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D&D 5E Alphastream - Why No RPG Company Truly Competes with Wizards of the Coast

darjr

I crit!

According to their staff as recently as 2020, sales of core books – and even supplements – were increasing over time instead of declining. And, new supplements were usually selling better than older supplements. According to staff in 2017, the 5E PHB had sold over 800,000 copies. That number is now well over a million, in all likelihood.

This success was a surprise to WotC, who had planned 5E’s revenue to come primarily from non-book sources.


 

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Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
It's such an impressive brand D&D is a juggernault in the RPG industry! And the pandemic even made is more successful. I'm happy to see a movie, TV shows etc in the making and if they can be a blockbuster, i assume it will grow even more.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
It's such an impressive brand D&D is a juggernault in the RPG industry! And the pandemic even made is more successful. I'm happy to see a movie, TV shows etc in the making and if they can be a blockbuster, i assume it will grow even more.

True, I'm honestly even happier to see how mainstream it has gone, to the point of strongly influencing other major parts of the entertainment industry.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It's such an impressive brand D&D is a juggernault in the RPG industry! And the pandemic even made is more successful.

Yeah, but using the pandemic years in overall analysis is a sketchy proposition, because public behaviors differed so much from normal. While it would be awesome if that strength held afterwards, it would probably be wise to consider recent gains to be a short-term phenomenon, until proven otherwise.
 


The only thing I found new or interesting was this;
Tim Kask and Jim Ward, former TSR employees, say that the 1983 Mentzer “Red Box” Basic Set was selling roughly 100k copies per quarter… but that the German and Japanese editions of the Red Box also matched those sales numbers for several years… and there were 8 or 9 language editions being sold!
Didn't know that about the early Red Box sales.
 


Staffan

Legend
The only thing I found new or interesting was this;

Didn't know that about the early Red Box sales.
I don't know about other markets, but apparently when someone here in Sweden wanted to translate AD&D, they were told they had to translate BECMI first. Unfortunately, the company folded after publishing the Expert rules so we never got an AD&D translation. I wonder if TSR had a similar requirement for other markets.
 

darjr

I crit!
We hear how wildly successful D&D is every 17 seconds or so. I'm surprised that anybody credible is claiming otherwise.
It isn’t.

Overheard on the Internet…
From time to time, gamers will look to an RPG and proclaim that it can compete with D&D. Sometimes it’s a person rooting for D&D’s demise. Other times, someone is rooting for their favorite non-D&D RPG. Either way, the statement is incorrect. Let’s talk about the reasons why D&D isn’t about to be threatened by any RPG out there. This is the first part of a series on this topic.


Also it was nice to have a lot of this in one place.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It isn’t.

Overheard on the Internet…
From time to time, gamers will look to an RPG and proclaim that it can compete with D&D. Sometimes it’s a person rooting for D&D’s demise. Other times, someone is rooting for their favorite non-D&D RPG. Either way, the statement is incorrect. Let’s talk about the reasons why D&D isn’t about to be threatened by any RPG out there. This is the first part of a series on this topic.
That's my point. I'm surprised to hear that in this day and age. D&D's wild success is so widely known and so frequently touted that it seems incredible that anybody could think otherwise.

We have a thread about it every week at least just here at ENW, let alone the rest of the TTRPG online community. Mainstream articles come out every couple of months where a WotC exec states that this year was the best year ever, year after year. People talk about the Amazon rankings constantly. The Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 stats every quarter for the last 7 years have D&D with 10 times the players of the next highest game. The message that D&D is doing fantastically well is broadcast loudly and continually.

I find it hard to conceive of anybody who could genuinely think otherwise. I mean, I guess you get fringe deniers of everything, because internet, but are they worth commenting on?
 

DarkCrisis

Adventurer
Critical Role and other streamed games have done wonders for D&D IMO. And other games as well...

I remember when 5E was first coming out and they were going to have a big tie in online gaming site (like Beyond + Roll20 combined) and that died a slow death and other filled the void (Beyond and Roll 20 etc).
 
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Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Has there ever really been a time when D&D was not at (or near) the top of the RPG pile? It has been the gateway to nearly everyone who has ever dabbled, ventured, or committed themselves to the one true king-daddy of all roleplaying games. Aside from some keen insights and interesting factoids, this article (and many others like it) are no-brainers.

But let's continue to be awed and amazed at the nearly 50-year run at the top of the industry. I mean, I'm still playing the game; just not the current edition. ;)
 

darjr

I crit!
@Morrus It’s subtle but it isn’t that some are denying D&Ds success but they are proclaiming an equal competitor or usurper. It is rare and I ignore it. But that’s the point to the article(s).

The reason I posted it was the collection of that info in one spot. And I like his writing. And it had a link to the podcast with Stan!s commentary. Which folks should give a listen too, imho.

Is it a problem? Should I delete it?
 

darjr

I crit!
Critical Role and other streamed games have done wonders for D&D IMO. And other games as well...

I remember when 5E was first coming out and they were going to have a big tie in online gaming site (like Beyond + Roll20 combined) and that died a slow death and other fileld the void (Beyond and Roll 20 etc).
I think this is part of the denial. CR is no doubt a huge factor but 5e was a blinding success BEFORE CR even existed. In fact I think CR choose it in part because of how successful it was already.
 

darjr

I crit!
Has there ever really been a time when D&D was not at (or near) the top of the RPG pile? It has been the gateway to nearly everyone who has ever dabbled, ventured, or committed themselves to the one true king-daddy of all roleplaying games. Aside from some keen insights and interesting factoids, this article (and many others like it) are no-brainers.

But let's continue to be awed and amazed at the nearly 50-year run at the top of the industry. I mean, I'm still playing the game; just not the current edition. ;)
This is also part of the denial.

“It’s no big deal cause it’s always been on top or near it”

Which is true. But also belies the sheer giantness of the recent success.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Has there ever really been a time when D&D was not at (or near) the top of the RPG pile? It has been the gateway to nearly everyone who has ever dabbled, ventured, or committed themselves to the one true king-daddy of all roleplaying games. Aside from some keen insights and interesting factoids, this article (and many others like it) are no-brainers.

But let's continue to be awed and amazed at the nearly 50-year run at the top of the industry. I mean, I'm still playing the game; just not the current edition. ;)
I can't find it now, but it's either been the top or close to it. During 4E it slipped into 2nd behind PathFinder (about a year before 5E was announced) and, if I recall correctly, even into 3rd for a while.
 


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