I am writing this post in support of StoneMaier Games – https://stonemaiergames.com/. Specifically, in response to some comments made on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StonemaierGames/posts/. I previously mentioned the company in several posts:
Other than reading through some of the lessons and waiting on a used copy of the book that Jamey wrote on crowdfunding, I have never purchased anything from the company or supported any of their crowdfunding camp(aigns. I do not know Jamey Stegmaier who runs the company. I probably won’t buy any of the games anytime soon as most aren’t games I would play.
In a post yesterday to a response on Facebook, he posted this response on both Facebook and the company’s website: https://stonemaiergames.com/wingspan-release-day-an-apology-and-an-explanation/.
Unfortunately, some felt he didn’t go far enough. In my personal opinion, he took more than his fair share of the blame. Did he also blame some distributors and Friendly Local Game Store or Full-Line Game Store (FLGS)? Yes, he did. Having worked for a game distributor back in the early 1980s and been involved with numerous FLGS’s over the years, I agree that some of those two groups should share in the blame. If you are a FLGS that’s been around for a while, you should know how good or bad each of the various gaming distributors are at pre-ordering enough stock. Plus, some FLGS‘s have a bad habit of accepting more pre-orders than they know their distributors have told them are available to the FLGS.
For those not familiar with companies that publish board games, they tend to publish as many games as they think the market will bear with maybe a slight cushion if the game is expected to sell well. They usually check with the various distributors to get an estimate of how many games the distributors will pre-order to use as a guide since games aren’t cheap to produce and large amounts of unsold inventory can easily lead to cash-flow issues and other problems. Are there companies out there who sell limited quantities of items with the goal of creating hype? Yes, I can think of several large dice companies who do limited runs of dice to generate hype. Do I believe Jamey did this in this instance, or any other instance? No, in one response, he makes the point that he overestimated the demand for one of his games and it left the company with an overstock. Also, based on the nature of this game, https://stonemaiergames.com/games/wingspan/, many of the distributors didn’t expect it to sell that many copies. I don’t blame them as I wouldn’t have expected it to sell 10,000+ copies. He made it clear early on that a second, and later a third, printing of the game were ordered.
I have no problem calling out a company for doing things that I believe are underhanded or doing things that are a bad business move. I don’t believe Jamey is guilty of either one. A case in point was my calling out BoostMobile when they dumped their rewards program – Boost Dealz Update.
I also believe in applauding company leaders who own up to a mistake, especially if they go above and beyond like Jamey did.