Fads will do you in
This was the official word from Eagle Games (see “Oh No!”, a previous post). It would appear that the recent Poker playing fad did for Eagle Games in the worst way. This is a pity. Eagle made a few clunkers but had a great record overall, as the numbers might attest below. This is Glenn Drover’s statement on Boardgamegeek.
The problems that arose in 2005 were primarily related to poker software sales and the ramifications of a drastic slow-down in sales that affected our banking relationship and access to capital. Sales of our boardgames were very constant and growing. Estimated sales of each title were (off the top of my head):
War! Age of Imperialism 15,000
The American Civil War 15,000
Napoleon in Europe 10,000
Sid Meier’s Civilization 75,000
Attack! Expansion 10,000
Age of Mythology 50,000
Conquest of the Empire 15,000Railroad Tycoon 15,000 (limited distribution because of late arrival in 2005/2006
While creditors inevitably lose money when a company goes out of business (it happened to Eagle several times in our five years), there is no evil intent or swindling going on. Moreover, if the Eagle brand is supported by new owners who acquire the assets in a public auction (note the word public, this is no insider deal), and continue to publish new games, I plan to work with the new owners to the best of my ability as an outside consultant, and use half of my profits (out of my own pocket) to repay any of Eagle’s creditors that I am able (and that deserve it).
The choices in bold are the titles I own as well as the games KING OF NEW YORK (a crime family game) and BOOTLEGGERS (a game about rum running and speakeasies). It’s a sad story, and I hate to seem them go. However, they did bet the company store on a fad (poker) which now seems to have (thankfully) had its day. It was pretty easy to see the writing on the wall when you could buy giant ornate poker sets at Wal Mart in the discount aisle for five dollars.