Based on what's hot now and what was hot last Summer, we have some clear winners and losers at the store. This is all very regional and other stores, even close by, might have dramatically different results. I also don't want to make light of all the effort these various companies put into their games. This is just what's going on with us. If there are trends, it's that organized play really matters, customer service is essential, and that licensed products and historical games have a limited shelf-life.
Warmachine and Hordes sales are up over 300% from a year ago, thanks to a loyal group of weekly players. Privateer Press gets a lot of credit for creating a strong league system. If you're ever free on a Sunday, stop by and see the group in action.
Magic the Gathering is on fire thanks to 10th edition and Wizards of the Coast experimenting with their DCI program. Sales are up 250% from last Summer. They bent the rules for us and others to give us a taste of DCI sanctioned events, and for us it catapulted our Magic sales. Now they hope we continue with the program, which we're trying to do (if we can get our DCI report submitted). The new store will definitely have a Friday Night Magic program. As a side note, the World of Warcraft CCG had a huge blip from November-February and disappeared down into Yu-Gi-Oh sales territory this Summer (low).
Dungeons & Dragons minis was added to or ailing Friday Night Star Wars program. Star Wars was our number one game last Summer, but sales are off by about 50%. The game is down to the core customer base, with very few new starter sets being sold. I think the Alliance & Empire release was pretty tired, but where else were they to go? Adding D&D minis to Star Wars night helped increase D&D mini sales by about 20%. For the first time since opening, we sell more D&D mini starter sets than Star Wars sets.
AT-43 has jumped onto the scene, but barely hangs on due to product availability. It takes the place of Perplexcity when we compare top 10 lists. Hopefully it won't suffer the same fate. Rackham has the attitude that everything is fine. Oh the French.
Also coming up the list is Warhammer Fantasy Battles, due primarily to our upcoming campaign. GW has been very supportive of our new Mighty Empires campaign, even sending us a box of terrain for the event. They're also putting in a free notice about our upcoming move in a future issue of White Dwarf. Warhammer 40K is up 30% from last Summer, but we had only just started stocking it back then. Our local GW mall store is closing on September 13th and we're debating about how deeply we'll be supporting these games (quite a bit more than now, that's for sure!).
As mentioned, Star Wars miniatures has toppled from the place of honor to number six. It's tired, and the new Star Wars RPG suffers from no new releases for quite a while.
Flames of War is down about 50% from a year ago. Most customers are happy to play mid-war and have little interest in late war releases. This is a company in disarray, with their head US person leaving for Privateer Press, their offices moving to Delaware, of all places, a new website that barely functions and a tendency to act like the old Games Workshop at every turn. They should take some lessons from the new Games Workshop.
Pirates of the Spanish Main has lost it's way. It took advantage of the movie last Summer with some good success, but this Summer found us with few takers. Most regular players have found it's inclusion of sea monsters and the supernatural an escalation into absurdity. Hopefully a change to the PocketModel system will invigorate the game. The Star Wars PocketModel game is doing alright. My alpha gamers have taken an interest in it (along with AT-43).
As mentioned, Perplexcity has died. It was my #10 game last Summer. I think it had potential to be a very good game, without all the alternate reality intrigue. Now it's absolutely and utterly dead, like so many other card games (Naruto, The Spoils, Bleach). I just wish I was out of it.