2023 was Freeform Games’ most successful year in sales since we started in 2001. Growth has continued strongly since the end of the pandemic, and our sales have finally beaten our pre-pandemic best.
We’ve been doing these reviews since 2013 – you can read them here.
Our best-selling games for 2023 were Way out West, A Speakeasy Murder, and Casino Fatale.
These three, along with Murder on the Istanbul Express and A Will to Murder, are consistently our best-selling games.
As for our French and German partners:
Neither partner has our entire range of games, but it’s striking how little overlap exists between them (and us). Our perennial bestseller, Way out West, doesn’t feature at all – but most of our customers are American, so I guess that’s not surprising.
New and updated murder mystery games
We published two games in 2023: The Roswell Incident (a 1947 alien-themed game for 10-13 players set in Roswell, New Mexico) and A Purrfect Murder (a modern game for 9-12 players set at a cat-fancy show).
(We also removed our Way out West book from sale on Amazon. It didn’t sell, so it wasn’t worth maintaining.)
Last year’s goals
We set ourselves a few goals in 2023:
Improve our website: We made a massive change by moving to WooCommerce for our shop. So now our online store looks much like other stores rather than the bespoke store we had previously. This has three benefits – it should feel like a more familiar online shopping experience for customers (particularly new customers), it is easier for us to maintain, and it has addressed many of the niggly issues we had with downloads going missing under the old system.
We also started putting more customer stories and photos onto our blog rather than just on the game stories page. That means the stories stand out better, and the stories pages will be quicker to load (they were getting rather long and slow).
We’ve also paid for dedicated server bandwidth, so our site should respond more quickly than it used to.
So, a clear success.
Updated games: We updated Way out West and Davy Jones’ Locker. That was everything we planned to do, so that was a success.
New games: We published A Purrfect Murder (as planned) and The Roswell Incident (which wasn’t). So we over-delivered there.
Shine light on our French and German language partners: We’ve been linking to them more on the blog, and I’ve included them in our review above. Maybe we could have done more, so perhaps a partial success.
With three clear successes (and one partial success), I think we achieved everything we intended to do in 2023 and perhaps a bit more.
Plans for next year
Improve our website: This is always a work in progress, but we need to let the shop settle in and sort out any teething problems that may arise. We will also move more photos across to the blog.
Updated games: Court in the Act is the last game still in the old format, so we will update this year.
New games: We’ve got a couple of games in the early stages of preparation, but nothing we want to commit to right now.
2023 was an excellent year for us. Hopefully, the changes we’ve made to the shop have given us a good foundation for 2024.