Post Gen Con
Wow, I'm tired. Gen Con was amazing. Our booth is run by Adventure Retail Ltd (better known to Twin Citians as The Source Comics & Games); it's actually a combined booth for Atlas Games, Steve Jackson Games and Dork Storm Press. I took inventory today of the product that came back, and it looks like Atlas sales more than doubled compared to last year's Gen Con. Knowing that the overall Adventure Retail booth receipts were up by a huge percentage too, I'm sure our colleagues also saw jaw-droppingly good sales figures.
Cthulhu 500, our big release of the show (and focus of our booth design, with racing flags and whatnot) was extremely well received. It was being demoed constantly, and a huge percentage of those demos and brief explanations turned into sales. Veteran Special Ops agent Paul Tevis relates the tale of one consumer who asked what the game was about; Paul began by saying "Elder Gods and Fast Cars," and was about to elaborate when a $20 bill was thrust in his hands with the comment, "You had me at elder gods."
Beer Money is several months old now, but continues to sell like crazy. We also had some advance copies of the Beer Money Greeting Cards ($9.99 for a set of 8 different designs), which were selling briskly. Lots of Once Upon A Time expansions were selling, and people were delighted to hear about our Ars Magica 5th Edition plans.
We were bummed that we didn't get some copies of the new Dungeoneer expansions (The Haunted Wood of Malthorin and Den of the Wererats) in time for the show, but they should be showing up at the warehouse this week and keeping me busy packing boxes.
Our "secret" of the show was the mock-up of Gloom that Michelle and I were showing around to some folks. It was "off-message" (since the booth was really focused on the launch of Cthulhu 500, and we did not want to distract from that focus with a very cool product that we could not actually exchange on the spot for cash), but seems to have generated a lot of buzz, which pleases us immensely.
We wouldn't have been able to get out of the booth and meet with people to show them the secret prototype if it weren't for the Adventure Retail crew and our incredible Special Ops volunteers. Without their skill and hard work, it would have been really hard for us to get as much out-of-the-booth business done as we did (meetings with translators, distributors, retailers, game designers, etc.) ... or, for that matter, make as great a splash and sell as much product. Every time I work a show with the gang I'm reminded of how valuable professional retailers are to this industry, and my appreciation for all the retailers worldwide, at conventions and in their own shops every day, is renewed.