Hasbro profits fall, board games blamed

Americans may be buying fewer board games, but we’re still playing. For companies like Hasbro (maker of Monopoly), the challenge is translating old "games" to new "boards."

The Pulse is down on news that what we think of as “toys” may just be changing. Despite a record-breaking year for holiday spending in the U.S., today, toy giant Hasbro reported fourth-quarter profits in 2011 fell 1 percent.

The maker of Monopoly, Life, and Scrabble blamed weakness in its board game sales for the slump, promising a new golden era for games is in the pipeline.

"(We have) established the new Gaming Center of Excellence, and they are innovating, creating new technologies and inventing new brands," Hasbro president and CEO Brian Goldner told analysts on a conference call.

The company’s underwhelming fourth quarter is certainly not an indicator of our passion for games and toys.

In fact, video games like "Modern Warfare 3" (which reached the billion-dollar mark faster than the film "Avatar") are rivaling blockbuster films in sales. Mobile apps, too, have exploded in popularity in recent years, and so have the mobile devices we use them on. Apple sold 15 million iPads and more than twice that many iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2011.

So maybe it’s less about the games we play and more about adapting them compellingly to the “boards” we play them on.

About the author

Joel Patterson is the Associate Producer of Marketplace Money.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...