SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Like many businesses, Meta Games Unlimited had to close its doors for weeks in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were all very scared about what was going to happen,” said manager Jeremy Bates.
However, Bates said things turned out better than expected. “After we got back there, everyone was really bored and wanted to play games, and they were here buying things like crazy.”
He explained that board games have improved.
“There’s a big thing with Kickstarter right now, like crowdfunding pages, and a lot of companies are using it to fund new board games.”
Due to the funding of new board games, a great deal has been introduced to the genre. But there are always fan favorites that are in demand every year.
“One year was probably a deck building game, and last year it was a roll and write game, it’s all just a different mechanism from the way you play the game.”
Not only did it introduce more games, but Bates said it brought more people to the shop and even more to the hobby.
“The nerdy or nerdy culture is now a little more socially acceptable than it was before. So, we must have had an increase in the number of people who might not have been our target demographic ten years ago. “
He stressed that interest in board games was always increasing, but the pandemic was playing a role too. “The pandemic has given him a little extra boost, and now has extra zing behind it.”
With an increasing number of people turning to the board game trend, there are several challenges, one of which is the availability of existing board games. Bates says fans have seen first-hand that many out-of-stock games take a little time to get back on the shelves.
Another challenge for the board game community is that many of these are group-related activities, and because of the pandemic, larger gatherings have been limited. Bates explained that Meta Games Unlimited has an open game area with a special table for wargaming. He said space usually brings together many players from all over the country. But now, the big parties and game groups they saw had reduced significantly.
“Now they have a small group of friends that they might meet in their own homes or elsewhere to play, and getting those guys back to the shop might be a bit of a challenge. So I don’t expect us to have the crazy hefty numbers of our events we are used to. It might increase a little slower. “
Despite the odds during the pandemic, Bates believes the board games industry will continue to thrive.
“They always introduce new things. But I mean, It’s growing at a fantastic pace, and everyone is having fun, and so are we. “
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