What does the target market for board games look like?

This is a question that many people in the board game industry are asking themselves. With the rise of digital gaming, many people believe that the market for traditional board games is shrinking. However, this is not necessarily true.

The more time we spend online, the greater the urge many have for offline entertainment. That’s where board games come in. This is one of the reasons why in recent years, board games have started becoming popular again and have been able to attract new audiences.

But who are these people? What do they like about board games? And what can game designers as well as marketers do to appeal to them? In this article, we will explore the target market for board games by looking at some of the different types of people who enjoy playing them and trying to understand what attracts them to board games.

Target Market for Board Games
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The Target Market for Board Games: Who plays board games?

Broadly speaking, players of board games can be segmented into these categories:

  1. Grown-ups
  2. Kids
  3. Families
  4. Hobbyists
  5. Strategy Gamers
  6. Casual Gamers


Grown-ups are a target market for board games because today’s grown-ups grew up playing such games. And so, it’s no surprise that they tend to have emotional connections to board games of their childhood. They also like the social aspect of playing board games as well as the tactile experience of handling and moving physical pieces around a board.

Many grown-ups are still uncomfortable playing computer games and would rather play a game of chess or backgammon as they did in their childhood. Playing board games is also a way to destress and spend time with the family after a long day at work.


Today’s children are digital natives. They are so used to touch screens, video games and online games that playing a board game can be a new and exciting experience for them.

Kids can also like the social aspect of playing games with friends and siblings. Many children join board gaming clubs – like a local chess club – because of their attraction to a board game. This further helps children grow their social skills.

Most parents would also prefer it if their children played more board games than video games. Board games can be a way to teach children important life skills such as counting, strategy, taking turns and problem-solving. Board games like scrabble can help children improve their vocabulary. Games like Monopoly can provide valuable life lessons about investing and decision-making.


Families can come together by doing two things – eating together and playing together. And playing board games can be a classic activity that children and parents can enjoy together. Board games can be a great way for family members to bond with each other.

There are plenty of family-friendly board games that are suitable for all ages. For instance, parents could play a nice game of Snakes and Ladders with their younger children and Clue with their older children. Games that encourage social interaction and communication are often popular with families.


Hobbyists are people who love board games and play them for fun during their free time. Hobbyists will often join amateur clubs and collect different kinds of games. They also enjoy trying out new games. Hobbyists are typically the most engaged and passionate players of board games. They also like to play more complicated and challenging games that require more time to set up and learn.

Strategy Gamers

Strategy Gamers are players who tend to be more competitive and enjoy playing games that require careful planning and lots of strategic thinking. They usually prefer games that are complex and have a lot of rules. Examples of such games are Axis & Allies, Twilight Imperium and Warhammer 40k.

Many strategy gamers also like to play miniatures games, which are board games that use miniature figures instead of playing pieces. Examples of these kinds of games are Heroscape and Blood Bowl.

Casual Gamers

Casual Gamers are the opposite of strategy gamers in that they don’t like complicated games. They prefer to play games that are easy to learn and can be finished in a short amount of time. Casual gamers also tend to prefer games that are light-hearted and fun.

Many families who like games can also be categorized as Casual Gamers. However, if a family has someone – a child for instance – who’s in a chess club we would categorize them as a Strategy Gamer.

So, as you can see, the target market for board games can be segmented along many different lines with segments often overlapping each other.

If you’re a game designer or are considering selling board games, the key is to understand what each type of player is looking for in a game and design or sell your game accordingly.

Some games are not for everyone, while others can be universally liked. So depending on the type of game you are designing or planning to sell, think if market segmentation is needed or not.

Reasons why people play board games

We’ve now seen the different kinds of people who love board games. With this knowledge, you will be able to perform demographic segmentation of this market.

But to truly understand the target market for board games, you must understand why people enjoy board games. What do they get out of the experience? And why would they be willing to pay for it?

If we were to look across all the segments that constitute the target market for board games, we come across the following main reasons why so many people love them and continue to buy them:

1. Connect with friends and family

Board games help connect with friends and family by providing a common activity to do together.

People who play board games together spend hours in each other’s company. When we connect with our loved ones, it helps us feel happier and can even reduce stress levels.

So playing board games together is a great way to relax and unwind while also spending quality time with those we care about.

2. Increase social interaction and communication

Games encourage social interaction and communication between players. They promote face-to-face interaction which can help people feel more connected to others.

Some games require players to work together in order to win, while others are more competitive. Either way, playing board games can help people feel more connected to others and improve their communication skills – both spoken as well as unspoken.

Board games are also great for socializing. They provide opportunities for people to come together and chat, laugh, and have a good time. Plus, they can help build relationships by giving players something to talk about. Playing board games is an activity that brings friends and family together.

3. Challenges the Brain

Board games are a great way to keep the mind active and challenged. They can help improve cognitive skills, such as problem-solving, strategic thinking, and memory.

In fact, many board games are designed specifically to target these skills. So if you’re looking for a mentally stimulating activity that also happens to be fun, playing a board game is a great option.

4. Helps improve problem-solving skills and strategic thinking

Board games help improve a person’s problem-solving skills and strategic thinking. When playing a board game, players have to plan their moves ahead and think about what the other player(s) might do.

This type of thinking is important in real-life situations, such as at work or in business. Games like Chess and Stratego are specifically designed for cultivating strategic thinking.

5. Educational value and life skills

Playing board games can teach children important life skills such as: taking turns, sharing, winning and losing gracefully, following rules, and being a good sport. They can also help with memory recall, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and hand-eye coordination.

6. Relieve Stress and Have Fun

One of the main reasons people like playing board games is because it is a fun way to relieve stress. Board games can help you forget about your troubles and just enjoy spending time with friends or family. It can be a great way to bond with someone and have a good laugh.

Playing board games also encourages socializing which in itself is a way to destress. Board games can be a fun way to meet new people and make friends. You can also learn more about someone by playing a game with them.


The Target Market for Board Games includes people of all ages and from all walks of life. Board players can be Families, Hobbyists and serious Gamers. Each has a different motivation for playing board games but very often motivations between different segments tend to overlap.

There are many reasons why people love playing board games. They can help connect with friends and family, increase social interaction and communication, challenge the brain, and teach important life skills. Board games are also a great way to relieve stress and have fun. For anyone looking for a mentally stimulating and enjoyable activity, playing a board game is a great option.

If you are considering entering the board game market either with a new game or if you have a store and are considering carrying board games, make sure you understand the motivations of your target market segment. Understand what attracts people to board games and what do they get out of the experience. This will ensure you target the right market segment with the right products and the right marketing strategy to maximize your chance for success.