Steve Jackson Games, publisher of the Munchkin series as well as Zombie Dice, has revealed their financial report for the previous financial year and it's something of a mixed bag. The company appears to have walked a very fine line along the edge of financial disaster, having been forced to let several members of staff go as they sought to streamline their business. The company also made a few hundred thousand dollars less than they had in the previous year, as well as struggling to meet all of their deadlines for game releases.
It's not all doom and gloom, however, the company did report that they had much success with a lot of their crowdfunding projects including The Fantasy Trip a game which Steve Jackson only re-acquired the rights to back in 2017. There was also a lot of success for Munchkin related Kickstarter projects, including the Unicorn and Friends mega expansion box, Munchkin Steampunk: Girl Genius and Munchkin Christmas in July.
As for challenges, they mention the Munchkin Collectible Card Game failed to gain sufficient traction, and when they ordered a reprint they misread the market situation. The second core set for it was paused due to the excess of inventory and lack of sales, but they are hoping to sell it. Munchkin Magical Mess was another miss for the company, with their own site Warehouse 23 having a large number left to sell as it failed to reach the audience they were hoping it would. GURPS on demand also failed to sell sufficient copies of the twelve books they put up for it and they are re-evaluating the program.
Looking ahead to 2019 Steve Jackson Games has said they hope to focus on more of their crowdfunding projects and attempt to bring them to the market on schedule. They also said that they hope to bring Munchkin Warhammer 40,000 to the market on time and support it with the release of an expansion as well. They also devoted a decent chunk of their report to talking about the state of the industry, mainly focusing on the rapid expansion and the huge increase in the number of games which were released in 2018. There was also some discussion of Asmodee's acquisitions of game companies and their attempt to "cement their position as the entire hobby game market".
Steve Jackson Games isn't the only company worried about the number of new games on the market. Alderac Entertainment (AEG) also mentioned that as a concern recently and it seems to be a problem for much of the industry.
Overall the report may have been mixed, but it has a general tone of optimism for the coming financial year. It seems like Steve Jackson Games are shifting their focus to a tighter, smaller company with a greater focus on crowdfunding and modernizing how they operate. Hopefully, these tactics will see one of the industry's veteran companies thrive in 2019.
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