Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall Role Playing Sales

I did one of these for Summer a couple months ago, but here's how things are going for Fall. I was inspired by ICV2 numbers that showed Pathfinder tied with Dungeons & Dragons for first place. As for ICV2, their numbers rarely reflect my reality and their methods are far from scientific, and they don't include the mass market, where D&D is stronger, and they've never asked me what I sell, but I think you can generally get a picture of what's going on at a lot of stores. In other words, I give it the authority of cocktail party chatter; something worthy to take note of, but I wouldn't invest in it. Take note new game store owners. Just chatter.

Top 10 Role-Playing Sales
  1. Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide
  2. Pathfinder RPG: Core Rules
  3. Dark Sun Campaign Setting
  4. D&D Ess Heroes Of The Fallen Land
  5. D&D Fantasy RPG Box Set
  6. Warhammer 40k: Deathwatch
  7. Pathfinder RPG: Bestiary
  8. D&D Essentials Rules Compendium
  9. Legends Of Anglerre
  10. Rogue Trader: Into the Storm
What strikes me are the sales for the Pathfinder Core Rules. They're once again sitting at the number two position, after the hot book of the period (another Pathfinder book). As I've mentioned in a previous post, 64% of our Pathfinder sales are from their five core products (I'm including the GM's screen).

But is Pathfinder our number one game? I believe it was for a short time, just as Essentials was hitting. I made a grand pronouncement on Facebook that Pathfinder had hit our number one spot. That may have been premature. That was before I crunched these numbers and realized Dungeons & Dragons Essentials has been hitting them out of the park, and although Paizo is sitting at top positions on the chart, Essentials has re-invigorated the D&D line. It has been a mini re-release of D&D, adding new players to the game and inspiring the base. I've been selling Essentials products to teenagers lately, new gamers, something I haven't done much of in several years. 

Top 5 Role-Playing Games

  1. Dungeons & Dragons
  2. Pathfinder
  3. 40K RPG/Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader
  4. Legends of Anglerre 
  5. Dresden Files RPG
The question: does D&D Essentials have staying power or is this a blip on our radar? There's a lot of player grumbling about Essentials, but grumbling about your game is 36% of all player activity, followed by lamenting the prices (12%) and cursing game designers for heresy (9%). Kidding.

What interests me about the numbers is the continued success of FATE based games. Anglerre, Dresden, Spirit, Starblazers, and now Diaspora lock in FATE as a popular system, not just popular in indie circles. Honestly, if you put out a book with a FATE logo on the cover, I will buy a bunch, I can't say that about a Pathfinder or D&D compatible product. Compatible D&D products are tarnished for at least a generation.

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