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The state of our Hobby


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#1 Emirikol

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 03:49 AM

www.icv2.com/articles/news/15707.html


Current State of the Hobby Game Market
In Q2 2009
Published: 08/27/2009 12:00am

The hobby game market improved in Q2 2009, according to a report in the recently released ICv2 Insider’s Guide #68. Conservative ordering has kept inventories low at retail, but as a result, sell-throughs are good and restocks frequent, according to distributors and retailers interviewed for the report, leading to relatively healthy hobby game stores despite the ferociously bad economy.

 Board games continues to be the category with the most heat, with retailers and distributors across the board still reporting increased sales.

 The roleplaying game category remains deeply troubled, with most brands down, and the gap between Dungeons and Dragons and the rest growing.  For the bestselling RPGs in the hobby market, click here.

TOP 5 RPG's:    www.icv2.com/articles/news/15715.html

Collectible Card Games as a category are bouncing off the bottom, with the top brands getting most of the benefit: Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! in the hobby, and Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! at mass.

The Collectible Miniature Games category is still churning, with no replacement for HeroClix, the anchor brand, and Monsterpocalypse dropping off after its launch due to product configuration changes.

Both of Games Workshop’s miniature lines are doing well in North America, with more friendly packaging and assortments making the line easier to handle at all levels.

 

For the lists of the bestselling Collectible Games in the hobby channel, in the mass channel, and over-all, click here.
For the bestselling board, card, and family games in the hobby channel, click here.

For the bestselling non-collectible miniature games in the hobby channel, click here.


For info on how to get your copy of the ICv2 Insiders Guide #68, with the full market reports, Pick Hits of the best upcoming releases, and reviews, see “ICv2 Releases 'ICv2 Insider's Guide' #68.”



#2 Emirikol

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 04:14 AM

It appears that it would have been smarter to make 3E a boardgame...

 

jh



#3 Entomophobie

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 05:00 AM

Interesting.  Thanks for these information. 



#4 Emirikol

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 05:14 AM

Well, the online MMO has been done..and supposedly is /done for/ but I'm interested to see how FFG will pull this one off.  If RPG's don't sell for crap, why market it as an RPG?  It would have been smarter to have a "board" of some kind for WFRP3.  Knowing what we see in the results above, only a fool would pray for WFRP3 to "fail" and spend time arguing that it's a bad thing for it to be a boardgame.

Even D&D went with dungeon tiles and essentially turned the rpg into a f****** horrible miniatures boardgame and people still buy it..just for the name..plus it's a generic system I suppose.

 

jh



#5 Ravenheart87

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 06:08 AM

Emirikol said:

Even D&D went with dungeon tiles and essentially turned the rpg into a f****** horrible miniatures boardgame and people still buy it..just for the name..plus it's a generic system I suppose.

Yeah, it's totally impossible, that someone likes it, isn't it?

By the way, they played using maps and miniatures long before D&D4e. Some even encouraged it, like WFRP1. If I had enough money, I'm sure I would buy a handful of GW minis for my WFRP2 campaign, and some Otherworld Miniatures for my HackMaster campaign.



#6 Cynical Cat

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 06:08 AM

I'm sure piracy is helping to put the hurt on RPGs and the crappy economy is only making things worse.   Realistically, the RPG industry hasn't produced any great, breakthrough products in a while.  D&D will keep chugging along because of brand recognition, but it left a bad taste in a lot of gamers' mouths.  Dark Heresy and Star Wars Saga Edition core books came out years ago and aren't market leaders   Rogue Trader sounds good (a friend of mine got it at Gen Con) but 40K isn't a dominant part of the gaming market and Rogue Trader hasn't been generally released yet while Dark Heresy has a modest release schedule.  Many old time gamers like me who used to give White Wolf a good chunk of money consider the New World of Darkness crap and its been out for years now so really, what is there to buy, if you're even buying instead of pirating torrented copies?

So I'm not surprised at all that RPGs are taking it in the teeth.  Doesn't mean they can't be profitable, just means that people need to have realistic expectations.  As for doing WFRP as a board game, well the people who are most likely to want and Warhammer Fantasy board game are the WFRP gamers who might not buy such a thing at all.



#7 superklaus

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 08:04 AM

Ravenheart87 said:

 

Emirikol said:

 

Even D&D went with dungeon tiles and essentially turned the rpg into a f****** horrible miniatures boardgame and people still buy it..just for the name..plus it's a generic system I suppose.

 

 

Yeah, it's totally impossible, that someone likes it, isn't it?

By the way, they played using maps and miniatures long before D&D4e. Some even encouraged it, like WFRP1. If I had enough money, I'm sure I would buy a handful of GW minis for my WFRP2 campaign, and some Otherworld Miniatures for my HackMaster campaign.

 

 

 

is not that expensive. on ebay sometimes you get painted regiments for a few bucks. (recently I got 14 beautiful painted orcboyz for ca. 3 Euro) Just look every other day and after some time you will have a comparably inexpensive basic stock of warhammer minis.



#8 Emirikol

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 10:13 AM

Regarding our "right" to like or dislike a game...

Regarding D&D:  I started with D&D back in 1981 on the red boxed set.  It's hanging on my wall with some white box with a bunch of little books in it.  We only played with mini's for the last 28 years and I thought D&D was the ONLY game system out there worth playing.  I looked forwards to 4e..until after a year of /enduring/ it.  After 28 years of D&D, suddenly I couldn't stand DMing D&D.  Some people get all worked up when you tell them you dont' like 4e.  Same will go for 3E WFRP.   Oh well.

Although I look forwards to trying out 3E wfrp and don't give two-dwarfen-turds regarding the price debate, I understand that some people may fear that they will lose their ability to "properly" play WFRP. 

I've always argued that 'Its not the system,' it's the theme.  Well, I discovered last year you can actually wreck a game.  4e became a Rube Goldberg device and was no longer fun to GM for me.  Play..fine..it takes ZERO effort to be a player, but I sat there feeling sorry for the DM as I watched his brain slowly melt under the burden of ongoing, multiple, petty modifiers and removal of creative input.

I'll be the first lined up for wfrp3.  I'll house rule crap I don't like (like removing "party tension meters" and whatnot), but if the system actually gets in the way of the proper ability of a GM to present the/my Warhammer Fantasy theme, I'll fire this system and move on (or backwards).  I really hope this is a good, flexible system that I can convince more players to play.

jh

 

 

 

..



#9 Steerpike

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 02:50 PM

Emirikol said:

 

Regarding D&D:  I started with D&D back in 1981 on the red boxed set.  It's hanging on my wall with some white box with a bunch of little books in it.  We only played with mini's for the last 28 years and I thought D&D was the ONLY game system out there worth playing.  I looked forwards to 4e..until after a year of /enduring/ it.  After 28 years of D&D, suddenly I couldn't stand DMing D&D.  Some people get all worked up when you tell them you dont' like 4e.  Same will go for 3E WFRP.   Oh well.

 

jh

 

..

 

You ought to consider looking at Troll Lord Games' CASTLES & CRUSADES.  Jim Ward, who wrote the 1e AD&D Deities and Demigod just did their Of Gods and Monsters book.  He's also the editor of their magazine.  It's a great system.



#10 Sythorn

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 05:12 PM

Considering the economy and the fact that recent versions of D&D and the World of Darkness caused a lot of broken hearts, I'm not at all surprised by the woeful trend.  Roleplaying is a niche hobby and I think a lot of people have a hard time accepting this fact.  That RPGs aren't doing nearly as well as board games is to be expected.

It also doesn't help the numbers that there are a ton of options for roleplayers these days.  I have no statistics to back up this hunch, but I definitely get the impression that consumers who purchase non-D&D titles are spreading their budget over more and more game lines.  Budget titles like Savage Worlds and Castles & Crusades, not to mention indie games, seem to be doing modestly well, at least by RPG standards, and this cuts into the profits of the non-D&D games.  But again, this is just a theory.

As an aside, does anyone know if online sales are being accounted for, or those results only count dead tree sales at hobby and book stores?  I ask because computer games were said to be dying some time ago, which tends to happen whenever a new console system is launched or hit console game is released.  But it was eventually revealed that the quoted figures weren't taking into account the online sales of computer games, and the industry was seen to be doing quite well when one did so.

What really surprised me is that the gap between D&D and other games is increasing.  So either 4th edition is selling much better than others have made it out to be, or the sales of other company's titles are being hit hard by the recession.  Maybe a combination of both.

Anyway, I never let the doom and gloom of the RPG industry's health get me down.  As another poster above me has already said, profits can be made but people need to have realistic expectations.



#11 macd21

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 09:05 PM

It isn't really surprising at the moment. The economy is in the toilet, after all. But there are other factors.

They say that most brands are down. Consider what most brands in the RPG market looked like 2 years ago (not the ones on that top 5 list, but the vast majority below it). What were they? D20. A lot of brands out there are the products that D20 companies tried to release to replace their D20 income (other brands may be down because they've still failed to do so). They tend to have small followings - and those followers have bought their products at this point. Some companies will fall, others will make enough money to chug along as they always did. I think Pathfinder is the only one with a big enough following to be a success.

What about the Big 5? Well, we'll skip DnD and go straight to DH. DH is in a very good position, but by RPG standards it's no longer the new kid on the block. It's still very popular, but of course it's sales are down - it's been out almost 2 years now. Rogue Trader is about to come out - that'll hurt DH sales a bit, but boost overall 40k sales through the roof again.

The New World Of Darkness is at the end of its life cycle. There were fewer releases for Hunter than previous games, there will only be two for Geist (including the corebook), there are few releases for the other games. The fact that it is in third place is actually quite shocking, but it's been there for a while now. Evidence of a new or revised edition next year has increased. If so, it'll probably jump to the number 2 spot.

Song of Ice and Fire and Shadowrun are quite small. I'm guessing there was a lot of competition for the 4th and 5th spot on the list, with these two only just edging out the rest of the market. I don't really know much about SoIF, so I won't comment. Shadowrun has been out for a good while, so a decline in sales is (again) inevitable.

Ultimately I think the reason that sales have dropped so much is as much to do with the fact that we have yet to see this year's big releases hit the shelves - and by that I mean Rogue Trader and WFRP3. White Wolf's game of the year is usually a major player, but probably not this year (it'll sell well, but with only 2 books you can sell only so many copies). None of the other companies are really big enough to be notable.



#12 MagnusSeter

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 09:10 PM

Sythorn said:

 

As an aside, does anyone know if online sales are being accounted for, or those results only count dead tree sales at hobby and book stores?

 

 

Dead tree books in hobby shops. Data gathered by interviews with shop managers. Leaves out online and mass market distribution (Barnes & Nobles and such).

While I don't doubt that rpgs are down at the hobby shops, I would be very interesting to see what number of customers now shop at online stores such as Amazon.

EDIT: found this snippet: "The charts are based on interviews with retailers, distributors, and manufacturers." So it's not as inconclusive as I thought.

/M



#13 Varnias Tybalt

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 04:37 AM

Cynical Cat said:

I'm sure piracy is helping to put the hurt on RPGs and the crappy economy is only making things worse.

No, piracy is hardly the issue. There is yes to be presented any substantiated proof that piracy harms any given market. So far, the only "proof" the world has seen are mere speculative bull from record companies. The only reason why these companies and lobby groups whine and ***** so much about piracy, is because piracy offers a chance to review material (movies, books, music etc.) without actually buying it. Meaning that they can't "chance-sell" the same kind of crap that they tried to fool people into paying for before.

The sooner these useless middle-hand companies die out from economic starvation, the better.



#14 Emirikol

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 04:57 AM

Amazon.com and other large sellers have a "ranking" that you can look up.  RPG's barely make it anywhere on those lists. 

Meanwhile we have these interesting quibbles with each other about dice, naming, etc. instead of encouraging the promotion our hobby and forcing people to join our WFRP cult..lest we all be stuck being played by 4E D^D.

 

jh

 



#15 Steerpike

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 06:24 AM

Varnias Tybalt said:

Cynical Cat said:

 

I'm sure piracy is helping to put the hurt on RPGs and the crappy economy is only making things worse.

 

 

No, piracy is hardly the issue. There is yes to be presented any substantiated proof that piracy harms any given market. So far, the only "proof" the world has seen are mere speculative bull from record companies. The only reason why these companies and lobby groups whine and ***** so much about piracy, is because piracy offers a chance to review material (movies, books, music etc.) without actually buying it. Meaning that they can't "chance-sell" the same kind of crap that they tried to fool people into paying for before.

The sooner these useless middle-hand companies die out from economic starvation, the better.

 

But whether it harms them isn't the issue. It's still stealing.  When someone creates something and offers it for sale you can either accept their terms or, if you don't like them, reject them.  If someone wants to offer you something without the chance to preview or review it, you can either take them up on it or say you won't buy without seeing more.  But you don't steal it, in my opinion.  There are many products that I won't buy because I either dislike the terms, think they're over-priced, or whatever numerous reasons I might have.  But I don't steal them after deciding not the buy them. That's my personal view on the piracy issue.



#16 ymrar

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 06:48 AM

In our local store RPG did bad way before the world wide financial crisis. There are so many different hobbies nowdays, with MMO (specially WoW) taking a huge chunk of roleplayers with them. WoW almost killed our group for year or two with only a few played sessions some time ago.

RPG is one of the cheapest hobbies though. With a good system you can go on for years without putting in a dime if you have the effort and imagination to invent your own worlds etc. In that way there is a great opportunity for RPGs to push back to the gaming market. This is one of the reasons I believe FFG wanted to make a new system. In recession usually those that can grab the opportunity will come out big time winners when things turn back to upwards. FFG is pushing in many areas at the moment though. I wish they dont spread too thin...



#17 Dave Allen

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:10 AM

Varnias Tybalt said:

Cynical Cat said:

 

I'm sure piracy is helping to put the hurt on RPGs and the crappy economy is only making things worse.

 

 

No, piracy is hardly the issue. There is yes to be presented any substantiated proof that piracy harms any given market. So far, the only "proof" the world has seen are mere speculative bull from record companies. The only reason why these companies and lobby groups whine and ***** so much about piracy, is because piracy offers a chance to review material (movies, books, music etc.) without actually buying it. Meaning that they can't "chance-sell" the same kind of crap that they tried to fool people into paying for before.

The sooner these useless middle-hand companies die out from economic starvation, the better.

I know that EMI UK had to make 500 members of staff redundant not too long ago because of the damage freely available online music had done to the sale of music that came on media in boxes. Now I know we can all laugh at those people losing their livelihoods - haha! but it does seem to be a more tangible proof of the impact of pirated product on the music industry than mere "speculative bull".



#18 Steerpike

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:15 AM

Dave Allen said:

Varnias Tybalt said:

 

Cynical Cat said:

 

I'm sure piracy is helping to put the hurt on RPGs and the crappy economy is only making things worse.

 

 

No, piracy is hardly the issue. There is yes to be presented any substantiated proof that piracy harms any given market. So far, the only "proof" the world has seen are mere speculative bull from record companies. The only reason why these companies and lobby groups whine and ***** so much about piracy, is because piracy offers a chance to review material (movies, books, music etc.) without actually buying it. Meaning that they can't "chance-sell" the same kind of crap that they tried to fool people into paying for before.

The sooner these useless middle-hand companies die out from economic starvation, the better.

 

I know that EMI UK had to make 500 members of staff redundant not too long ago because of the damage freely available online music had done to the sale of music that came on media in boxes. Now I know we can all laugh at those people losing their livelihoods - haha! but it does seem to be a more tangible proof of the impact of pirated product on the music industry than mere "speculative bull".

 

Having been involved with that industry on just such issues, I think it is safe to say piracy has had a real impact.  But I try not to focus on that because to me the fundamental issue regarding piracy/theft remains the same whether there was any damage or not.



#19 Cynical Cat

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:58 AM

Varnias Tybalt said:

Cynical Cat said:

 

I'm sure piracy is helping to put the hurt on RPGs and the crappy economy is only making things worse.

 

 

No, piracy is hardly the issue. There is yes to be presented any substantiated proof that piracy harms any given market. So far, the only "proof" the world has seen are mere speculative bull from record companies. The only reason why these companies and lobby groups whine and ***** so much about piracy, is because piracy offers a chance to review material (movies, books, music etc.) without actually buying it. Meaning that they can't "chance-sell" the same kind of crap that they tried to fool people into paying for before.

The sooner these useless middle-hand companies die out from economic starvation, the better.

RIAA claims about piracy are complete lunacy and should be laughed out of court, but it does result in lost sales.  Not the one for one bull that the RIAA claims, but it does cut into the money that they make and RPGs aren't overly profitable to begin with. 



#20 Steerpike

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 08:18 AM

Cynical Cat said:

 

RIAA claims about piracy are complete lunacy and should be laughed out of court, but it does result in lost sales.  Not the one for one bull that the RIAA claims, but it does cut into the money that they make and RPGs aren't overly profitable to begin with. 

Which claims, specifically?






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