D&D 5E How Many 5Es Can There Be?

What do you mean by support? What is economically viable?

People can publish and distribute RPG rules/content at virtually zero cost to themselves except their own time. So if they don't require they pay themselves for that time, one sale via DriveThru could be considered economically viable.

And then does that really matter? I mean look at something like Level Up, it's one of the more successful (?) 5E's, but does it have more than 10k or so players compared to the millions of WotC 5E players.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
What do you mean by support? What is economically viable?

People can publish and distribute RPG rules/content at virtually zero cost to themselves except their own time. So if they don't require they pay themselves for that time, one sale via DriveThru could be considered economically viable.

And then does that really matter? I mean look at something like Level Up, it's one of the more successful (?) 5E's, but does it have more than 10k or so players compared to the millions of WotC 5E players.
To me, economic viability means being financially able to continue making and distributing the game. Obviously, the exact amount will vary.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
It's a game of diminishing returns. As a long time veteran of the OSR space I can tell you the best thing about the OSR is that the ceiling for entry is so low that anyone can publish. I can also tell you that the worst thing about the OSR is that the ceiling for entry is so low that anyone can publish.

It won't take long before the 135th "5e but with this minor twist" is published. Personally, I need that just about as much as I need my 500th BX clone. To each their own but that's all there is. I think if we're being realistic outside of a few big players in the space most gamers will just simply ignore them, or more likely, won't even know they exist.
 

To me, economic viability means being financially able to continue making and distributing the game. Obviously, the exact amount will vary.
Ok, but that is going to vary based upon the creator's needs. Someone who has another income stream and it doing it "for fun" doesn't need to turn a meaningful amount of profit.

For another, who it's their sole source of income my need $50k or $100k profit. Or a small company that has multiple employees might need to gross $1 million a year. That's a pretty big range of commercial sales to define economic viability.
 

Oligopsony

Explorer
To me, economic viability means being financially able to continue making and distributing the game. Obviously, the exact amount will vary.
$0 to turn your houserules into a Google doc, twice that to teach yourself Scribus and Stable Diffusion to make it look professional. Not including time costs, which is the relevant part of course, but that’s hobby/recreation time in most cases, art pour l’art.

Economically viable I might be inclined to define as bringing in enough income to support one person full time. (Established companies with payrolls, like KP or C7, necessarily have to shoot higher than this.) Another threshold for success is that you like the version you can find other tables playing it.
 

delericho

Legend
I think the market will essentially split three ways: the vast majority will shift to 2024 5e (either whole-cloth or with some sort of hybrid with 2014); there will be a significant minority of 2014-only holdouts; and there will be "the rest". And while within that grouping there will be a few relative successes, in the grand scheme they will essentially be a rounding error.

(For myself, I backed both "Level Up" and "Tales of the Valiant", but I'm extremely unlikely ever to play either. Instead, both will most likely serve as a toolbox of bits to be incorporated into D&D. Published house rules, if you will. Whether that's 2014 5e, 2024 5e, or indeed if my current campaign turns out to be the end of the road, remains to be seen.)
 

aco175

Legend
I'm guessing that the 5e 2014 will fade away as people get the new 5e 2024 books. I can see the Kobold one being bigger than A5e (no offence). Others might want to see how much room is left before devoting resources that way or just make supplements for one of the others.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Ok, but that is going to vary based upon the creator's needs. Someone who has another income stream and it doing it "for fun" doesn't need to turn a meaningful amount of profit.

For another, who it's their sole source of income my need $50k or $100k profit. Or a small company that has multiple employees might need to gross $1 million a year. That's a pretty big range of commercial sales to define economic viability.
Yeah, I never said anything different. Not only does economic viability vary by creator, it has nothing to do with the quality of the game in question. Some (perhaps most) of the best stuff is made by small creators.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I think the market will essentially split three ways: the vast majority will shift to 2024 5e (either whole-cloth or with some sort of hybrid with 2014); there will be a significant minority of 2014-only holdouts; and there will be "the rest". And while within that grouping there will be a few relative successes, in the grand scheme they will essentially be a rounding error.

(For myself, I backed both "Level Up" and "Tales of the Valiant", but I'm extremely unlikely ever to play either. Instead, both will most likely serve as a toolbox of bits to be incorporated into D&D. Published house rules, if you will. Whether that's 2014 5e, 2024 5e, or indeed if my current campaign turns out to be the end of the road, remains to be seen.)
WotC financial requirements are irrelevant to the rest of the industry, because they are so outsized compared to everyone else. No one can compare, so no one should. That's why I don't care for this talk of "rounding errors": it implicitly denigrated those in the industry who don't have WotC's clout (which is everyone).
 

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