A New Experiment

From before we launched our brick-and-mortar operations in 2013, the plan for Friendly Local Game Store has been the dual development of multiple retail stores supported by our own game and game accessory design. As the retail operations grew in scale and scope, there never seemed to be enough time to devote to the second half of that plan.

Part of this goal came from personal desire, while part of it came about from observations in the industry. Many good gaming products don’t succeed financially because they don’t get game store presence. Having guaranteed presence gives our games an edge. Having energetic store support gives them a big edge. Organized play, premier positioning, social media presence, and the ability to stock the products effortless all promise to give those games a boost.

The store wins by having exclusive or hard-to-find product for its customers. It gives that store a competitive edge against stores that don’t carry that product. If you’re the only store in town with a certain product, that’s where people go for that product. Designing your own games is a win for both sides.

In November, Friendly Local Game Store merged with Coliseum of Comics. Coliseum of Comics took over retail operations for the Friendly Local Game Store locations in Jacksonville and Orlando, plus Gamesville Tabletop in Gainesville. I became head of a new division we are creating for game design. If the cost of seeing this goal come to be is a name change, that’s a cost I’m willing to pay. Having more stores means the games will be more successful, and growing from 3 stores to 12+ stores in one fell swoop gives that division a big step forward.

The sales and cash flow projection for this operation shows that at the end of two years, the bank account should exceed $90,000, assets on hand exceeds $100,000 (representing games to be sold in the future), and our digital catalog will be growing. We have some promising product lines planned that should make for some interesting analysis afterward.  

Because of the cost associated with collectible card games, we are very unlikely to produce a CCG. Otherwise, we have a variety of board & card games, miniatures, miniatures games, role-playing games, and gaming accessories slated for the next couple of years, including licensing some games already on the market but unavailable in North America. All these products fill a need for the stores. Sometimes it’s just margin. Sometimes it’s exclusivity. Sometimes it’s new customer acquisition. We’ll focus on product lines that produce the most return for the least investment in time and cash.