Industry
  • Industry


    Being a detailed timeline from 1974-2014 showing TSR, WotC, Paizo, and the RPG industry side-by-size in a comparative timeline. You can see at a glance when things happened, and what else was happening at the same time, giving a broader context to most events.
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    The end of the year approaches! Looking back on 2014 our hobby had a really good year. We found ourselves repeatedly as the focus of news cycles and rarely did we come away in a poor light. We saw Kickstarters raise tremendous amounts of money, new games and old favorites brought back to the fore, and the impact of social media on our hobby has never been more obvious. But what stories were the dominant ones of the year? Which ones will be shaping the conversation for next year and the years after? These are the top ten news stories of 2014.
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    I've made a couple of changes to my live Hot Roleplaying Games chart. The chart monitors over a quarter of a million forum members and approaching a thousand blogs on a selection of major independent RPG discussion forums to create an overall sample of what games are being discussed on the web.  ...READ MORE

    According to ICv2's latest survey, D&D has re-entered the Top 5 RPGs chart for Summer 2014, coming back in at the #2 spot; Pathfinder retained the #1 spot. This includes the first two D&D releases (the D&D Starter Set and the Player's Handbook). Fantasy Flight Games holds two of the top spots. [threadcm]http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?371211-ICv2-Summer-2014-Ranks[/threadcm]

    I've added these figures to my compiled chart which shows the positions going back to 2004, and to the graph below. To see  ...READ MORE

    Yesterday, I put together a compilation of the icv2.com quarterly 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. [threadcm]http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?353592-5-years-of-ICV2-Rankings-A-retrospective[/threadcm]

    It will be fascinating to see  ...READ MORE

    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  ...READ MORE

    Dungeons & Dragons News

    • For the second year in a row, Dungeons & Dragons will be returning to the Extra Life fundraising/gaming event! On October 25-26, members of the D&D team (and friends!) will run the second annual D&D game marathon, helping to raise funds for Children's Miracle Network hospitals. The tabletop roleplaying game will be live-streamed on the D&D Twitch TV channel starting at 8 AM PST on Saturday, October 25. Senior Producer for D&D R&D, Greg Bilsland, will serve as Dungeon Master, running a rotating group of players through the recently released
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    I was looking at EN World's Google Analytics data today. I thought I'd share some of the traffic information.

    317,754 unique users on EN World in the last 30 days sharing 747,962 individual user sessions. So on average folks visit twice a month. (Depending on the area of the site, that varies a lot - the news page is the single most viewed page by a long shot, but the forums have the most repeat sessions, for obvious reasons). The average session duration is 4.5 minutes.

    The average individual news article gets viewed roughly 90,000 times in its first week.

    The forums have 296,805 threads made up  ...READ MORE

    In the third of my EN World Autograph Sessions, I interview Ryan Dancey. Ryan is the man who brokered the acquisition of TSR by WotC, and who created the Open Gaming License - which is the license responsible for most third party D&D content for the Pathfinder RPG. He has also worked on the Eve Online MMO at CCP. We cover a wide range of topics throughout his career, from his start, through the TSR acquisition, the OGL, and on to MMOs and his current project, Pathfinder Online. Sometimes a controversial figure, nobody could say that Dancey  ...READ MORE

    It seems that the initial sales of D&D 5th Edition are very strong. Asked about how they compare to 3E and 4E, WotC's Mike Mearls says that "Raw numbers are stronger, but that's not the complete picture. end of year 1 is the key." The Player's Handbook has now topped the hardcover nonfiction sellers list at Publishers Weekly. As of right now, it's #1 in Fantasy Gaming at Amazon, and a week ago it was the #1 book on Amazon!
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    Dungeons & Dragons News

    • Brian Patterson has written an essay about the World of Greyhawk. "For many gamers, The World of Greyhawk (or just Greyhawk) is the beginning of it all when it comes to role-playing games and while it is not technically the first-ever campaign setting (that was Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor setting by a few months), it is arguably one of the most iconic settings ever created."
    • The Dungeons & Dragons Master Set on GoG.com contains 10 D&D video games from throughout the ages for $20 total.
    • Masks of the Dragons -- How does the Cult of the Dragon know so much and remain so flexible? One of the factors
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    Here's the presentation of the ENnies 2013 Best Writing Award at Gen Con. This is the award for BEST WRITING from the 2013 ENnies at Gen Con Indy! KOBOLD GUIDE TO WORLDBUILDING (Kobold Press) was the Gold Winner, and NIGHT'S BLACK AGENTS (Pelgrane Press) was the Silver Winner.
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    In the - now very long - discussion of Ryan Dancey's latest EN World column which expands on his opinions in the recent Escapist articles about the past, present, and future of D&D, Ryan makes a few detailed replies throughout the thread. Since it's such a long thread, I've pulled this particularly interesting one out (see below). There are a couple of others, found here and here.

    After Vince Calouri was pushed out of Wizards of the Coast he was replaced by Chuck Heubner. Chuck basically had to manage Wizards on the downslope from the Pokemon salad days. Hasbro has been through many boom & bust cycles in the toy business and they have
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    As many of you know, the Escapist has recently run a 3-part series on the past, current and future of Dungeons & Dragons. The ENWorld coverage begins here.

    I contributed some insights to that column and wanted to take this opportunity to expand and clarify some of my thoughts on this topic.

    Who Is This Guy Anyway?

    I [Ryan Dancey] have been involved on the business side of hobby game publishing since 1993, when I operated one of the first on-line/mail
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    As many of you know, the Escapist has recently run a 3-part series on the past, current and future of Dungeons & Dragons. The ENWorld coverage begins here.

    I contributed some insights to that column and wanted to take this opportunity to expand and clarify some of my thoughts on this topic.

    Who Is This Guy Anyway?

    I [Ryan Dancey] have been involved on the business side of hobby game publishing since 1993, when I operated one of the first on-line/mail
     ...READ MORE

    Who Is Sitting At Your Table?

    This might seem like a simple question to answer. Usually, you play with a group of friends whom you’ve come to know quite well. Even if you find yourself in a hastily assembled game at a convention or store, you usually have a lot in common with the other folks you play with.

    But if we consider all the people who may be playing a tabletop RPG at any given time, across all the various places they may be playing them, that question starts
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    Morrus is the founder and owner of EN World, and owner of EN Publishing, the EN5ider, TRAILseeker, and EONS, and the designer of the What's OLD is NEW (WOIN) roleplaying game system. He also founded the ENnies, which he ran from 2001-2018. He has been reporting on tabletop roleplaying games since 1999, and has published over 300 tabletop roleplaying game products since 2001, has been an RPG community administrator for nearly 20 years, and has run RPG Kickstarters totalling  ...READ MORE

    Wizards of the Coast regularly surveys various aspects of the adventure gaming channel; distributors, retailers and consumers to better understand their preferences, concerns, and needs. That data is regularly reviewed and distributed internally to senior management. The contents of this file are excerpts from those sources; the source materials themselves are confidential internal documents and are not available to the public.
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    In the winter of 1997, I traveled to Lake Geneva Wisconsin on a secret mission. In the late fall, rumors of TSR's impending bankruptcy had created an opportunity to made a bold gamble that the business could be saved by an infusion of capital or an acquisition with a larger partner. After a hasty series of phone calls and late night strategy sessions, I found myself standing in the snow outside of 201 Sheridan Springs Road staring at a building bearing a sign that said "TSR, Incorporated".

    Inside the building, I found a dead company.

    In the halls that had produced the stuff of my childhood fantasies, and had fired my imagination and become unalterably intertwined with my own sense of self, I found echoes, empty desks, and the terrible depression of lost purpose.
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