A few years ago, I was riding high in the board game industry, I’d just had my first award winning game published in America with a major publisher, I had a dozen games on my books and spent my days designing and illustrating games for publishers, large and small around the world.
This was a golden, early post Brexit, pre Covid and pre-Ukraine war era and things were good. Game production was cheap, and distribution throughout the world was at manageable levels and board games were experiencing a renaissance.
Today, the game industry is starting to polarise back towards the big publishers, manufacturing of games has risen by over 100%, and ocean freight has risen by over 1000% since 2020. With Brexit, (for us in the UK) worldwide postal costs have rocketed with the loss of import tax agreements throughout the EU as well as further impacts like fuel costs and general cost increases with postage. While large publishers are more capable of weathering these prices due to direct to market deals going back years and distribution hubs in other countries. It makes the entry level for smaller indie companies harder than ever.
Board game manufacturing also holds another issue for us, a factory manufacturing 1000s of games has potentially a big carbon footprint, factor in shipping and distribution and that footprint grows even larger.