A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What is Going on With D&D 4th Anyhow?

Over at Something Awful, there is this thread in their Traditional Games subforum called "Grognards.txt", which is basically 4e D&D fanboys mocking every other edition of D&D and everyone who dares enjoy other versions of D&D since 4e is the ONLY fun version of D&D.  A little question came up in the thread and here is my reply in a modified form from there since it was going a bit off topic and SA is known for both probating and banning people for silly things, not to mention looking for people's posting histories off site to find out if they are worthy to post there, in a weird Internet version of Joe McCarthy and J Edgar Hoover who seemed to think everyone was a Communist and were damned hellbent on finding proof even if they had to invent it.

SA has issues.  What's sad is its still the best online forum out there.  Though this is the effective equivalent of being the thinnest kid at Fat Camp...


Exactly how well has 4e and Pathfinder done, sales-wise? I can't find any real figures for either.

RPGs tend not to announce sales figures.  I brought up a couple months back that 4e really did cause WOTC to lose a shitload of customers and there is proof from WOTC themselves, albeit not in exact terms.  (And the evidence was mostly ignored here since most of the time this thread really is 4e grogs mocking every other D&D edition grogs.)

Stuff like the ICV sales charts also shows that 4e isn't doing as hot given how Pathfinder beats it in sales quite often. 

Honestly 2 things are keeing 4e afloat.

D&D Encounters which is possibly the smartest thing WOTC has ever done for D&D.

D&D Insider which is basically free money for WOTC every month.

Encounters does bring new players into the fold and is also casual friendly.  An open place for people to get an hour or two of RPG in every week and no worries if you can make it all the time.  Show up and play.  Fits busy adults' schedules and kids.  I've seen it sell a good amount of books to new players, lots of which aren't adults. 

I even try to encourage parents to join in and play with their children.  Its good bonding time, and something both parent and child will look back on with fondness. 

Insider is as mentioned, free money.  Even if you just sub for a month for 10 bucks and just make a gob of characters for the rest of 4e's lifespan you have given them some cash.  And like most online subscription things people tend to forget to unsub meaning more free money.

Honestly I would still pay a good 20-30 bucks for a complete offline suite of tools, and possibly another 10 for a character system that works offline on my Kindle Fire but WOTC doesn't seem to see it that way.  And given how Insider works it does make them a pretty penny.

For the record right now I am running a Pathfinder Beginner Box rules ONLY game though I allow official source stuff provided I ok it first.  And half the combat rules I use is 4e since if it works great why not use it?  (Attacks of opportunity, flanking, terrain and cover.)   Overall my group prefers it over 4th though many of us play both right now.

Pathfinder Beginner is closer to what I have generally always wanted D&D to be.  If they made an Expert set going to level 10 and adding in the main missing races and classes I would be set really.

In other news I have a couple projects in the comics report style pipeline with photos taken and such.  But I am a bit backlogged in stuff I am doing right now so my posting has been a bit behind my desired schedule.   Not to mention I want to continue my Transformers Toy Comic thingie, and my Atari Computer project which I have been continuing to spend money on. 

And losing out on dozens of bids since I am not willing to risk a lot of money on untested 5 1/4" floppy disks from the early 80s and many collectors are. :(

1 comment:

Arquinsiel said...

Actually there are some pretty solid sales figures out there. A friend of mine works for a place with a subscription to the relevant journals. I could ask him, but :effort:


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