Pathfinder once again dominated the charts, outpacing Dungeons & Dragons by a large margin, according to ICv2’s hobby sales results for role-playing games released on March 29 for Fall 2012.
2012 was the fourth consecutive year of substantial growth in the hobby game market, according to ICv2, with roughly 15 percent growth in the hobby game store channel over 2011 sales. These sales are in stark contrast to 2008, when sales contracted by 5 percent. Factors influencing growth include more products and more stores to sell them, along with the growth of board and card games benefiting from digital tie-ins like Geek and Sundry’s YouTube series, TableTop. Listed here are the top five publishers in order of sales, from lowest to highest.
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5th Place: Iron Kingdoms
The original Iron Kingdoms role-playing game took the world by storm as a D20 setting. It was never well-supported by Privateer Press, who was busy managing the even more popular miniatures game. They had long promised a reprint of the role-playing game under their own rules, and it’s arrival in fifth place indicates just how long fans have been waiting for its debut.
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4th Place: Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch
The second property in the top five that is based off a popular miniatures game, fans have long awaited a role-playing game set in the Warhammer 40K universe. Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, and Deathwatch scratches that itch. With Fantasy Flight Games’ high production value, it’s no surprise they’re in the top five.
3rd Place: Dungeons & Dragons
When Wizards of the Coast announced that they would not release a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons until after 2013, the company has essentially stopped publishing new rules for the system. As a result, Dungeons & Dragons continues to slide in sales rankings — but it should be noted that even without actually trying, Dungeons & Dragons is still in the top five.
2nd Place: Star Wars RPG
Fantasy Flight Games is on the top five list twice and for good reason. Their production values are unparalleled — combined with a popular game license, Star Wars is experiencing a resurgence in the role-playing industry.
1st Place: Pathfinder
Pathfinder, the inheritor of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 mantle, continues to dominate the charts. Just about every major publisher of 3.5 material has switched over to Pathfinder, ensuring its continued success.