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  • Vampire the Masquerade 5th edition sales

    So, I am one of the 'neonates' when it comes to Vampire the Masquerade 5th edition and and I really like reading up on all the campaigns here and elsewhere which is inspiring. I'm waiting for Chicago (the full hardback or at least the fully edited pdf) to try my hand at it but I was wondering how well its doing when compared to the rest of the industry.

    Does the rpg industry track who the top sellers are?


    How can I know if what I claim I know to be true is rejecting the idea that there is something I might not know? How can I know if what I claim I don't know to be true is rejecting the idea that there is something I do know?
    -Zhuangzi

  • #2
    In Sweden we do a lot of comparing various kickstarters, as every Swedish game nowadays is released that way, but Vampire was unique in that it didn't have a kickstarter, so we can't go that route. Another way to get at least a slight idea about it is to look at the best seller top lists from various retailers. Of course, this will always tend to favor new games, and gaming companies that don't have their own online stories. The main Swedish retailer, "Science Fiction Bokhandeln"'s RPG top list currently has the following best sellers, in order (I've left out dice and other accessories):

    - Dungeons & Dragons Player's handbook.
    - Warhammer 40K Wrath & Glory
    - D&D Xanthar's Guide to Everything
    - D&D Dungeon Master's Guide
    - Fantasy! Old School Gaming: Världsboken
    - D&D Monster Manual 2
    - Drakar och Demoner
    - Kult
    - Vampire 5th Ed


    So in these stores, Vampire currently sell less than Kult, a game that both already has had a tremendously successful crowdfunder, and also sell at the gaming company's (Helmgast) own webstore. For Vampire's part, I would call that a rather disappointing performance, though it should be noted that Kult has a strong nostalgia following in Sweden.
    Last edited by Natsymir; 03-05-2019, 01:10 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ostarion View Post
      Does the rpg industry track who the top sellers are?
      Yes. Published information for retail sales comes out from ICv2, in quarters. The most recent one, in which V5 was released, has yes to come out. So we don't know if its in the top five sellers or not.

      EDIT: They've literally just been released:

      1 Dungeons & Dragons (WotC)
      2 Legend of the Five Rings (FFG)
      3 Star Wars RPG (FFG)
      4 Starfinder (Paizo)
      5 Vampire (
      White Wolf)

      So, V5 has been a hit, but is still behind the 'big three' of WotC, FFG and Paizo (who have dropped off a bit this year because Pathfinder is having a new edition).

      Last edited by Trippy; 03-05-2019, 02:29 AM.

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      • #4
        another measure that is worth considering is quite how dramatically successful the CbN Kickstarter was recently. That book really flew and i don't think it could have done well without it also implying V5 had done well as well.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by chipotlechris View Post
          another measure that is worth considering is quite how dramatically successful the CbN Kickstarter was recently. That book really flew and i don't think it could have done well without it also implying V5 had done well as well.
          Well, one of the things that is different for V5 is that they are publishing it, via Modiphius, through some more traditional distribution means. I'm not trying to knock kickstarter at all, but while there is an upfront amount (which in some cases it quite significant) it's the sales through retail or Amazon that make the difference. It's the distribution chains that allow Wizards, FFG and Paizo to get top positions. If White Wolf/Paradox/Modiphius keep publishing V5 and other lines prodigiously, then there will be an increasing market for WoD games too. Simply by being published, V5 is hitting wider markets than WoD games have done for a while (again, without disparaging the efforts of TOP).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Trippy View Post
            Yes. Published information for retail sales comes out from ICv2, in quarters. The most recent one, in which V5 was released, has yes to come out. So we don't know if its in the top five sellers or not.

            EDIT: They've literally just been released:

            1 Dungeons & Dragons (WotC)
            2 Legend of the Five Rings (FFG)
            3 Star Wars RPG (FFG)
            4 Starfinder (Paizo)
            5 Vampire (
            White Wolf)

            So, V5 has been a hit, but is still behind the 'big three' of WotC, FFG and Paizo (who have dropped off a bit this year because Pathfinder is having a new edition).

            Okay, so I checked the reports going back to 2004 or so and it appears that World of Darkness often took second place up until 2009 where it completely disappeared, and only now just reappeared on the chart, is this because of a larger retail presence? Or is it because "World of Darkness" included all of the various lines, and therefore combined sold quite a lot?


            How can I know if what I claim I know to be true is rejecting the idea that there is something I might not know? How can I know if what I claim I don't know to be true is rejecting the idea that there is something I do know?
            -Zhuangzi

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ostarion View Post


              Okay, so I checked the reports going back to 2004 or so and it appears that World of Darkness often took second place up until 2009 where it completely disappeared, and only now just reappeared on the chart, is this because of a larger retail presence? Or is it because "World of Darkness" included all of the various lines, and therefore combined sold quite a lot?
              Yes - in both cases. White Wolf lost it's shelf presence when it was sold in 2009 to CCP. The Onyx Path was set up a bit later, using online sales, PDF/POD and Kickstarter to generate sales instead, but they never recovered their presence in the wider rog market till V5 was released.

              White Wolf also benefitted from having multiple lines supporting each other - for combined sales. However, the Vampire line was easily the most profitable one. I'd say that Vampire probably accounted for about half the WoD sales (but could be wrong) with Mage very slightly ahead of Werewolf and the other making up the numbers. It was an effective marketting strategy. You'd also have to note that, in the 1990s and 2000s, they were one of the most prolific publishers around - something like 50+ new releases a year at their peak.

              White Wolf would want to remain in the Top Five placings, but this is hard because they tend to reflect the impact of new releases as well as overall marketshare. However, if they were able to have a new big release, year upon year, with new editions of Werewolf, Mage etc - then they would increase their chances. Having a good distributer, like Modiphius, also helps.

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              • #8
                Thank you for your time in answering. One other thing about the recent chart that you posted earlier is that Legend of the Five Rings doesn't seem to have ever charted before in all previous editions. Even with the support of FGG how did a chanbara fantasy get so high on the list considering its niche genre? Usually its european fantasy, science fiction, horror and super heroes.

                Its a bit off topic, but considering that Vampire appears in this chart, I wonder if their are factors or anomalies not being considered? Legend of the Five Rings seems to be quite a surprise.
                Last edited by Ostarion; 03-06-2019, 12:43 AM.


                How can I know if what I claim I know to be true is rejecting the idea that there is something I might not know? How can I know if what I claim I don't know to be true is rejecting the idea that there is something I do know?
                -Zhuangzi

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ostarion View Post
                  Thank you for your time in answering. One other thing about the recent chart that you posted earlier is that Legend of the Five Rings doesn't seem to have ever charted before in all previous editions. Even with the support of FGG how did a chanbara fantasy get so high on the list considering its niche genre? Usually its european fantasy, science fiction, horror and super heroes.

                  Its a bit off topic, but considering that Vampire appears in this chart, I wonder if their are factors or anomalies not being considered? Legend of the Five Rings seems to be quite a surprise.
                  Yes, I think Legends seems to be inordinately successful, but it does have a following too, and FFG has a lot of distribution channels due to their board games and high profile IPs ( like Star Wars, etc). They probably just get into more shops than other games do.

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                  • #10
                    I think that L5R greatly profited from the relative success of the new LCG and all the other board games that were published. The open beta and the revamp of the story/lore also helped a lot probably.

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                    • #11
                      A relatively minor factual correction:

                      The World of Darkness (also the CofD not the classic WoD from last quarter 2004 until 2009, which is part of why it is just WoD instead of Vampire or whatever) drops off of the ICv2 top list after 2009, because that's when CCP actively began the process of ending their involvement in producing TT RPGs and similar products. The CCP merger happened in 2006. In 2010 CCP essentially pulled the plug on TT RPGs (CofD, Exalted, etc.) and only books that were already in the development queue came out until Onyx Path was formed in late 2011, and didn't publicly take over the licenses until GenCon 2012; at which point Onyx Path's business model ensured it wouldn't make it on the ICv2 lists.

                      Basically the WoD/CofD ouput in 2010 and 2011 was something like 25% of 2009... which is the biggest reason it dropped off even before the switch over to Onyx Path.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ostarion View Post

                        Its a bit off topic, but considering that Vampire appears in this chart, I wonder if their are factors or anomalies not being considered? Legend of the Five Rings seems to be quite a surprise.
                        I think the most important factors were mentioned. Pathfinder is absent, due to 2e. L5R and V5 was lifted by nostalgia and new edition enthusiasm/curiosity and other factors in the case of L5R.

                        I think, in the case of V5 (L5R too, but that isn't a concern here), the bigger question is that would it maintain at least this position, or would it drop off, as the above wears off? Shadowrun and CoC tend to be among the top five, but neither one is there, but two new editions are. It'd be rather interesting to see what happens?


                        If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PMárk View Post

                          I think the most important factors were mentioned. Pathfinder is absent, due to 2e. L5R and V5 was lifted by nostalgia and new edition enthusiasm/curiosity and other factors in the case of L5R.

                          I think, in the case of V5 (L5R too, but that isn't a concern here), the bigger question is that would it maintain at least this position, or would it drop off, as the above wears off? Shadowrun and CoC tend to be among the top five, but neither one is there, but two new editions are. It'd be rather interesting to see what happens?

                          Well, we can now answer this question with the recent ICv2 rankings. It appears the L5R fell off completely which means that all other positions maintained their sales longevity, including V5

                          Here is the chart for reference.
                          1 Dungeons & Dragons WotC
                          2 Starfinder Paizo
                          3 Star Wars Fantasy Flight
                          4 Vampire 5th Edition White Wolf/Modiphius
                          5 Pathfinder Paizo
                          My understanding is that this chart is based on retail sales and includes supplements and related accessories. Since V5 is so light in terms of supplements, I imagine that most of those sales are to new customers compared to the other charted games listed here. Am I correct in this assessment?


                          How can I know if what I claim I know to be true is rejecting the idea that there is something I might not know? How can I know if what I claim I don't know to be true is rejecting the idea that there is something I do know?
                          -Zhuangzi

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ostarion View Post


                            Well, we can now answer this question with the recent ICv2 rankings. It appears the L5R fell off completely which means that all other positions maintained their sales longevity, including V5

                            Here is the chart for reference.
                            1 Dungeons & Dragons WotC
                            2 Starfinder Paizo
                            3 Star Wars Fantasy Flight
                            4 Vampire 5th Edition White Wolf/Modiphius
                            5 Pathfinder Paizo
                            My understanding is that this chart is based on retail sales and includes supplements and related accessories. Since V5 is so light in terms of supplements, I imagine that most of those sales are to new customers compared to the other charted games listed here. Am I correct in this assessment?
                            Pathfinder's market is basically a subset of D&D, insofar that many Pathfinder players actually refer to their own games as playing D&D and it's basically an alternative form of D&D. Star Wars benefits from also being a household name as well as having strong distribution from FFG. Vampire's succes is that it has it's own established fanbase which is an alternative to D&D. The Vampire fanbase, by reputation at least, has a higher proportion of female gamers for example and people who like Vampire don't necessarily come into the hobby via D&D in the same way most other games do.

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