Getting an overview of board game sales is not that easy. Stonemaier Games has published the sales figures for the “house brands” in its latest “annual report” - with a not entirely surprising result: flapping its wings has therefore sold almost as often as the strategy board game hit Scythe - albeit within a year. 


Stonemaier Games publishes its sales figures as well as the main company markers on its own initiative. The income was therefore in 2019 at 12,8 million US dollars. The board game wing flap is likely to have the largest share of this, in this country not only as a Expert game of the year excellent, but also from fans to the Winner of the German Game Award 2019 have chosen, had.

Not if, but when: flapping wings catches up with Scythe

Elizabeth Hargrave's debut title was sold around 300.00 times. The comparatively quick to learn principle behind the colorful Vogel Engine Builder was so enthusiastic that flapping the wings almost reached the sales figures of the hype board game Scythe within a year.

With around 308.000 copies sold, Scythe is still at the top of Stonemaier Games' internal sales charts, but it is only a matter of time before flapping has overtaken its in-house competitor. The board game looks almost beaten by the bombast numbers presented Viticulture with “only” around 100.000 units sold. 

Happy about her debut: Elizabeth Hargrave, author of flapping wings. Photo: André Volkmann

Happy about her debut: Elizabeth Hargrave, author of flapping wings. Photo: André Volkmann

The great success of flapping wings is not a surprise. The board game impresses fans and critics alike with illustrations by Beth Sobel, Ana Maria Martinez and Natalia Rojas. The catchy game principle and the numerous optimization options, with a short playing time at the same time, make the flapping of the wing the prototype of a successful game idea. It hardly matters whether the hype is justified in view of the reduction in complexity: the fans like the board game.

Because more birds probably also mean more fun, the board game has been expanded to include European bird species. Oceania is to be added as a topic this year. This emerges from an early announcement by Stonemaier Games. There they were surprised even by the great success of flapping wings. The publisher was not sure whether the game would actually be played by hobby gamers.

Indirectly, by explicitly mentioning the award, the report shows that the award as a connoisseur's game was good for popularity. This can certainly be seen as a sign of the high level of quality within the German board game industry.

However, there is no precise information about the net profit of Stonemaier Games. Of the 12,8 million US dollars collected, however, a large part is said to have been invested in reprints. The profit is “significantly below sales”. 

The outlook for 2020: a new board game and three expansions. In addition, Charterstone, Viticulture and Flapping wings as digital board games released. All three titles are currently in the beta phase and are therefore probably well on the way to being released.


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