D&D sales now *third* behind Pathfinder and…

ICv2’s latest rankings of retail gaming sales is out, and the news is grim indeed for Wizards of the Coast.

Not only are they once again being bested for RPG sales by Pathfinder, but now FFG’s Star Wars RPG has apparently overtaken them as well. The Pathfinder thing is old news; they’ve been beating 4E regularly for quite some time now. The Star Wars thing is new, though, and I think D&D’s weakness in the retail sector is driven largely by the perception that 4E is a lame duck, with everyone holding off major buying until 5E (DnD Next) comes out.

Sure, Magic: The Gathering is still undisputed king of collectible card games, and is their cash cow in the same way that Munchkin is for Steve Jackson Games, but D&D is a prestige title and it can’t help but be embarrassing for them to be beaten consistently by a company they fired from publishing their D&D house organ…

Overall, though, the picture seems bright for the hobby gaming industry as a whole. Sales are up, new stores are opening, and more people are playing. Which is a good thing, regardless of what they’re playing.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

10 thoughts on “D&D sales now *third* behind Pathfinder and…

  1. Edge of the Empire must have a glut of pre-orders, it's not out till April. I saw the ad and I'm not impressed with its fancy dice system, much like what was done to WHFRPG. Meh.

  2. Not sure how this is could be a surprise seeing as they have announced that 4e is now "done" and they are working on 5e.

    I mean what is the sales records of TSR 1985 products compared to Pathfinder…

  3. There was a beta rulebook available for a while from FFG and then the beginner set came out towards Xmas.

    As far as D&D remember that they haven't published any 4E since August of 2012. I'm assuming this is either existing product or the 3.5 reprints & Ed Greenwood's Realms book – pretty slim pickings for the latter part of the year.

  4. That's not quite accurate, Blacksteel. They've put out some of those dungeon tile sets, some dungeon command miniatures stuff, and the big Menzobarranzan boxed set, too.

  5. They should just turn D&D into a M:tG variant if they want to exploit the brand..

    They could have Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, etc. as 'Releases'. There's a TON of artwork they could use for cards. Almost 40 years of NPCs, Spells and Monsters to use.

    And they could concentrate on sourcebooks and settings for Pathfinder.

  6. I wish WOTC would consider a non-hobby version of D&D that could be played as a party game of sorts. Simple, cheap rules, sell the easy to use modules as a constant revenue stream. It'd be a good idea to have it have some sort of thematic compatibility with the full game.

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