Once again, Dungeons & Dragons reigned supreme in the world of fantasy RPGs, and RPGs in general.
Pathfinder, a fantasy RPG which has beaten D&D to the top spot previously, launched its second edition and had a transitional year.
So, what about the other best selling fantasy RPGs? Last year, with DriveThruRPG’s help, Geek Native was able to look back at the other best selling fantasy RPGs. The Witcher took the top spot, and Warhammer Fantasy came in second.
This year, the top ten best selling other fantasy RPGs require a little more discussion. Firstly, it’s the game publishers themselves that classify whether their game is fantasy, sci-fi, horror or one of the other genres DriveThruRPG’s marketplace highlights. Games can be in more than one genre category too.
Secondly, fantasy is a pretty broad theme. By most definitions, fantasy is a genre that uses magic or the supernatural as the main plot element, theme or setting.
With that in mind, we can reveal that Catalyst Game Lab’s Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook is the best selling “other fantasy” RPG of the year, according to DriveThruRPG.
There is magic in Shadowrun. That’s one of the reasons the image illustrating this post is Hoang Dai Tri’s Shadowrun Shaman Malila Concept. That’s a Shadowrun character that could easily have come out of a more “medieval” fantasy game. It just so happens that there are guns in Shadowrun too.
Best selling “other” fantasy RPGs of 2019
The top 10 selling fantasy RPGs released in 2019.
- Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook by Catalyst Game Labs.
- Changeling: the Lost Second Edition by Onyx Path Publishing.
- Invisible Sun by Monte Cook Games.
- Legend of the Five Rings: Emerald Empire by Fantasy Flight Games.
- Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought by Onyx Path Publishing.
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Rough Nights and Hard Days by Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
- Shadowrun: No Future (A Cyberpunk Sourcebook) by Catalyst Game Labs.
- Signs of Sorcery by Onyx Path Publishing.
- Arkadia – The Greek Setting for 5e by Arcana Games.
- Rangers of Shadow Deep: Temple of Madness by Joseph A. McCullough.
This data is from 1st Jan to 13th Dec and is kindly provided by DriveThruRPG. Neither Pathfinder nor D&D core sells through that platform.
What does this say about the hobby? Is D&D so dominant that other RPGs need to find their own niches and significantly different settings to compete?
The best selling other fantasy RPG is a future fantasy, the second-placed game is an urban fantasy and the $99 priced Invisible Sun, in third place, is described by Monte Cook Games as a surreal fantasy.
How much should you pay for a best selling fantasy RPG?
This year we are using the lowest price that the PDF is available on at DriveThruRPG. This is the price in red. That’s not to say we’re using sales prices, but some publishers enter games at their physical product price tag and then use the discount feature to indicate how much you’re saving if you buy the PDF.
The average price of other fantasy RPGs in DriveThruRPG’s top ten is $27.64. Invisible Sun, of course, drags that up. The median price is $19.99.
Movers and shakers
How does this compare to 2018?
Only three publishers who appeared in the chart in 2018 appear again in 2019. They are Cubicle 7 for Warhammer, Fantasy Flight Games who had a top-three success with Genesys when it was classified as fantasy last year and Joseph A. McCullough with the Rangers of Shadow Deep.
Only two publishers make the 2019 list more than once; Catalyst Game Labs gets two Shadowrun products in the top 10, and Onyx Path Publishing appears an impressive three times.
Update: DriveThruRPG has clarified that this list only includes fantasy RPGs released in 2019.
Creative Commons credit: Shadowrun Shaman Malila Concept by Hoang Dai Tri.
What do you make of the results? Do you count Shadowrun and Changeling as fantasy? Or do you suggest the publishers have mislabeled their games?