49: 2020 Predictions

49: 2020 Predictions

What are up to 3 predictions you would make about the direction of games, design and the industry in 2020?

 

 

I think we’re going to see more publishers who’ve previously done well on Kickstarter move away from the platform entirely. Whether that’s through a lack of innovation and evolution on the part of Kickstarter itself, or companies feeling it’s more trouble than it’s worth (probably both, let’s be honest)… there’ll be a move away for sure. I also predict even more games trying to break into that lucrative nostalgia market through licensed properties – and hey, some of them will even be good! We had stuff like Horrified and Jaws in 2019… can 2020 top them? Back To The Future, I’m looking at you!

Michael Fox

More games from non western countries, but they’ll feel very much like ours.


More small publishers, but also more small publishers taken over by big ones.


A few big publishers bought by people from outside the boardgame industry – video game companies, book publishers or investment funds.

Bruno Faidutti

1. Roll and Writes will continue their recent upsurge.


2. Collaborative games will become even more mainstream.


3. Hopefully there will be a greater celebration of diversity amongst games designers, with more opportunities made available so that everyone is welcome at the table.

Sam Illingworth

I also predict even more games trying to break into that lucrative nostalgia market through licensed properties – and hey, some of them will even be good! — Michael Fox

Two player games will continue to trend, crowdfunding will be harder for first time publishers, boarder diversity will be embraced via art and language.

Adrienne Ezell

That’s a tough one. The industry, to me anyway, felt like 2019 was a bit of slow year for innovation. I think a few lessons from 2019 are that adventured/story games are big on KS, solid euro’s with non-traditional themes are strong in hobby, and Forest Pruzan/Prospero Hall has made mass into the wild wild west proving old adages to be false and busting open new design spaces in that venue with every product that hits the shelf. I’d LIKE 2020 to be a year of further refinement, that is a year where the ‘new’ games aren’t innovative but are iterative and the industry takes some time to master and explore the design parameters of what’s working. I predict, however, (1) we’ll see more emphasis on table presence as the year goes on, (2) more RPG/story telling crossover into board games and (3) that Prospero Hall will do something unexpected and incredible.

Jessey Wright

I’m sure a lot of people will be saying this, but consolidation (small and mid-sized companies getting bought up by bigger ones and/or going under) will probably continue to accelerate in the coming years. I think that in 2020 we will also probably see more app integration and augmented reality making its way into tabletop than ever before. I’ve heard from multiple publishers that they have some pretty exciting digital/analog hybrid projects in their pipelines.

Alex Cutler

Two player games will continue to trend, crowdfunding will be harder for first time publishers, boarder diversity will be embraced via art and language. — Adrienne Ezell

I think big changes are coming for the industry. Distribution seems to be in crisis, and lots of publishers are talking about making major changes – some going broader, some going deeper, and some dropping out. For designers, it’s not enough to design a great game. In 2020, we need to get to know the business better, lean into our talents and skills harder, and build stronger relationships in the industry. Let’s get to it!

Isaac Shalev

1) Due to Asmodee’s continued dominance, I predict at least one ‘big name’ in board game publishing will cease.


2) Brexit confusion will impact UK Games Expo exhibitors and Kickstarter fulfilment ie. Customs will be a nightmare.


3) Asmodee will buy Surprised Stare Games for $1,000,000.

Tony Boydell

I hate making predictions.

Here are 3 ‘sure-fire’ predictions:
More than one game will be released.
At least one new game will involve card.
At least one new game will have a title using the letter ‘A’.

3 predictions that follow trends:
Over 3.5k games released.
More mergers.
More ‘toy-like’ games with unique physical properties.

3 mildly-more-interesting predictions:
Someone, somewhere, will propose using a game released this decade.
Someone, somewhere, will change their worldview and behaviour because of a boardgame.
People will continue to forge meaningful relationships. Someone will meet their life-partner via boardgames.

Bez Shahriari

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