Although Steve Jackson Games does not have any shareholders (other than Steve Jackson himself), it does have a lot of people that take part in its success. The company refers to these folks as stakeholders and their annual report is directed towards them (employees, distributors, retailers, designers, artists, volunteers, and people who play their games). The annual Stakeholders Report gives a transparent look at some of the inner workings of Steve Jackson Games.
Munchkin and Zombie Dice, the evergreen games of the Steve Jackson Games (SJG) lineup, dropped to $5.5 million (down $500,000) from last year. Even with the drop in sales of these titles, SJG anticipates a break even or slightly profitable year. Due to the decline in sales, SJG plans to try and keep the top ten Munchkin games and expansions available at all times, but everything else will see out-of-stock times with the possibility of going away for the immediate future.
SJG is making slow progress with their employee manual and acknowledges the need to finish this to have more established processes in-house. Additionally, the company is having a hard time meeting deadlines without involvement from upper management.
Those were the low points of 2017, but there were some high points, too. The Fantasy Trip, a roleplaying game, is being worked on for Kickstarter. This is Jackson’s first RPG from 1977, published by Metagaming. When Metagaming went out of business, the rights to the game were in limbo, but SJG has since secured the rights.
Munchkin still receives a lot of attention from SJG and Munchkin Shakesphere, Munchkin Spell Skool, and the Munchkin Gift Pack all did well in 2017. The Munchkin Collectible Card Game is set to go on sale on February 21, 2018, as well and is receiving a lot of attention due to the collaboration from Eric Lang and Kevin Wilson.
Steve Jackson Games also partnered with CMON and Asmodee Digital. Their partnership with CMON allows CMON to create Munchkin-themed board games. Their partnership with Asmodee Digital is aimed at bringing a Munchkin video game to fans.
SJG saw mixed success/failure with the Ogre Miniatures Set 1 (behind on delivery), Ogre Reinforcements (slow sales), and Ghosts Love Candy (reprint was stopped). SJG changed their staffing structure to try to focus the creative team on making games, but it didn’t work out as planned and the company is exploring new ideas.
Steve Jackson Games saw failure with the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (took a lot of time from upper management and is costly, but selling well), Port Royal (cheaper European copies are outselling SJG copies), and sjgames.com (it’s an old site that requires a lot of attention).
SJG’s priorities for 2018 are to support the Munchkin CCG, complete all outstanding Kickstarter commitments, maintain support of the original Munchkin games with a new tuck box expansion set and two or three new base games, and launch a successful new edition of Car Wars on Kickstarter with a 2019 or 2020 delivery date.
There’s more covered in the Stakeholder’s report, but this gives a glimpse at 2017 for Steve Jackson Games.