Ah, the heady days of early summer in the RPG business, when we’ve maybe had a couple of pleasant surprises so far in the year, but all eyes are on Gen Con in a few weeks. Well, let’s look back before we look forward, shall we?
*Standard notes on the list: rankings are sales volume by game line at Games and Stuff for the period of April 1 to June 30 2016. It does not include accessories or miniatures.*
- Dungeons and Dragons (Q1 Rank #1)
- Pathfinder (Q1 Rank #2)
- Star Wars (Q1 Rank #3)
- Shadowrun (Q1 Rank #4)
- The One Ring (Q1 Rank #8)
- Through the Breach
- Numenera (Q1 Rank #17)
- 13th Age (Q1 Rank #11)
- Savage Worlds
- Call of Catthulhu (read that again, I said CAT thulhu)
- End of the World (Q1 Rank #18)
- Trail of Cthulhu
- Iron Kingdoms (Q1 Rank #6)
- Dungeon Crawl Classics (Q1 Rank #10)
- Fate (Q1 Rank #19)
- Mutants & Masterminds (Q1 Rank #9)
- Lamentations of the Flame Princess
- White Wolf (Q1 Rank #12)
- Warhammer 40,000 (Q1 Rank #5)
No surprises in the Top 4, although it should be noted that for the month of May, Star Wars outsold Pathfinder for the second time since the release of The Force Awakens in theaters. And a big shout out to Star Wars Force & Destiny for winning Best RPG at the Origins Awards this year!
That being said, The One Ring is back in the Top 5 and there’s quite a gap between that and Through the Breach at #6. Both games’ sales were bolstered by a flurry of releases, with the long-awaited appearance of the Rohirrim in the pages of the Horse-Lords of Rohan supplement. Mind you, the book doesn’t actually hit shelves until July 6th, but we’ve been doing tons of pre-orders for both Rohan and the Journeys & Maps set with the help of the Bits and Mortar program. Meanwhile Through the Breach has had four releases since the end of March. Much like with the Iron Kingdoms RPG and Warmachine/Hordes, if you sell the Malifaux miniatures game, you’ve got no excuse not to try out Through the Breach as part of your mix.
The truly big surprise for me this time around was the new edition of Traveller. I started hearing some buzz back in February, but I was pretty blown away by the sheer volume of core rulebooks that we sold upon release, enough for the game to clock in at #9 for the quarter after only about three weeks of sales. It just goes to show that there’s a demand out there for a well-produced Sci-Fi game that’s not a license from other media. And this new edition certainly looks better than any edition to date.
Which brings us to Call of Catthulhu. Yes, CATthulhu. Only available from Indie Press Revolution, we were fortunate enough to have the designer Joel Sparks in the house for our Anniversary event back in April and while that helped sales, it was the simple addition of a poster to our Indie RPG shelf that sent sales skyrocketing. The current print run is sold through, but we expect more soon. As mentioned, you can get them from IPR or direct from Joel (as soon as he prints more!) He can also hook you up with one of the sweet posters shown here. Feel free to contact him directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaking of our 16th Anniversary Event, we were absolutely overjoyed to have Monte Cook in the building as a special guest. Both Numenera and The Strange got a nice bump as you might expect. Monte was also kind enough to write about his experience here on his Monte Says blog.
What else? It’s nice to see Savage Worlds break into the list. I know many retailers do very well with the game, but we’ve never really had much real success.
Lamentations of the Flame Princess had a bunch of new releases including Towers Two, an adventure written by the late Dave Brockie, AKA Oderus Urungus from the band Gwar.
I was a little disappointed to see that Night’s Black Agents didn’t quite squeeze into the Top 20, despite strong sales of the absolutely fantastic (and Origins Award nominated) The Dracula Dossier Director’s Handbook. That book was easily one of my favorite releases of last year. Which is to say nothing of the companion volume, Dracula Unredacted, which is nothing short of an annotated version of the entire novel Dracula. Amazing stuff.
What am I looking forward to in the coming weeks and months?
Well, Call of Cthulhu 7th edition finally releases on July 25th.
The Pathfinder Horror Adventures hardcover should make a splash on August 4th, and I’ll also be keeping an eye on the release of the Polaris RPG when it pops up at the end of August. Delta Green is somewhere on the horizon, as is the final End of the World RPG, Revolt of the Machines. What about you? What are you folks excited about?
Check back in another week or so as I ramble on a bit while I debate chopping my Pathfinder presentation in half or even taking the Warhammer 40K RPG lines from their prime real estate on my sales floor.