Shopper Insights

Chutes & Ladders: The Slippery Slope of Board Game Ratings

Board Game Ratings See Sharp Declines

The Insight

Long-time board game manufacturers Hasbro and Pressman are celebrating their centennial birthdays, but the game creators may have to stop the celebrations there. Both companies are seeing significant declines in ratings, having lost over half a star in the past four years. Consumers are growing frustrated by a notable decline in the quality of components and game construction and feel that the games may no longer be worth the price. While Hasbro offers a low price point for some of their classic games at just $10-$20, as one consumer put it, “…affordable does not mean quality.”

Meanwhile, competitors Days of Wonder and Stonemaier have maintained high ratings in the same time period, both with an average star rating of 4.7+ this year, despite significantly higher price points (~$50) for notable games Ticket to Ride and Wingspan

The Takeaway

Games aren’t just for the kiddos anymore as board games are U.S. consumers’ 10th most popular hobby

  1. While happy childhood memories may drive consumers to purchase products, fondness and familiarity can only go so far. Brands must continually innovate and proactively listen to their customers’ feedback. 
  2. Ratings alone only reflect whether customers are satisfied with a product; review analysis uncovers the “why” so your team can come up with the “what’s next.” For Hasbro and Pressman, declining reviews may indicate that consumers are turning away from the games they grew up with and instead, want high quality games that will last through hundreds of hours of play. 
  3. Understanding the competitive landscape is crucial for the success of any brand. Ratings and reviews give insight into what’s working in the market and which new brands have discovered white space that may be blind spots for larger, established brands. 

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