We wanted to understand the general preferences, current habits, and reasons that attracts or stops anyone from buying, playing or engaging with board games in India. The survey was shared using WhatsApp groups, email lists & distributed among gaming enthusiasts as well as general groups. We did not consciously separate the two groups in this survey, although we are mindful that the expectations between the groups vary.
First of all THANKS to all who participated. For those who missed this and want to add your view, you can leave your responses here we will keep it open for a couple of months. A huge thanks once again to all who have contributed. It will surely have an impact on how we design and distribute board games in India.
When looking at the data, we need to keep two things in mind. This survey is in no way a full representation of the market. It's an incremental view from just over 200 responses indicating initial trends towards the answers.
We think that a lot of these results will be interesting for other Indian publishers, game designers, and developers too, especially the preference data and the ‘reason to buy’ or pricing data. So, if you know of any other board game that is currently being developed, do make them aware of this post.
Just before getting into the data, we wanted to let you know that we have decided to enable the comments section on this webpage again. We think discussions/comments about this should best take place here, as opposed to on Facebook, or Discord!
And now, without further ado…
Who took the survey?
It is interesting to see almost equal responses by gender* indicating significant balance of interests in boardgames. Around 76.5% of those who have responded are between the age-group 21-40 yrs. This is not a surprise as it more or less reflects our player and buyer bases. The question is directed to illuminate about the core audience. 31-40 yrs are still the most significant group representing nearly half of all the respondents.
We see around 60% of respondents playing boardgames is last one month with mainly family (78.5%) and friends (68%) mostly looking to have a great 'fun time' (85.5%). There seems to be a natural need to socialise, using challenges (52%) as triggers and have competitive (46%) situations to bond with their inner circles. We also see early indications of using board games as an opportunity to engage with newer circles via board game networks/gamers (18%) or employee networks (16.5%).
We feel new board game networks (Player groups, game cafes, clubs) play a key role in disrupting the existing inner circle habits and showing newer ways to engage with new boardgames. Fun Factor may be the key for game networks to flourish. We will plan a deep dive on some real impacts of these networks and how they change the dynamics of player ecosystems soon. Hoping to get more insights around this topic. Please leave your comments below about what you think.
How big or complex ?
Board games with medium complexity (74.5%) that meaningfully engage/challenge not more than 1.5 hrs (76%) seem to be a sweet spot for many. This was an expected response, the surprise was to see a significant appetite for heavy games that run 2 hrs plus (24%).
About themes & preferences
We see significant interests in Historical (48.5%), City building (46.5%), Word games (51%), Travel (41%) and Fantasy (40%) themes. We are not considering card games, dexterity, memory, abstract or party as a theme here as it is not a theme but rather a type. We consciously incorporated this in this question to reduce the time in taking the survey. What is interesting is a clear appetite for various themes versus the types. This not only gives a game developers in India a creative space to explore game themes that they are inspired by, but also test it with the real world to arrive at the right combination of type, mechanics and themes to capture player's imagination.
Most people buy boardgames to engage themselves (62%) or a dear-one (60%). Boardgames are usually referred by a friend (53%) or seen or discovered on shopping sites (53%). Many search for a game using search engines (44%), physical stores (37%) or board game forums (27%). We see gamers, exploring themes (34%) and mechanics (37%) that are among significant reasons to try new board games.
Most people are willing to spend between INR1000 to 4000 depending on complexity and quality of the game.
Cost is a major factor that stops many when buying board games. The general perception is that international board games are very expensive, also the buyers are unsure about the contents of the game (mechanics, complexity, familiarity or replay-ability of it). Some expressed practical reasons like space to store, losing components and lack of company to play with. With locally published games, there is an added expectation around manufacturing, theme, quality, fun factor and easy availability.
Hampi, Bimba and Tacitgames
Thanks again for your feedback on our games. We will continue to work on your feedback, improving our future editions and reprints or in new games we have on our pipeline. Overall around 26% of all respondents had engaged with Hampi or Bimba in some way. Around 86% of the respondents rated both the games in the range of 7-10 with with a mean rating of 8.5 for Hampi and 8.46 for Bimba, and 2% of respondents rated below 5.
Many thanks for being with us, encouraging and inspiring us to make a world class board games for India. We hope this data was helpful for you, and we look forward to hearing your insights and interpretations in the comments!
*Gender - We have added others in the section. Apologies to have missed it.