D&D 5E Why is WoTc still pushing AP's when the majority of gamers want something else?

Tony Vargas

Legend
D&D *currently* stands head & shoulders above the rest of the hobby.
'Currently,' and for virtually the entire time it's been in print. It's the 400lb gorilla of the industry.
It wasn't that long ago
A quarter in 2010, a few in 2011-12
it was #2 (just prior and immediately after Essentials).
Essentials. Even the announcement of it had a chilling effect. But, yeah, it's a familiar tune: IcV2 was the be-all and end-all of statistics when it showed PF out-selling the odd trailing supplement and ill-advised re-boot for a bad quarter or few before D&D went on hiatus entirely (and conveniently ignoring DDI subscriptions), but never mind it trailing those same statistics in it's initial release (traditionally an RPGs strongest sales), and when the natural order re-asserts itself it's all "what about on-line sales...what about subscribers?" ;P

D&D apparently can sell <100,000 copies.
Supplements, sure. 100k is, I admitted, ambitious for that given the size of the hobby and the relative lack of appeal of non-core product.
 
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Tony Vargas

Legend
4 years, dude. Not just a bad quarter. Fall 2010 -> Fall 2014.
It went back and forth until D&D just walked away in winter 2012, so those last two years were just no contest, and the first two were just some quarters.

And, seriously, the dominance of D&D was challenged by what? An outright clone of D&D.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It went back and forth until D&D just walked away in winter 2012, so those last two years were just no contest, and the first two were just some quarters.

And, seriously, the dominance of D&D was challenged by what? An outright clone of D&D.

I'm not making an argument. Just providing the correct figures. I agree that the top spot has been held by a version of D&D since that period in the 90s where White Wolf held it.

Winter 2012 is not accurate. Pathfinder took the top spot in Q2 2011 and held it until Q4 2014, four consecutive years give or take a quarter. It had a one-quarter tie previously back in 2010, which I wasn't even bothering to count.
 
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Tony Vargas

Legend
I agree that the top spot has been held by a version of D&D since that period in the 90s where White Wolf held it.
The period between the collapse of TSR and release of 3.0... and, of course, the history of the industry before that period, as well.

But, in a sense, that 'loss' was much more significant, since Storyteller billed itself as a sort of antithesis of D&D, rather than being an outright clone of it like PF.

Winter 2012 is not accurate. Pathfinder took the top spot in Q2 2011 and held it until Q4 2014. It had a one-quarter tie previously back in 2010.
I thought PF had 'won' a quarter in 2010, and that it stayed close, thereafter*, trading back and forth? Not that D&D put out many books at all, compared to PF at the time nor D&D in 2008-9, in 20011-12.





*Obviously, only while the two were both in print. PF had the field uncontested for two solid years.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The period between the collapse of TSR and release of 3.0... and, of course, before that period, as well.

Correct.

I thought PF had 'won' a quarter in 2010, and that it stayed close, thereafter, trading back and forth? Not that D&D put out many books at all compared to PF or 2008-9 in 20011-12.

I linked you to the historical charts, above. There's was no trading back and forth for four years.

I'm sensing some sort of ... defensiveness? Sorry, man. I'm just giving you the data. I don't have any Hasbro or Paizo shares. :)
 


Which was the bit you disagreed with? "Exorbitant", "cynical", or "closest analogy"? Three different statements you quoted there.

I'm guessing from the context, it was the word "exorbitant" you disagree with? Then I very much disagree, which is why I have not published there. That, plus the rights issue, and the predatory exclusivity issues.

Anyway, that's not the comparison. It's not one OBS store with another OBS store. It's 50% vs. 0% if you sold it yourself via the OGL. Now, I'd agree that whether 50% with fairly draconian terms (exclusivity, full rights granting) is worth it compared to the expected audience is a decision for a given publisher to make. It's a value choice.

That doesn't make it not a cynical move.
It pretty much was just "exorbitant".

It can't be that bad, as WOIN is published through DriveThru, rather than something like Amazon CreateSpace or Lulu...
So 65% is fine but 50% is "exorbitant"? ;)
(I doubt WotC is going to selling for just 10%; OBS' cut is likely going down from 35% down to maybe 25%, so they're probably also making less money with each DMsG sale compared to a regular DTRPG sale...)

It's really only 0% if you can set something up yourself. But that just moves the fees elsewhere.

Patreon has made that easier, but I'm sure they have service fees as well. And unless you can produce regular content and have a name & reputation, Patreon isn't going to get you much.
Setting up your own website would also have a pretty steep cost. Couple hundred a year: likely far more than most small publishers end up earning.
The most barebones you can go is to set-up a Google sites or Facebook page with a PayPal link to sell your own content; but then you have to personally send out the files rather than have any automation. And you need to work that much harder to raise awareness of your site and product. Advertising suddenly becomes a factor.

Going through Amazon/KDP, Paizo, or OBS is all pretty similar in terms of rates. So it comes down to 50% or 65% really.

If someone is okay with losing 15% for increased visibility and easier legality then it's hardly "exorbitant". And if you're playing in the Realms or Ravenloft, it really comes down to $0 vs non-$0.
My best-selling DMsGuild product is Heroes of the Mists. I spent months working on it thinking, when it was done, I was going to only give it away. As an almost Platinum product (and one of the most pricey non-Adventurer's League products in either Gold or Platinum) that 15% is a fair bit of money. But I could never charge for it before.
Now, my Traps and Diseases & Poisons books are also selling quite well. I could have made some extra $$ making them generic products. Of course, prior to the Guild they were free on my website... so I'm still ahead there. But I'm confident they'd be far less visible on the DriveThruRPG side of things. There's a lot more competition with other game systems, making it harder to be noticed. I've sold over 500 copies of those (Gold) and would have made the same money after 385-ish sales on just DriveThru. The question for me is if being on the Guild has led to an extra 115 sales? Maybe...? I like to think so.
 

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