The Changing Digital Landscape by the Numbers
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. RPG Publishers are no exception. Being an engineer by training, I wanted to see the numbers of how this year is different than other years. With that in mind, I present to you JBE’s sales by location for June 2020 and compare the above chart with the one we did for 2019 (see right below).
In both pie charts, DriveThruRPG comes out on top and is approximately 50% of the market. Both Paizo and Amazon held on, each having about 8-9% of our sales.
That is where the similarities end. Studio 2 is not on the new chart. This is partially my fault as I have sent nothing new to distribution for a while, but from what I am hearing game stores are having a tough time of it right now. In times like these, I imagine they are stocking products that sell easier, like RPGs from Wizards and Paizo. the Open Gaming Store went down slightly, but that could simply be a one-month variance. The JBE Shop nearly tripled. While that also could be a one-month variance, I’ve noticed an uptick in sales from my own site for the year as a whole.
Then there’s Fantasy Grounds. On last year’s chart, Fantasy Grounds is that tiny unlabeled sliver. That was approximately 2% of our sales. June 2020 has them as our #2 selling location, approximately 18% of our sales. That’s an 800% increase. Even better that wasn’t our best month of sales this year.
So there is definite growth here, and when the world goes back to normal, I do expect some people to continue to play games over the internet. People are discovering they are no longer constrained by location; you do not need to look for someone to game with within an hour’s drive of you. You can now game with people in different time zones.