Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 20 Most Popular RPGs

I guess my metrics-mania is getting out of control here... Out of curiosity I ranked "role playing games" at amazon.com by sales numbers. The vast majority of individual items on the list were Dungeons & Dragons 4e products. This is hands down the biggest RPG out there - a fact that is supported by what I've seen at local game stores and cons. For example, the the top 5 individual items on the RPG bestseller list were:
1. D&D 4e: Rules Compendium
2. D&D 4e: Heroes of the Fallen Lands Supplement
3. D&D 4e: Essentials Starter Kit ("The Red Box")
4. Warhammer 40K RPG: Deathwatch Core Rulebook
5. D&D 4e: Dungeon Tiles Master Set - The Dungeon

This is pretty much what most of the bestseller list looks like - D&D 4e products interspersed with a few other things. Well, I was less interested in individual items as I was in game systems so I ranked in print systems by each system's single bestselling product on the list:
1. D&D 4e
2. Warhammer 40K RPG
3. Pathfinder
4. Gamma World (the new 4e version)
5. DC Adventures: Super-Hero Roleplaying
6. Field of Glory Renaissance (a minis game)
7. Shadowrun
8. Rogue Trader
9. Savage Worlds
10. World of Darkness
11. GURPS
12. Call of Cthulhu
13. Changeling: The Lost
14. Mage: The Awakening
15. Star Wars: Saga Edition
16. Vampire: The Requiem
17. Dark Heresy
18. Hunter: The Vigil
19. Werewolf: The Forsaken
20. Promethean: The Created

A few thoughts:

- D&D 4e holds a virtual monopoly over the roleplaying market. I've heard some blog and forum people call 4e a commercial failure. Well, these people clearly have no idea what they're talking about. The gaming public loves 4e and buys a lot of it.

- D&D 4e and Pathfinder are pretty much the only fantasy roleplaying games in town. If you're a lonely fantasy gamer you should play one of these titles!

- It's cool that a DC superhero roleplaying game is so popular. I never would have guessed this! I'm shocked there's no Marvel RPG on the list.

- Sci-fi is a very popular roleplaying genre: W40K RPG, Shadowrun, Rogue Trader, Star Wars, Dark Heresy, etc.

- Only two "generic games" made the list - GURPS and Savage Worlds. People like settings built into their games it seems.

- The universe of White Wolf titles (the ones with colonic titles like "Roleplaying: The Game") really fills out the bottom of the list in an interesting way.