From 2017 to the start of 2020, our online interest in board games remained stable. As we’ll look at in further detail shortly, there’s a seasonality to the data, with festive spikes in late December. This is caused by gift research, gift-giving, and people talking about the games they’re playing with friends and family over the holidays.
But when the pandemic hit, there was a marked increase in the conversation. This was due to people turning to board games to keep them occupied, either for lockdown sessions with housemates or by playing online versions with people around the world. When people were desperate for social interaction, board games helped fill that gap.
That’s not to mention there is a popular board game literally called Pandemic, which many people sought out as Covid-19 brought a halt to our normal lives.
This surge in interest wasn’t permanent though. It dropped off by the end of 2020, although a minor increase on pre-pandemic levels persisted. This was still evident in 2021’s festive spike which was up on 2020’s, and way up on the years prior to that.
Continuing into 2022 levels remain higher than normal but, more interestingly, interest seems to be growing again. To show how abnormal that is, we worked out when Board Game Season really is.
Never heard of Board Game Season before? That’s because we just invented it.
We took four years worth of data to see how we talked about board games across a normal year. When we plot that on a line chart, Board Game Season is clear as day. From mid-November to the end of Feb, board game mentions are consistently above the yearly average.