Top Games Played On FG In 2018: D&D, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds

Fantasy Grounds has sent me over some graphs showing the top games played on its virtual tabletop platform throughout the whole of 2018. Unsurprisingly, the top three are D&D 5th Edition (67%), Pathfinder (12%), and Savage Worlds (5%). These are followed by Starfinder, D&D 3.5, Call of Cthulhu, D&D 4E, Star Wars, then Pathfinder 2. The figures are much the same as we've seen previously, with an increase by Starfinder and the appearance of Pathfinder 2 from July.

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Previous stats: 2016 | 2017
 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Mistwell

Hero
I must admit that now I am curious about how often you get paid to playtest something and how I too can get on to that lucrative playtesting bandwagon?
Try Cardboard Junkie, Game Designers Clubhouse, The Game Crafter, and Indie Game Alliance. Also, when my wife was more active in writing for Geek Mom / Geek Dad, we used to be sent playtest copies of games and she was paid for the article/video of the playtest.
 

Leif

Adventurer
Can anyone tell me what relation this fantasy grounds survey has to actual overall popularity of various games?
 

Jacob Lewis

The One with the Force
Can anyone tell me what relation this fantasy grounds survey has to actual overall popularity of various games?
It is the actual overall popularity of various games played using Fantasy Grounds. Nothing more. Nothing less.
 

imagineGod

Explorer
Great news for Hasbro, who owns Wizards of the Coast, and thus, the Dungeons and Dragons property. Sadly, almost all other game designers and authors not writing material for D&D5e might as well pack up and find new careers, for they will soon not be able to make a living outside the shadow of WoTC.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Great news for Hasbro, who owns Wizards of the Coast, and thus, the Dungeons and Dragons property. Sadly, almost all other game designers and authors not writing material for D&D5e might as well pack up and find new careers, for they will soon not be able to make a living outside the shadow of WoTC.
That's not even slightly true. Plenty are managing just fine.
 

dave2008

Hero
Great news for Hasbro, who owns Wizards of the Coast, and thus, the Dungeons and Dragons property. Sadly, almost all other game designers and authors not writing material for D&D5e might as well pack up and find new careers, for they will soon not be able to make a living outside the shadow of WoTC.
If you look the other games haven't gone down in numbers, it is just that 5e is enjoying most of the growth. So if they were making money before, they could still be making it now.
 

Leif

Adventurer
It is the actual overall popularity of various games played using Fantasy Grounds. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I understand that. But what percentage of the total frpg market uses Fantasy Grounds?

That's not even slightly true. Plenty are managing just fine.
That's reassuring. Thanks for that. So success on Fantasy Grounds is not necessary for a(n) frpg to be successful?
 

dave2008

Hero
Well, 5e has a legitimately well designed and strong ruleset, helped by mostly fun and well written adventures and supplemental products,
Yes, but I think all of that could be said of 4e as well.

and also helped by streams and Critical Role. Sometimes, marketing can only go so far.
Yes, this is mostly what I was think of as marketing. Thought it has also been in the much more mainstream media as well.
 

M.L. Martin

Adventurer
So for the year it looks like 5e has about a 23% increase, PF has about a 12% decrease, Savage Worlds had about a 5% increase, and Starfinder has about a 8.5% decrease.
Note that Savage Worlds surged to its highest point of the year in December--just after the Adventure Edition went live. I expect it to continue relatively strong in the new year.
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
Can anyone tell me what relation this fantasy grounds survey has to actual overall popularity of various games?
Well, not really, but their is at least some things that can be inferred. Generally if a system grows or declines on FG, then it is probably growing or declining in the larger market. BUT, maybe not... (see below)

I understand that. But what percentage of the total frpg market uses Fantasy Grounds?
Unknown. We don't even know what percentage of the VTT market FG has, and even less of an idea of much of the RPG market uses VTTs.

WotC posted a number of players sometime last year, but I can't remember the number so I won't guess. The only thing I fairly reliably remember from it was that females made up something like 40%.

That's reassuring. Thanks for that. So success on Fantasy Grounds is not necessary for a(n) frpg to be successful?
Absolutely.

There are many factors that influence the use of a specific system/ruleset on FG. One of those is how much content is available for that system withing FG, i.e. a dedicated ruleset and DLC. Another is like within any small community, a few people can make a "large" influence, by bringing in their friends and growing organically.

One system that benefits from both a strong ruleset/available DLC and an organic community is Savage Worlds. SW has an excellent community developed and maintained ruleset, and a bunch of licensed DLC that can be bought and used within FG. So, it's probably safe to say that Savage Worlds does not equal 5% of the general RPG market even though it does on FG.

There are other systems that have good community rulesets that are probably over represented (AD&D, DSA, CoC, C&C...) but other than knowing they have good rulesets and active users in FG, I don't have anything to compare to. On the flip side, WOIN has a ruleset on FG, but it's numbers don't show up because they are too small few. How that correlates to other WOIN sales/use would be up to ENWorld to elaborate on if appropriate.
 

damned

Villager
Can anyone tell me what relation this fantasy grounds survey has to actual overall popularity of various games?
Its a fairly good representation of 5E and Pathfinder numbers and market share.
Beyond those two the popularity of specific games varies considerably against say the numbers Roll20 post.
They are the only 2 places Im aware of that really post any statistically significant numbers/share of games.

As has been mentioned - there is 5E and then there is everything else.
And Pathfinder takes a big chunk of the everything else.
And other versions of D&D takes another large chunk of the everything else too.

There is indeed relatively slim pickings for everyone else - however the market as a whole continues to grow and there are definitely other systems and publishers making a reasonable go at things.
 

dave2008

Hero
I understand that. But what percentage of the total frpg market uses Fantasy Grounds?


That's reassuring. Thanks for that. So success on Fantasy Grounds is not necessary for a(n) frpg to be successful?

What do you mean by successful? The market share on FG and the overall market could be the same, but an RPG with low share could still be making money and thus "successful" For example, if the Call of Cthulhu numbers on FG reflect the overall market (assume 15 million players for 5e per Wotc), that would men CoC has 350,000+ players. That could easily be enough to be successful.
 
I'll have to agree with @dave2008 about 'success'. There could be a niche system with a very dedicated fan base of 10,000 players, developed by 1 person or a small team, that can/could be successful within it's market. It might never even be sold internationally, or in the English language, but it would be successful.


Going back to previous comments about the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Playtest: PF2 (playtest) was/is a ruleset that Paizo put out to stress test the system. Paizo was very clear that they were exaggerating the system changes and trying some very out there ideas to see if they would even work in the whole system. I've always been a fan of Paizo and Pathfinder, and I feel once PF2 is ready for release next August at GenCon that it will share little with the PF2 playtest.

Not only that but during the playtest they published ~6 major updates that changes things from Death and dying to proficiency numbers, and a final Twitch stream/YouTube blog with the Lead Designer (Jason Bulmahn) announced: Removal of Resonance (a sort of magic item resource), updated DC tables for difficult, updated proficiency, etc.
And it being a playtest, with goals of stress testing. Paizo did limit content (to ensure coverage of test data) and thus causing the limited advancement options. I'm looking forward to PF2, it's not going to be a perfect system, but what is?
 

Leif

Adventurer
Well, not really, but their is at least some things that can be inferred. Generally if a system grows or declines on FG, then it is probably growing or declining in the larger....
Thanks for your response. That's about what I thought, but it needed to be spelled out in detail for the good of the ENWorld community, so thanks again.
 

DerKastellan

Villager
I'll have to agree with @dave2008 about 'success'. There could be a niche system with a very dedicated fan base of 10,000 players, developed by 1 person or a small team, that can/could be successful within it's market. It might never even be sold internationally, or in the English language, but it would be successful.
Most European markets have D&D as second or third or worse contender, like Ulysses had cornered most of the German market with The Dark Eye like D&D the American.

The US market is very focused but also very big. You can support an indie game around 150 backers. Of course living off of it is different. As long as the hobby market lives, diversity will live.
 

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