Current RPG Market

by Hawke Robinson published 2013/04/29 14:10:00 GMT-7, last modified 2022-11-12T09:27:07-07:00
I recently received an email asking about any current Role-playing game market information I might have...

Here is the video blog where I briefly comment on the RPG market:

Here is the new location for the video:

or the direct video link:

What are your thoughts on these comments?

There are some numbers available, but unfortunately it is very difficult to pin
down the number of role-playing gamers and games because there are now so many independent publishers and because Wizards of the Coast (D&D) tends not to publish their market data.

Here are some links that can give you a very rough estimate, but I would
round up a few million players just in the USA alone, and at least several hundred games because of self-publishing, and kickstarter-based (and similarly crowd-sourced) projects.

Relative reports are available, but absolute numbers are very tricky.

A lot of non-D&D-based games have significantly simplified their combat
systems to speed up, or reduce emphasis on combat.

Our focus is primarily on the educational and therapeutic aspects of RPG's, we do try to keep somewhat abreast of the market as best as possible, though we do not yet have any "insider" information. Hopefully these help:

2004 -

2010 -

2011 -

2012 -

October 2012 -

December 2012 -

January 2013 on Hasbro cuts -

While trends are down in a number of areas (toys, videogames, etc.) boardgames and hobby games appear to continue to be trending up (maybe for the fourth year in a row?). Though Hasbro is struggling, because D&D 4 has been such a disaster (Pathfinder has dominated the D&D market), D&D Next/5 will possibly be a make or break for the future of D&D, while RPG's become increasingly more independent and scattered

There is a lot of extrapolation necessary, but that should be helpful.


-Hawke Robinson

About Hawke Robinson related to RPG Research:

Role-playing gamer since 1979.
Game master since 1984.
In training as recreation therapist, music therapist, and research psychologist.
Retired computer scientist.

The RPG Research Project
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1312 N. Monroe Suite 114
Spokane, WA

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Skype: dev2devportal

Mission: Clearly establish through rigorous scientific
testing the causal therapeutic and educational impact
of role-playing gaming on participants.

"Holistic medicine treats the person rather than the disease,
its concern lies with the 'whole person' and with permitting
individuals to assume self-responsibility for their own health.
Whereas illness is the sole concern of 'traditional medicine',
holistic 'well medicine' deals with wellness and health promotion"

Your comments are most welcomed.

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