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Thursday, September 28, 2023

D&D’s OGL controversy turbocharges sales of virtually every other tabletop RPG

As fans flee D&D, independent publishers greet them with open arms!

Dungeons & Dragons has long been synonymous with role-playing games. Brand awareness has traditionally helped it to the lion’s share of sales, leaving smaller publishers and independent creators to fight over crumbs. All that changed in January when publisher Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of game and toy giant Hasbro, attempted to alter its Open Gaming License (also known as the OGL). The effort backfired spectacularly, and its competitors are now reaping the rewards.

At least one tabletop games publisher, Kobold Press, tells Polygon that its sales quadrupled in January. Goodman Games, on the other hand, said it had its best month of sales since 2003. Nearly every other publisher that responded to our request for data reported at least double the expected sales, with some selling through nearly an entire years’ worth of stock in less than three weeks.


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