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Steve Jackson Games 2012 Stakeholder Report

Morrus

Administrator
Staff member
Steve Jackson Games (SJG) has published a stakeholder report online. The report defines the stakeholders as "our employees, our distributors and retailers, and, of course, the people who play our games . . . as well as the freelance artists and designers we work with, the printers who create the finished product, the volunteers who demonstrate our games at conventions and retail stores, and the folks who run game conventions."

I love this transparency, and hope to see more of it from RPG companies in the future. I also love the acknowledgement that customers are, indeed, stakeholders in a business ike this, and that keeping them informed (as opposed to keeping them publicized and advertised to) generates a good deal of goodwill.

The report covers a summary of the company's various product lines and their performance, their online store (e23), and priorities for 2012 which are:

  1. Keep most of the core Munchkin sets in print. However, just to control our own inventory and the retailers', we will let some of the slower-moving core sets go out of print for a few months at a time. Munchkin Quest will also disappear from the shelves for a few months this summer to let the retailers sell all the current stock, because we're going to have to raise the price on the next printing.
  2. Just like last year: ship several new Munchkin releases in a variety of formats (including digital); get Munchkin into new markets; promote Munchkin enthusiastically.
  3. Very much like last year: Release more dice games, and possibly one or more small card games, or even "toylike" games, at low price points.
  4. Clean out more of the old pipeline. Make Ogre 6th Edition happen.
  5. Finish the upgrade of our website and online store. Make it excellent.
 

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
I agree. I wish all RPG companies would do this also. Especially WotC and Paizo.:)

Thanks for the link/info.:D
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
I agree. I wish all RPG companies would do this also. Especially WotC and Paizo.:)

Thanks for the link/info.:D
Indeed. I find all the secrecy that RPG companies typically shroud themselves into, rather ridiculous. I appreciate a lot what SJ does every year. As Morrus says, it generates a lot of good will.

IIRC, the guys at Evil Hat were also very open and forthcoming with their business numbers.
 

prosfilaes

Villager
I agree. I wish all RPG companies would do this also.
Are they much of an RPG company anymore? The priorities for 2012 say nothing about RPGs, and the rest of the report says little more. Based on a couple lines in there, I assume they're going to continue releasing new GURPS stuff in PDF, but I'm tending to guess that they won't produce new GURPS hardbacks, and both PDF and print clearly fall under "Everything else is a non-priority, something to do if the priorities are under control."
 

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
Well, D&D RPG products are far from the biggest thing at WotC. MtG far outstrips it, and read a Hasbro quarterly report and all you'll hear about from WotC is MtG...and practically nothing about D&D. Yet we still consider WotC an RPG company... So Yeah, I still consider Steve Jackson Games, among other things, an RPG company.:)

Steve Jackson Games report was the equivalent of what WotC would report to Hasbro. Except WotC and Hasbro won't publically release it. Steve Jackson not only releases general statements and future priorities, he releases where he thinks the company fell short, and provides hard numbers like profits. That's an awesome amount of transparency.

Now I don't hold it against WotC that they don't have the same transparency with their operations. That's their right. But I can still wish they would.:D
 

Lord Rasputin

Explorer
Are they much of an RPG company anymore? The priorities for 2012 say nothing about RPGs, and the rest of the report says little more. Based on a couple lines in there, I assume they're going to continue releasing new GURPS stuff in PDF, but I'm tending to guess that they won't produce new GURPS hardbacks, and both PDF and print clearly fall under "Everything else is a non-priority, something to do if the priorities are under control."
Basic info every SJG Forums' GURPS-head knows:

* There is a GURPS PDF almost every week, albeit often a 3e reprint. There has been a load of Conan releases lately due to the licensing issues letting them be released.
* GURPS Dungeon Fantasy is a wildly successful PDF line that deals with a genre popular on these boards. And deals well, I might add.
* Punch is editing a new version of GURPS Discworld that's massive. It has to be a print version.
* I think SJG has been more reticent about hardcover GURPS books since Low-Tech, though it did alright on PDF.
* There is a full-time GURPS line editor (Sean Punch/Kromm) and there is a dedicated assistant (Jason Levine/Rev. Pee Kitty), though I don't think he's full time. In spite of the shift to Munchkin overall, there is still GURPS- dedicated staff.

In short, Munchkin is the main product, and GURPS is a distant second, but still gets full-time attention.
 

prosfilaes

Villager
In short, Munchkin is the main product, and GURPS is a distant second, but still gets full-time attention.
Hardly a distant second, judging from the priority list it doesn't appear on. In the entire report, GURPS gets mentioned once. It feels like Basic D&D in the TSR days; some support, but at best apathy from above.

There is a GURPS PDF almost every week, albeit often a 3e reprint.
I applaud the reprints, but they're hardly new support for a game.

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy is a wildly successful PDF line that deals with a genre popular on these boards.
Wildly successful? E23 makes a lot of raw information available to us (which I find deeply cool). According to my copy of Dungeon Fantasy 1, it was released Dec. 20, 2007; in 4 years, we've got 14 main books, a monster book and an adventure, ranging on a quick look from 20 pages to 64, and ranging from 1390 copies sold down to 293 copies sold. Admittedly, the top four have also been sold in unknown quantities as POD--roughly the print equivalent together of one 128 page book--but I'd hardly call that wildly successful in terms of sales or support.
 

ExploderWizard

Villager
Hardly a distant second, judging from the priority list it doesn't appear on. In the entire report, GURPS gets mentioned once. It feels like Basic D&D in the TSR days; some support, but at best apathy from above.



I applaud the reprints, but they're hardly new support for a game.



Wildly successful? E23 makes a lot of raw information available to us (which I find deeply cool). According to my copy of Dungeon Fantasy 1, it was released Dec. 20, 2007; in 4 years, we've got 14 main books, a monster book and an adventure, ranging on a quick look from 20 pages to 64, and ranging from 1390 copies sold down to 293 copies sold. Admittedly, the top four have also been sold in unknown quantities as POD--roughly the print equivalent together of one 128 page book--but I'd hardly call that wildly successful in terms of sales or support.
I am dissappointed with the level of GURPS support but the reality is they have to keep producing what sells.

I just wish that SJ would do a couple things for GURPS:

- Allow more freelancers to publish adventures.

- update some of the 3E stuff to 4E such as the bestiary and other crunch heavy books.
 

prosfilaes

Villager
You do realize that Munchkin is what brings in the cashflow that allows SJG to work on GURPS as well, don't you?
I'm curious if that's true. If SJG split into SJ-RPG and SJ-nonRPG, could not SJ-RPG fund one full-time person and various freelancers like they have been? Perhaps there's some economy of scale with various things, but is GURPS really a leech on money in the system?
 

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