Sales of hobby games in the U.S. and Canada topped $1.5 billion for the first time in 2017, reaching $1.55 billion, according to a new estimate compiled by ICv2 and reported in Internal Correspondence #94.  That’s an 8% growth rate over 2016, with rates of change by category ranging from a 3% decline in collectible game sales to a 32% increase in miniature games sales.  By channel, Kickstarter grew the fastest, followed by hobby, and trailed by mass/online.

This is the slowest growth, in both absolute dollars and percentage, since we started tracking sales in 2013 (a time series chart, as well as a chart showing breakdown by category, follows).  But the 8% growth in 2017 still adds to a remarkable string of four big growth years, in which hobby game sales have more than doubled.

Collectible Games, the largest category, shrank 3%, from $750 million in 2016 to $725 million in 2017.

Hobby Board Games, the second largest category, grew 13% from $305 million in 2016 to $345 million in 2017, another big jump for a hot category.

Non-Collectible Miniatures had the fastest growth rate at 32%, up from $205 million in 2016 to $270 million in 2017.

Hobby Card and Dice Games grew 15%, from $130 million in 2016 to $150 million in 2017.

And Roleplaying Games, the smallest category, was up 22% from $45 million in 2016 to $55 million in 2017.

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We define “hobby games” as those games produced for a “gamer” market, generally (although not always) sold primarily in the hobby channel of game and card specialty stores.  We define the “hobby games market” as the market for those games regardless of whether they’re sold int eh hobby channel or other channels.

The total hobby games market estimate is derived from estimates for five individual categories:  collectible games (which include Trading/Collectible Card Games, Collectible Miniatures Games, and Collectible Dice Games), miniatures (non-collectible), board games, card and dice games, and roleplaying games.

Our primary means of collecting data about hobby games sales is interviews with key industry figures with good visibility to sales in various categories and channels.  We also review data released by publicly traded companies, and Kickstarter data and analysis, especially that released by ICO Partners.  There were no major changes in methodology for 2017.

Note that in some cases, to estimate hobby games market size, we are including channels that are not typically included in our seasonal bestseller charts.

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Here are links to ICv2's charts of the Top Hobby Games across five categories for Spring (January – April) 2018, which first appeared in Internal Correspondence #94:
Top Collectible Games--Spring 2018
Top 10 Hobby Channel Board Games-- Spring 2018
Top 10 Hobby Channel Card and Dice Games--Spring 2018
Top 5 Non-Collectible Miniature Games--Spring 2018
Top 5 Roleplaying Games--Spring 2018

For info on how to get your copy of the ICv2's Internal Correspondence #94, with the full market reports and size estimates, bestseller lists, and reviews, see "ICv2 Releases 'Internal Correspondence' #94."