Fantasy Grounds Top RPGs (Last 12 Months)

Fantasy Grounds has sent along its latest figures for RPG rulesets used in the last 12 months. 5E dominates with 70%, of course (up by 1%); Pathfinder 2E has snuck onto the chart at 6th place (though it's only been available for a couple of months), and Starfinder has taken 4th place.

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As always, "MoreCore" is FG's default generic module used when there isn't a specific game package available.
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Well, we can all conjecture without evidence, but if you look at the proportion of people playing 5E at conventions, it is much lower than the numbers for online. If you look at the proportion of money spent on 5e compared to the overall industry, it is much lower than online.

Obviously we can't be sure, but what info is available suggests that online play over-empahsizes 5E. Anyone who has contrary information, I'd sincerely like to hear it
Convention attendance is too small and too selected to be worth considering. In other words, few people go to conventions and those who do tend to be really into RPGs and so would likely be interested in other RPGs.

As people have already replied to your numbers, I will just add that I also don't think they're accurate.

In 2013 with D&D in 2nd place to PF annual RPG sales were estimated by ICv2 (using what they track) to be $15 million. 2018 was $65 million. The rate of sales of D&D continues to climb.

18 months ago there was an estimated 12-15 million D&D players in NA alone. A few months ago a figure was given stating that 45 million people have ever played D&D.

I think a good current estimate would be around 20 million or more 5e players worldwide.

How many people total are playing other RPGs? How many people are playing online?

I think the vast majority of 5e players play over the table and I believe that the % of 5e play vs other RPGs is more pronounced offline than online. People going online are going to be more likely to be long time hobby gamers and exposed to more games. They also may be going online in order to find people to play their favourite games because it may be hard to find enough interested people in person.

D&D and RPGs are a word of mouth thing. I think people are far more likely to get into them through friends inviting them to groups. They then form their own group and so on which is why I think 5e has momentum. It's easy to pick up and intuitive to play so non-hobby gamers are playing it. I don't think non-RPG players are as likely to go online to try out D&D for the first time.
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
I will just add that I also don't think ...
I think the vast majority of 5e players play over the table...
I believe that the % of 5e play vs other RPGs is more pronounced offline than online ...
I think people are far more likely to get into them through friends ...
I don't think non-RPG players are as likely to go online to try out D&D for the first time.
Although it may sound a bit harsh, your beliefs are pretty much of no interest to me when responding to a post about numeric facts. Feel free to point out issues with the numbers (as another post pointed out -- Bookstat is only for online books, which I hadn't noted!) but until your beliefs are backed up by facts, they're of no interest.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Although it may sound a bit harsh, your beliefs are pretty much of no interest to me when responding to a post about numeric facts. Feel free to point out issues with the numbers (as another post pointed out -- Bookstat is only for online books, which I hadn't noted!) but until your beliefs are backed up by facts, they're of no interest.
You first.
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
Bookstat tracks online bookstore orders, which is a different dataset from ICV2: doesn't include FLGS sales, among other things.
Thanks for point that out; I had missed that fact. I don't have great numbers for the percentage of print books sold online vs. through an FLGS. For regular books it's about 50-60% or so I believe (better numbers welcome) but a lot of that is paperback / mass-market bestsellers. For specialist books like 5E it would seem likely to have a much higher online percentage. Without better numbers, let's say 66%, although likely to be much more.

So adjusting numbers per your information:

5e online sales: $22m
→ all sales: $33m out of total market of $65m

---------------------------------
I don't have an axe to grind here, I just like to crunch numbers, so any further info is welcome.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Thanks for point that out; I had missed that fact. I don't have great numbers for the percentage of print books sold online vs. through an FLGS. For regular books it's about 50-60% or so I believe (better numbers welcome) but a lot of that is paperback / mass-market bestsellers. For specialist books like 5E it would seem likely to have a much higher online percentage. Without better numbers, let's say 66%, although likely to be much more.

So adjusting numbers per your information:

5e online sales: $22m
→ all sales: $33m out of total market of $65m

---------------------------------
I don't have an axe to grind here, I just like to crunch numbers, so any further info is welcome.
You're just making things up. Having numbers isn't actual data if you just pick them out of the air.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Here's some more stuff -

D&D 5e player numbers have been growing by 3% each quarter on Roll20 (stated in Q1 of 2018)


D&D 5e total sales went up 41% from 2016 to 2017. From 2017 to 2018 sales were up 52%.


So online sales were increasing 10-15% each year while total sales were increasing 40-50%.

Since these are % increases the numbers are compounding.

People play tabletop games in person. This shouldn't be a controversial statement.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Thanks for point that out; I had missed that fact. I don't have great numbers for the percentage of print books sold online vs. through an FLGS. For regular books it's about 50-60% or so I believe (better numbers welcome) but a lot of that is paperback / mass-market bestsellers. For specialist books like 5E it would seem likely to have a much higher online percentage. Without better numbers, let's say 66%, although likely to be much more.

So adjusting numbers per your information:

5e online sales: $22m
→ all sales: $33m out of total market of $65m

---------------------------------
I don't have an axe to grind here, I just like to crunch numbers, so any further info is welcome.
There is no correlation between the $22 million in online retailers (which includes old novels still in print, and Magic books) and the hobby channel: the former is not a subset of the latter. A hobby product like D&D probably sells more in hobby channels, and there is a strange coincidence of the hobby channel for RPGs quadrupling after 5E was released.
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
All of this mixing and matches of number from various sources is interesting. But it is really a stretch to try and draw any conclusions from other than "we don't have solid data."

One number quoted without a source is very interesting, where did this come from?
Digital adds only $1m,
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
And the just-released Orr report on Roll20 indicates that 5E is about 50% of the play, consistent with both the amount of money spent on it as a proportion of the overall industry, and also consistent with convention play.

it appears FG is the outlier, with higher than normal rates of 5E play. Every other source is pretty pretty consistent at about 50%.
 

Parmandur

Legend
And the just-released Orr report on Roll20 indicates that 5E is about 50% of the play, consistent with both the amount of money spent on it as a proportion of the overall industry, and also consistent with convention play.

it appears FG is the outlier, with higher than normal rates of 5E play. Every other source is pretty pretty consistent at about 50%.
No connection about the amount of money spent in the industry was made, as the book numbers quoted do not correlate to the hobby channel numbers.

In addition, 5E is underreported on Roll20 to some degree because of the homebrew sheet catch-all.

The only safe statement is that 5E is the majority of play and sales in RPGs. Anything more is speculation.
 

Hussar

Legend
And the just-released Orr report on Roll20 indicates that 5E is about 50% of the play, consistent with both the amount of money spent on it as a proportion of the overall industry, and also consistent with convention play.

it appears FG is the outlier, with higher than normal rates of 5E play. Every other source is pretty pretty consistent at about 50%.
I would imagine that's because FG had the license for the WotC modules first. Which meant that for quite a while (not sure how long, a year, two?) Fantasy Grounds had a HUGE advantage over any other VTT if you wanted to play 5e - you could simply buy the module from Smiteworks and everything was 99% prepped for you. That's a possible reason why FG seems to trend a bit higher for 5e than other VTT's.

I mean, if you've plopped down the couple of hundred bucks on an Ultimate license, core rule books and a module or two, you're not likely going to change to another VTT easily.
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
The only safe statement is that 5E is the majority of play and sales in RPGs. Anything more is speculation.
Roll20 says it is not the majority; sales figures give vague indication it might not be (certainly no evidence it actually is) and conference play says it’s not the majority. FG is the only source that says it’s a majority and you yourself just liked a post that gives a good reason it’s way higher than other sources.

Your definition of “safe” seems a little riskier than mine. “About 50%” seems much more likely given the scanty evidence. But no worries; neither of our beliefs are going to harm anyone, and only wotc execs know the true answer.
 

darjr

I crit!
Convention play absolutely says it’s the majority. Gameholecon has 100 tables of AL alone! There are 5 e tables everywhere.
 

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