D&D General Extra Credits: The History of D&D Hasbro Refused to Learn

dbolack

Adventurer
There are tweets from people who worked at both WotC and Paizo in the article. They're saying that they had access to internal sales figures, and that Pathfinder didn't outsell 4e D&D. I don't understand why they'd have a motivation to mislead folks.
(Not picking your post in particular)

There is a pile of problems with this seemingly never-ending discussion ( and the similar one about White Wolf in the 90s ), which boils down to scope and context.

Folks inside the companies report know their direct sales volume, the volume they push into distribution, and with some distribution partners - a degree of sell-through. Folks from the self-reporting survey are 1) self-reporting 2) As best I can remember, only FLGS. These are at different ends of the sales cycle and can both be accurate and contradictory at the same time. This is without asking whether this is by title or rolled up across lines.

Ultimately, there is no way to resolve this as there is no public data of statistically trustworthy value. It's even worse for the 90s...
 

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Hussar

Legend
I honestly don't see why it matters whether Pathfinder briefly outsold 4e or not (I mean...it almost certainly did, depending on the unit of measurement - surely there was one day or one hour where it did, at least, so this is all kind of arbitrary). I don't think anyone disputes the main idea: 4e was a problematic expansion for WotC, and the rise of Pathfinder was part of the problem. This doesn't mean that 4e was a bad expansion or a worse game than 3e or Pathfinder or anything else, just that it didn't do what WotC hoped it would do.

Which, you know, they have outright acknowledged many times.

There’s a step you are missing.

Those dancing on 4e’s grave and those who are actively hostile to including any ideas from 4e into the game that is supposed to include elements from all versions of DnD constantly point to the supposed economic failure of 4e as proof that 4e was a total failure and should be buried and forgotten.
 

Oofta

Legend
There’s a step you are missing.

Those dancing on 4e’s grave and those who are actively hostile to including any ideas from 4e into the game that is supposed to include elements from all versions of DnD constantly point to the supposed economic failure of 4e as proof that 4e was a total failure and should be buried and forgotten.

Or people are just pointing out that according to ICV2, which is likely the best publicly available estimate we have, PF (and other games) outsold D&D for a period of time as you can see here. It's a fact that, much like 3.0 and 3.5, 4 did well initially and after a couple of years no longer sold well enough for WOTC to continue developing new product for those editions. It's a fact that 5E broke that pattern and has seen increasing sales every year after it's release.

The other facts are that some people liked 4E, some did not, some like me played it until 5E came out but had burned out on it by the end. There was no vast conspiracy, just not enough people buying 4E books for WOTC to continue to support that edition. It's not a criticism of the game or anyone who enjoyed playing it to acknowledge reality.

There are a lot of things I wished were still produced or versions of products where I prefer the older version over the new. But it doesn't matter if I like a version of something that's no longer being sold. It's water under the bridge.
 

Hussar

Legend
Yeah, I'm not sure if constant badgering, bringing it up EVERY SINGLE TIME and never, ever letting anyone forget it, counts as "just bringing it up". And, again, the fact that it's used as concrete "proof" that all things 4e were not really D&D because it was "rejected" by D&D players just sort of cements it all as so much mythology.

I mean, good grief, the FIRST LINE of your quoted post from ICV2 says:

"These are not based on actual sales figures. With very few exceptions, sales figures are not available for any of these products."

pretty much says it's all tea leaves and goats entrails. When people who had actual access to the actual sales numbers, ie. people who worked for both companies, say that it's all a bunch of made up wishful thinking, I'm kinda inclined to believe them. Particularly when neither one has any particularly strong bias.
 

Oofta

Legend
Yeah, I'm not sure if constant badgering, bringing it up EVERY SINGLE TIME and never, ever letting anyone forget it, counts as "just bringing it up". And, again, the fact that it's used as concrete "proof" that all things 4e were not really D&D because it was "rejected" by D&D players just sort of cements it all as so much mythology.

I mean, good grief, the FIRST LINE of your quoted post from ICV2 says:

"These are not based on actual sales figures. With very few exceptions, sales figures are not available for any of these products."

pretty much says it's all tea leaves and goats entrails. When people who had actual access to the actual sales numbers, ie. people who worked for both companies, say that it's all a bunch of made up wishful thinking, I'm kinda inclined to believe them. Particularly when neither one has any particularly strong bias.
I'm sure over the course of it's lifetime 4E outsold PF. Whether or not the other information is any more accurate or was even talking about PF lifetime sales or the period of time that ICV2 believes PF outsold D&D doesn't matter. It's not relevant.

Nobody has said anything about 4E not being D&D. All I said was that the life cycle of 4E followed the same pattern as 3.0 and 3.5. There's no reason to get upset about the facts.
 




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