The Swabian publisher Kosmos is growing above the average market level. The company achieved good sales figures in the first nine months of the year thanks to popular game brands, but the corona situation was also beneficial: the pandemic had increased enthusiasm for board games.  

If you can see anything positive in the corona pandemic, it is probably in the fact that the enthusiasm for board games has not broken off. On the contrary: "The enthusiasm for board games continues and was even increased by Corona," says Heiko Windfelder, head of the toy department at Verlag Kosmos. Where contact restrictions had to be found for alternatives, board and card games seem to have increasingly come onto the table in order to be able to bridge the time.

Several influences ensure growth

The novelties and popular brands - including Andor, Catan and Exit - have proven to be growth drivers for the Swabian publisher, plus awards for game titles that have already been well received by critics and fans: Die Crew, Andor Junior and Palm Island. And the anniversary of the classic Catan should have given the board game by Klaus Teuber another boost. Not that Catan needs it: Since its appearance, the title has been among the top 10 board game brands in the German board game market.

The crew has received several awards. Image: Cosmos

The crew has received several awards. Image: Cosmos

There are several factors that combine to support Kosmos' growth as a company. According to their own statements, Kosmos' sales have grown "in double digits" and "above the market". With the figures, the company has laid a solid foundation in view of the approaching Christmas business. Statistical game ranges shouldn't matter to the board game fan anyway, the message behind the announcement of the increase in sales is more important: The strategy worked out and will probably be continued in a similar form in the future.

The publisher owes its success not only to new offshoots of established series, but also to a lucky knack when selecting strong individual titles, which at the same time prove that a mass of material does not have to make an entertaining game: The trick-taking game Die Crew by author Thomas Sing has cleared away several times - the card game is Kennspiel of the year 2020 and won the German Game Award 2020. Kosmos also got hold of the latter in the children's segment with Andor Junior from the successful duo Inka and Markus Brand, the child-friendly version of the Andor series of games.

That's not all: Kosmos has another chance at an award this year. The "innoSpiel" is awarded at, a jury prize that honors playful innovations. With “Palm Island”, the Swabian publisher has another compact title in the running. Palm Island is a handy card game that can be played anywhere: sitting, standing,
while waiting, commuting, on the couch, alone or as a couple. A table is not required because the game is played in the palm of your hand.

Kosmos maintains brands

With everything that has been added to the publishing portfolio, Kosmos has not forgotten its workhorses. The Swabians maintain branding and have among other things for the Exit- A series of further offshoots added as autumn novelties: 'Exit - The game: The gate between the worlds' abducts advanced players, ages twelve and up, through a mysterious gate into a dark world. To get home safely, players have to solve puzzles, combine and cooperate. And here, too, one eye goes back to Christmas. Both 'Exit - The Game: The Advent Calendar' and 'Exit - The Book: The Advent Calendar' will appear, with which puzzle fans can puzzle their way through the Advent season.

Lovers of the star driver version of Catan do, because from now on this can also be tackled with five or six players. Also the Legends of Andor are getting new content with The Lost Legends: Dark Times. With the three legends developed by Andor fans, a journey to an unknown place begins for the fans. Once again Michael Menzel, who contributes the illustrations, is responsible for the visual design.

Also the crime dinner series Murder Mystery Party will be continued. In "Murderful Class Reunion", eight participants slip into the roles of classmates who have to solve a murder. The box contains everything you need for a culinary evening: a party planner, invitations, recipes and of course an extra portion of murder.

The Adventure Games invite players to experience their own stories. Image: Cosmos

The Adventure Games invite players to experience their own stories. Image: Cosmos

The Adventure games were already launched as a series last year, according to Kosmos "successfully", and will therefore continue to be expanded. In Adventure Games - Grand Hotel Abaddon, players immerse themselves in a story that they discover and shape together. Your decisions change the course of history. Players take on the roles of different characters with different characteristics.

On the other hand, they operate under the insider tip category Greenville 1989, rustling leaves and Paris – The City of Lights. In particular, the cooperative narrative game Greenville 1989 does not focus on game plots to be processed, but on communication that can be experienced. Players are transported to a fictional American location from the 1980s. One evening the city changes out of nowhere into a gloomy parallel world. Everyone must now put themselves in the shoes of their fellow players and tell each other what they are experiencing in the mysterious surroundings. "In this way, the players experience a modern Netflix series together at the gaming table," says Kosmos.

Roll-and-write: The Kosmos publishing house was also unable to escape the trend. Image: Cosmos

Roll-and-write: The Kosmos publishing house was also unable to escape the trend. Image: Cosmos

Verlag Kosmos cannot avoid some trends. The roll and write Rustling leaves by Paolo Mori, on the other hand, is almost a meditative experience. Players experience how the forest changes over the course of a year. There is a thematically designed game sheet with different rules for each season.

Players get Parisian flair for their homes Paris - city of lights: They spend time together in a strategic duel and plan to build a district in two phases. First it is about the streets and buildings, then about building your own buildings and using the action tiles profitably.

The cooperative board game is aimed at the whole family Switch & Signal, which revolves around the theme of trains. Players plan the route together and try to transport all goods to their destination. It is important to set the right course, to set signals and, above all, to keep an overview. Game author David Thompson was not previously known for family games, on the contrary: he created games like Undaunted: Normandy or North Africa, the world war game Catle Itter or Armageddon by Queen Games. With Switch & Signal, Thompson created the first game he could "play with his parents, who are big train fans."

Board games on a license basis

Board games based on popular licenses are further success factors at Kosmos. With Harry Potter A global trend topic has long since arrived in the world of games, accordingly there are titles that deal with the young sorcerer's apprentice. An expansion to the base game will appear in the world of Hogwarts. The Harry Potter - Battle for Hogwarts: The Monster Box of the Monsters provides new challenges, but also for a new heroine.

In addition, the reprint of the award-winning strategy game Der Lord of the Rings as an anniversary edition by Reiner Knizia. In the strategy game based on Tolkien's fantasy trilogy, players embark on a journey full of dangers in a classic fantasy setting. They can only be successful against Sauron if they coordinate and work together.

Anno 1800 by Martin Wallace is based on the video game of the same name. Image: Cosmos

Anno 1800 by Martin Wallace is based on the video game of the same name. Image: Cosmos

Year 1800 has already made waves on the PC, now the brand has also been processed as a board game. Not entirely surprising, because Kosmos has already adapted some of the predecessors from the Anno video game series. For the publisher, Anno 1800 - The Board Game is likely to be one of the autumn innovations that will enable Kosmos to open up completely new target groups.

Martin Wallace implemented the successful PC game as an analog gaming experience for connoisseurs. The successful author was already involved in board games such as Hit Z Road, Brass or Runebound and had already worked with Kosmos for Volle Scholle, Tyros or Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. Short moves and a special trading mechanism now determine the feel of the game in his latest work. In the age of industrialization, players are continuously building their own industry, discovering new worlds and trying to meet the needs of the population in the best possible way.

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