The most important thing that set this rise off was how people's tastes have changed. It started around five years ago when Euro-styled games became more popular. The biggest example of this is Settlers Of Catan, which spawned hundreds of copycats.
There are dozens of games set in different historical periods where you can play as a pharaoh, a Viking, or the owner of a Carribean island. Educators are taking those ideas and having their students make board games as school assignments. From there comes the potential for future fans and board game geeks ready to play games on their own.
Research has shown that playing board games has cognitive benefits. One of the reasons why is because these new-generation board games keep people engaged a lot more than previous ones. That's not to take anything away from the classics, but playing board games help in sharpening your decision-making along with other traits.
Ironically, online engagement is the main reason board games have had an uptick in popularity. Online stores centered around board games and meetup sites helped in their rise, propping up events worldwide. YouTube video series like TableTop also help in popularizing the scene.
It's not a small group of people that love board games, either. The Gen Con gaming convention in Indiana is an example of how big it can get; this year brought in 209,000 in attendance. Many of it included tables upon tables of exhibitors showing the latest board game or play-testing one in development.
The explosion of games and places to play them in have helped people motivate people to leave their homes. Many have made weekly board game meetups that provide a breather from the worries of the world. Friendships are forged that wouldn't have otherwise.
10. Getting Closer (Or Head-To-Head) With Your Partner
The added variety of games nowadays helps couples continue the spark in their relationship. A competitive pair love that there is something more than the regular Scrabble or chess game. They can go head to head on a game of Carcassonne or scramble together in a game of Pandemic.
The growth of a gaming crowd that enjoys a physical experience has spread to other areas. Coffeeshops geared towards friends and families playing board games have sprung up from Beijing to Galveston. The same applies to bars — now buddies or couples can play Agricola while they sip on craft beers or fine wines in bars that have board games on deck.
There is a considerable amount of money to be made for a so-called niche market. As of 2015, the board game industry is worth 1.2 billion dollars in the US and Canada alone. And many of them are designed by small teams, sometimes created by the vision of one person.
Game designers are making their dream games outside of technology with the new funding economy. Kickstarter and other crowd-funding platforms have made mega-popular games like Cards Against Humanity started with a $15,000 funding from Kickstarter in 2011. The fact that board games have set components and costs make them more attractive to publishers and backers that make them more willing to help.
There is the reality that video games still dominate game sales and holiday wish lists. But the crowd — homemaker, students, research scientists, and others — show that the universal appeal keeps the sales up. The human interaction they provide is something that can't be found from a PC or console game.