existing stores. Digital games continued to drive sales of their print cousins, especially for Magic: The Gathering.  And the growth of board and card games was helped by increasing numbers of in-store game nights for the categories, and Geek and Sundry YouTube series TableTop, which helped identify and explain good games for consumers to buy.


Hobby Store Growth Rate











In collectible games, the Big Three CCGs (Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon) all had good years, along with HeroClix, which expanded sales on Marvel and DC and grew the number of properties on which the game is based.  Two new introductions, WotC’s Kaijudo and Bushiroad’s CardFight!! Vanguard, also made an impact behind strong support from their publishers.

Board game sales were also strong in 2012, with perennials driving the biggest growth.

The best news for the year was that growth was not based on a single game or category, but instead was driven by broad-based growth in the number of people playing hobby games.

For the lists of the bestselling Collectible Games in the hobby channel, in the mass channel, and over-all, click here.
For the bestselling board games in the hobby channel, click here.
For the bestselling card/building games in the hobby channel, click here.
For the bestselling RPGs, click here.
For the bestselling non-collectible miniature games, click here.

For information on how to get your copy of Internal Correspondence #81, see "ICv2 Releases 'Internal Correspondence' #81."