Top 5 RPGs Compiled Charts 2004-Present
    • Top 5 RPGs Compiled Charts 2004-Present


      This is a compilation of the icv2.com retailer surveys of Top Five Roleplaying Games. They are generally compiled quarterly (with some exceptions). ICv2 notes that "the chart[s] [are] based on interviews with retailers, distributors, and manufacturers." Thanks to jodyjohnson for sterling compilation work and to ZsuEtAm over on WotC's D&D forums for finding the pre-2008 entries.

      • These are not based on actual sales figures. With very few exceptions, sales figures are not available for any of these products.
      • These do not take into account online sales, direct sales, Amazon, or anything other than hobby retail sales (although they do include Kickstarter).
      • These are based on interviews with hobby game retailers and distributors.
      • The RPG industry is tiny. ICv2 estimates its total size (US) as only $35M; see the table below.
      • Note that the 2015 figures have been revised with the addition of Kickstarter sales (which are included in the 2016 figures onwards, also). The revised figures for 2015 are in parenthesis.


      US Hobby Game Market 2013-2017 ($ millions); based on figures from ICv2

      Category 2013 2015 2016 2017
      Collectible games $450 $550 $625 (+14%) $750 (+12%)
      Miniatures $125 $125 $175 (+40%) $205 (+17%)
      Boardgames $75 $125 ($160) $250 (+56%) $305 (+22%)
      Card & dice games $35 $55 ($60) $105 (+75%) $130 (+24%)
      Roleplaying games $15 $25 $35 (+40%) $45 (+28%)
      Total $700 $880 ($920) $1,190 (+29%) $1,435 (+21%)

      For timescale context, I highly encourage you compare chart changes with events listed in my chart TSR, WotC, & Paizo: A Comparative History. For another take on what's popular, check out my Hot Games list based on a wide sample of what's being discussed on various major independent forums.

      In the below chart, I've listed games only for space reasons, unless more than one company produced games with the same or similar names (e.g. multiple Star Wars games), in which case I noted the company in parenthesis. Where ties exist, I put the incumbent first.

      For a color-coded (by company) version from Summer 2008 up until Spring 2014 (sorry, I made it before finding out about the 2004-2007 data!), click here.

      Period
      #5
      #4
      #3
      #2
      #1
      Events (click for more)
      Q3 2004 - - GURPS World of Darkness Dungeons & Dragons WoW and Facebook both launched this year.
      Q4 2004 Mutants & Masterminds Mongoose* GURPS World of Darkness Dungeons & Dragons
      Q1 2005 Green Ronin** Mongoose* Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2E (Black Industries/Green Ronin) World of Darkness Dungeons & Dragons
      Q2 2005 Green Ronin** Mongoose* Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2E (Black Industries/Green Ronin) World of Darkness Dungeons & Dragons
      Q4 2005 Mongoose* Green Ronin** Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2E (Black Industries/Green Ronin) World of Darkness Dungeons & Dragons
      Q1 2006 Exalted Mutants & Masterminds World of Darkness Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2E (Black Industries/Green Ronin) Dungeons & Dragons
      Q2 2006 Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2E (Black Industries/Green Ronin) Mutants & Masterminds Exalted World of Darkness Dungeons & Dragons
      Q3 2006 GURPS Exalted Mutants & Masterminds World of Darkness Dungeons & Dragons White Wolf merges with Eve Online publisher CCP.
      Q4 2006 BESM Mutants & Masterminds Exalted World of Darkness Dungeons & Dragons
      Q1 2007 Scion Exalted World of Darkness Mutants & Masterminds Dungeons & Dragons
      Q2 2007 Scion World of Darkness Warhammer Fantasy 2E (Black Industries/Green Ronin) Star Wars (WotC) Dungeons & Dragons
      Q3 2007 Exalted Battlestar Galactica Scion World of Darkness Dungeons & Dragons
      Q4 2007 Shadowrun Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2E (Black Industries/Green Ronin) World of Darkness Warhammer 40k Roleplay Dungeons & Dragons
      Q1 2008 Mutants & Masterminds World of Darkness Warhammer 40k: Dark Heresy Exalted Dungeons & Dragons
      Summer 2008 Exalted Shadowrun World of Darkness Warhammer 40K: Dark Heresy Dungeons & Dragons
      Fall 2008 Pathfinder Shadowrun World of Darkness Warhammer 40K: Dark Heresy Dungeons and Dragons Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition released.
      Winter 2008-2009 Shadowrun Star Wars (WotC) World of Darkness Warhammer 40k: Dark Heresy Dungeons and Dragons
      Q2 2009 Shadowrun Song of Ice and Fire World of Darkness Warhammer 40k: Dark Heresy Dungeons and Dragons Kickstarter launched.
      Q3 2009 Shadowrun Song of Ice and Fire World of Darkness Pathfinder Dungeons and Dragons Pathfinder RPG launched.
      Q4 2009 World of Darkness Rogue Trader/Dark Heresy Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3E (FFG) Pathfinder Dungeons and Dragons
      Q1 2010 Dragon Age Rogue Trader/Dark Heresy Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3E (FFG) Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      Q2 2010 Rogue Trader/Dark Heresy ShadowRun Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3E (FFG) Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      Q3 2010 Dresden Files Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader Warhammer Fantasy 3E (FFG) (Tie) Pathfinder (Tie) Dungeons & Dragons Dungeons & Dragons Essentials launched.
      Q4 2010 Mutants and Masterminds, inc. DC Dragon Age Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      Q1 2011 Mutants and Masterminds, inc. DC Dragon Age Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      Q2 2011 Shadowrun Dragon Age Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Dungeons & Dragons Pathfinder For the first time, D&D is not the top-selling RPG.
      Summer 2011 Shadowrun Dragon Age Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Dungeons & Dragons Pathfinder
      Q4 2011 The One Ring Dragon Age Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Dungeons & Dragons Pathfinder
      Spring 2012
      Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Dragon Age Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Dungeons & Dragons Pathfinder D&D 5th Edition announced and public playtest begins.
      Summer 2012 Dungeon Crawl Classics Dragon Age Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Dungeons & Dragons Pathfinder
      Fall 2012 Iron Kingdoms Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Dungeons & Dragons Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder
      Spring 2013 Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Iron Kingdoms Star Wars (FFG) Dungeons & Dragons Pathfinder
      Summer 2013 Fate Core System Iron Kingdoms Dungeons & Dragons Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder
      Fall 2013 Iron Kingdoms Dungeons & Dragons Fate Core System Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder
      Spring 2014 Numenera Fate Core System Shadowrun Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder
      Summer 2014 Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch Shadowrun Star Wars (FFG) Dungeons & Dragons Pathfinder D&D 5E launched.
      Fall/Holiday 2014 Fate Numenera Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      Spring 2015 Iron Kingdoms Shadowrun Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      Fall 2015 Fantasy Age Dragon Age Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      Spring 2016 Fantasy/Dragon Age Shadowrun Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      Fall 2016 Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Shadowrun Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      Spring 2017 Shadowrun Adventures in Middle Earth Star Wars (FFG) Pathfinder Dungeons & Dragons
      *Mongoose Publishing is a company name rather than a game, but this is what ICv2 reported.
      **Green Ronin is a company name rather than a game, but this is what ICv2 reported.

      Below may not be the clearest of graphs, but it maps the positions of games with 3 or more entries in the ICv2 charts over time.





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      Comments 26 Comments
      1. MartyW's Avatar
        MartyW -
        Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
        My point was that Fate did show up in the top 5 for 3 successive quarters in the IC reports. It's missing off the graph because it has three datapoints.
        Ah... I missed that it was actually in the report. That's great. I'm a big fan of Fred Hicks though I admit I don't quite have my mind fully wrapped around aspects and compels.
      1. delericho's Avatar
        delericho -
        Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
        Which is very interesting. It means Numenera has been a bit of a damp squib...
        Didn't Numenera do almost all of its sales through the Kickstarters (for it, and for "The Strange")? In which case it would be unlikely to appear on a chart of game-store sales.
      1. Dark Kain's Avatar
        Dark Kain -
        Does "Numenera" include only Numenera products or all the cypher system products? (i.e. The Stange)
      1. Morrus's Avatar
        Morrus -
        Quote Originally Posted by Dark Kain View Post
        Does "Numenera" include only Numenera products or all the cypher system products? (i.e. The Stange)
        Haven't the foggiest. All we know is what ICv2 reports.
      1. GMforPowergamers's Avatar
        GMforPowergamers -
        Well looking at these numbers D&D by wotc owns any quarter it shows up to the race in (aka puts out a book) and still makes an excellent showing (aka top 5) when they aren't even trying to put out a for sale product... They still very much seem to be the 800lbs gorilla in the room.... it's number one competition is a house ruled version of an older edition.

        As for the other interesting thing... World of Darkness was recently called out as the number 2 selling RPG... and I think this shows sighns of truth here... it holds pretty solid on the number 2 place droping to 3rd for half the life of the chart... and has how many huge kickstarters after it falls off that chart...
      1. Ancalagon's Avatar
        Ancalagon -
        I'm looking forward to seeing the 2105 data
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