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Old 08-31-2014, 10:27 AM   #501
Turhan's Bey Company
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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Enjoy your vacation, Steve.
Indeed. And I for one welcome our new toy-collecting overlord.

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It's called being able to poke fun at yourself and not taking yourself too seriously.
I'll go one farther: Munchkin has contains exactly the kinds of jokes that I make about gaming. SJ Games just happens to have built a multi-million dollar publishing company with them.

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If, heaven forbid, Munchkin has a bubble that bursts, where would that leave SJG? It doesn't look like that would happen anytime soon, but still, one needs contingency plans. Be prepared, and all that.
They're certainly trying; see the priority given to ZD and the appearance of other non-Munchkin games in their top 40. The problem, of course, is that they can't control what's popular. SJ Games is putting out a diverse product line, but it's not like you can deliberately plan another breakaway hit as a contingency.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:46 AM   #502
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"Sales of the core set were actually down a bit this year, but sales of Munchkin Deluxe were almost 50% higher, for a definite net increase."

This, for me, is the fact of the report. I held out on buying vanilla Munchkin until Deluxe because, frankly it's more of a full game (pawns, a board, etc.) From a consumer's standpoint, at a $5 price increase over that of the standard game, why wouldn't one go for the Deluxe version? Unless SJG is losing money on each Deluxe copy sold... Then I'd feel bad. But I doubt that's the case.

It is great to read that everything continues going well for SJG; I'm looking forward to hearing about what comes out of the acquisitions. And of course, more games!
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:52 AM   #503
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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They're certainly trying; see the priority given to ZD and the appearance of other non-Munchkin games in their top 40. The problem, of course, is that they can't control what's popular. SJ Games is putting out a diverse product line, but it's not like you can deliberately plan another breakaway hit as a contingency.
The non-Munchkin, non-Ogre business now seems to be running around $1 million gross. That is a substantial fraction of the size of SJG (including Munchkin) during the aughts ($2-3 million).

If Munchkin disappeared overnight, there'd probably need to be some job loss and a renewed focus on not doing stupid stuff (see "Calculated Sloppiness"). But there is a solid game company hiding under the Munchkin fluff -- a couple of evergreen products (Illuminati, GURPS Characters), a couple of popular products (*** Dice), and a stable of good concepts (Castellan, Revolution).
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:19 PM   #504
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Thanks for the comments, all.

I don't want SLUGS on my pizza, but if you make it "bananas, raw oysters, and peppermint," I'll try it. Once.

The Munchkin/fad/bubblepop issue is one that we regularly discuss. On the one hand, yeah. It's a valid point.

On the other hand, nothing that runs for ten years, and gets stronger every year, can really be called a "fad." No game can grow forever, even if it gets bigger until everyone on Earth has a copy. Since we are not at that stage yet, we'll support Munchkin as much as we can! But if and when Munchkin levels off or even shrinks, we're fine. Other new games are coming. Car Wars is returning. More is in the Ogre pipeline. And so on.

And, on the gripping hand, there's a relevant story about TSR, back in the 1980s. It was common knowledge in the industry that post-Gygax management was constantly expecting the D&D "bubble" to pop, which helps explain their strange non-game diversification. And, as we see, D&D turned out to be just a passing fad . . . no, wait, that's wrong, isn't it?
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:54 PM   #505
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Indeed pursuing the non D&D diversification was one of the factors in TSR's demise as I understand it.
Not many game companies had (or have!) businessmen as savvy as Steve Jackson at the helm.
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:12 PM   #506
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They're certainly trying; see the priority given to ZD and the appearance of other non-Munchkin games in their top 40. The problem, of course, is that they can't control what's popular. SJ Games is putting out a diverse product line, but it's not like you can deliberately plan another breakaway hit as a contingency.
Actually...in some ways, yes, you can. If you already have good market penetration, then you can maintain brand awareness. And, as the big companies know, brand awareness is the first step towards brand loyalty.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:57 PM   #507
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If it were "card games," sure.

But we're talking about what is very likely a fad (Munchkin). That's what I meant.
If Munchkin is a fad, I'm sure most game companies would love a 14 year old fad.

Pat
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:23 PM   #508
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An impressive year to follow up on an impressive yeat!

I hope there are plans to look for a new hit to follow up on Munchkin. It would probably take many tries, but it has to be done.

I really liked the mission-based system that the Ninja delivery game was based on. You could base a lot of games on that.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:03 PM   #509
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We know that someday, some company will publish a game that gives Munchkin a run for its money. We want to be that company.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:44 PM   #510
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We know that someday, some company will publish a game that gives Munchkin a run for its money. We want to be that company.
That spirit is one of the things I truly love about SJG, along with its excellent customer relations. It's been "The Car Wars company" and "The GURPS company" before becoming "The Munchkin company." Redefinition has been part of the game (pardon the phrase) and I honestly look forward to seeing where you guys go next. It's been a fun ride all the way along.

(PS -- If Storium leads to In Nomine coming back on the radar in even a minuscule way, I wouldn't be saddened. ;) )
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