Top 5 RPGs--Spring 2012




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    Top 5 RPGs--Spring 2012

    ICv2's quarterly report. This chart of the Top 5 Roleplaying Games (hobby channel) reflects sales in Spring 2012. The charts are based on interviews with retailers, distributors, and manufacturers.
    1. Pathfinder
    2. Dungeons & Dragons
    3. Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch
    4. Dragon Age
    5. Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
    See the article here.

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    Mildly surprised to see Marvel on there. Hope it does well, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    Mildly surprised to see Marvel on there. Hope it does well, though.
    The top 3 in ICV's reports are generally accurate. Because the sales volumes tail off so dramatically after Rogue Trader, however, there is an extremely wide ambit of approximation the deeper down into the Top 5 list that one goes. I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in the relative position of #4 and 5 -- or the unlisted #6 and #7 , for that matter.

    While the Top 5 probably IS reflective of the retail truth, by the time you get to discussing Rogue Trader, you are starting to move into the long tail of the market. By the time you get to position #5 ? The numbers are pretty small and extremely volatile.
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    That's probably true; I expect there is a very steep dropoff there. In that context, it's still interesting to see a superhero rpg on the list at all, in an arena that is so S&S dominated.
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    You can expect sales in the D&D product line to decline similar to sales in iPhones. A new product announcement always kills / slows sales.

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    Glad to see Marvel doing so well!
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    This is interesting

    In addition to growth in existing stores, the number of hobby game stores is growing, as store openings outpace store closings by a strong ratio. Sales in the mass channel are also growing, powered by strong upticks in two of the three collectible card games that make up the bulk of sales in that channel: Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh!
    Attributed to Magic, sure, I even know of a new store around here that only does magic and warhammer fantasy/40k, still, it sounds like good news to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darjr View Post
    Attributed to Magic, sure, I even know of a new store around here that only does magic and warhammer fantasy/40k, still, it sounds like good news to me.
    I imagine FLGSs also benefit from diminished competition against brick & mortar bookstores. (Miss ya, Borders!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by WiredNerve View Post
    You can expect sales in the D&D product line to decline similar to sales in iPhones. A new product announcement always kills / slows sales.
    Indeed - most of us realize that. Still that doesn't diminish Pathfinder's #1 spot (again.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by WiredNerve View Post
    You can expect sales in the D&D product line to decline similar to sales in iPhones. A new product announcement always kills / slows sales.
    I hear this all the time in my 4e group -- sales were going strong until WotC inexplicably decided to pull the plug on 4e, at which time sales predictably fell, and besides, natural product cycles would imply low sales for 4e in any event, so really, there's nothing to see here.

    And I just don't get it.

    WotC invested tens of thousands of man-hours, and many hundreds of thousands of dollars, in a system they believed would carry D&D for a standard 8-10 year product cycle. Most of their designers staked their reputations on it. The fact that WotC pulled the plug on 4e years early, jettisoning half-completed products like the PH4 and discarding several years of design-and-development plans, has to mean the system wasn't performing up to snuff sales-wise. And for that reason alone, the ICv2 figures wouldn't be a surprise no matter what WotC had done about Next or what the product cycle may be for 4e.

    But that isn't what I don't understand. What puzzles me is why so many people see 4e's sales performance as a referendum on whether 4e is a solid system, and think giving any credence whatsoever to underlying sales issues means admitting the game itself isn't any good. And it just doesn't mean that. Solid products underperform sales-wise all the time for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with product quality, and this may just be one of those times. It's also worth pointing out that numerous 4e design elements from themes to at-wills to backgrounds are being incorporated into Next, which wouldn't be happening if the system really were as bad as some 3e/Pathfinder fans claim.

    So that's why I think 4e fans can and should hold their heads up high, which simultaneously acknowledging that changes are needed to make the game more attractive to people who feel something vital was lost in the 3e-to-4e transition. Because we all benefit when the game's base is broadened -- more designers are hired, more products are produced, and some fractured gaming tables can perhaps be reunited. That may not be a popular view from the extremes (on either side), but it's my two cents on the issue.

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