- Pathfinder beats out Dungeons and Dragons once again in RPGs, but at least D&D has reclaimed the 2nd spot from the Star Wars RPG.
- Settlers of Cataan rules the roost in board games, followed by Ticket to Ride and Small World.
- Warhammer 40k tops the non-collectible minis games, and Star Wars hits the #3 spot.
- I'm very surprised Munchkin isn't doing better in the dice/card game category, but the rest of the list is relatively as it should be.
- Overall, the hobby game market is strong and growing, with a predictable slowdown in the RPG sector due to the impending release of D&D Next in 2014, which means fewer people are picking up 4th edition products.
One thing I do notice as I go through these lists every quarter is a rather monotonous sameness. Oh, the top three might swap places now and again, and a new entry might come up at the bottom of the list only to drop off, but aside from the Star Wars miniatures game, there really hasn't been any new startling must-have games with any staying power. There are peaks of interest, and then things settle back down to the previous pattern.
That tells me that, while the hobby game industry is growing in terms of sales, it's also rather stagnant creatively, at least at the top. There is a ton of great stuff being produced all the time, but it's not reaching into the consciousness of the general gaming public. Word of mouth isn't enough any more; one needs some other spark. Wil Wheaton's Tabletop is one such vehicle, but it trades more on the relative fame of him and his guests, rather than any innate quality of the games themselves, and in some cases features games that are already at or near the top of their category.
What can be done to catapult an otherwise-excellent game from obscurity to the top of the charts, and most importantly, stay there?