Wyrmwood, long known for its luxurious wooden gaming accessories, is expanding into home furnishings. The heir apparent to the Geek Chic throne is stepping out with the Wyrmwood Modular Desk, a solid wood work-from-home solution with an optional sit/stand feature. It just might be the most elegant new PC gaming peripheral released this year.
Founded in 2015, Wyrmwood has long been focused on the gaming space with innovative solutions for storing dice and miniatures, as well as over-the-top gaming tables and Dungeon Master screens. But in 2020 it launched an ambitious campaign for the Wyrmwood Modular Gaming Table, which raised an incredible $8.8 million on Kickstarter during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. That project has helped expand the company, which now boasts a second U.S. manufacturing facility, and upgrade its tooling. But the economics of that project didn’t work out in the company’s favor.
“It could have been the end of us,” said co-founder Ed Maranville in a recent interview with Polygon. “We knew it could go one of two ways. Either we’d be out of business, or we’d be a much different company — and a much bigger company — than we had ever been. [...] We’ve been operating at a loss the past couple years. This year, though, we’re out of that. We are actually turning that around, and all the investments we’ve been making the past few years are set to pay off in a big way.”
The Modular Desk is available in a standard (60” by 30”) and an XL (78” by 36”), in both a fixed height and as a motorized sit/stand desk with onboard memory that recalls three different heights. Additional accessories include a robust cable management solution, customizable storage, and magnetic add-ons to hold cups, mugs, headphones, and game controllers. The system also features multiple options for dedicated streamers and podcasters, including mounts for microphones and lighting.
The least expensive option in the Wyrmwood Modular Desk line starts at $1,750, but when the Kickstarter went live on Tuesday, would-be consumers needed to spend a lot more than that to reserve their desk. Wyrmwood set the minimum buy-in at $3,000 for the first wave of 1,000 desks. Maranville said at the time that the goal was to open up additional tranches of desks at a lower buy-in price during the campaign, which the company did on Oct. 19.
Why was the initial buy-in so high? Maranville said it’s because of several factors. First, past campaigns have shown that few consumers opt for Wyrmwood’s least expensive solutions. In this instance, $3,000 represented what the company’s leadership expected consumers will want to spend on a desk. The quality of the product itself, which includes solid wood panels and drawers with sophisticated joinery, also contributes to that cost. But that high price point is largely just a byproduct of Wyrmwood’s maturation as a company.
“It’s not just us anymore,” Maranville said, referring to himself and co-founder Doug Costello. “We’re responsible for these lives. [...] In total, we’re approaching 200 people across two states. That’s a lot that’s dependent on where things go. So now, we’re moving into furniture because then we can scale up that way. There’s a massive market for it, and we can hopefully give everybody here a better living. And ourselves, too. But at the end of the day, my responsibility has shifted.
“We are a premium company at the end of the day,” Maranville continued. “Because we are making things in the U.S., we do have to aim pretty high. [...] It’s like double the price [of the Modular Game Table] because it just has to be to be sustainable.”
Update (Oct. 18): We’ve updated this article with additional clarity on the price of the desk relative to other Wyrmwood products.
Update (Oct. 19): After reaching $1.5 million in a matter of minutes, Wyrmwood’s campaign stalled out around $2.3 million — well short of its $3 million goal. The company has since opened up several new tiers requiring only a $500 deposit. Note that backers must be willing to take delivery of their desks in Sept. 2023 or later.