There are various data sources around which give some indication of which games are currently popular. Amazon sales charts
, ICv2's quarterly retail/distributor interviews
, EN World's own Hot Games list
. They all result in the same discussions on internet forums and social media about which games are most popular (and, sadly, make some folks angry).
Recently a couple of the larger virtual tabletop companies put out some stats showing which games are being played using their services. Not that this is definitive or anything, but it's another data set to add to those above. [59 comments]
and Fantasy Grounds
have both released data. Roll20's looks at 25,000 games being played during Quarter 3 2014 (that's July-September). Fantasy Grounds' looks at the whole of 2014 so far - Quarters 1-3 - and covers 122,000 games. Both put Pathfinder
at the top. I did mention to the Fantasy Grounds folks that a breakdown by quarter might be interesting, and they might be doing that. If so, I'll update this news item.
- UPDATE - Fantasy Grounds has kindly added that data, which I've added to the chart(s) below! It alters the picture somewhat, and you can see the gap between D&D and Pathfinder closing very rapidly.
For reference, the D&D 5E Starter Set
was released in June 2014, and the Player's Handbook
in August.. Now, one important piece of info missing is game length - long games will delay the visible effect of any change in the market on a "who's playing what right now" chart like this, for obvious reasons. I think that a "new games started" chart broken down by quarter would be fascinating, though, especially if that info were released every quarter. It could neatly sit alongside ICv2's charts and other data sources that way. I suspect that the data for Q1 2015 will look very different as more and more D&D 5th Edition games are added to the totals, though whether or not it will overtake Pathfinder
is anybody's guess.
Monte Cook once said to me [paraphrasing - if you want the exact quote, it's somewhere in this interview
] "It's interesting that the top two games that everybody is always arguing about as most popular are - basically - two versions of D&D".