Friday, January 25, 2013

How We Did in 2012

Black Diamond Games did very well in 2012, with sales up 13% from the year before. We continue to see collectible card games boom, our CCG sales up 30% from 2011. Magic accounts for a frighteningly high level of our sales, something we're hoping to leverage in 2013 with a new online singles catalog using Crystal Commerce. Still, the big fear is we let other areas atrophy. We're also seeing stores featuring Magic pop up all over to take advantage.

Yugioh and Cardfight Vanguard are heating up as well. Vanguard, especially, will see more support as Bushiroad implements a stronger organized play structure, including upcoming pre-releases of new sets. Many Pokemon and Yugioh players play Vanguard as their second game, and between Pokemon sets, our Pokemon nights see mostly Vanguard sales. We're done carrying Kaijudo and we gave up on World of Warcraft CCG in 2011.

Collectible miniatures are up 37%, thanks almost entirely to Pathfinder miniatures. They haven't quite stepped into the space left behind by Dungeons & Dragons miniatures, but they're a welcome addition nevertheless. We do sales in Heroclix, but they're honestly more trouble than their worth, with our local community playing at other venues. We'll probably stop carrying them this year, something we've done twice before. 

Also hot right now, board and card games saw a 16% increase in sales. I think a lot of credit can go towards these games getting some love, especially programs like Tabletop, which reach customers we don't normally encounter. As for individual companies, Fantasy Flight Games has been doing exceedingly well for us, with licensed Star Wars and Game of Thrones products doing great. Our Euro style games also selling fast, with Settlers of Catan remaining on top and most Days of Wonders games selling strongly when in stock, thanks in part to Tabletop. Despite all the hemming and hawing over Kickstarter, it doesn't effect the bottom line much, at least not with board games.

I'm afraid that's the end of the good news though, as we've seen declines of around 10% in areas like role-playing games. D&D is dormant, which in most years accounts for half to two thirds of RPG sales. Kickstarter likely plays a larger part in the decline of RPG sales, since so much of what we carry tends to be "fringe." Accessories like paint and dice are also down about 10%. 

Classic games and puzzles are down 10% as well, categories that haven't aged well with the population. We'll be shrinking those departments down, rather than expanding them.

Tactical miniature games are down 10%. Although Warmachine and Hordes are on fire, it doesn't make up for the steep decline in interest in Warhammer 40K and Fantasy. When it comes to Games Workshop, they've jumped the price shark for us. It's hard to justify price increases that far outstrip inflation or cost of materials. These things are thankfully cyclical, but at the moment, if we were worried about non-CCG areas atrophying, there might be some evidence available for that.

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