Most tabletop and hobby game manufacturers are privately owned companies and do not release sales figures. This makes determining the size of the tabletop market a daunting task. Games Workshop is publicly traded and sales data is available, which offers a glimpse into the size and health of this niche market. Last year Games Workshop international grossed 35 million dollars. Games Workshop is one example of how big of a niche market tabletop gaming really is.
Game Workshop 2011 Full Year Report
Being a Niche Market does not translate into small market. What Niche market does mean is that its appeal has a relatively specific demographic.
Niches tend to have little competition and very little in the way of technical innovation. Reaching a niche demographic is also a challenge. When true innovation comes niche markets have a way meeting with explosive growth.
The appeal of tabletop games is not hampered by video game competition but rather by entry barriers like cost and labor. Gaming pieces must be assembled and painted before they can be used to full effect. Even then, if players want something other than the kitchen table to play on they will have to buy and/or build that too. This means that only the most dedicated hobbyists can experience the full joy of these games.
Resources on 'niche markets'
The tabletop business model is based on traditional real world models, cards, and components that are sold to support games.
Games are easy to create but the costs for producing gaming components is prohibitive in the traditional market. Factors such as product distribution, casting, sculpting, lead time, sales forcasting all need to be taken into account.
Resources on Minitures Games
In todays market it is important to be able to reach as many people in as many markets as possible. Battle Box 3D is built using Unity3D, a multi-platform authoring tool. Because of this, Battle Box 3D will be usable on iPad, Android tablets, PC, Mac, and Adobe Flash player.
Publishing across such a broad range of devices will give a competitive edge you need to succeed.
Comparison To 3D Mobile
Mobile games are hit or miss. Hundreds of man hours can go into 3D art and programing and the game never catches on. Most mobile games sell for 1-3 US dollars and never sell the kind of sales needed to recoup development costs let alone turn a profit.
With Battle Box 3D you can sell a single model for the price of an entire 3D mobile game. The image below compares the potential return on investment of 3D models in mobile games vs on a 3D tabletop environment.