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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!

BwoJwYwCMAA4NuS.jpg

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]

releases.jpg
 
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Mistwell

Legend
I did say that day was their best day they ever had which was Christmas last year where they were selling 400+ items a second.

No you didn't, you said "To be fair that is a good day but still." I hardly think "best day in the history of the company, during a holiday" is the equivalent of just "a good day", as the later implies it's a lot more common than simply a unique day in history.

2014 has seen about $4.2B in non-electronic book sales for Amazon. 2000 saw about $2.77B in non-electronic book sales for Amazon. That's only a 66% increase in 14 years, and not the massive jump you keep implying by quoting things like total Amazon customers or total Amazon revenue or total Amazon product sales in a day (none of which had anything to do with books in particular).

Now that I have compared the 2000 book sales to the 2014 book sales, and we see they are not even double at this point (for books), do you see what I am getting at when I say 2000 was a good year for Amazon's book sales and therefore number of reviews for a popular book from 2000 shouldn't be simply dismissed due to the year? Sure, their book sales have increased 66% in 14 years, but that has also had 14 years of reviews (they did not all happen in the first month). It's noteworthy that 5e has this many good reviews, this quickly.
 
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and now it is number 1 on Amazon

Came here to post this.

Not #1 in a category, #1 book on Amazon.

I went to my FLGS today to pick up a copy, they were sold out. Every store I could find was sold out.

Figured I'd buy it on Amazon, I'd rather pick it up at a FLGS but it's the fastest selling game book in quite many years and looks like Amazon might be my best chance to get ahold of it now. When I saw the "#1 in Books" on there, I thought that might warrant some comment, looks like I wasn't first to notice :)

I'll bet they're popping champaigne corks in Renton at that news.
 

Gamgee

First Post
Can confirm still selling like crazy here. I was sensible enough to reserve a copy of their next shipment and got my hands on one. It's selling out super fast. If I hadn't reserved I wouldn't have had one right now.
 



Zardnaar

Legend
No you didn't, you said "To be fair that is a good day but still." I hardly think "best day in the history of the company, during a holiday" is the equivalent of just "a good day", as the later implies it's a lot more common than simply a unique day in history.

Now that I have compared the 2000 book sales to the 2014 book sales, and we see they are not even double at this point (for books), do you see what I am getting at when I say 2000 was a good year for Amazon's book sales and therefore number of reviews for a popular book from 2000 shouldn't be simply dismissed due to the year?


Customer reviews do not really matter that much either though only sales. Social media did not exist back in 2000/2003 either. People were not talking about D&D on facebook for obvious reasons.

Don't get me wrong I think they have had a good launch but any version of D&D could likely have done the same thing. Mike himself said it was the 1st year that matters and they do not have much in the pipeline it seems not even a FRCS. And there is not a large OGL network either to pick up the slack. That alone will probably mean 5E will not match 3.0 so I do not think there will be a new D&D silver age maybe a bronze age if 5E is reasonably popular.

The dark clouds on the horizon IMHO is how many people will actually play 5E once the honeymoon is over? Tey probably have a better rules system than PF for example but at GenCon more people wanted to play PF than D&D during an anniversary year at an event D&D more or less used to dominate if not invented. More people also seem to be playing 3.5/PF online than 5E as well and right now should be the height of 5Es popularity in the honeymoon period.

4E had a good launch as well and they claimed it was doing better than 3rd ed and we all know how that turned out. Reception has been better for 5E but the pool has also shrunk as well. Morrus interviewed Darcey for example and he estimated D&D now was around 1/3rd the size of 3rd ed. Now one may claim he is biased but we also know the relative size of D&D staff vs Paizo and compared to 3.0or even 4E they had a FRCS type book out very quickly. Hell they had to delay the DMG for 3 weeks.

They made a good version of D&D IMHO, they have lost the network of D&D players that used to exist and IDK if they can rebuild that. The RPGA network seems to have collapsed. They do not have the staff to support D&D like they used to. Adventurers of Elemental Evil or whatever it is called is not exactly a riveting title to get people to fork over money now is it?
 

Alphastream

Adventurer
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 and now they are claiming 5E has been outselling 3E as well they are either telling porkies

The figures come from Dancey, who worked for Wizards and now works for Paizo/Goblinworks. Wizards of the Coast doesn't share its numbers, which completely keeps them from doing what you are accusing them of doing.

Moreover, we should be able to look at a company's sales without injecting edition wars into the equation. Very few industry people see the situation as Paizo vs D&D. Take a look at Gen Con: the biggest year yet for both Paizo and D&D organized play programs simultaneously. Most industry insiders say the best years come when D&D is huge and draws lots of interest to the hobby. It is entire possible, even likely, that Paizo and Wizards can both continue to grow. The only reason they would really need to worry is if either company produced shoddy games (not true) or if the size of the market was very insular (seems increasingly to not be true), or if their editions lose steam (still possible). Paizo and Wizards both make amazing products. Whether those products and their approaches can truly weather long editions remains to be seen. It's especially hard when we see very little information about the sales figures of lines over time. We don't know how the first Pathfinder supplement compares to the most recent, though it is likely that diminishing returns has to be there (because more recent supplements usually deal with a smaller space, rehash concepts, or are dealing with interesting but non-crucial elements). That both WotC and Paizo use different new techniques is great for the health of the industry overall. We will need new approaches if the hobby is to continue to provide us WotC and Paizo levels of quality for many decades.
 



Gamgee

First Post
So far 5th seems to be very well received here and we don't even have the full book. I think this is a success. Like it or not. A return to form for D&D. So good in fact I'm excited. Can't say I've felt that about anything 3.5/4th/Pathfinder related ever.
 

Dimitrios

First Post
I would call it BS to be honest. There weren't that many people on the internet in 1982 and Danny Mills has a book which contains every user on the internet back then and I seriously doubt Mist is on it.

Maybe there is some confusion between the internet vs BBS's? True, few people were on the internet in 1982, but I can remember occasionally dialing up to BBS's from 1984 onward, and I wasn't especially ahead of the curve as far as I know. I think there were definitely BBS based rpg discussions going on in the early 80s.
 



Le sigh. It is still a matter of scale. How many devices do you have these days that can be used to post a review online would be the main point? With that capability I would expect the more modern D&D is the more I would expect people to post about it and do things like online reviews.

Being honest how many online devices did you have in the following years in your home. And by online devices I mean things connected to the internet and could be used to browse it?

Mine

1998 0
2000 1 (1 console)
2003 3 (2 console, 1 PC)
2008 7 (2 PCs, 3 consoles, 2 phones)
2014 14 (2 phones, 2 PCs, 2 TVs, 1 tablet 7 consoles)

The jump between 2008 and 2014 is things like smart phones, TVs, and every gaming console having the net built in. Is my household unusual in the amount of web capable devices being added? I suppose it is odd I kept my old consoles including the one I had in 2000.

1992: 1 (via dialup through the university)
1994: 2 (via dialup through the university - both desktops)
1998: 5 (3x desktop, 1x laptop, 1x Newton MP140 with modem) and a cablemodem
2003: 5 (3x laptop, 2x desktop, 1x Newton)
2008: 12 (3x laptop, 4x desktop, 1x newton, 1x Wii, 3x Palm with wifi, 1xDSi, 1x DVD player)
2014: about 16, counting all the abandoned functional hardware of my parents. as in, 16 that one can pull the dustcover, plug it into the wall, fire it up, reset the clock, plug in the one physical cable that is there, and be able to go online. I'm not counting the half-dozen assorted needs-a-part or needs-a-reinstall.

One of the desktops only supports HTTP 1.0, and hasn't had a software upgrade since 1998. Runs Mac OS 8.5.

The Newton's browser sucked, but worked. The hardware still works, but I can't get dial-up any more.

I've got an ethernet card for the Apple IIGS, and could, in theory, run the web browser for it... but haven't counted it in any of the above.

All the local high schools had internet by 1999. Students were allowed to use it by 2001, when I started working for them.

I've had internet access since I started college... in 1988. Rec.games.frp.dnd dates to 1992. Rec.games.frp dates back further still. I didn't get into usenet until 1990, but there was discussion there about games already. And gopher servers on the internet with netbooks, often the same ones as were on WWIVnet. And wwivnet discussion groups were often nation wide, tho' it could take upwards of a week to see responses to your post from across the country.

There has always been a strong tech-geek element connection to RPG's. And lots of opinionation about them.

Most of my friends were on the internet by 1995, either through fidonet tie-ins, Compuserve, or through the university. D&D discussion online was pretty common. And blogs were happening - even tho' the term wasn't used yet - with people putting commentary up on their website, and then posting response comments to it received via email by manually editing the HTML. Much of it looked much like JH Kim's website. Internet email discussion groups were really popular from about 1994 on to about 2002.
 


Mistwell

Legend
I would call it BS to be honest. There weren't that many people on the internet in 1982 and Danny Mills has a book which contains every user on the internet back then and I seriously doubt Mist is on it.

First, screw you for accusing me of being a liar rather than asking me about something you obviously don't know anything about. Second, I was not on "the internet" in 1982, I was on local BBSes back then (heck, I was a sysop back then, and also a co-sysop on a second one). Eventually those BBSes started to use things like FidoNet around 1985 or so, so anyone with any knowledge of how things ran back then knows what I meant when I said that. I said in 1991 I was on the internet.
 
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Sailor Moon

First Post
Maybe there is some confusion between the internet vs BBS's? True, few people were on the internet in 1982, but I can remember occasionally dialing up to BBS's from 1984 onward, and I wasn't especially ahead of the curve as far as I know. I think there were definitely BBS based rpg discussions going on in the early 80s.

Even if he was on a BBS, they were generally local so it would be people in your local community. Not much difference in meeting up the road or chatting on the phone.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Even if he was on a BBS, they were generally local so it would be people in your local community. Not much difference in meeting up the road or chatting on the phone.

You really have no friggen clue what you are talking about. Around 1984 FidoNet spread, to make BBSes nationally usable. Sure, we had to wait for the nightly download, so discussions were slower than they are now. But it was national. We had national messaging as well, which also did nightly downloads. I live in Los Angeles, we had several huge BBSes here. Thousands of people. Hundreds on at one time. My friend was running so many phone lines in his apartment building that the phone company thought he was re-selling lines.
 
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