Hobby game sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled $1.675 billion in 2019, up 12% from $1.495 billion in 2018, according to an estimate compiled by ICv2.  The increase was powered by big jumps in sales of collectible games, miniatures, and roleplaying games, partially offset by declines in board games and card and dice games.

This marks a return to growth, after a down 2018 interrupted an uninterrupted string of growth years since ICv2 started tracking hobby game market size in 2013.  Hobby game sales in 2019 were a new high, topping the $1.545 billion in sales in 2017.

Sales were up across channels, with growth in hobby game stores, mass retail, and Kickstarter.

Collectible Games, the largest category, grew to a new high of $745 million in 2019, up from $625 million in 2018.

Non-Collectible Miniatures continued to grow strongly, hitting $355 million in 2019, up from $285 million in 2018.

Based on the shape of the curve for hobby board game sales, the category appeared to be past the crest in 2019, declining 1% to $365 million, from $370 million in 201i.

Card and dice games dropped 13%, from $150 million in 2018 to $130 million.

Roleplaying Games, the smallest category, continued its strong growth, jumping over 20% to $80 million in sales for 2019.

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 in the hobby channel or other channels.  Our estimates include sales in the U.S. and Canada.

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, publicly available NPD data, and Kickstarter data and analysis, especially that released by ICO Partners.  There were no major changes in methodology for 2019.

For in-depth analysis of 2018 hobby game sales on our Pro site, click here "Hobby Game Sales Total $1.495 Billion in 2018 - In Depth."

For audio and the deck from ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp's ICv2 White Paper presentation on the 2019 games market on the ICv2 Pro site, click here.

[A version of this article appears in Internal Correspondence #98, which is available on our Pro site (click here).]