Right, mid 90's TSR D&D was pretty stale, at least in many people's view. So WW came in with a rather new style of gaming and meanwhile TSR was buying a knitting company or something, and banning people from doing playtesting, lol. Even so, TSR did respond pretty effectively with things like Spelljammer and Planescape. Note that both TSR and WW ended up going down, lol. WotC revitalized D&D, and WW Storyteller has kind of drifted for the last 20 years, with the company pretty much out of business. So I'd say D&D kind of won that round...This is all speculation based on how I remember these things happening, but I feel that Paizo and WW kind of offer to very different potential paths to other companies or other games dethroning WOTC or D&D. In the case of WW I think it was more in line with what you mentioned in your first paragraph, they were bringing in a new and fresh approach (a new aesthetic, new system, something more culturally relevant to the 90s youth culture) and they both attracted a a lot of existing D&D fans but also seemed to bring in new gamers. With Paizo I think WOTC left open a vacuum when they shifted editions, where many existing fans didn't feel like changing to the new edition, and Paizo basically grabbed the market that vacuum opened up. Going forward I have no idea what is going to make D&D have the maximum size RPG fanbase but I do think any time there is a change in D&D other companies will see opportunity to step in if the change causes loss of fanbase.
And yeah, Paizo is a weird case. WotC pretty much CREATED them, handed their print magazines to them, AND let them interpose themselves into the customer relationship. This is a real business no-no. Its fine to outsource, but you NEVER let the service provider build a relationship with the customer, that's always BAD, like "why are you working for me anymore?" bad. So WotC got what they had coming to them on that one. The Paizo people just very wisely and systematically took what was given and built it into a nice business. Still, PF is a wart on the side of 5e. It got moderately popular in 4e days, still has a relatively big following, but their market share is pretty small. Seems to me their business model is "cater to a small cadre of very active fans who spend a good bit" and leave the mass market to WotC.
Well, the skillset is more "small business owner". The product happens to be TTRPGs.I mean, @Morrus, you're no idiot, I am guessing there are plenty of ways to use your skillset that are at least as lucrative, maybe a lot more so, than EnWorld. That was the sort of decision I faced back in the early 80's, to start publishing games, or go into a more traditional and well-paying career. Not saying I made the right choice necessarily, will never know...
Yeah, it was never really clear what factors contribute to the waxing and waning of D&D and TTRPG in general. 4e was at a bit of a low point, but the contributions of various factors is an open question. If you were to imagine WotC going ahead and sticking to 4e or making some revised '4.5' instead of 5e, would it be equally popular right now? Nobody can say, really.Its purely anecdotal. But the only two games I used to see when I went to cons and shops for playtests around 2010 or so were pathfinder and 4E. I think they did have a pretty sizable portion of the base at that point, but with 5E, I think they got most of those people back to D&D (and now D&D seems bigger than it has been in a while, which I think is from a number of different things coming together)
Yeah, my family ran several of them when I was young, and I started 3 different business myself. Regardless of the business it is, owning one is rarely the route to vast wealth, lol. It can be very satisfying though. I hope you are having fun, or feeling fulfilled at least.Well, the skillset is more "small business owner". The product happens to be TTRPGs.
I don't see anyone estimating it to be that low, maybe old numbers? The "Hobby game market" which excludes most board games that people have heard of, in the US and Canada is higher than 1.5B.Anyway, the most consistent figures put the 'Hobby Game' industry at about $1.5 billion,
Here are some recent numbers;... The TTRPG numbers vary between different reports between around $50 million at a low, and I didn't see any that topped $100 million. I would say, they all talk about 'strong growth' and most reports were written at least a year ago, so I wouldn't think $100 million as a sort of round figure would be crazy. ...
Doesn't seem particularly inconsistent with anything I saw. I do wonder about the geography though, other figures I saw included at least some of the European market and were no higher than this. Anyway, clearly there is more than one methodology here. In any case, $100 million TTRPG market seems about right! It never ceases to amaze me that MINIATURES is 4x bigger than RPGs though, lol.
Indeed.You don't need to collect and build armies of Player's Handbooks!
Yeah, I spend a fair bit on ttrpgs, most of it not at all necessary to actual play but I have GM'ed for MANY people who never bought anything. A lot of people assume that everyone will think "It's the right thing to do" but IME very few people see it that way....
RPGs is probably one of the most inexpensive forms of group entertainment. Some old gamers didn't buy anything after the Basic and Expert set boxes.
Not good for the industry tho. That is why we are seing a 'boardification' of some RPGs with icon dice, cards and other stuff.
Manga covers a dozen different genres... Marvel and DC barely step outside the Supers Genre. (not that they don't have any. Marvel has Star Wars again.TTRPG industry is a "little fish" but I guess the complete entertaiment industry, comics, Hollywood and videogames are going to change radically in a comingsoon future. Japanese manga is sold better than Marvel and DC.
Which is, at least in the US, not nearly as common as gamers would like to think. There is a significant minority of the religious/political right wing in the US that's still anti-game. Some of the kids locally in college mention that their parents not only don't know, but would shun them if they found out about their playing D&D. And their parents are members of large sects in the US. Several sects still preach against games of all kinds, save those specific few that help with learning scripture or specific life skills.The IPs of the TTRPG have got a great potential in the digital market. Maybe some videogame studios or movie producers will buy TTRPG publishers to be "laboratories of ideas". Some parents will buy TTRPGs for their children to stop always playing videogames and promoting creativity.