The Kosmos publishing house was able to maintain its top position as the games publisher with the highest turnover. That is at least the result of an analysis of the sales data by the market research institute NPD. The turnover was mainly driven by strong sales of exit games as well as the sale of successful individual titles, including the award-winning board games Die Crew and MyCity.

According to the company, the publishing house Kosmos recorded a “clear double-digit” increase in sales. The growth is above the market. The Stuttgart publishing giant can once again look back on a successful financial year. Just last fall Kosmos about good sales results reported. Even at this point in time, the focus on maintaining the strong brands and developing new target groups were considered success factors.

Exit is uBoard game brand with the highest sales

The strong sales are no coincidence and not surprising given the popular Kosmos brands. In addition, the publisher had shown a lucky hand when it came to the publication of new titles. As the Stuttgart publisher confirms, the Exit series of games is one of the main draws: in the past year alone, according to data from the NPD Group, around 1,5 million copies went over the counter. This has made the series the top-selling board game brand, according to Kosmos.

With currently 23 different scenarios for different levels of difficulty and an expansion in the direction of books and puzzles, the publishing house has developed “Exit” into a comprehensive brand family. The fan base behind the game series is growing noticeably. The puzzle games can be played within the family and also alone, which should at least have given a boost in Corona times. However, this alone cannot explain the sales growth, according to Kosmos. "The success is also a result of the innovation and brand strategy that Kosmos has been pursuing for many years," explains the publisher about its long-term measures.

The corona pandemic was a hard turning point for the industry. Although players spent a lot of time at home and therefore also played more, the past year was an exceptional situation, especially for trading partners of publishers.

The publisher is pleased that the Exit series has proven to be one of the most successful innovations in recent years. As one of the first implementations of the Escape Room trend for the gaming table, the first three games in the series came onto the market almost five years ago. They were sent directly as Expert game of the year excellent. It didn't stop there: the game received numerous other national and international prizes.

The Exit series is popular with various target groups. Source: Cosmos

The Exit series is popular with various target groups. Source: Cosmos


Other representatives from the puzzle game genre were able to score with fans, such as the brand The Three Question Marks, for which Kosmos has developed games: Within two years, playful riddles and crime puzzles have become bestsellers for the publisher. In addition to “Exit – Das Spiel + Puzzle” there are now the successful “Die Drei ??? Crime Puzzle". Their highlight: The puzzles are each supplemented by stories and the puzzle provides the crucial clues to solve the mysterious cases.

"The first five crime puzzles alone have already sold more than 160.000 copies," says Kosmos press spokeswoman Silke Ruoff. Two more story-based puzzles based on bestselling children’s books will be released in spring 2021, along with another scenario based on The Three ??? The Little Evil Puzzle is also published for the first time.

Focus on children: experiment kits are increasing

In addition to the games, the experimentation segment is also developing positively: Kosmos states that its experiment kits have grown by over 30 percent in sales compared to the previous year and that it has also expanded its market share in this segment to over 60 percent.

"We have been developing experiment kits for almost 100 years," says sales and marketing manager Matthias Kienzle. “Of course we are pleased that we have been able to assert ourselves as the market leader for so many years. Because in the intensely competitive environment, that is not a matter of course.”

This year, Kosmos is also targeting the youngest with experiment kits. With the mini-laboratory from the First Learning series, children from the age of four can learn through play. And for children from the age of eight, new vehicle and robot models such as the Future Cell Truck or the Solar Bots offer opportunities to easily understand physics and sustainable drive technologies and to try them out in a playful way.

Michael Menzel celebrates comeback with Robin Hood

After completing the trilogy The legends of Andor Successful author and illustrator Michael Menzel wanted to dedicate himself fully to the visual development of games. But: In secret, he developed a new game idea that he was able to design without deadline pressure: The Adventures of Robin Hood. The board game is one of the innovations from Kosmos Verlag in spring 2021 ..

In The Adventures of Robin Hood, players can expect a gaming experience with a special twist: the picture is actually played on on a changing playing field. The figures move in an open world without a given route. Instead of cards, the story of Robin Hood is told in a high-quality hardcover book that comes with the game.

Andor, Catan, Ubongo and Co: Board games generate sales

The growth in sales - according to Kosmos also in Austria and Switzerland - is based, among other things, on successful board games. The Stuttgart-based publishing house also counts the board game brands Catan, Ubongo and The Legends of Andor, as well as award-winning games such as those among the draft horses in the family and adult games segment The crew or popular single titles like My City.

Kosmos Verlag also provides some figures for this: almost 50.000 copies of the puzzle have been sold, confirms Heiko Windfelder, publishing manager for toys at Kosmos. This shows that the board game "rightly received its nomination for Game of the Year and is also very well received by the public". In addition, the publisher was able to convince with its new series such as the cooperative adventure games and the story-based crime puzzles. Both product lines were successfully established on the market within a short period of time and gained many fans in the process.

Brand maintenance: Catan continues to be a success, especially as a crossover with other popular franchises, such as Game of Thrones. Source: Cosmos

Brand maintenance: Catan continues to be a success, especially as a crossover with other popular franchises, such as Game of Thrones. Source: Cosmos

"Of course we are happy about the good sales figures," explains sales manager Matthias Kienzle: "Against the background of the extremely difficult situation of our trading partners due to the pandemic, we are also thinking a lot about how things will continue in 2021 and how we can support our trading partners. "

Trading partners can probably use the support. Not least due to delays in logistics and production due to the coronavirus pandemic, there could also be postponements this year. Another negative factor is the rise in prices, especially in some areas of the supply chain, which could affect smaller publishers in particular. Whether this will make board games more expensive in the future - at least temporarily - is not yet foreseeable.

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