Steve Jackson Games today released its “Report to the Stakeholders: 2009,” a summary document of the company’s fiscal health and highlights from 2008, as well as its plans for 2009. (As a privately held company, SJG is not obligated to reveal such details, but Steve Jackson admits to receiving “a surprising amount of favorable feedback from all levels of the hobby” since starting this practice in 2004.)


Jackson called 2008 “a very good year,” with SJG grossing $2.9 million in sales, slightly higher than in 2007, but with increased profits. A greater focus on board and card games, as well as savings in printing costs, were cited as some of the primary factors in this increased profit margin. Another significant factor was SJG refocusing its efforts on physical (and PDF) products and not “servicing the constant ‘expressions of interest’ from big publishers wanting the computer rights” to many of SJG’s popular properties.


The highlight, by far, in terms of sales, was the Munchkin line of games (including the new Munchkin Quest board game, see “Munchkin Board Game”) which accounted for nearly 75% of SJG’s 2008 sales. Jackson attributed some of this success to the company keeping Munchkin in print nearly 100% of the time. He intends to duplicate this feat in 2009, keeping Munchkin and Munchkin Quest in print throughout the year, as well as issuing new releases for both games and to publish a new line of board and card games. GURPS will also be supported with at least two new hardback books and several PDFs.


Other “good points” included increased sales through the SJG digital-product division, e23, in-house design of an iPhone app, and the release of the Chibithulhu plushie. Negatives included a lack of staffing depth, lower online sales through Warehouse 23, and a failed experiment in podcasting.


Jackson also gave his views on the overall state of the hobby gaming industry in 2008, mourning the loss of WizKids (see “Topps Shuts Down WizKids”) and the loss of Gary Gygax (see “Gary Gygax, 1938-2008”), while stressing the importance of continued cooperation, both with distributors and retailers and with other publishers in the industry. “We still believe this sort of cooperation is our future. In fact, in a tough economy, those companies which don’t learn to cooperate are likely to be among the first to fall.”


For the full report, click here.