Best Guess: How many quarters will D&D Next beat Pathfinder on the ICv2 list (if any)?


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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The interview with the WotC CEO was interesting - he stated that they are earning more revenue from fewer releases than in previous editions.

I wouldn't have been surprised at making a higher profit, but higher revenue wasn't what I expected (though it's possible he was just speaking sloppily - later the interviewer switches to talk about 'net revenue').


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Steve Geddes wrote:
I think he was referring to this article on ICv2 which (erroneously, I believe) suggests the Borderlands is some kind of joint project.

They seem to think that Paizo is involved in almost everything, as they're saying that Paizo is also behind the publication of an English-language edition of Ulisses Spiele's The Dark Eye (originally Das Schwarze Auge.) I wonder how long before they make an article where they claim that Paizo is responsible for the 5e books? :P


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Yeah, I daresay someone has got Paizo-the-retailer confused with Paizo-the-publisher.


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All RPGs are Paizo. (with apologies to Demolition Man)


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Yes the article does seem to conflate Paizo with Frog God Games but my thought was more along the lines of:

Ravenloft 5E and Boarderland Provinces are both new(ish) free-floating settings, rather than ready-to-run APs (or super modules) set in an existing campaign setting.

So it will be interesting to see which one takes off, or maybe both of them. There is more detail on what you get with the FGG product (reading their Kickstarter page) compared to the bare sketch for Ravenloft 5E over at the WotC page.

The biggest difference seems to be FGG is spreading their risk across three gaming platforms and two publishing formats (HC/SC + PDF). And the fact that they've used Kickstarter, which makes one wonder how many, aside from the backers, will buy the product.

There's more discussion about the FGG offering over on this Paizo thread here.


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Green Goblin wrote:
All RPGs are Paizo. (with apologies to Demolition Man)

All entertainment of any kind is Paizo.


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Quark Blast wrote:

Yes the article does seem to conflate Paizo with Frog God Games but my thought was more along the lines of:

Ravenloft 5E and Boarderland Provinces are both new(ish) free-floating settings, rather than ready-to-run APs (or super modules) set in an existing campaign setting.

Except Ravenloft 5E is an adventure, not a new setting. And its a rehash of an existing, already long popular setting. It will get no more than two books and no ongoing support.

FGG supports a niche, and I'm sure they will do well for their standards. But they aren't likely to get their book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

It's hardly comparable, and I doubt anyone will be surprised by the results.


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deinol wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:

Yes the article does seem to conflate Paizo with Frog God Games but my thought was more along the lines of:

Ravenloft 5E and Boarderland Provinces are both new(ish) free-floating settings, rather than ready-to-run APs (or super modules) set in an existing campaign setting.

Except Ravenloft 5E is an adventure, not a new setting. And its a rehash of an existing, already long popular setting. It will get no more than two books and no ongoing support.

The 5E setting has been entirely Forgotten Realms but now

Jeremy Crawford Tweets wrote:

Barovia is where the DMG (p. 51) says it is: in a demiplane of shadow and dread.

Curse of Strahd expands the Ravenloft story. It also introduces several new stories. Hence, it has its own title.

Curse of Strahd is definitely not a linear adventure. It's more of an open sandbox, like Out of the Abyss.

Curse of Strahd focuses on the lands of Barovia, a #DnD mini-setting filled with gothic towns, NPCs, and tales.

It's more than an adventure and WhizKids have some minis in support of the Barovian setting, but I take your meaning. It certainly won't get any more active support from WotC via published products for at least a year (if ever). Though I expect some support at the various Cons and League support too.

deinol wrote:

FGG supports a niche, and I'm sure they will do well for their standards. But they aren't likely to get their book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

It's hardly comparable, and I doubt anyone will be surprised by the results.

Yeah, I was looking over Steve Jackson Games' annual and thought this sounded pretty good
SJ wrote:
It was another fabulous year. Gross income was $6.6 million, down $1.9 million from 2014. This decline in sales was expected and managed...

Until I read a little further and saw this

SJ wrote:
There were over 800,000 Magic: The Gathering events in 2015 alone. Wow.

Wow indeed.

Also, Black Diamond Games has shown Pathfinder slipping in its Top 10 over the past few years (currently at #8), but hey it's in the Top 10.


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Quark Blast wrote:
Also, Black Diamond Games has shown Pathfinder slipping in its Top 10 over the past few years (currently at #8), but hey it's in the Top 10.

What else is in the Top 10?

Or are we talking more broadly than table top RPGs here? We know that's a niche market.


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thejeff wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Also, Black Diamond Games has shown Pathfinder slipping in its Top 10 over the past few years (currently at #8), but hey it's in the Top 10.

What else is in the Top 10?

Or are we talking more broadly than table top RPGs here? We know that's a niche market.

I think he's talking about this post.

If so, the rest of the Top Ten for 2015 are Magic, Fantasy Flight, Warhammer 40K, Pokemon, CAH, Warmachine, D&D, Asmodee, and Mayfair.


Joana has it right. And I believe that's sales by gross dollar amount.

Side-note: They have stopped carrying things that are in their Top 10 but regularly have so few turns/month that stocking them doesn't pencil out. It's a weird retail business to be in. I wouldn't do it.

Incidentally 5E is at #7 for 2015 and will likely stay there this year or maybe a notch up. Maybe.


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This older post reports that tabletop RPGs as a category (i.e., 5e & Pathfinder combined) were down 12% in his store in 2015.


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Joana wrote:
This older post reports that tabletop RPGs as a category (i.e., 5e & Pathfinder combined) were down 12% in his store in 2015.

To be expected. The successful launch of 5E was bound to produce a spike for that year which would be seen as a dip the following year.

A reflection on my own sample bias: I don't actually know anyone who still plays Magic or other card games with any regularity. I know of lots who do but it just seems to me like TTRPGs should be bigger than they are. Irontruth convinced me they almost never were big.

Liberty's Edge

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Quark Blast wrote:
Joana wrote:
This older post reports that tabletop RPGs as a category (i.e., 5e & Pathfinder combined) were down 12% in his store in 2015.

To be expected. The successful launch of 5E was bound to produce a spike for that year which would be seen as a dip the following year.

A reflection on my own sample bias: I don't actually know anyone who still plays Magic or other card games with any regularity. I know of lots who do but it just seems to me like TTRPGs should be bigger than they are. Irontruth convinced me they almost never were big.

1E AD&D was a fad, and RPGs enjoyed some relevance in the Eighties, but their biggest impact was on video games. TTRPG is a nice niche market for a few people to make a decent living on, but it is, commercially, very small potatoes in the entertainment field, outside of inspiration for other media.


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Combine that with the current very low bar for getting into publishing your own material (especially to PDF), plus Kickstarter and its clones giving patrons what they want directly (cutting out the FLGS), plus the proliferation of fantasy MMORG (some of which are free), and I don't see how TTRPGs have a future that will ever look anything like it apparently did in the 1980's.

Unless they become a fad outside the English speaking world.


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N&N Adventuring Company

This is a different take on the gaming store. I suspect this could be a much more tenable future for the brick and mortar side of the industry, in communities large enough to support one.


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Irontruth wrote:

N&N Adventuring Company

This is a different take on the gaming store. I suspect this could be a much more tenable future for the brick and mortar side of the industry, in communities large enough to support one.

I'd love to see someone launch a sustainable, respectable dues-based tabletop gaming venue/club.


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Gamer's Club, baby!
- Telly Savalas


Why hasn't ICv2 released any rankings about RPG sells for a while?

Grand Lodge

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goldomark wrote:
Why hasn't ICv2 released any rankings about RPG sells for a while?

They only do them 3 times per year, but it feels like they are do for another one soon


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Last year's fall/holiday quarters report came out on February 26th.


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Norman Osborne wrote:


They seem to think that Paizo is involved in almost everything, as they're saying that Paizo is also behind the publication of an English-language edition of Ulisses Spiele's The Dark Eye (originally Das Schwarze Auge.) I wonder how long before they make an article where they claim that Paizo is responsible for the 5e books? :P

Based on the advertising card for The Dark Eye Kickstarter that came with my Paizo subscription, and which contains both the Ulisses Spiele Logo AND the Paizo golem, I'd say that particular item is true. Ulisses Spiele does the German translation of Pathfinder. Everything (admittedly little) I've found seems to indicate that Paizo is returning the favor by helping them with the publication of the Dark Eye's English translation.


New ICv2 Internal Correspondence is out, but a pay wall prevents us from seeing RPG chart.

[url]http://icv2.com/articles/news/view/33833/icv2-releases-internal-corresponde nce-89[/url]


goldomark wrote:

New ICv2 Internal Correspondence is out, but a pay wall prevents us from seeing RPG chart.

FIXED

Hm. Is it weird that it's behind a paywall? It feels weird, but I don't know how normal that is in the industr(y/ies) for such things.


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It's a new feature. :P

The previous rankings have always been free to view.


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These have always been for sale. Perhaps the much publicised rankings will be released in a blog shortly.


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For those interested, D&D was ranked first, pathfinder second. They mention that RPGs are doing really well at the moment, which is good. :)

They mooted a return to reporting the top ten games, rather than the top five (since some like Numenera and Mouse Guard were reported as having done well but didn't make the list).


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I don't know. ICv2Pro was set to launch since the last set of publicized rankings. Call me cynical, but I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to put that info behind a subscription for "retailers, distributors and wholesalers, importers and exporters, publishers, creators, licensing and marketing professionals, and producers."

Steve Geddes wrote:
For those interested, D&D was ranked first, pathfinder second. They mention that RPGs are doing really well at the moment, which is good. :)

Huh. That's interesting, considering the 2015 report from Black Diamond Games. I suppose anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.


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Joana wrote:
I don't know. ICv2Pro was set to launch since the last set of publicized rankingsl.

When is quarter 2 in the U.S.? I thought that was last April?

I've been buying the magazines intermittently for a few years (when I looked into it, the pro thing was only for those in the industry, from memory) and nothing seems to have changed there.


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Joana wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
For those interested, D&D was ranked first, pathfinder second. They mention that RPGs are doing really well at the moment, which is good. :)
Huh. That's interesting, considering the 2015 report from Black Diamond Games. I suppose anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

They mention a lot of big press events - apparently Vin Diesel was in something called the last witch hunter and spoke often about D&D in his promotional role(?). They also mention D&D's slow release schedule as being good at attracting newcomers and hence keeping sales ticking over. I daresay the Star Wars movie didn't hurt sales of the RPG, either.


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Tacticslion wrote:
goldomark wrote:

New ICv2 Internal Correspondence is out, but a pay wall prevents us from seeing RPG chart.

FIXED

Hm. Is it weird that it's behind a paywall? It feels weird, but I don't know how normal that is in the industr(y/ies) for such things.

I don't think it's weird. The ICv2 Internal Correspondence is a magazine for those interested in "geek culture" businesses. The "top ten..." thing is just part of it. I don't know anything about the "pro" version, but I believe they provide the regular version to retailers for free.

It's ten dollars (and there's a fair bit of advertising) but I don't object to paying for it.


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I was disappointed the PACG doesn't seem to have made much of a mark. Though I guess there weren't many releases in the last little while.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Joseph Wilson wrote:
Norman Osborne wrote:


They seem to think that Paizo is involved in almost everything, as they're saying that Paizo is also behind the publication of an English-language edition of Ulisses Spiele's The Dark Eye (originally Das Schwarze Auge.) I wonder how long before they make an article where they claim that Paizo is responsible for the 5e books? :P
Based on the advertising card for The Dark Eye Kickstarter that came with my Paizo subscription, and which contains both the Ulisses Spiele Logo AND the Paizo golem, I'd say that particular item is true. Ulisses Spiele does the German translation of Pathfinder. Everything (admittedly little) I've found seems to indicate that Paizo is returning the favor by helping them with the publication of the Dark Eye's English translation.

We're just selling the English language version into distribution for them—we have no creative input. (We'll be doing the same with Ulisses' TORG game when it comes out, and the Polaris RPG from our French translation partner, Black Book Editions.)


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Steve Geddes wrote:

For those interested, D&D was ranked first, pathfinder second. They mention that RPGs are doing really well at the moment, which is good. :)

They mooted a return to reporting the top ten games, rather than the top five (since some like Numenera and Mouse Guard were reported as having done well but didn't make the list).

Anyone know if "ranked first" means:

sales of 1st rank = sales of ranks 2 - 5 combined, or
sales of 1st rank = 25% of ranks 2 - 5 combined, or
???


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They don't provide that kind of analysis (a lot of the data is qualitative, not quantitative, I believe). All it means is that 1 > 2 > 3 > ...


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I'm sure. They don't likely have "complete" data and/or don't want to get sued.

Amazon does give relative rankings as well and, at least there, 1 >>>> 2 but then even with the metric it's still a relative rank (though it does reflect actual sales numbers however obscurely) and 2 has more products in the game. So it's not clear how to tally the final score.

Still I bet it's closer to my first guess than the second.*

* Yay! Vin Diesel :D


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New thought. Not scientific but I think it gives relative standing metrics in a good ballpark sort of way.

Looking at the posts on certain other social media platforms across the Interwebs and I see that 5E postings outnumber other RPG types rather handily. In addition, for those sites that show this, it seems # of views is disproportionately in favor of 5E as well.

So, similar metric to the Amazon ranking. Each by itself doesn't say much but all of them together give us a trend.

Also the ICv2 rankings are here for Fall of 2015

1 - Dungeons and Dragons (WotC)
2 - Pathfinder (Paizo) woot! Hang'n in there against SW
3 - Star Wars (Fantasy Flight Games)
4 - Dragon Age (Green Ronin Pub)
5 - Fantasy Age (Green Ronin Pub)


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Quark Blast wrote:
So, similar metric to the Amazon ranking. Each by itself doesn't say much but all of them together give us a trend.

It gives us a trend for general interest and knowledge, but that's it. Considering that most niche markets live and die by it's diehard supporters, I'm not entirely sure how much that really means. The fact that Pathfinder has a localized source for conversing and buying products that are not reported to any of these secondary sources and 5th edition doesn't makes it really hard to make a true comparison. Add in those people who talk about Pathfinder or any of the other D&D spinoffs but use the default D&D name, terms, and concepts to do so, and the water becomes even more muddied. About all any of these numbers truly show is that on a conversational level, and to a certain extent, on a marketability level, D&D is by far the biggest name; nothing more, nothing less. It doesn't prove that Paizo has a less marketable or profitable brand than WotC because no one outside of the Paizo office ever sees most of the numbers generated by their own store and forums.


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This part I agree with

sunshadow21 wrote:
It doesn't prove that Paizo has a less marketable or profitable brand than WotC because no one outside of the Paizo office ever sees most of the numbers generated by their own store and forums.

This part I do not agree with

sunshadow21 wrote:
It gives us a trend for general interest and knowledge, but that's it. Considering that most niche markets live and die by it's diehard supporters, I'm not entirely sure how much that really means.

The sales rank of the 5E Players Handbook was #1 at Amazon. Not #1 in some niche portion of the endlessly subdivided categories of books, but #1 in books. That is HUGE *waggles hands*.

Today the 5E Players Handbook is still at #93 in books with 1,348 reviews (ave.4.5/5.0). Pathfinder comes in at #3,360 in books with 470 reviews (ave. 4.7/5.0).

These are not just "diehard supporters" giving these ranking results.

Still, it would be far better to be selling the next Cards Against Humanity or MTG for sure.


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Quark Blast wrote:


The sales rank of the 5E Players Handbook was #1 at Amazon. Not #1 in some niche portion of the endlessly subdivided categories of books, but #1 in books. That is HUGE *waggles hands*.

Today the 5E Players Handbook is still at #93 in books with 1,348 reviews (ave.4.5/5.0). Pathfinder comes in at #3,360 in books with 470 reviews (ave. 4.7/5.0).

The problem is that while that very much shows that 5E has a far bigger name, that's about all it shows, and the name recognition is as much about past successes than current ones or the possibility of future ones. WotC has been trying for three editions now to get their multi-platform approach to selling D&D off the ground; they are starting to show some signs of finally getting it to work after almost two decades of effort, but it remains to be seen whether they can fully sustain those efforts. Paizo has earned themselves at least a foothold in almost every category that WotC has been even partially successful in with far less time, money, and effort.

It's great that 5E hit #1 of all books, but that doesn't mean anything if they did so almost entirely on the back of the past with little to no contributions of the present or hopes for the future. They are doing far, far, far better this time around in some ways than they have in the past, but have yet to match other successes from other editions, both their own and TSR's in others, so while the numbers remain promising, there's still a long ways to go before WotC truly proves themselves to have finally figured out how to sell the D&D brand.


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Quark Blast wrote:

This part I agree with

sunshadow21 wrote:
It doesn't prove that Paizo has a less marketable or profitable brand than WotC because no one outside of the Paizo office ever sees most of the numbers generated by their own store and forums.

This part I do not agree with

sunshadow21 wrote:
It gives us a trend for general interest and knowledge, but that's it. Considering that most niche markets live and die by it's diehard supporters, I'm not entirely sure how much that really means.

The sales rank of the 5E Players Handbook was #1 at Amazon. Not #1 in some niche portion of the endlessly subdivided categories of books, but #1 in books. That is HUGE *waggles hands*.

Today the 5E Players Handbook is still at #93 in books with 1,348 reviews (ave.4.5/5.0). Pathfinder comes in at #3,360 in books with 470 reviews (ave. 4.7/5.0).

These are not just "diehard supporters" giving these ranking results.

Still, it would be far better to be selling the next Cards Against Humanity or MTG for sure.

I'm not certain if Amazon is the best indicator, however.

I will NOT buy 5e anywhere BUT Amazon. For starters, you get almost 50% off at Amazon on 5e D&D stuff.

On the otherhand, I WILL buy PF stuff other places (for example, I'm a subscriber for the APs and Modules from Paizo).

It's all in how much you save, and with 5e, the savings from Amazon are FAR to good to pass up if you are going to buy 5e stuff.

In addition, I know a WHOLE lot of people that buy 5e stuff on Amazon, but won't lay a foot in a game store...ever...again.

Whilst, I, do go to gamestores, and do buy stuff there...but it's typically not 5e (I have others who also buy me 5e stuff...but they buy it from Amazon as well).

However, I wouldn't be surprised if 5e is selling more at FLGS's than PF for one reason.

Most of my PF stuff comes from online these days though...but there is a marked difference on where I buy it compared to where most of the people I know are buying their 5e stuff (online and at Amazon typically).

I don't know how representative it is, may not be at all...but if everyone else is like that, especially in regards to the savings Amazon offers, I don't find it all that surprising 5e ranks that much higher than PF.

Paizo has a sales model that is at least somewhat focused on selling directly via online sales...whilst 5e and WotC do not, and hence most of their stuff if found is by other online sellers (like amazon).

Hence, I think PF stuff may be more focused on online sales from various sources, including a focus to get people to buy them directly from Paizo (I hear subscriptions are Paizo's bread and butter, but I don't any hard numbers to back that up, but it's what I hear).

WotC doesn't have anything like that in truth, right now.


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The effort WotC put into D&D Next has certainly paid off for them. They made a game the players said they wanted. And they made sure the players said what they meant. Some of my older friends participated in the various playtests and the worst thing you can say about them is that maybe they did too much.

PF seems focused on subscriptions and they cater to the PDF-only / PDF-also crowd in a way that WotC seems unwilling to support.

FLGS's are still selling more 5E than PF (product turns as well as total dollars) and given how many products PF has in print and how few 5E does, that is a telling statistic.

I bought my three core 5E books at the same FLGS, paid up front each time and got 15% off. Poor binding on the PHB seems to have been common in the first printing (though not for mine) and I think that accounts for the relatively weak review average on Amazon.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I have enough other gaming stuff that can be easily adapted (mostly on the fly) to 5E that I may never buy another gaming product. I probably will but not because I've run out of stuff. A year or more ago I estimated that I had about 20 years worth of stuff to use. Now that I'm 19-20 months (or is it 21?) into my 5E campaign I think that was an underestimate.

Also I don't hang out much anymore at any of the FLGS's in my area. One recently folded and if you're not spending at least $10-$20/week there, they really don't need you as a customer. It's a tough business. Irontruth gave me some FLGS facts to chew on and I conclude that he's exactly right in that regard.


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Relevant aside:

So I was poking around camelcamelcamel at the suggestion of another gamer and they seem to indicate that the 5E Players Handbook was #1 at Amazon (back in August of 2014); not #1 in books (though it was that certainly) but...

#1. No qualifiers.

Is that possible? :-o


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The first page of predictions makes, in retrospect, interesting reading.


bugleyman wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Yeah, that Kickstarter was cringe-worthy on every conceivable level. The whole "if you don't back us then you're a part of the force holding progress back" part was hilarious, doubly so if you consider how technologically backw...conservative the D&D fanbase is.
I found it more presumptuous than hilarious, but yeah, that Kickstarter was a train wreck. I doubt we'll be hearing from these guys again (at least in any meaningful way).

Oh vicious irony.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Norman Osborne wrote:
meaningful

As an Android user, I believe the 'meaningful' criteria is still way off.


Some things that may have been talked about elsewhere but are relevant here.

Top 5 RPGs Spring 2016

1 Dungeons and Dragons - Wizards of the Coast

2 Pathfinder - Paizo

3 Star Wars - Fantasy Flight Games

4 Shadowrun - Catalyst Game Labs

5 Fantasy/Dragon Age - Green Ronin

Total Gaming market $$

Thing to note is Kickstarter taking $35 million of the $160 million in 2014 hobby board games.

I've long suspected that Kickstarter will mostly take and not grow the market for most products they offer and having a 22% share in hobby board games makes me wonder if they are doing the same or more for TTRPGs.

Speaking of which, TTRPGs are the smallest category and grew 40%, from $25 million in 2014 to $35 million in 2015. No mention of Kickstarter's proportion.


Spotted This Today

BDG wrote:
That said, Wizards of the Coast has grown tremendously in my personal market share, with nearly double the sales of the second company on the list, which is itself double the third, and so on. Dungeons & Dragons is tremendously popular and even with Magic being a bit slow, it's significantly larger than it was in 2011.

Take a look at the bar chart posted there. This seems to me to be what I get from the two FLGS that I frequent. Not that I noticed in near this level of detail, only that the top end outlier was clearly 5E.

Anyone* else have "insider" info that could shed light on this?

* Not expecting Paizo input here just to be clear


Preamble: Shouldn't this thread have been moved to the new 5e location? Under Here?

My reason for posting though is this Top TT Kickstarter.

Stuff like this has to be pulling money from the pockets of PF and D&D. Definitely a pop to the chin of FLGSs.

Aside: Contrary to current trends in Political Correctness I noticed that several of the female minis are a skosh sexist.

Grand Lodge

I agree that anything else (board games, computer games, Bones Kickstarters, food, gas) that takes money from folks is possibly hurting RPGs a little for some, but not much for me. I RPG as much as I can, and table top, computer other times. I buy the RPG stuff I need. I have never not bought some Paizo thing I needed because I had spent money on some other board game...

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