RPG Evolution – 2015 Q3

Hello, and welcome to the last installment of RPG Evolution, at least as you know it.  Things have been a bit crazy here at Games & Stuff over the last few weeks (opening a temporary holiday pop up store will do that) but today I’m here with the Q3 RPG report, albeit a few weeks later than intended. Why do I call it the “last one?” Well, early next year I’ll be launching RPGEvolution.com

You can go visit now although it’s just a placeholder. While I’ll still be doing these quarterly sales breakdowns, I also wanted a platform to discuss the business of roleplaying games in a way that allows me to a bit more freedom. So you’ll be seeing more frequent articles, and covering a wide variety of topics related to the business of RPG retail. Got ideas for me? Shoot me an email at Paul@gamesandstuffonline.com

And with that, let’s get to the numbers:

  1. Dungeons & Dragons (Q2 Rank #1)
  2. Pathfinder (Q2 Rank #1)
  3. Star Wars (Q2 Rank #1)
  4. Shadowrun (Q2 Rank #5)
  5. Dragon Age 
  6. End of the World (Q2 Rank #16)
  7. Feng Shui 
  8. Warhammer 40,000 (Q2 Rank #4)
  9. The One Ring (Q2 Rank #7)
  10. Dresden Files (Q2 Rank #12)
  11. Fantasy Age 
  12. Cyper System 
  13. Iron Kingdoms (Q2 Rank #13)
  14. Legend of the Five Rings (Q2 Rank #17)
  15. Dungeon Crawl Classics (Q2 Rank #6)
  16. Numenera (Q2 Rank #14)
  17. 13th Age (Q2 Rank #9)
  18. Dread (Q2 Rank #18)
  19. Fate (Q2 Rank #10)
  20. The Strange

DragonAgeRulebookBig news this time around is NEW HOTNESS. No less than four entries in the Top 20 that are brand new releases.  Dragon Age, Feng Shui, Fantasy Age and the Cypher System all ranked this time around.
I honestly don’t expect the Cyper System to have much sales longevity, the market is simply too crowded with “generic” systems at the moment. FATE seems to have developed into the go-to, plus Cypher doesn’t have the weight of a Wil Wheaton webseries behind it like Fantasy Age does.

fengshui2_coveAdditionally, most of the sales of the Cypher rulebook seem to have come from Monte Cook Games aficionados, and even Numenera and The Strange seem to be slowing quite a bit. Numenera was an eight units per release line for me, now it’s three. The Strange is even less, thought there’s a steady trickle of catalog sales from both of them. We’ll see.

ShadowrunDataTrailsShadowrun continues to be really strong for me. It’s been very close to eclipsing Star Wars numbers a few times, which is saying something considering there’s a Star Wars movie coming out that you may have heard about. In my store Shadowrun is really benefiting from in store organized play. If you carry Shadowrun, and you don’t currently have somebody running the Shadowrun Missions program in your store, make it happen.

One Ring and 13th Age are both suffering from a lack of releases.  They continue to have strong ongoing catalog sales, but without shiny new books to sell, they’re not gonna crack the Top 10. We’ve got a Gamemaster’s Screen & Resource Book coming for 13th Age, and Horse-lords of Rohan coming for The One Ring, so both lines should see spikes, that last one especially.

That’s it for now, short and sweet. Go make your stores successful this holiday, and I’ll see you in the new year with an all new all different RPGEvolution.com!

-Paul Alexander Butler is the Director of Retail Operations at Games and Stuff.