Quoted from vireland:
Percentages are fantastic for managing reality. If I sell 1 item year one, and 2 items year two, I've had an 100% increase in just one year! That's way more impressive-sounding than saying I sold two items in a year.
Certain terms are also useful for managing perception. "Revenue" doesn't necessarily mean pinball sales alone.
That's fluff-talk, also known as glittering generalities. Salesman talk. Pay it little mind. They have no responsibility to the public to be honest about their financials as they're not a public company.
You don’t have to believe the 40%/30% revenue increase numbers at all, as you say Stern has no duty to communicate any of that. But if they are true it’s hard to believe they achieved that while selling fewer total games each year. $400 toppers and $30 t-shirts are not likely to account for a 30% revenue increase when your main business is selling $5-8k pinball machines. Mathematically possible, sure, but plausible? Not really.