ICv2's Latest RPG Chart: Pathfinder Up, Fallout Arrives

ICV2's chart of the top TTRPGs for Fall 2021 has landed. As usual, it puts D&D in top place; Pathfinder has reclaimed 2nd place after a dip in Spring 2021, and Goodman Games' D&D 5E line has its own entry coming in at 3rd place, spurred by the 5E version of The Temple of Elemental Evil.

The Aliens RPG has dropped off the chart (it had held 4th place since Fall 2020) and Call of Cthulhu features for the first time since 2016. Finally, Modiphius' Fallout RPG has appeared in 4th place.

fallout.png


As always, the historical charts can all be found compiled here.


Position​
Game Line​
1Dungeons & Dragons (WotC)
2Pathfinder (Paizo)
3D&D 5E (Goodman Games)
4Fallout (Modiphius)
5Call of Cthulhu (Chaosium)

As always, these charts are compiled via interviews with retailers and distributors in North America.

ICv2 also reports that the hobby game channel was up 30% in 2021 as people started to return to brick-and-mortar stores. They also report that a staggering 90%+ of TTRPG groups are playing Dungeons & Dragons, according to Gameology's Kevin Gaffuri. Distributors are reporting, however, that smaller RPGs are up, lifted by D&Ds success.
 
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Jimmy Dick

Adventurer
Not true at all. My local gaming store still has a significant stock of PF1 material. They have more PF1 that 2 on their shelves.
Sorry to hear that. The question is whether or not they're moving that stock. If it is just sitting there month after month, then it is not selling. If anything it is telling us that 1e is over with and that the store should be stocking stuff that does sell. We have a FLGS with a shelf of 1e stuff that is not moving at all. It is all marked down to a decent discount but it just sits there. Meanwhile, we are buying 2e materials and running that for our Pathfinder Society events. We had to move completely over to 2e because no one wanted to play 1e anymore.

There are two other FLGS's in my area and neither one of them carries any 1e material. Why should they when the 1e material is selling pretty cheaply on eBay and other sites? I've had multiple players ask me if there was anyone wanting to buy collections and there is no one wanting them in my area. Instead, they're looking to dump the 1e stuff.
 

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Jimmy Dick

Adventurer
I honestly haven't checked the PF stock at my store in a long time. The last time I checked they had PF2 stuff on the discount rack while PF1 stuff was in the main Paizo section. I think there were a lot of people unhappy with the change in my area (at least initially). I couldn't find a game in the first few months and eventually gave up trying. I still think it is great game, just haven't had a chance to actually play it yet!
This is where the problem is. Some people threw an absolute fit that Paizo would move to a new edition. Some of those people were Organized Play Venture-Officers too. Sadly, they abused their positions and did everything they could to sabotage 2e sales. I felt like this was changing slowly, but then the pandemic hit and completely upended everything. It's time for us to get back into the stores with live play, so how things turn out over the rest of the year will be interesting. In my area, it's 2e and SFS.
 



Staffan

Legend
People rarely find value in having two editions of their game competing for the marketspace. Certainly not enough to keep physical product in print.
The only times I can recall multiple different editions of the same game being around at the same time and being commercially viable, they've all been D&D variants. Hackmaster 4th ed was a AD&D 2e variant with extra everything and was around at the same time as 3e, and by all accounts sold reasonably well. You of course had Pathfinder 1 which (at least at first) was basically 3.5e being simultaneous with 4e. Plus, 13th age as well as various OSR off-shoots keep chugging along.

But other than that, the only times I've seen anything even remotely close have been where the same setting have been offered using highly distinct rule sets. Catalyst published Shadowrun: Anarchy as a more narrative-focused game in the Sixth World. Some games have had adaptions using Savage Worlds. And of course there's been The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-Earth.
 

Glad to see Pathfinder up there, and Call of Cthulhu. Surprised by Fallout only because while I snagged it, it was not being stocked by the local FLGS's otherwise that I could tell, so I thought my interest was a fluke...but its a great game, either way.

An earlier post suggested WotC ought to revise Gamma World and I am in total agreement, now would be a really good time for a GW revival!
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
The only times I can recall multiple different editions of the same game being around at the same time and being commercially viable, they've all been D&D variants. Hackmaster 4th ed was a AD&D 2e variant with extra everything and was around at the same time as 3e, and by all accounts sold reasonably well. You of course had Pathfinder 1 which (at least at first) was basically 3.5e being simultaneous with 4e. Plus, 13th age as well as various OSR off-shoots keep chugging along.

Note those weren't from the same company.

But other than that, the only times I've seen anything even remotely close have been where the same setting have been offered using highly distinct rule sets. Catalyst published Shadowrun: Anarchy as a more narrative-focused game in the Sixth World. Some games have had adaptions using Savage Worlds. And of course there's been The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-Earth.

That's a point, but note those are cases where, effectively, people were trying to fish in different markets.
 

GreyLord

Legend
It tells us a lot. Paizo stopped printing 1e products 3 years ago. The backstocks are almost completely gone. Those sales you see today are almost entirely 2e products. I wouldn't say Pathfinder is just above Goodman Games. This could easily reflect a huge gulf between the #2 and #3 spots.

Did they stop printing the pocket editions then? They WERE printing them more recently than 3 years ago. I got a set of them.

PS: That said, I imagine 2e is outselling 1e at this point simply as it is the new and shiny in comparison.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
Don't forget the much better than 1e part. It is simply a much better edition which improves upon the foundation of its predecessor.

That's inevitably a matter of perception and preference though; the people who really are still in love with the D&D3e chassis have found many things to be dissatisfied with it regarding.

So whether its "better" in some general sense is pretty much impossible to determine without reference to someone's priorities, and how widely spread the particular priorities are--who knows?
 

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