Friday, November 4, 2011

Whos's the big kid on the block?

I guess many of you have read the news about Pathfinder outselling D&D? Personally I find the entries lower on the scale more interesting. Is really Dragon Age and Shadowrun that popular! Boggles my mind.


  1. I can understand DragonAge being so popular -it's a great way to introduce new gamers to the hobby (Silv and Aimee two of my regular players, both came to the hobby via a short Dragon Age campaign they asked me to run when they found out about the P&P RPG). It's an especially simple and easy system, works VERY well and people who've played the actual computer game can pick up both the rules and the setting very quickly.

  2. I'm pretty sure there is a MAJOR gap in sales between Pathfinder and D&D, and the rest on the list. I've read in the past that nothing is selling close to those two.

  3. I'm pretty sure there is a MAJOR gap in sales between Pathfinder and D&D, and the rest on the list.

    I think this is the case.

    That being said I have noticed quite a bit of Dragon Age and Shadowrun at local cons and game clubs (So. Calif.).

  4. Dragon Age has done extremely well and Shadowrun seems to have a life of it's own.

    The funny thing is that the last time I saw polling it indicated what has happened now and no one believed the polling data back then.

    The chart showed, for the first time in rpg history, that the current edition of D&D was not the most played game (at 47% of the pie).

    The other 53% was composed of about 3% who were playing a TSR version of D&D (from 2e back to OD&D).

    The largest chunk went to those playing some form of 3.x. Of course everyone thought this meant Pathfinder, and they are growing, but not that fast.

    The OSR is based largely on 3.x and many people still play D&D 3.0 / 3.5 as is witnessed by how the PHB of 3.5, used, is almost always in Amazon's hourly updated top 20:

    (A slow start this morning but still at #29 and selling for $32)

    The OSR was thought to be somewhere around 5-7% of that 50% but I think the number is much higher, it's just that our products are not sold and tracked through the usual channels.

    I believe, after watching new releases crash PayPal servers, that the Indie/OSR share is probably somewhere between 15-25% of the pie or even higher.

    If we are are so small as to not matter why would WotC launch a 'Red Box' with the EXACT cover art from the best selling single product in rpg history if they didn't feel there was a market to reach.

    The recent hammer dropping of cease and desist letters is only the beginning, but the genie is out of the bottle and you can't put her back.

  5. The strange thing is, I had no idea Dragon age was based off a computer game, or really what it was all about. Maybe I'm just clueless.

    Great to hear it brings people into the fold, though!

    Shadowrun sure is a strange beast. I thought it was neat when it first came out, and then I felt the whole cyber thing felt stale pretty quick. Apparently I am representing a minority.

  6. ...the genie is out of the bottle and you can't put her back.

    You could say that again!

  7. Yeah, Dragon Age is a massive franchise:

    If we continue to track at our current rate the indie scene will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 45-55% of sales within 5 years.

    Then they will have to count us.

    WotC practices what I call the 'old town doctor' method. He's losing patients weekly to a new doctor on the other side of town and the old doctor concludes that people are just not going to the doctor as much anymore. All the 'doom and gloom' is about the industry, not the hobby business, which is booming. WotC believes people are leaving gaming when the truth is we are just leaving WotC.

    As for the title of this post I would have to say there may not be one anymore. The very thing that everyone thinks is destroying tabletop gaming is what is saving it-the Internet. Now you can have a game developed and find a viable audience because people can find others to play all over the world. G+ , d20 Pro, Skype, PDF...all these advances mean that someone can have a player base in the 500-2500 range and be profitable.

  8. I do think the industry has had a downturn overall... players are harder to find (tho' they ARE out there) and people are busier than ever (in no small part, due to the recession-in-all-but-name downturn).

    The published print run sizes for some big name games (Traveller, for example), they're smaller runs now than back in the 1980's. And taking longer to sell out.

    The Indies crashing servers has a lot to do with prerelease hype-building coupled with limited windows for preorders. Look at the fiasco that was Burning Wheel Gold's preorder process... instead of one day of crashing, 5 days of crashing... about 300 people trying for 250 books... 50 each in 20 minute windows each day.

    Publishing as a hobby is back. Publishing as a day-job? Far fewer people now than even 10 years ago.

  9. I have not heard the story behind Burning Wheel Gold, but your hints sounds ominous.


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