Tuesday, October 8

2018-19 Our First Yearly Report

We've just completed our first financial year as a limited company. Inspired by Stonemaier Games and Steve Jackson Games, here's a report of how we got on in our first* year, following Jamey's template mostly.

*I ran Eurydice Games as a sole trader in the previous year, we only became a limited company when Paul joined last summer.

2018-19 Revenue and Personnel

94% of our income came from the FlickFleet Kickstarter campaign.

  • Revenue: £12.8 thousand
  • Full-time employees: 0 (Paul and I both work about 10 hours a week in our spare time)
  • New games: 1
  • New expansions: 0
  • Kickstarter campaigns: 1

Total income £12,846.56 (~1/1000th of Stonemaier/Steve Jackson)

Last year (when I only had Zombology for sale), our income was £1,217.21, so we've grown ten-fold over my previous incarnation! We were profitable again, but only because we're not paying ourselves salaries or renting an office or warehouse space. We would need to be far bigger to support those costs. We have a small loan from me and cash got unbelievably tight as we finished fulfilling the Kickstarter (the pre-orders since then have given us a little wiggle room), but we will need to lend the company some more money to fund our next Kickstarter - this time we're actually going to properly advertise it, which costs money we don't currently have.

Games in Print

The numbers below are all as of the end of our financial year.

  • FlickFleet: 289 in circulation (BGG Average Rating: 8.4 from 29 ratings)
  • Zombology: 220 in circulation (BGG Average Rating: 7.1 from 22 ratings)

FlickFleet has been a huge success for us (both in terms of backer response, reviews and sales). Hence the plan to reprint it and an expansion through another Kickstarter. We've no idea how viable that will be, but with only 319 backers of the first Kickstarter we believe there are a lot more people who would really like it if they heard about it, hence the second Kickstarter and an actual advertising spend on this one!

Social Media and Other Metrics

  • Quarterly newsletter subscribers: 289 (58% open rate)
  • Twitter followers: 3,214
  • Instagram followers: 71
  • Facebook fans: 68

Most of Jamey's stats don't apply to us, and of those that do it's clear we're in a very different league! Our mailing list has more than doubled since the first FlickFleet Kickstarter, which is pretty good, and it's clear that I don't use Facebook or Instagram effectively :-(

Biggest Changes, Observations, and Mistakes

  • Kickstarter was a game-changer for us. It let us make a game that required almost £10,000 of investment without the capital to pull that off and also gave us access to a massive marketplace (over 1/3 of backers found us through Kickstarter).
  • The cashflow situation was incredibly tight - I need to be much better at estimating shipping prices and sizing print runs to avoid the same problem next year.
  • Retail was a channel I intended to avoid (our margins are way too tight for retail and distribution), but I ended up selling Zombology through a single UK retailer with four stores in the north of England. We delivered games by hand to avoid shipping costs and hiked the retail price so that it was just cheaper than buying it (including shipping) from our website. It was phenomenally successful. Those four stores bought 40% of the print run and have sold almost 60 copies. I'll bet there are a lot of professionally manufactured games that they haven't sold 10 of, let alone 60. Being able to interact with the teams personally and teach them the game made a huge difference.
  • Our hand-crafted runs let us make tiny print runs at a profit (but at a considerable cost in personal time). They let us get games out in small numbers and yet still be profitable and not end up with thousands of copies in a warehouse somewhere costing us money every week. It's not a scaleable method, but I'm hoping it'll let us get started and slowly scale up...

Looking Ahead to 2019-20

  • Our second Kickstarter campaign launches in just under a week. We've set a lower target (we don't need another laser-cutter!), but I'm hoping with the advertising spend and additional very positive reviews we can do better than last time. I'm really proud of FlickFleet (is it too early to call it the best game I'll ever make?) and I think it has huge potential, the struggle will be reaching that potential with a very small marketing budget, against the wealth of competition on Kickstarter and elsewhere.

I'm happy to answer questions on any of this - I hope you find it interesting!

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