In an exercise of transparency, the board game publisher Stonemeier Games officially revealed their annual earnings report on their official website. Overall, the signs point to positive growth.
The head of the company, Jamey Steigmeier, revealed several revealing details regarding the company's overall profits and priorities. While the COVID-19 pandemic did lead to some issues in terms of distribution, Stonemeier's revenue has only continued to grow. Declaring $17.9 million dollars in income, roughly five million in growth from the $12.8 million earned in the 2019 fiscal year, no outstanding debt, and hiring on two additional full-time employees in Communications and Sales roles respectively, the signs point to stability and sustainability.
But the biggest surprise comes from their sales numbers. Across all different languages, not including expansions, promotional material, or additional accessories, Stonemeier Games' bestselling products include the alternate history steampunk European war game, Scythe, sitting at 382,102 units sold, and the Italian vineyard management game Viticulture at 134,826 units sold. But the hottest product by far is Wingspan, the critically-acclaimed competitive avian preserve game, selling about 447k copies in 2020. Combined with the estimated 299k copies sold as of 2019, this means that Wingspan has sold 746,991 across its lifetime. For a relatively new studio lacking the brand recognition of the likes of Hasbro or Games Workshop, having a product sell that much is phenomenal. Furthermore, not only did these titles sell the most, each and every one of them hold an overall board game rank average of 20 or above according to BoardGameGeek; these games aren't just popular, they're beloved.
Wingspan's popularity can be attributed to Stonemeier Game's efforts to highlight voices and tastes not aimed directly at a mainstream audience. The light core of the game and the educational, almost serene subject matter has helped it find a more generalized install base. While the game may have a competitive element, its appeal comes more from watching something grow and expand than complexity or outward aggression.
Steigmeier's report continued with plans for the year going forward. In addition to ongoing expansions and accessories for these games, including neoprene play mats and a new Oceania expansion for Wingspan, Stonemeier will continue to publish and promote diverse and unique products for the foreseeable future as well as develop and expand their reach not just as in physical distribution but in digital games as well.