Hollywood isn't the only branch of the entertainment industry that has suffered a steady decline in 2005, but unlike Tinseltown's continuing drop-off, the decline in sales of games appears to have leveled off, though the level at which sales have plateaued is lower than it was a year ago.  At this time board games and miniatures games appear to be performing better than RPGs and CCGs, according to the recently released ICv2 Retailers Guide to Games #9.  Although collectible card games continue represent the biggest portion of the market, no new hit has emerged to replace the aging Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise.  Still retailers and distributors are hopeful that the strength of the board game category is the harbinger of a solid Q4, since board games traditionally do well during the holidays.


The overall industry mood appears to be a bit brighter than it was last quarter (see ''05 Game Sales Starting Weak'), and fears of a declining retail base may well have been exaggerated as most distributors told ICv2 that the stores that went out of business in the first half of 2005 were, for the most part, smaller unhealthy stores that didn't account for major sales anyway.  As one distributor put it: 'In this market sometimes you need a brush fire to clear out the deadwood.'


In the Retailers Guide to Games #9, ICv2 also released its rankings of the top ten games in each category.  Here are the top five in each:


Top Five CCG Properties:

  1. Yu-Gi-Oh!
  2. Magic: The Gathering
  3. Versus
  4. Pokemon
  5. Inuyasha

Top Five Miniatures Game Properties:

      1.   Pirates of the Spanish Main

      2.   HeroClix

      3.   Star Wars CMG

      4.   Dungeons & Dragons CMG

      5.   MechWarrior


Top Five Board Games:

  1. Settlers of Catan
  2. Days of Wonder
  3. Avalon Hill
  4. Carcassonne
  5. Fantasy Flight Games

Top Five RPGs:

  1. Dungeons & Dragons
  2. World of Darkness
  3. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
  4. Mongoose
  5. Green Ronin

For info on how to get your copy of the ICv2 Retailers Guide to Games #9, which contains much more market information as well articles by prominent retailers on how to make the most of holiday sales as well as a 'Holiday Gift Guide,' see 'ICv2 Retailers Guide to Games #9').