Closing Out the Quarter

Published by: Atlas Staff
This is the last day of the quarter, and since UPS came and went, the books are now closed for first quarter sales.

Last year our first quarter was the best in a very long time: on top of three new RPG books (Living Lore, Love & War and Iron & Silk), we released Lunch Money: Sticks & Stones, which was an enormous success. This year, due to our staff transition issues, we only had one new release...Gloom. Needless to say, I was pretty sure we would miss last year's numbers by a long shot.

Imagine my surprise and delight: We squeaked in with a 1.9% increase in gross revenues over 1st quarter 2004. That's not a huge number on the face of it...but in the circumstances (losing half our staff and the only new release in the quarter being a late card game that had been expected last October; and comparing to an incredibly good quarter last year), I'm pretty amazed. Perhaps even more amazing: I don't normally pay much attention to sequential numbers, given the importance of seasonality in this business, but we actually topped 4th quarter 2004 by 12.4%. Normally the first quarter is the weakest season of the year.

What's the cause of it? The two leading causes are Gloom, of course (our transparent card inventory is rapidly dwindling...another month and a half at the current rate of sales, and we'll be sold out...though it seems more likely to me that the rate of sales will slow down here soon); plus the continuing strength of Ars Magica 5th Edition, which had a great launch in November and has continued to have strong momentum. (In less than two weeks from now we should finally have two new supplements for it, too!)

But at least as important are the continuing sales of our whole stable of evergreen titles we added last year...from expanding the Lunch Money and Once Upon A Time lines with sequels and expansions; to the Origins Award-nominated Cthulhu 500; and of course the healthy and growing crop of Dungeoneer games. (Speaking of which, Michelle is this very moment dropping off an overnight parcel with the materials for the printer for Dungeoneer: Dragons of the Forsaken Desert.)

All in all, this has been a great start to the year!