D&D Still Leads ICv2's Quarterly Hobby Game Rankings

ICv2 has just released its hobby game rankings for Spring 2015, based as always on a survey of retailers, distributors, and manufacturers. The top three positions are exactly the same as the previous Fall/Holiday 2014 positions - D&D followed by Pathfinder, followed by FFG's Star Wars line of products. Following that, Numenera and Fate have been displaced by Shadowrun and Iron Kingdoms (the latter presumably based on Privateer Press' recent, highly promoted Iron Kingdoms Unleashed boxed set). As always, I've added this latest ranking to my compiled chart.


Top 5 RPGs Spring 2015

1Dungeons & Dragons
Wizards of the Coast
2Pathfinder
Paizo Publishing
3Star Wars
Fantasy Flight Games
4Shadowrun
Catalyst Game Labs
5Iron Kingdoms
Privateer Press
You can find the report here on ICv2. It pretty much matches the Orr Group's Q2 usage data, and Fantasy Grounds' Q1-2 2015 report as well as EN World's own Hot Games Chart.

Interestingly, ICv2 is also reporting that the hobby games market size has grown to $880 million. In 2013, they reported the market size as $700 million. That's divided as follows:


Market size 2013-2015 ($ millions)
Category 2013 2015
Collectible games $450 $550
Miniatures $125 $125
Boardgames $75 $125
Card & dice games $35 $55
Roleplaying games $15 $25
Total $700 $880


RPGs have grown from $15 to $25 million in the last two years, which is an enormous increase. ICv2 reports it as the fastest growing segment, while miniatures are the lowest growing with fairly flat sales over the period. Boardgames, also, have a very notable increase.

chart_enworld_rpgs.jpg

 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Perram

Villager
I know you don't have it, Morrus, but I really wish we could see some numbers here besides the rankings, like actual sales numbers.

The RP industry grew from $15 million to $25 million. How much of that is new D&D players? How much of that is increased sales all around.

A lot of the evidence that I've seen suggests that its mostly NEW players, and mostly new D&D 5e players at that.

Paizo reported in the fall that Pathfinder sales hadn't gone down, and the Online RPG Tabletop charts seem to show a big spike around the time D&D launched on steam through Fantasy Grounds and started advertising itself across video game websites. Twitch.tv has huge numbers of people playing games online now, playing everything from D&D 5e to FIRST EDITION EARTHDAWN of all things! (Much love for Earthdawn, btw.)
 

Jester David

Adventurer
I said a while back that this would be the decisive chart. D&D was going to win the fall. No ifs ands or buts. But the spring is the decider. After the initial spike of sales, would continued sales of the core books and the adventures be enough? The answer is "yes".
Still, the fall will be interesting to see.

I know you don't have it, Morrus, but I really wish we could see some numbers here besides the rankings, like actual sales numbers.

The RP industry grew from $15 million to $25 million. How much of that is new D&D players? How much of that is increased sales all around.
I imagine most at of it is D&D.
I adore and respect Paizo and its staff, and 3.x taught me to love, but the game isn't doing anything so radical as to cause that much growth. A near doubling. There wasn't $10 million worth of players sitting in the wings going "gee, I'd so love to play, if only Pathfinder had a second starter book for me to buy."

It is a reminder how much larger D&D's audience is than Pathfinder’s. Pathfinder "won" as much because people weren't buying D&D books as they were moving to Pathfinder.

Paizo reported in the fall that Pathfinder sales hadn't gone down, and the Online RPG Tabletop charts seem to show a big spike around the time D&D launched on steam through Fantasy Grounds and started advertising itself across video game websites.
I'll be interesting to see how Pathfinder's sales are doing now. Being stable makes sense in the low-hardcover fall. The ACG had a lot of desirability, as did the Monster Codex as that made favourite monsters more usable (I've used the MC more in six months than the Bestiary 4 in eighteen). And I imagine a lot of converting PF players are still trying to have that final game/AP of PF.
The limited releases of 5e help. People can easily buy both product lines without bankrupting themselves. So many gaming books are bought just to read, as Pathfinder is just as good for that, especially the campaign setting books.

I wonder how how many people there are like me. The Monster Codex was my final hard copy Pathfinder RPG book. I didn't need the Strategy Guide. And since I'm ending campaigns and not starting them (and it has limited PFS usability) Unchained is of equally limited use. I want to get Occult Adventures, and wish that book have been released years ago, but I can't imagine it getting any use. Like Unchained, I'll likely grab a PDF for review purposes. (After the disappointment that was the ACG, I wish I'd switched just to PDFs then.)
But we'll see. I still have 6-8 sessions left of Skull & Shackles before I put my group through a 5e mini-game. We'll see if they want to convert immediately after that or if they want to give Pathfinder another last hurrah. I have Carrion Crown on my shelf and Occult Adventures would pair nicely with that.
 

Ashran

Explorer
What I wonder, as to the selling of pathfinder, is the impact of the subscriptions they have running for most of their lines (adventure path, the setting etc). I know I am subscribed to two of them, but I don't play pathfinder (mostly because my group is not too keen to get back to 3.5 and nowadays prefer 5th edition). I personnaly use the subscription for ideas for my campaigns and adapt to 5th edition or 13th age what I find interesting... I know i wouldn't probably be buying thoses books if d&d 5th edition was releasing more products... I wonder how many people are in the same case as me or if I am an isolated case...
 

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
The subscription-based business model was the true genius of the Paizo play. It gives them a steady income, and a very predictable customer number to fit their printing to. So I think you, Ashran, is a very good representative of a Paizo customer.
 

Ashran

Explorer
The subscription-based business model was the true genius of the Paizo play. It gives them a steady income, and a very predictable customer number to fit their printing to. So I think you, Ashran, is a very good representative of a Paizo customer.
I guess you are right, but I never considered myself as a representative customer.... since I am not playing their game, but using their products as spare parts to fuel other games (mostly because those games are not providing what I am looking for, which are small, good adventures and interesting settings....)

BTW, I also buy third party products for any system to canibalize them for my needs... I dunno if we are many to do such a thing :)
 
What I wonder, as to the selling of pathfinder, is the impact of the subscriptions they have running for most of their lines (adventure path, the setting etc). I know I am subscribed to two of them, but I don't play pathfinder (mostly because my group is not too keen to get back to 3.5 and nowadays prefer 5th edition). I personnaly use the subscription for ideas for my campaigns and adapt to 5th edition or 13th age what I find interesting... I know i wouldn't probably be buying thoses books if d&d 5th edition was releasing more products... I wonder how many people are in the same case as me or if I am an isolated case...
You're not alone. I buy Pathfinder and OSR modules for use with D&D a lot currently, since none really exist for 5E and the "unofficial" PDFs out there are all of unverifiable quality.
 

arjomanes

Explorer
I wonder if it helps the industry that it's pretty easy to convert Pathfinder & 3PP over to 5e? I'm regularly buying OGL/PF/3PP adventures and settings and converting them on the fly to 5e.

I'm definitely buying more Pathfinder to convert with 5e than I was with the BECMI game I was running when I burnt out from PFRPG. I'm also accumulating quite the collection of old school AD&D PDFs.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
The top three look pretty much set in stone now, although Paizo will need to keep diversifying their range methinks to keep up their status into the future. No real surprises for Shadowrun, either and Iron Kingdoms is undoubtedly popular even though it does not get around my circles much. I do think that the PDF/POD market that the old White Wolf/The Onyx Path isn’t reflected or recorded at all on this chart however, and it is substantial I feel. I’d imagine that, if there was some way of monitoring their sales they’d probably still be in the top five somewhere too.

Also, what actually constitutes a “collectable game"?
 

Hussar

Legend
The top three look pretty much set in stone now, although Paizo will need to keep diversifying their range methinks to keep up their status into the future. No real surprises for Shadowrun, either and Iron Kingdoms is undoubtedly popular even though it does not get around my circles much. I do think that the PDF/POD market that the old White Wolf/The Onyx Path isn’t reflected or recorded at all on this chart however, and it is substantial I feel. I’d imagine that, if there was some way of monitoring their sales they’d probably still be in the top five somewhere too.

Also, what actually constitutes a “collectable game"?
I imagine that would be things like Magic. Considering the size, what else could it be?

Yes, I know they do break out "card games" but, I imagine that would be non-collectable ones.
 

ggroy

Villager
What I wonder, as to the selling of pathfinder, is the impact of the subscriptions they have running for most of their lines (adventure path, the setting etc). I know I am subscribed to two of them, but I don't play pathfinder (mostly because my group is not too keen to get back to 3.5 and nowadays prefer 5th edition). I personnaly use the subscription for ideas for my campaigns and adapt to 5th edition or 13th age what I find interesting... I know i wouldn't probably be buying thoses books if d&d 5th edition was releasing more products... I wonder how many people are in the same case as me or if I am an isolated case...
I use to do this too, but back in the early days of 4E D&D.

At the time circa mid-late 2008 -> 2009, I thought the 4E modules and settings books were rather lackluster. So I ended up using Pathfinder stuff and adapted it to my then 4E games.

(I haven't purchased any Pathfinder books since, nor any 5E books yet).
 
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jodyjohnson

Villager
Also, what actually constitutes a “collectable game"?
Collectable is the key word whether cards, dice, or miniature. WizKids Heroclix is #4. Dice Masters #5.

Neither Pathfinder minis nor Icons of the Realms makes the cut.

1
Magic: The Gathering
Wizards of the Coast
2
Pokemon TCG
Pokemon USA
3
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG
Konami Digital Entertainment
4
Marvel and DC HeroClix
WizKids/NECA
5
Marvel Dice Masters
WizKids
6
Force of Will
Force of Will
7
Legend of the Five Rings
Alderac Entertainment Group
8
Cardfight!! Vanguard
Bushiroad
9
Weiss Schwarz
Bushiroad
10
Future Card Buddyfight
Bushiroad
 

Icon_Charlie

Villager
Since I already had the info on this before this posting I would like to point out that the miniatures market has flattened out in revenue and also state as before how small the Rpg market really is.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Since I already had the info on this before this posting I would like to point out that the miniatures market has flattened out in revenue and also state as before how small the Rpg market really is.
The market for direct sales is small, but the brands themselves are not.
 

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