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Links: Kickstarter Reaches $1 Billion in Games Backed, and Steve Jackson Reports on Sales in 2018

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game Publisher: Steve Jackson Games
• Phil Reed, CEO at Steve Jackson Games, has published that company's annual "Stakeholders' Report", a summary of the year's successes, failures, and lessons learned. SJG grossed US$5.3 million in 2018, less than in 2017, but as Reed writes, a "combination of staff cuts, reducing our print runs to better suit the current market, and a focus in the second half of the year on our more successful titles put us in a stronger position at the end of the year than expected."

"Reducing print runs" is a regular theme in this report, with SJG having a greater reliance on Kickstarter in 2018 to determine print runs ahead of a game's production, while also opening a second "Warehouse 23" account on Kickstarter to handle projects that would be sold directly to gamers and not enter distribution.

Reed says that the main trend from 2017 — i.e., the game-publishing business becoming "more a periodicals business", as covered in this March 2018 BGG News post — only accelerated in 2018:

If 2017 was the year for new games, 2018 was the bigger, louder sequel. Thousands of new titles were released in 2018, with some coming and going so fast that even professionals missed the release. Many of those games got pushed to the clearance racks faster than ever before; during the winter holiday sales, some games released as recently as September were already on deep discount.
As he writes elsewhere in the report: "This is an industry-wide issue; we've discussed the problem with several of our friends, and most of us are watching as demand for new games continues to drop."

From gallery of W Eric Martin
• On April 16, 2019, Kickstarter announced that more than US$1 billion has been pledged to game projects from more than 3.2 million backers since the site's debut in 2009: "Backers like you have funded nearly 17,000 Games projects, bringing to life the beautiful, bold, and unexpected visions of creators from across the globe. We've seen projects that made us laugh, cry, shoot lasers at bad guys, and think about games in totally new ways."

Note that the games category includes video games, playing cards, role-playing games, game-related calendars, and many other items beyond board and card games.

• I thought that I had posted this video already, but alas I had only placed it in a post-to-come. I have many such incomplete posts saved in this blog, yet thankfully sometimes I rediscover forgotten material that is still relevant. In this case, we have two videos from YouTube creator Archipel, with the focus of their videos being "Japanese creators, artists, and the places that inspire them".

In November 2018, Archipel posted its first video in a new series titled "Hidengen", which apparently means something like "analog". These videos will feature graphic designer and game designer YACOYON talking about and interviewing people about the board game scene in Japan. The first video focuses on board game cafés, specifically Asobi Café (which I don't think is connected to publisher ASOBI.dept) and Jelly Jelly Café (which is related to publisher Jelly Jelly Games):

The second video, which is what led me to re-discover the first one, appeared in late March 2019, and it profiles those behind game publishers Arclight, Oink Games, and Ten Days Games:

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