Wizards of the Coast unintentionally shook up the roleplaying game business early this year, damaging the Dungeons & Dragons brand value and strengthening its competition in the process, but with an overall positive effect for Spring (January through April) sales.  The shake-up was the result of WotC’s ham-handed efforts to change its Open Gaming License to exert more control and derive more revenue from third-party content.

A distributor summarized.  "The real impact we saw from the OGL 2.0 debate was a spike in our non-D&D RPG sales, with Pathfinder aggressively working to take advantage of the situation," the distributor said.

Overall D&D sales may have been buttressed by the theatrical release of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves in March, which didn’t cause a surge in sales, but may have prevented a decline.

The biggest launches in the period were Magpie Games’ Avatar Legends RPG and Steamforged Games’ Dark Souls RPG.

ICv2's Top 5 Roleplaying Games - Spring 2023 (Hobby Channel)





Dungeons & Dragons

Wizards of the Coast





Avatar Legends RPG

Magpie Games


Vampire: The Masquerade

Renegade Game Studios


Dark Souls RPG

Steamforged Games

The in-depth version of this article appeared in Internal Correspondence #104.  For the full-length version of this article on the ICv2 Pro site, click here.

For other market reports on Spring 2023, see:
Top Brands Drive TCG Modest Growth
Games Workshop Slims Down Channel, 'BattleTech' Bulks Up, 'D&D' Declines
Board and Card Game Sales Softer

If you are a U.S. retailer, e-mail Dennis Viau at DViau@ICv2.com  to get your free subscription to ICv2’s Internal Correspondence.

ICv2 Pro subscribers have early and complete access to Internal Correspondence. Click here for the complete Internal Correspondence #104.