What Game or Publisher Would You Have Be Market leader


Well, that was fun
Staff member
I guess I’d ask what you mean by “lead” the industry.

I guess the primary effect of a single game dominating the industry is that all the third party stuff uses it, and (some) people find that frustrating. But that would happen whatever the big game is.

Other than that… I don’t see anybody “leading” the thriving indie RPG scene. We’re getting a dizzying array of games these days which I’d say are unprecedented.

So… I guess my answer is that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t really mean anything other than that one game is more popular than others.

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I'm going to say WotC and D&D, but not because they are "deserving" or something.

Being market leader has implications and impacts on business practices and game design. I can't think of another company or game that would be improved by those implications.
I'd add to this that 5e with its "happy meal design" on the players side so you have a menu and most players can find something adequate while the whole game is trying for the middle of the RPG space on most things other than production values is an excellent choice.

I may consider Apocalypse World a better game - but it's far spicier and far more people would bounce off.

Thomas Shey

That's another part of the gig, of course; most games I like are not necessarily things I suspect most people would engage with easily. The only one that comes to mind that might be okay there is Savage Worlds.


I do wonder what the TTRPG scene would look like if some other game, even from the present day, had been the "prime mover" in the market as first TTRPG other than D&D, but I think that is a separate question from what this thread is posing.

Greg K

I agree with those that wrote, instead of one 800 lb gorilla, multiple 400lb gorrillas would be better.
My list of companies that I want to see with a bigger share of the pie includes:

Ad Infinitum (Icons: Assembled RPG), Pinnacle Entertainment (Savage Worlds), Basic Action Games (BASH!, Honor + Intrigue), Beyond Belief Games (Barbarians of Lemuria: Legendary Edition), Gallant Knight Games (Tinyd6) and Fat Goblin Games (Stranger Stuff, Teenage Witchcraft), Green Ronin (AGE System), Lakeside Games (Black Star, Magnum Fury), Spectrum Games (Cartoon Action Hour, Retrostar, Slasher Flick). If either Margaret Weiss or Magic Vacuum still owned Cortex Plus, I would add them to the list.

OSR games: Barrel Rider Games (Hero's Journey), Goblinoid Games (Labyrinth Lord), Mythmere Games (Sword & Wizardry Whitebox), Necrotic Gnome (Old School Essentials), Old Skull Publishing (Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells), Runehammer (EZd6), Seattle Hills Games (Whitebox), Sine Nomine

d20/3e/5e: Crafty Games* (Fantasy Craft, Spycraft), Rogue Genius, Green Ronin* (True20), Schwalb Entertainment (SOTDL)
*if they were still supporting the games.
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Tony Vargas

I'm imagining going back in time and saving the lives of a few teen suicides, leaving D&D obscure outside of War gaming circles and, butterfly-effecting away the career of Tom Hanks (whoops). I guess Jack Chick would have to be deflected from his dark path, as well.

TSR stays small, Gygax never goes to Hollywood, it's not taken over or used to sell novels, there's never a red box, etc.

The most likely games to break out into the mainstream would be liscenced, but without D&D revenues to point to, do any get done?

Also, they'd just be extra nerdy bits of the corresponding fandoms

Let's go with Storyteller. Vampire the Masquerade breaking out. Interview with the Vampire did and Vampires stayed big for a long while.
White wolf might be miffed that everyone outside the hobby calls it Vampire instead of Storyteller, but it becomes a household name and dominates the StoryGamng hobby, as the first STG. RPGs are remembered as the new trend's roots.


Front Range Warlock
HarnMaster, Runequest, or Tekumel (Bethorm, I guess, since that's the most current and best realized version of Tekumel). I love all of these games, so it'd be a tough call between the three, but they all offer a fairly unique fantasy experience compared to the meat and potatoes fantasy that is D&D. I'd be thrilled if any one of the three suddenly became popular outside of their current niches, let alone market leaders.

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