2020, was it a good year for gaming?

Moderator Level 1

This idea was spawned by my recent post asking how 2020 has changed the hobby. Instead of asking that question, I am asking the question, was 2020 a good year for gaming.

Just a few rough stats about 2020.

  • There were roughly 400 less games released in 2020 than in 2019. These numbers are according to BGG, and are excluding expansions. This represents an almost 12% drop from 2019. I really don't know if that is significant or not.... But, it is a drop. It is also about 100 games less thant 2018 and 100 more than 2017.
  • In the top 100 of BGG there are 2 games, so far, from 2020. I don't think there are any from 2020 in the top 100 of BGA. I also didn't see any from 2020 in Boardgames Reddit top 100.
  • The highest grossing gaming kickstarter of all time happened in 2020. This was the kickstarter for #Frosthaven. It grossed nearly 13 million dollars, and was the third highest grossing kickstarter of all time.
  • This year saw the first Asmodee owned company regain their own helm as an independent company once again. Plaid Hat Games separated from them early in the year, and released their first game since their new independence a few months later. #Forgotten Waters was a huge hit, and I hope that Plaid Hat has started a trend of companies leaving Asmodee.

Overall I am quite bullish on 2020 as a gaming year. I think, and I could be wrong, that this year will be one of the all time greats in terms of games that are still being played in 3-10 years. I believe that there were a bunch of games released this year that are going to be evergreen titles. I don't know why there were fewer games released this year than last year. It could be due to the pandemic, or due to a percieved scarcity of funds, or too great uncertaintity with the pandemic. But, that does not seem to have shortened the amount of truly great and amazing games out there. I do know funds were tight for some people. And, I think that that drove many of those people to focus more on playing what they have more, and playing them more deeply. I think that has been helpful. I also believe that there has never been a better time to be a gamer in terms of online community. This pandemic and the social isolation has driven many fine people to interact more, and make more friends, online. 

So, what do you think of 2020 as a gaming year? Is it going to be one of those years like 2015 and 2016 that produced a huge amount of evergreen quality titles? Or will it be a year that we will shrink from in terms of gaming history?

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9 months ago

For me, 2020 was a highly personal year for gaming. It made me reassess what I found important in a game and therefore I sold many games, including my once beloved #Scythe. I also bought many more light games that have become a big hit with the family (my main gaming group) like #Queendomino and #Draftosaurus, the latter being the hit of the year as far as I'm concerned. Still, I bought some games like #Lost Ruins of Arnak and I desire some other new games like #Beyond the Sun but mostly I'm content.

Looking foward to some new games and expansion in 2021 from my favorite Garphill Games, but 2020 has shown me not to consume, but to appreciate and really figure out what I want out of a board game.

Moderator Level 19 months ago

Thanks for those thougths. I really appreciate your call to be not only a consumer of cardboard media, but be a connosiour.

9 months ago

Also, what are the games you think will be evergreen from this year ?

Moderator Level 19 months ago

That's a great question, and I suppose it depends on one's definition of evergreen.

That being said, without any insight into the future, and being fully cognizant that I might be wrong, I think I can comfortable guess a few titles that will prove to be evergreen. These would include:

Will alll, or indeed any of these games, prove to be evergreens? Who knows, but these would be some of my guesses.

9 months ago

Do you think #Raiders of Scythia will take the place of #Raiders of the North Sea

Which is the best of that list in your mind?

9 months ago

I am usually a few years behind the new releases when it comes to games, so I'll let you know in 2024 what I think of this years crop. I know for me personally it definitely opened up the world of online board gaming a lot, I had never thought about it before but it has led to some wonderful experiences.

2020 is also the year I found BGA and started to engage with the broader baord game community, I think in many ways driven here by a lack of access to baord gaming in person. It has been a delight to meet so many enthusiasts and share ideas, it has really broadened my horizons in terms of what is out there and how to think about games. 


9 months ago

It will take a while for 2020 games to climb the BGG list, which is as it should be.  Nothing should shoot to the top unless it is absolutely phenominal.  I also think it will take a while for 2020 releases to get enough plays to become truly popular.  With a lack of game groups and conventions this year it will take longer for a game to "catch fire" if you will.  Prehaps this will be the year of the "slow burn"?

As for less games being produced, I'm sure the pandemic has affected that.  Though, I hope it represents game companies focusing on fewer, better games.  I would prefer if more gaming companies took the Days of Wonder / AEG route and only focused on releasing a few really good games per year instead of lots of mediocre games.

9 months ago

Are there any games you think will slow-burn their way to the top of the list from this year?

Moderator Level 19 months ago

I really hope the same as you do in terms of companies focusing on fewer better games.

9 months ago

I think someone had said this in another thread, but I can imagine it will just take some time for the gems of this year to be picked up and played. This year was a difficult one for many, financially and socially, and it'll be a while even in 2021 before gaming seems normal again (at least in many countries). 

Supporter9 months ago

I think 2020 will turn out to be quite the solid year. Not the best of all time but still quite good. From what I could see#Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion and#On Mars are the two games from 2020 on the BGG list. I am very much looking forward to playing#On Mars after Christmas. 

Moderator Level 19 months ago

And, I am very much looking forward to hearing your report about it.