In a hot summer day in Fredericksburg, Virginia, JD McNeil, Chairman of the Slitherine Group, kicked off its most important press conference ever. The current statistics for the group continue a pattern of significant growth, up to the second quarter of 2013, the latest figures available. Over the last 36 months, Group sales have increased by a staggering 480 percent and without doubt Slitherine is now the undisputed leader of the strategy and wargaming niche sector. In his opening address McNeil said "In Our case we revel in niche and in our case this is most certainly not small or insignificant."
The increase in revenue comes mainly from the more powerful PC digital download platforms and a growth in the tablet sector, which now contributes over 25 percent of total revenue and with 19 new titles currently in development continued growth is expected. Over the same period retail growth was sluggish and continues to become ever more irrelevant.
"We think that the case is now made," said JD McNeil, "fully featured games will and do command a sensible pricing policy on the new tablet platforms and it seems that we might not have been as crazy with our pricing strategy, as certain press outlets suggested. My prediction at this event last year that others would soon be following in our wake seems to have come to pass, with Ubisoft amongst others now announcing some realistic price points."
This business model, addressing a dedicated niche of passionate and dedicated players has allowed the Group to reach a total of over one million unique users per month, with a community of more than 250.000 active forum members.
"We are often compared to the likes of Impulse or GamersGate to name but a few. Theirs is a totally different business model; they are simply 21st Century shops, no more, no less. What we do is entirely different and pretty unique in this business and we know that our developers really do appreciate all of this, because they tell us and they hang around."
The heart of the business is represented by over 110 development partners, all fully supported throughout the development process by the Groups team of Professionals providing technology backup, management and business advice and often funding. The output in terms of releases is astonishing; with the number of titles exceeding one per week at peak periods. Big names in the Strategy world like 2by3 Games, Lordz and NorbSoft are now joined by important new signings like Fury Software, whist the Groups three internal studios are focusing on our own IP and the Games Workshop franchise.
"Although we are more than happy with current results, we never stop stretching our grow targets and extending services to our community and to this end we are announcing that over the next few weeks we will be launching new Matrix Games stores in French, Spanish and Italian, giving gamers the opportunity to access our great strategy games in their own language. On top of that, we are also expanding into new genres: leading with our Buzz Aldrin Space Exploration Franchise and new, Sci Fi and Fantasy titles all designed to expand our range of strategy titles. We see a lot of opportunities to attract new customers by giving them exactly what they want and some they may never even have thought about."