Retailers and distributors expressed satisfaction with sales of hobby games during the Fall 2020 season (September-December), probably the most challenging since Fall 2008, when demand plunged as a global financial crisis caused millions of layoffs and a huge drop in consumer confidence.  This year’s challenges included declines in store traffic due to government regulations and social distancing by consumers during the biggest surge in Covid cases in a bad year, sourcing issues for new and backlist games caused by supply chain disruptions, and lowered demand from consumers in some parts of the economy due to high unemployment.

While overall sales were up at the distribution level, individual retailers were working hard to get their sales to even with 2019; the growth seemed to be from retailers doing large portions of their sales online.

Supply issues were generally the first thing retailers bought up when describing the challenges they faced.

High unemployment definitely took its toll, especially as unemployed workers looked toward expiring unemployment benefits at the end of the year (they were eventually resumed, but after the holiday).

There was lift for all categories, with TCGs definitely generating the most demand behind huge demand for Pokemon TCG products.  Miniatures and paint continued strong, RPGs were solid, and board and card games had a good finish to a challenging year.

For the top games in five categories, see:
Top Collectible Games--Fall 2020
Top 10 Hobby Channel Board Games--Fall 2020
Top 10 Hobby Channel Card/Dice Games--Fall 2020
Top 5 Non-Collectible Miniature Lines--Fall 2020
Top 5 Roleplaying Games--Fall 2020

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