Industry
  • Industry


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! An early preview season for M:TG due to a theft, a new Shadowrun video game may be on the horizon, BattleTech gets a YA fiction series, an updated Empyrea announcement, and more!

    Hello everyone, Darryl here…somehow…with this week’s gaming news! A lot of gaming fundraisers and donations for Hurricane Harvey relief, Star Frontiers possibly coming back, a lawsuit over Buck Rogers rights, a Vampire: The Masquerade LARP event cancelled, and more!

    The crate model -- in which subscribers pay for a blind-box monthly delivery service of theme-related items -- has undergone some growing pains recently. Two data points indicate that the industry is maturing, but not without some rough patches.



    Alan Bahr’s Gallant Knight Games has merged with Ragnarok Publications – a novels and comics publisher based in Kansas. Alan is also taking on the role of COO and Publisher overseeing their games division and the fulfilment of such items as the Shotguns & Sorcery RPG based on Matt Forbeck’s novels. Alan was previously working for Stewart Wieck’s Nocturnal Media, who had also purchased Gallant Knight Games, but the company was returned to him after Stewarts sudden and untimely death earlier this summer. More info below…

    Gaming has been growing again over the last few years. You can see it in the heightened sales for Wizards of the Coasts' latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons. You can see it in million dollar tabletop role-playing game Kickstarter projects like 7th Sea. You can see it in the increased attendance at events like Gen Con. The trouble is that outside of luck and hope, you still don't see a lot of coordinated effort on the part of RPG publishers or event organizers to elevated their profiles in the public, or within their share of the market. I'm not just talking about just marketing and publicity, although both of those are important to this overall conversation, but I am saying that those who consider themselves to be the tabletop role-playing game industry (as well as those hobbyists who want to jump to that next level) need to be a lot more media savvy than they currently are.


    Sales of the hobby game market are on the rise, with tabletop role-playing games increasing along with other tabletop games. With a new Wizards of the Coast CEO in place who values Dungeons & Dragons as much as Magic: The Gathering and a movie on the horizon, we're starting to see signs that D&D is doing very well indeed.



    Gaming tables are a high-end commodity that home-owning geek adults increasingly covet for their dining rooms and game rooms. A company who can produce and deliver such a product was a dream come true for Geek Chic when they appeared on the reality television show Shark Tank. The rise and fall of the company reflects the struggle of geek manufacturers everywhere.



    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! ICv2 sales rankings are in for the tabletop gaming industry, BattleTech faces yet another lawsuit from Harmony Gold, DragonFire product line information announced, and more!


    ICv2 has released its latest survey of Top 5 hobby channel tabletop roleplaying games for the Spring 2017 period. The results are largely similar to previous periods, with D&D, Pathfinder, and Star Wars taking the top three spots as they have since 2014. Shadowrun has dropped from #4 to #5 due to the newly ranking Adventures in Middle Earth from Cubicle 7 (itself, of course, actually a setting book for D&D 5th Edition rather than a full game).

    The parallels between fantasy sports and fantasy role-playing games have long been noted by both geeks and jocks (mostly geeks). So it may come as a surprise to some that ESPN decided to draw a sharp distinction between the two with a commercial that casts fantasy role-play in a negative light.




    Let's just get the controversial statement out of the way: I'm not a fan of licensed settings in role-playing games. Today's column is rolling out of a Skype conversation that I had with a friend the other day. There's a lot of cool RPGs out there that are based upon cool movies, comic books, novels and cartoons. None of them are bad, and I'm not trying to call out licensed games or anything, but this column is going to be an exploration of different tastes and approaches to gaming. I know, something that I never do.

    Industry stats are a bit like buses - you wait ages for one, and then two come along at once. I covered Fantasy Grounds' latest stats a few days ago, and now Roll20 has weighed in. The two data sets usually line up reasonably well at the top end (taking players as the metric, both give 62% to D&D 5E, although Fantasy Grounds has the next highest at Pathfinder with 11%, while Roll20 reports nearly 20%). In third place, Fantasy Grounds features Savage Worlds, but that system is #14 on Roll20. For Roll20, as well as Fantasy Grounds, D&D's lead increased slightly over the last quarter. Interestingly, World of Darkness is now above D&D 4E for the first time.

    We've talked before about geek culture taking over the world, from movies to conventions, but another trend is accelerating that may affect hobby gaming: the death of the retail store. Can geek culture save it?


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Gen Con sells out, but doesn’t, but kinda does, but you can still get in. ENnie Award voting opens and find out who’ll be telling us the winners! Dice Tower Award winners announced! Star Trek Adventures released in digital format! An update on HyperRPG’s copyright claims and the HUGE legal quagmire it was a part of! And more!


    I've just received the latest usage statistics from the good folks over at the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop showing which game systems are being played on their system. The last set of stats from Fantasy Grounds were back in January, covering up to Q4 2106. This latest set runs through June 2017. So, what's changed? Not a lot as it happens. D&D 5E's share has increased from 58% to 62%, Pathfinder has drooped to 11%, Savage Worlds has increased to 7%, and D&D 3.5 has dropped from 6% to 4%, leaving Other Games to drop from 17% to 16%.

    How big is the RPG market? Pretty damn tiny, is the answer. As of 2016/2017 it's about $35m in size, according to ICv2. That's of a Hobby Games market currently worth just over a billion dollars. The RPG segment is a mere 2.9% of the overall Hobby Games market, which includes boardgames, miniatures, hobby card games, and collectible games. Of course, the competition for RPGs isn't just boardgames or card games, it's entertainment; and on that scale, the RPG market is a tiny niche of the Hobby Games market, which is a tiny niche of the global entertainment market. Note that these figures are US and Canada only, and include Kickstarter sales.

    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Did anyone here mention the ENnie Nominations were announced yet? The 2018 Judge Applications are open as well! There’s also news for another Magic: The Gathering/Dungeons & Dragons crossover, Cubicle 7’s loss is Why Not Games’s gain, Dresden Files Accelerated damaged units will be replaced, Emerald City’s volunteer lawsuit settled, and much more!


    Cubicle 7 Entertainment has announced that several of its licensed properties are moving on to pastures new. Five games in all are affected : Ken Spencer’s Rocket Age, and the 7eme Cercle translations Qin: The Warring States, Kuro, Yggdrasill and Keltia. June 30th 2017 is the last day you will be able to order any of these books in print or PDF through Cubicle 7.



    This past weekend was Free RPG Day, the red-headed step child of Free Comic Book Day, where gamers descend upon shops for free SWAG. This year I spent part of the day at a local gaming store, Serenity Games, running a Fate Accelerated game for a busy table, connecting with some friends that I don't get to see often enough, talking about future events and meeting new people. I picked up a few of the items available (the store is much more generous about how much people can pick up than a lot of stores).

    The fireball is a staple of Dungeons & Dragons-style magic that clearly distinguishes its modern wargaming roots from the fantasy dress it adopted. As such, the history of the fireball spell is a history of D&D itself.


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