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ICv2 Reports Disappointing Year For Hobby Games Channel: TTRPGs Down, D&D Declines 30%

2023 was a tough year for hobby game sales.


According to ICv2, 2023 was a tough year for hobby game sales. The US and Canada market increased by just 1%, which was less than the rate of inflation, growing from $2.86 billion in 2022 to $2.89 billion in 2023.

The hobby game sales channel is defined as specialist game and card stores--it doesn't include Amazon, direct sales, etc. It does include Kickstarter.

Top Hobby Channel TTRPGs (2023)
  1. Dungeons & Dragons (WotC)
  2. Pathfinder (Paizo)
  3. Cyberpunk Red (R. Talsorian)
  4. World of Darkness (Renegade Game Studios)
  5. Starfinder (Paizo)
  6. Warhammer 40K (Cubicle 7)
  7. Marvel Multiverse Roleplaying (Marvel)
  8. Kobold 5E Books (Kobold Press)
  9. Call of Cthulhu (Chaosium)
  10. Pirate Borg (Free League)
The only two categories to grow in 2023 were collectibles and miniatures. All other categories--board games, card games, and roleplaying games--were down. ICv2 reports a 30% hobby store sales decline for Dungeons & Dragons specifically, citing the impending new edition and lackluster movie performance, and the tail end of a pandemic-fuelled high; they also report that while the OGL crisis of last year impacted some lifestyle gamers, newer players as a whole were oblivious to the situation. The other important element ICv2 mentioned was D&D's increasing move to digital, which impacted retail sales.

Older D&D players, says ICv2, are also migrating to other games, with Pathfinder as one of the major beneficiaries.

The last 6 years has seen much larger growth rates--partly fuelled by the pandemic--ranging from 10% to 30%. 2022 saw a 7% growth over 2021. Despite the small increase, 2023 represents the 15th year of growth for the overall market. ICv2 does predict a market decline in 2024, though.

ICv2 conducts periodical surveys and speaks to publishers, distributors, and retailers, along with publicly available company information and Kickstarter data.

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Doors and Corners
30% hobby store sales decline for Dungeons & Dragons and Older D&D players, are also migrating to other games - Yep this 100% makes sense, the peak is over and the fad is dispensing, the foundational fanbase severely alienated and dispersed thanks to mean spirited spite and venom from wotc.
Oh, please. WTF. 90% of the marketplace doesn't know or care about what WOTC does or hasn't done. They don't know nothing except that D&D is synonymous with RPGs and RPGs are fun and, if you want to get a game together easily and quickly, D&D is the way to go.

It's only people like us who thrive on forums and such who know anything about the shenanigans of WOTC and we are a very, very small minority. I mean, what's the population of this board? Let's say 10,000. If there are 10,000,000 D&D players, we're 0.1% of the player population and even some of US don't give a crap about what WOTC does or doesn't do.

Ain't nobody severely alienated except diehard RPGs like SOME of us. And even then, if the threads on ENWorld are any indication, those are a tiny sliver of members.

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
On the other hand, if you follow Dungeons & Dragons on Facebook, it's a rare post they make where the OGL or Pinkertons aren't mentioned.

The evidence suggests that, while it might be a minority that cares about such things, it's not exactly a secret to the wider world. Following a brand on Facebook is a much less hardcore thing than being an active ENWorld user is: The D&D Facebook page has 868,000 followers. @dndwizards on Instagram has 435k.


Emphasis mine.

No one is talking about morality. The question is do you want a retail shop? If so, you need to realize retail shops have extra expenses that means they charge more than Amazon. People confused why the FLGS can't match Amazon prices are not thinking it through. If this isn't you, then the posts weren't aimed at you.
Depends. Is it a good retail shops or another half ass one I've seen over the years. Does it provide me with reasons to shop there? Reasons to frequent the shop, other then carrying product? Does it bring any value to my interests in the hobby?

Because just being a FLGS really doesnt. Once upon a time I use to shop at a really good one, all my stuff there. But then the original owner sold it to others and they stopped doing many things the previous one did and really didn't have any value anymore to me.

Its been 25 years since I had a good one. Online is just easier and gives me everything just about I need. Including finding other groups and players.

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