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document currently work-in-progress

document currently work-in-progress

inventing a board game is one thing, publishing a board game is another, and then selling the game in any numbers is a different kettle of fish

being a cautionary tale

How many board game designers are there in the world?

How many song writers are there in the world? Many people write tunes or lyrics and some put them together in songs. The number published is much less but still huge. The number of published games designers is smaller but still many more than I thought when I started invented games. On board game geek there is a wealth of information relating to board games which have english language rules (they may be published elsewhere but generally include english rules). Searching the list of designers at the end of 2007 there were 600 ... whose first name began with A. So ..

How many games are published each year?

Well at Essen Toy and Games fair (biggest in Europe) there were about 40 new games published ... whose names began with A. On boardgamegeek's database of games there are over 40 new games for which an image (typically of the box) has been provided beginning with A. I guess probably in the region of 500-1000 new board games in all in 2007 Published in the sense of manufactured games with a box, a print run of 500 games or more, a price and some way that they could be bought by members of the public tracking down the publisher and the game title. The boardgamegeek database lists 20,000 games - though some of those will be different editions or version of the game game, and most of those games have been published in the last 20 years.

How many games have any degree of sales success?

The answer of course depends on what counts as sales success. If 1500 copies of a game are manufactured and they are all sold then this may give enough revenue to publish more (of the same game, or a different game) the next year. This could count as success as continuing a games publishing operation, but probably isn't what most people would imagine as sales success. That would probably start at about 10,000 games, and a sales turnover of over 100,000. Age of Steam, designed by Martin Wallace of Manchester, England, and generally one of the top ten games from contributors' rating on BoardGameGeek (over 2,000 ratings), may only have sold about 10,000 copies so far (2007), since its first publishing in 2002. So this is success but not on the grand scale associated with Monopoly, Risk, Trivial Pursuit.

How many recent (say last 30 years) abstract board games have had any degree of sales success?