Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top 10 Games of 2012 (The CCG Boom)

Here are our top selling games of 2012, year to date, with our top 2011 games next to it:

2012 2011
1 Magic Magic
2 Yu-Gi-Oh Yu-Gi-Oh
3 Warhammer 40K Warhammer 40K
4 Pathfinder Pathfinder
5 Warmachine Fantasy Flight Games
6 Fantasy Flight Games Warhammer Fantasy
7 Cardfight Vanguard Dungeons & Dragons
8 Pokemon Rio Grande
9 Rio Grande Mayfair Games
10 Munchkin  Munchkin 

Our top four games remain steady, but we found a few interesting trends.
  • Dungeons & Dragons is not on the chart this year (it's #15), as it goes through its play test period for the next couple years. Summer of 2014 is supposedly when D&D Next releases. There are some very good system neutral releases for D&D this year, especially the Elminster's Forgotten Realms book by Ed Greenwood (just finished reading that) and the new Menzoborenzen drow book. System neutral books are a lot like independent films, critically acclaimed but rarely profitable. Players want their crunch. Still, these two are worth picking up, even if you no longer play D&D.
  • Warmachine makes the chart for the first time without being lumped in with slower selling Hordes (Hordes is #11 this year while it was #25 in 2011). Lumped with Hordes, Warmahordes, as the kids call it, would be slightly below Warhammer 40K. That's more about how 40K is sucking, rather than vindication for Privateer Press. You may have noticed that Warhammer Fantasy has dropped off the chart. You will find some of those WFB players on our Warmahordes nights. Our Warmachine crowd is rabid excited about their game. 
  • Cardfight Vanguard and Pokemon have seen the same energy we've seen from Magic and Yugioh. I was skeptical of Vanguard, after being burned repeatedly by the CCG alternative crowd, but not only is it on our top ten list, it's beating Pokemon, a game we've slowly been building up over years. Pokemon suffers from a poor margin and ridiculously poor tournament support from Pokemon USA. It would be doing much better otherwise. Vanguard was only able to become successful for us when our mainstream distributors picked it up. As an expensive import, it started as more of a place holder than a profitable game, with a very low margin, a poor supply chain and no support. Yugioh acts as a kind of "feeder" game for Vanguard players, who tend to be older and looking for a new challenge. That successor game is not Magic.
  • Board games may look like they're being pushed down the list, but board game sales this year are up 16% for us. They're just spread out and slightly off camera. Days of Wonder is doing well for us, Bandai has entered the scene strongly, and Asmodee and Whiz Kids are putting out strong games this year.
 As usual, the disclaimer holds that this is one store. We're the only store in a large area with eclectic interests, so we tend to be a good sample of what's being played in our region. There are no stores locally playing games we don't have, for example. I would love to hear comments from other store owners about whether this jives with their sales and what's working for them.

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