November and December Financial Reports
Written by Logress   
Sunday, 13 January 2013 16:40

November Financial Report:

Somehow this totally slipped by me, and by the time I was ready to do it, December was almost over so I figured I’d do them both at once.  Making Set 12 kind of ate my life for a while there… For thos of you who don’t know, I’m going to give you guys as much details as I can about your donations and what we’re doing with them.

Income was about equal to last year’s monthly average. This is really nice to see, and is mostly because of the Black Friday Sale and EX 11.  A very good sign, but also it’s good to stay humble, because it was still slow compared to months with EX releases in 2010 and 2011 (especially considering November and December sales are usually well above the yearly average). Number of different individuals who purchased was up quite a bit from the month before also, which is also good to see. On the down side, pretty much the entire month of sales happened on EX launch and Black Friday, and those kind of extremes can be worrisome.


Despite my worries about chargebacks, we haven’t had any serious issues.  This is absolutely huge for a small business because credit card fraud cases have all kinds of bad ramifications that we wouldn’t be able to do anything about. Crossing my fingers, but so far two big thumbs up in this department. 

COSTS:

Royalties to Japan – As I said last time, I’m going to take this off the top before dividing everything up, because there’s probably something in my contract saying I can’t tell you the cut. But, as someone who’s worked in licensing, I can tell you it’s reasonable.

Server Costs – 8%

Our other big victory is keeping our server costs low. You notice it is a lot lower than last time, as well. That’s because it didn’t go up much, but our income did. Yay!

Paying back Setup/Startup costs – 20%

New Development (paying for developers beyond the core Apocoplay team or development software) – 42%

Set aside for possible chargebacks – 10%

Taxes, fees, legal/financial expenses – 20%

-Those last two sections may bleed into each other a little bit depending on how things go, since either one could very easily turn out to not be high enough.

 

RECAP

So, we were able to move some more money into the pot for New Development, and also for paying back our startup costs, because we’ve kept the server costs mostly the same (while doubling income) and I’ve also got my confidence up and started holding back less for chargebacks. Overall this is great, and a lot of steps in the right direction. We’ve now got all the development software we need, and started building some things. (if you’ve been around in chat or have been reading through the sprint threads, you probably have seen a few things.)  The only negative to this month was in the buying trends, which were even more hot and cold than normal.  Great month though, thanks to you, our players and supporters!

 

 

December Financial Report:

 

Now, December is where the “honesty” I’ve been promising comes in!  First of all, let me say that October and November were really great and it’s all thanks to you guys.  The overall performance during those months makes me think we can do this and make it all good in the end.  That said, December wasn’t awesome.

 

Income was about 10% up from November. While that sounds fine, December usually clocks in at three times the yearly average (our top three months ever are basically the previous three Decembers).  Number of individual people who purchased was actually down from November.  The reasons for this are most likely that focusing on Set 12 basically made it too difficult for me to run a lot of events, and everyone else was dumping their time into making the Cashier happen… which didn’t.  That probably really killed holiday sales, which traditionally can be Ultimate Game Card focused.  Also, we (purposefully) tried to focus Set 12 on making long-term improvements to the game, in terms of what subtypes and strategies are playable overall, and less wham-bam-Emana-Rucca-Dilate-ma’am.  Meaning, less initial sales but hopefully more long-term benefits.  While I would like to say that January would make up for December -- because of the new Cashier -- the value of having that Cashier for Christmas would have been huge so I’m not betting on it.

 

We are also adding a new category, “Basic contractors”.  These are (two at the moment) non-core Apocoplay staff (IE, people we actually have to pay) who have been hired, not as developers, but as day-to-day employees, taking care of things like testing/designing cards, going through support tickets, modding the forum, etc.  The rush up to Set 12 made it painfully clear that our core guys were not going to be able to handle that and get anything else meaningful done.  One the bad side, they came in about halfway through the month so benefits did immediately kick in, but this change should be an overall major benefit in the future.

 

COSTS:

Royalties to Japan – off the top as above

Server Costs – 8%

Paying back Setup/Startup costs – 15%

 

Basic Contractors 18%

New Development (paying for developers beyond the core Apocoplay team or development software) – 29%

Set aside for possible chargebacks – 10%

Taxes, fees, legal/financial expenses – 20%

There you have it!  Hopefully this lack of peak can be made up with a lack of valleys over the next three months (traditionally the weakest 3 months of the year).  New development is finally starting to roll, and we have the development software we need, so that will help make it happen.  Oh, and for the record, although I was planning on slightly better numbers, I didn’t actually think December would triple the yearly average this year, all things considered – I’m still more or less a realist!  Once again, thank you for your support and I will continue reporting our finances so you can get an idea how your donations are working!

 

 
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