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the success of trash board games for adults and teens

“I was embarrassed by a naughty gift. I already fantasized about my boss. I said “I love you” without thinking … “ The cards for the board game Yeah Nope, released in mid-September, are not for everyone. Despite the golden glitter on its box, very tempting for children in toy stores, it is recommended for people over 18. Behind this action-truth game, the company … Ravensburger, better known to parents for its puzzle boxes.

“There is not our logo on the box because it could disturb our regular consumer, but that of Fishtank, another of our brands. This is the first time that we have made a board game for adults “, explains Laurent Cochet, marketing director of Ravensburger, which generates a quarter of its turnover in board games.

Ditto for the game Limite Limite, sold 80,000 copies in 2018. Released in 2014, it does not seem to have a known owner, at least on its box. However, since May 2019, it has been part of the Dujardin games catalog, the publisher of the Thousand Boundaries and the Laughing Pig. Obviously “not recommended for children under 18”, as indicated on the packaging, given the vulgarity of certain formulations.

And Dujardin does not intend to stop there. After the release in November of Tu ris tu perds, intended for over 16s, Langue de bitch, une jeu de tests, will hit the shelves in 2020. “There is a real phenomenon in adult play”, notes Corinne Derudder, CEO of TF1 Games Dujardin, before adding:“To play a quarter of an hour during the aperitif”. All are actually surfing on the success of the question-and-answer game Blanc-manger coco, intended for people over 16. Released in 2014, it has sold more than one million copies.

“A more ephemeral trend”

This brand new segment of teens-adults products is making salivations for historical board game manufacturers. As an extension of the atmospheric games, popularized in recent years by Dobble and Time’s up!, This “New trend, more trash, which will probably be more ephemeral”, estimates Philippe Bernard, managing director of Goliath France, who declined his Shit Happens game from 13 years old, in an edition “50 shades of shit” intended for 18 years and over. At JouéClub, we even “Created in the catalog a“ Club gaming ”category which highlights board games for teens and adults”, specifies Jacques Baudoz, president of the distributor. “We paid attention to the layout on the shelves, with separate layouts of games intended for children”, adds Rodolphe Brondy, head of purchasing for JouéClub villages. At King Jouet, “We are seeing more and more teenagers coming to the store”, observes Philippe Gueydon, general manager of the brand.

Transgressive atmosphere games would, according to manufacturers, meet the need for young adults to decompress

Transgressive family games, according to manufacturers, respond to the need for young adults to decompress. They mainly contribute to the strong growth in sales in the board games sector. The NPD Institute calculated that, in 2017, one in ten toys purchased was intended for an adult, including board games. “In 2018, French adults bought more than 3.7 million game boxes for themselves, an increase of 30% compared to 2017”, explains NPD. A third of adult games are purchased by people over 35.

For a few years now, board games, for all audiences, have been on the rise. It is acclaimed by families for its conviviality in the face of young people's passion for video games and applications on smartphones. And it has mostly gone, in a few years, from operating on very long games to very short playing times. Today, it is even one of the most dynamic categories in the toy market, according to the NPD institute: sales growth of 13% (in value) over the first nine months of the year, where the entire toy market grew by only 1%.

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A plethora of offers

France is the biggest market for board games in Europe. With sales of 342 million euros in 2018 (+ 8% since 2017) and more than 19 million boxes sold, compared to 250 million euros in the United Kingdom and 246 million in Germany.

Even the offer is overwhelming. “There are more than 1,000 new board games launched every year, notes Mr. Cochet. We released the Villainous strategy game in July, where we play as a Disney villain. We presented it six months in advance. It was like announcing a new Amélie Nothomb. 150,000 people came to see him at the Cannes board games fair, and there was a queue at the stand just for a prototype. “

To sell all their new products, manufacturers are also counting on the expansion of distribution channels, with in particular game bars, sales during festivals and the use of small specialist shops..

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