D&D 3E/3.5 5E's Initial Raw Sales Numbers Stronger Than 3E's!

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!


In other news, prompted by some discussion about the gaps between D&D edition releases, I whipped up this quick info-graphic showing the dates that each edition was released. [threadcm]http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?359004-So-I-have-been-out-of-town-for-a-few-weeks-did-I-miss-something[/threadcm]

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Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Something noteworthy pointed out by someone named BadMike on the WOTC boards:

5th editon PHB has racked up more 5 star reviews in one month (159) than the 5 and 4 star reviews the 4th edition PHB accumulated over 6 years (145).

It's also more than half-way to all the 5 star reviews for Pathfinder Core Book, or PHB 3e...in a month.

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Sailor Moon

"All" these rankings tell us is that the PHB has been a top selling book, relative to all other books, for around seven weeks now. At one point it was the top selling book. And not just on Amazon.

We also do know that no other role-playing book has come close to this in the last decade (including anything for 4E or Pathfinder). We have been told that the 3E PHB sold a lot in 2000. Mearls has said that 5E is doing better at this point...but sales where huge for 3E in its first year. We can neither confirm nor deny that 3E got into the top ten on any rankings (though it does seem like someone would have posted about it if it had).

Thats "it".
I would say the Pathfinder stuff was bought mainly from Paizo itself, not to mention you can get everything via the SRD. I would say it's the top RPG book sold out of Amazon but that's it.


Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Newtons! Hah! What was Apple thinking, PDA and messaging in my hand? Daft. Just daft. Nothing could ever come of it.

Yeah I was emailing people and taking pictures from my phone on my Palm Treo 600 in 2003 using an App well before an iPhone was even a dream of Steve Jobs. What was Palm thinking, that people would want to download Apps to their phone? I had over 50 of them I think. I sometimes miss my physical tiny keyboard and stylus.


We are at the 2 month point for the thread, lets see where things stand with the top books in fantasy gaming:

#1 MM 24 overall, 16 in new releases, 25/28 5 star reviews
#2 PHB 39 overall, 28 most wished for, 269/334 5 star reviews
#3 Starter Set 302 overall (released July 15)
# 4 DMG 311 overall, 83 in new releases
#6 HotDQ 663 overall

OK, that’s probably the last of these I do for a while, but I will probably do an update at some point.

Thanks for the update...interesting stuff, and happy to see D&D doing so well.


It is sold out... man. Is that really unusual? Did the 3e do that within the first few months? Wonder how long it is going to take to get it back in stock.


My brain is literally melting onto my keyboard as I type this because I simply cannot understand the level of cognitive dissonance on display here. The only way to explain it... is that this is performance art of some kind.


I guess we're going to do this the 'pulling teeth' way.

Question 1. Is there a different version of D&D that you prefer? Is there bitterness there over something WOTC did that is lasting with you?

No real preference but if I had to pick one it would be 2E. Anything but 4E is my D&D of choice as such. WoTC did blow up the Realms and trash Dragon and Dungeon so there is that. THey may have also run over my cat.


This is the best I can find. The PHB 3.0 was featured on the main page apparently a few days after reviews start appearing in Amazon's records.

Check this out too . It states that the 3.0 PHB was #1 on Amazon’s hardcover fiction list on about August 27th, 2000.
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5ever, or until 2024
The 300 000 in a month thing for 3.0 has been thrown around a lot and seeing how 4E turned out and the same claim being made

Funny how numbers are thrown around. The number I always saw thrown around was that the 1E PHB, albeit in print even up to and after the 2E PHB was released, sold around a million copies. And that 3E was the only edition to come close.

Again, as posted above, we know that 4E never got above 30 or so in terms of the amazon ranking. Normally hot selling RPGs, like the Pathfinder Core Rules, are generally in the 300-600 range. A supplement is lucky to hit 1000. Hitting number #1 (or 10 or 20) means an entirely different level of sales. The 5E PHB could have already sold more--through amazon, which is the caveat--then any RPG product has in years.

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