Game Industry

Card and board game publishing is a vibrant and dynamic industry. With changes in the types of games being released and the organizational make-up of the companies producing them, there is much to watch and analyze about the industry.

It is not our mission to be reporters on the industry, but as we research aspects of the industry that are interesting to us based on the projects were have in progress, we can’t help but notice some events and trends that, if worth the effort to investigate, are worth the effort to report for the community to digest.

We will also provide commentary and access to resources reporting on the card and board game industry here.

Hobby Game Trends 2000-2014 Round 1: Game Publishers

Publishing Companies

A study of the hobby game market should naturally start with an analysis of the companies publishing hobby games. Given the lack of public information about publishers and distribution volumes previously described I can at best provide a survey and more speculation to add to what is already available.

Hobby Game Trends 2000-2014: Introduction


The card and board game design and publishing industry has been growing rapidly in recent years. Some might call it a boom, some might worry that it is a bubble, and some optimists (like me) say it is only the beginning. Beyond the sheer quantity of cardboard distributed, the number of new releases is also rising and some argue that the general quality of design and production is improving; they suggest that we are in the “Golden Years” of game design.

Game Publishing

Although the expertise and focus of Opie Games is not to analyze the game publishing industry, as we design and develop games we are considering the current marketplace when deciding which game designs to pursue. Time to design is always a limiting factor, if not the most limiting, so working on something for which the market is quickly diminishing or is over-crowded may be equally wasted. These studies may also be helpful in providing information for a pitch, to differentiate what Opie Games has designed from what is available. How this information is not being use is to determine what game to start thinking about. Ideation is upstream of this process.


Survey and analyze (to the extent reasonably possible) the game publishing industry to:

  • Inform the Opie Games process decisions from design into development.
  • Become knowledgeable about the game publishing aspect of the table top game industry.
  • Identify game publishing trends to forecast the market needs of the near term future.
  • Provide the game design and development community information that maybe helpful on its own or may seed further analysis.

Hopefully, you will find this analysis interesting and helpful in your own forays into the game publishing industry.

Resource Focus: The Dice Tower Network


The Dice Tower Network describes itself so, “The Dice Tower Network is a group of podcasts and videocasts that promotes excellence and fun in board gaming.” At the time of this writing, the network is about 25-30 associated, but independent podcasts offering audio and video entertainment related to table top games, game reviews, and game design. All of these are worth a listen to see if they suit your needs and wants, but not all are actively producing content. Several of these services will also be listed here in the Opie Games resources separately; concentrating on the ones that I find the most interesting and consistent with my needs.

Resource Focus: The Dice Tower


The Dice Tower website, podcast, and anything you can think of to promote the board game hobby is the brain child of Tom Vasel. It is unlikely that you have found Opie Games without already being very familiar with the Dice Tower, but here is a quick breakdown. Eric Summerer has joined Tom as producer of the podcast and there are many contributors to the site and the web presence that is The Dice Tower. Tom and company produce an amazing amount of game related content every week.

Resource Focus: On Board Games


One of the first podcasts that I got hooked on was On Board Games with Donald Dennis, Erik Dewey, and at the time, the venerable Scott Nicholson. The trio provided three different perspectives on board games, game design, and the hobby game industry. Unfortunately, Scott has moved on, but Donald and Erik continue to provide different insights and opinions into the hobby. They also provide regular game reviews with their simple and reliable stoplight recommendation.

Resource Focus: Ludology


There are so many great resources for table top game designers and enthusiasts that it is hard to decide which to spotlight in this first Resource Focus blog entry. I have enjoyed many over the year or so that I have been actively searching, but one that I discovered early in my search and always eagerly anticipate the next episode is the Ludology podcast with Ryan Sturm and Geoff Engelstein. Geoff’s Game Tek segments are also a highlight on the Dice Tower.


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