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Top 5 Tabletop RPGs Spring 2021: Cyberpunk Gains!

ICv2 has released its periodic bestseller list of tabletop roleplaying games in the US and Canada for spring 2021. Dungeons & Dragons takes the top spot as it has done every quarter since Summer 2014, R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk displaces Pathfinder as it continues its climb to 2nd place since it first appeared in the chart a year ago, and for the second time ever '5E Compatible' has appeared on...

ICv2 has released its periodic bestseller list of tabletop roleplaying games in the US and Canada for spring 2021. Dungeons & Dragons takes the top spot as it has done every quarter since Summer 2014, R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk displaces Pathfinder as it continues its climb to 2nd place since it first appeared in the chart a year ago, and for the second time ever '5E Compatible' has appeared on the chart, while Alien maintains its position.

Cyberpunk_large.jpg


Position​
Game (Publisher)​
1​
Dungeons & Dragons (WotC)
2​
Cyberpunk (R. Talsorian)
3​
Pathfinder (Paizo)
4​
Alien (Free League)
5​
5E Compatible (Various)

As always I keep a historical record of these charts here.
 

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We had a wider variety of systems that were more readily visible to casual gamers coming in through the D&D gateway drug when Vampire was a solid #2.
Minor point of correction here, but Vampire was not a solid No2 all those years - the whole World of Darkness line was.

One of the reasons, right now why Vampire 5th didn’t take a hold in the top 5, despite three quarters in a row where it did, was that they stumbled along various companies and didn’t manage to supplement the game quickly enough with other WoD titles - Werewolf, Mage, etc in the manner White Wolf did in their heyday.

While Vampire is clearly their major title within the series, what gives them a real market presence is when they have multiple lines all occupying shelf space giving a variety of pulls into the shared setting.

There is also an issue with Renegade Studios taking over from Modiphius in as much as they don’t have international distribution (yet) in any way comparable to Modiphius’ reach. Vampire was, for a while, Modiphius’ best selling line - so if Renegade/Paradox do get themselves sorted out, there is still a big market potential there. It also has an upcoming TV series.
 
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billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
A rather ironic statement, given that Pathfinder was basically D&D 3.75E.
Not at all. It may be a D&D variant, but it isn’t dependent on a company’s good will since the OGL can’t be rescinded, making it, effectively, anybody’s game. Making licensed material of any other game would subject Paizo to that company’s decisions again, and that could have killed them last time.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Great point. What a weird way for them to editorialize what should be raw stats. I assume they don't group all sci-fi or OSR games together, so this turns the entire list into a conversation with D&D.

With the rise of system-engines used in multiple titles, making such groupings may not be the worst way to give an accurate picture of what's going on in the hobby.

Edit to add: the ICv2 rankings are not an industry award, or a measure of game quality, or the like. They are a sales tool, first and foremost. And when trying to inform retailers of what they ought to put on the shelves, such a pattern may be more useful than strictly ranking on individual titles.
 
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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Edit to add: the ICv2 rankings are not an industry award, or a measure of game quality, or the like. They are a sales tool, first and foremost. And when trying to inform retailers of what they ought to put on the shelves, such a pattern may be more useful than strictly ranking on individual titles.
And more, they are just retailers, no? A less and less relevant point of sale for RPGs, near as I can tell. It's too bad we couldn't find a metric that put things like Kickstarter in context because more and more companies (Pinnacle, for example) are using KS as their pre-order system. And how do One Bookshelf and other PDF distributors factor in?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Not at all. It may be a D&D variant, but it isn’t dependent on a company’s good will since the OGL can’t be rescinded, making it, effectively, anybody’s game. Making licensed material of any other game would subject Paizo to that company’s decisions again, and that could have killed them last time.
But that applies to 5E, too, which is OGL
..?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
And more, they are just retailers, no? A less and less relevant point of sale for RPGs, near as I can tell. It's too bad we couldn't find a metric that put things like Kickstarter in context because more and more companies (Pinnacle, for example) are using KS as their pre-order system. And how do One Bookshelf and other PDF distributors factor in?
Pathfinder has no presence on Kickstarter at this time, last I heard: 5E compatible is pretty dominant.
 



Staffan

Legend
The reason why Pathfinder isn’t holding it’s number two spot could be just a matter of Cyberpunk spiking in the one given quarter, but that seems unlikely seeing as Cyberpunk was no.3 last quarter and has moved up again. I think Pathfinder has declined a bit.

The reason I suggest for that is more debatable, but I do think that there is a case that the people who bought Pathfinder 1st edition may have a conservative purchasing tendency to hold on to previous editions, in the same way they did when they chose Pathfinder over the development of D&D4. That is, they didn’t want to give up playing the 3/3.5 D&D (which they see Pathfinder as a continuation of) so they stuck with that. By extension, some fans may be sticking with Pathfinder 1st edition rather than moving on to 2nd edition too - they already have what they want, why buy another edition? I see it as diminishing returns.
There's also the matter that Paizo basically didn't release anything for that quarter, because their adventure path stuff (and many other things, though not everything) was held up in customs. Most of their April, May, and June releases were released to the hobby trade in July, with subscribers (who I don't think ICv2 counts) getting theirs in late June.
 

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