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D&D 5E PHB is #3 right now on "Amazon's Hot New Releases"

Mistwell

Legend
I did say that day was their best day they ever had which was Christmas last year where they were selling 400+ items a second.

No you didn't, you said "To be fair that is a good day but still." I hardly think "best day in the history of the company, during a holiday" is the equivalent of just "a good day", as the later implies it's a lot more common than simply a unique day in history.

2014 has seen about $4.2B in non-electronic book sales for Amazon. 2000 saw about $2.77B in non-electronic book sales for Amazon. That's only a 66% increase in 14 years, and not the massive jump you keep implying by quoting things like total Amazon customers or total Amazon revenue or total Amazon product sales in a day (none of which had anything to do with books in particular).

Now that I have compared the 2000 book sales to the 2014 book sales, and we see they are not even double at this point (for books), do you see what I am getting at when I say 2000 was a good year for Amazon's book sales and therefore number of reviews for a popular book from 2000 shouldn't be simply dismissed due to the year? Sure, their book sales have increased 66% in 14 years, but that has also had 14 years of reviews (they did not all happen in the first month). It's noteworthy that 5e has this many good reviews, this quickly.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
No you didn't, you said "To be fair that is a good day but still." I hardly think "best day in the history of the company, during a holiday" is the equivalent of just "a good day", as the later implies it's a lot more common than simply a unique day in history.

Now that I have compared the 2000 book sales to the 2014 book sales, and we see they are not even double at this point (for books), do you see what I am getting at when I say 2000 was a good year for Amazon's book sales and therefore number of reviews for a popular book from 2000 shouldn't be simply dismissed due to the year?


Customer reviews do not really matter that much either though only sales. Social media did not exist back in 2000/2003 either. People were not talking about D&D on facebook for obvious reasons.

Don't get me wrong I think they have had a good launch but any version of D&D could likely have done the same thing. Mike himself said it was the 1st year that matters and they do not have much in the pipeline it seems not even a FRCS. And there is not a large OGL network either to pick up the slack. That alone will probably mean 5E will not match 3.0 so I do not think there will be a new D&D silver age maybe a bronze age if 5E is reasonably popular.

The dark clouds on the horizon IMHO is how many people will actually play 5E once the honeymoon is over? Tey probably have a better rules system than PF for example but at GenCon more people wanted to play PF than D&D during an anniversary year at an event D&D more or less used to dominate if not invented. More people also seem to be playing 3.5/PF online than 5E as well and right now should be the height of 5Es popularity in the honeymoon period.

4E had a good launch as well and they claimed it was doing better than 3rd ed and we all know how that turned out. Reception has been better for 5E but the pool has also shrunk as well. Morrus interviewed Darcey for example and he estimated D&D now was around 1/3rd the size of 3rd ed. Now one may claim he is biased but we also know the relative size of D&D staff vs Paizo and compared to 3.0or even 4E they had a FRCS type book out very quickly. Hell they had to delay the DMG for 3 weeks.

They made a good version of D&D IMHO, they have lost the network of D&D players that used to exist and IDK if they can rebuild that. The RPGA network seems to have collapsed. They do not have the staff to support D&D like they used to. Adventurers of Elemental Evil or whatever it is called is not exactly a riveting title to get people to fork over money now is it?
 

Mistwell

Legend
Customer reviews do not really matter that much either though only sales.

I disagree. Quality matters, not just quantity. For months now we've heard how some may just buy it as a collector and then not buy anything more, or how all that matters it the long term and initial sales are just hype. But if people who buy the book really like it, like it enough to go give it a 5 star review, that is meaningful. It's not the only meaningful thing, it's not an overriding factor, but it's meaningful. And I don't know why you want to dismiss it, but I don't think it's wise to simply dismiss it.

Social media did not exist back in 2000/2003 either. People were not talking about D&D on facebook for obvious reasons.

Of course social media existed back then, it was just different social media. Blogging was already big, AOL was huge, Usenet was huge (and had a lot of D&D players discussing D&D), then Friendster and MySpace were big. Just because the names have changed (Twitter and Facebook) doesn't mean there wasn't any. And, I still have no idea what this has to do with Amazon reviews.

Don't get me wrong I think they have had a good launch but any version of D&D could likely have done the same thing.

We know that is not true. We know this launch has gone better than the 4e launch. Are you now arguing Amazon was not relevant, social media was not relevant, when 4e launched too? That's what I am talking about here, you're being dismissive, and mixed in there are all these false claims like this one, and the one about Amazon, and about social media, a series of arguments you know are exaggerations to try and diminish the successful launch of 5e. Why?

I do not think there will be a new D&D silver age maybe a bronze age if 5E is reasonably popular.

We shall see, but all I am talking about is where we are right now, not where we will be. Do you have some vested interest in it not doing as well as 3e or something?

The dark clouds on the horizon IMHO is how many people will actually play 5E once the honeymoon is over?

Don't you think more positive reviews in the first month than 4e got in the history of the game is a good sign then for people liking it enough to play it? Not the ONLY sign, but one good sign among many signs out there?

4E had a good launch as well

It never got to #1, or close to #1, on Amazon. It never had this many positive reviews on Amazon, or close to this many positive reviews. It's why people are mentioning it. But you keep acting like those things didn't happen or are not meaningful, unless it's convenient for you to mention "sold well" like you just did. Make up your mind...did 4e launch well, in which case 5e launching HUGELY better than it means something, or did 4e not launch well, in which case why did you mention that factoid?
 

TerraDave

5ever
Don't get me wrong I think they have had a good launch but any version of D&D could likely have done the same thing. .....

4E had a good launch as well and they claimed it was doing better than 3rd ed and we all know how that turned out. ?

Ya, sure, any edition of D&D would have been a number 1 seller. Nothing remotely like that has happened in 30 years, but whatever you say.

Nothing will stop you from repeating this right? It doesn't matter that I have posted actual rankings from 4E and PF, (ie other editions of D&D) and that they are not remotely close to what 5E has done. That we have actually been told, and can infer, ourselves, that 5E has beat that famous number for 3E.

And you, in turn, have no evidence, at all, for what you have been posting (including what you say above about 4E claims). But sure, whatever you say.
 

ZombieRoboNinja

First Post
I think we can all agree that it doesn't actually matter. In terms of continued product support, the question isn't whether the
PHB will be profitable (though it seems like it probably will); it's whether the profit margins of the brand as a whole happen to hit whatever arbitrary goals Hasbro has set for D&D this time around.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Given the selling out on Amazon, and what WOTC has said, It seems reasonable to suppose, barring evidence otherwise, that 5E has outdone that old 3E number.
 


The RPGA network seems to have collapsed. They do not have the staff to support D&D like they used to.
The RPGA was incorporated into WPN and the various 'Living ______' stuff a long time ago, wasn't it? And, that last incarnation, LFR, was cut off by WotC in 2010 or 2012, I think it was, though the guys running it did come through with all the promised adventures through 30th level, surprisingly enough.

Maybe they're regretting that now? AL seems to have picked up pretty quickly in my area, though...
 




Zardnaar

Legend
I disagree. Quality matters, not just quantity. For months now we've heard how some may just buy it as a collector and then not buy anything more, or how all that matters it the long term and initial sales are just hype. But if people who buy the book really like it, like it enough to go give it a 5 star review, that is meaningful. It's not the only meaningful thing, it's not an overriding factor, but it's meaningful. And I don't know why you want to dismiss it, but I don't think it's wise to simply dismiss it.



Of course social media existed back then, it was just different social media. Blogging was already big, AOL was huge, Usenet was huge (and had a lot of D&D players discussing D&D), then Friendster and MySpace were big. Just because the names have changed (Twitter and Facebook) doesn't mean there wasn't any. And, I still have no idea what this has to do with Amazon reviews.



We know that is not true. We know this launch has gone better than the 4e launch. Are you now arguing Amazon was not relevant, social media was not relevant, when 4e launched too? That's what I am talking about here, you're being dismissive, and mixed in there are all these false claims like this one, and the one about Amazon, and about social media, a series of arguments you know are exaggerations to try and diminish the successful launch of 5e. Why?



We shall see, but all I am talking about is where we are right now, not where we will be. Do you have some vested interest in it not doing as well as 3e or something?



Don't you think more positive reviews in the first month than 4e got in the history of the game is a good sign then for people liking it enough to play it? Not the ONLY sign, but one good sign among many signs out there?



It never got to #1, or close to #1, on Amazon. It never had this many positive reviews on Amazon, or close to this many positive reviews. It's why people are mentioning it. But you keep acting like those things didn't happen or are not meaningful, unless it's convenient for you to mention "sold well" like you just did. Make up your mind...did 4e launch well, in which case 5e launching HUGELY better than it means something, or did 4e not launch well, in which case why did you mention that factoid?


Yes I am aware blogs existed back in 2003 along with message boards. THings like youtube, facebok, twitter etc did not so it is easier for word of mouth or whatever to get around.

Also note I am not claiming 5E had a bad launch, all things considered it seems to have had a good one. I just find it funny when people think it has out sold 3E when we know roughly what sales 3rd ed had in its 1st month and how many books it has sold in total. Same thing with TSR ear D&D we know how many books they sold.

Unless things have changed though we do know that 5E is not as popular as 3.5 let alone Pathfinder in online games. We also know more people were playing Pathfinder at GenCOn during a launch event for a convention D&D invented. I'm not arguing it has not sold well but we do not know how well it is actually doping. It seems to have out performed 4E but that is probably not to hard as OD&D seems to be the only version of D&D that has not done that.

We can loo at the size of the D&D staff and the relative lack of upcoming D&D releases. It will be virtually impossible for them to sell more stuff than 3.0 for example because they have no products to sell even if they sell more PHB than 3.0 and there is no OGL support for it like 3.0 back in 2000 where you could buy multiple 3pp adventures and things like the creature catalogue.

THis is why Mearls likely claimed they will know more after a year when follow on products sell as it wiill give a better indication to how well it is actually doing once the curious and the collectors stop buying stuff and the release bubble pops.
 

Lalato

Explorer
My brain is literally melting onto my keyboard as I type this because I simply cannot understand the level of cognitive dissonance on display here. The only way to explain it... is that this is performance art of some kind.
 

GrumpyGamer

First Post
Zardnaar first off please excuse me if I missed the sarcasm tags in your post. Provided that you were being serious I did want to focus on the one point that you brought up that at least looks testable, and that is GenCon play numbers.

We also know more people were playing Pathfinder at GenCOn during a launch event for a convention D&D invented.

5e sold out almost all of their slots and had a very small number of total events. The issue, if there was one, was with supply not with demand.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Zardnaar first off please excuse me if I missed the sarcasm tags in your post. Provided that you were being serious I did want to focus on the one point that you brought up that at least looks testable, and that is GenCon play numbers.



5e sold out almost all of their slots and had a very small number of total events. The issue, if there was one, was with supply not with demand.

I have never claimed 5E has had a bad launch, form the look of it it has been a good one. The only thig I am claiming is using Amazon reviews to claim 5E is doing better than 3E for example is idiotic.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/203659/pc-penetration-per-capita-in-north-america-since-2000/
http://www.statista.com/statistics/203667/pc-penetration-per-capita-in-western-europe-since-2000/
http://www.statista.com/statistics/203677/global-pc-penetration-per-capita-since-2000/

PC use has more or less doubled or tripled in most countries since 2000. Using that logic all things being relative 5E would need to have 2-3 times the reviews of 3E just to be in the same ball park. If they have sold more than 3.0 at 300k in the 1st month that is impressive but we don't know what the actual figures are. Going by the price of the PHB I supsect it is a smaller print run than 3.0 as the huge print run for 3.0 was what let them sell the book at $20 on release or $30 bucks these days instead of $50. If they have been selling 5E at 3.0 numbers with that higher price tag ka ching for WoTC.


 

Mistwell

Legend
Yes I am aware blogs existed back in 2003 along with message boards. THings like youtube, facebok, twitter etc did not so it is easier for word of mouth or whatever to get around.

Again, there was a lot of social media back then, it was just different names for essentially the same communications. MySpace was very big. AOL was big. Friendster was briefly big. Usenet was big. These names are mostly gone now, but back the they held similar positions to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.. People were on the net in 2000. It was not the beginning of being on the net by then, the net was firmly established hence the dot-com boom was peaking then. We all talked about D&D back then using those forms of communication. Just because the names have changed, that doesn't mean the quantity of talk has substantially changed.

Also note I am not claiming 5E had a bad launch, all things considered it seems to have had a good one. I just find it funny when people think it has out sold 3E when we know roughly what sales 3rd ed had in its 1st month and how many books it has sold in total. Same thing with TSR ear D&D we know how many books they sold.

Either Mike Mearls is just a dirty liar for repeatedly saying it's outsold both 3e and 4e for initial sales, or he's telling the truth. You say it's funny - so funny as in suspicious, as in you're calling Mike Mearls a liar, or funny as in haha, as in nobody but you is getting whatever joke you're trying to tell?

Unless things have changed though we do know that 5E is not as popular as 3.5 let alone Pathfinder in online games.

I am not sure why that is relevant to a discussion of sales though. Of course it isn't more popular INSTANTLY in online games, we don't even have the core books yet, the PHB is a month old, and people have not wrapped their prior games.

This is one of those reasons I keep talking about where we are right now, rather than trying to predict where we will be. Number of online games is a "where will we be" sort of question, since it's a given you really can't have more games of a game that isn't even out yet than those games that are already out right now and have been for decades.

We also know more people were playing Pathfinder at GenCOn during a launch event for a convention D&D invented.

Same argument as above. It was not the launch event for the core rules - we still have not had that. It was the launch of the first book. So all you could really have is games sponsored directly by WOTC. It's a silly argument to be making.

I'm not arguing it has not sold well but we do not know how well it is actually doping. It seems to have out performed 4E but that is probably not to hard as OD&D seems to be the only version of D&D that has not done that.

WOTC repeatedly said the initial sales of 4e outsold 3e. Indeed they painted a pretty specific picture of how each version has outdone the last in sales, however it's not catching the size of the market they think it could catch relative to other geek-oriented activities out there, hence the new edition was a concern over total market share of all geek related activities and not market share of D&D players. I will ask you again - are you calling them liars?

You do seem to be saying it's not selling well with this series of arguments and exaggerations you've made. You put a caveat in, and then you argue against the caveat as if the caveat makes it "Okay" to then go on to diminish every achievement 5e has accomplished so far (like #1 best seller, disproportionate number of positive reviews relative to other editions, etc..).

We can loo at the size of the D&D staff and the relative lack of upcoming D&D releases. It will be virtually impossible for them to sell more stuff than 3.0 for example because they have no products to sell even if they sell more PHB than 3.0 and there is no OGL support for it like 3.0 back in 2000 where you could buy multiple 3pp adventures and things like the creature catalogue.

This is just yet one more method of you trying to diminish WOTC. First, I don't care how many third parties sell D&D stuff, that's a totally different topic. Second, the idea that Paizo's total staff is somehow representative of prior WOTC D&D staff is flawed - show me where that is a good example of staff size? Their team is a pretty good size team relative to prior teams and RPGs in general. Yes, it's smaller than Paizo's team, but that doesn't mean they cannot sell as many products as they sold for 3e (the two facts are not really connected).

THis is why Mearls likely claimed they will know more after a year when follow on products sell as it wiill give a better indication to how well it is actually doing once the curious and the collectors stop buying stuff and the release bubble pops.

And there is another series of snarky cheap shots at WOTC, claiming sales are from the curious and collectors and that releases are "bubble pops".

So let's cut the BS Zard - is there a different version of D&D that you prefer? Is there bitterness there over something WOTC did that is lasting with you? What is coloring your perception that you feel the need to take cheap shots and diminish every accomplishment WOTC makes right now?
 

Gundark

Explorer
The owner of my FLGS (I'm in the UK) was telling me that he surprised at how well the PHB has been selling. "I can't keep them on the shelf" were his words. Although, of course, this is just one case; sales could be highly variable by region/store.

The various LGS I have been visiting suggest that the PHB has been selling very well. I haven't heard to the contrary.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Again, there was a lot of social media back then, it was just different names for essentially the same communications. MySpace was very big. AOL was big. Friendster was briefly big. Usenet was big. These names are mostly gone now, but back the they held similar positions to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.. People were on the net in 2000. It was not the beginning of being on the net by then, the net was firmly established hence the dot-com boom was peaking then. We all talked about D&D back then using those forms of communication. Just because the names have changed, that doesn't mean the quantity of talk has substantially changed.



Either Mike Mearls is just a dirty liar for repeatedly saying it's outsold both 3e and 4e for initial sales, or he's telling the truth. You say it's funny - so funny as in suspicious, as in you're calling Mike Mearls a liar, or funny as in haha, as in nobody but you is getting whatever joke you're trying to tell?



I am not sure why that is relevant to a discussion of sales though. Of course it isn't more popular INSTANTLY in online games, we don't even have the core books yet, the PHB is a month old, and people have not wrapped their prior games.

This is one of those reasons I keep talking about where we are right now, rather than trying to predict where we will be. Number of online games is a "where will we be" sort of question, since it's a given you really can't have more games of a game that isn't even out yet than those games that are already out right now and have been for decades.



Same argument as above. It was not the launch event for the core rules - we still have not had that. It was the launch of the first book. So all you could really have is games sponsored directly by WOTC. It's a silly argument to be making.



WOTC repeatedly said the initial sales of 4e outsold 3e. Indeed they painted a pretty specific picture of how each version has outdone the last in sales, however it's not catching the size of the market they think it could catch relative to other geek-oriented activities out there, hence the new edition was a concern over total market share of all geek related activities and not market share of D&D players. I will ask you again - are you calling them liars?

You do seem to be saying it's not selling well with this series of arguments and exaggerations you've made. You put a caveat in, and then you argue against the caveat as if the caveat makes it "Okay" to then go on to diminish every achievement 5e has accomplished so far (like #1 best seller, disproportionate number of positive reviews relative to other editions, etc..).



This is just yet one more method of you trying to diminish WOTC. First, I don't care how many third parties sell D&D stuff, that's a totally different topic. Second, the idea that Paizo's total staff is somehow representative of prior WOTC D&D staff is flawed - show me where that is a good example of staff size? Their team is a pretty good size team relative to prior teams and RPGs in general. Yes, it's smaller than Paizo's team, but that doesn't mean they cannot sell as many products as they sold for 3e (the two facts are not really connected).



And there is another series of snarky cheap shots at WOTC, claiming sales are from the curious and collectors and that releases are "bubble pops".

So let's cut the BS Zard - is there a different version of D&D that you prefer? Is there bitterness there over something WOTC did that is lasting with you? What is coloring your perception that you feel the need to take cheap shots and diminish every accomplishment WOTC makes right now?

Mearls had said contradictory statements though and he has been very careful how he has worded things. IIRC he claimed 4E for example sold well initially but only compared it to D&D he or WoTC had seen so it is unclear if he is comparing :):):) to 3.0, 3.5 or 3rd ed overall and he did not compare it to something like the original boxed set. He also did not answer when asked a direct question about why make 5E if 4E sold so well. He was also made it clear initial sales do not matter as much but wait a year. Ex WoTC staffers in recent interviews on this site have also recounted things like Mearls asking Monte to come and save D&D again. I don't think Mearls is being dishonest but he is limited to what he can say by the higher ups and he has to put the best foot forward so to speak. I don't know if he is counting the starter box either which had a very cheap buy in price ($13 on Amazon) so that is something to consider as there may be an overlap of people who bought the boxed set and PHB.

Other sources such as Monte Cook, Ryan Dancey and Sharon Applecine have also been very clear on how much of an impact 3.0 had on release. If WoTC has managed to outsell 3.0 that is great for them. Its clear 5E has had a better launch than 4E, 3.5 I'm just not sure about 3.0. I guess we will know more in a year or two.

How has its reception been on the round in the USA? DOes it feel like more people are playing it than 3.0?
 

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