In case this is the only RPG blog you read, go here and read Mike Mearls call for peace in the DnD edition war.
There are all kinds of people giving their take on this — some are Zero-Edition players, 3.5/Pathfinder players, etc. All of the discussion has been very DnD-centric, of course. Mearls’ column is very DnD-centric, of course. Since I’m not DnD-centric, and Happy Jacks isn’t DnD-centric, and Doucheydm isn’t DnD-centric, I’m not quite sure why I care…
The True Cost of the Edition War
Unlike most bloggers, I can’t read Mearls’ mind, so I can only guess at his motives — and I’m guessing the edition wars have hurt WotC’s market share in the RPG market, and they are ready to play nice.
How do I guess this? Here’s how:
Several months ago, Happy Jacks RPG Podcast ran a listener survey. We had 225 respondents. Not a huge sample, but pretty good for a rinky-dink show like ours. One of the questions we asked was: “What game system(s) to do play on a regular or semi-regular basis?”
Not surprisingly, DnD4e came it at #1 with 19% of our listenership. 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder came it at #2 with 12%. To me, these numbers seem kind of high for a show that doesn’t talk all that much about D20-based systems. I’d imagine that both numbers would be much higher in the RPG community generally (or if we were primarily a D20 podcast).
However, I assume that the relative proportions between 4E and 3.X/Pathfinder players is probably fairly accurate — as I can’t think of any reason our show would skew toward one or the other.
And that’s the rub, right there. You can make a very persuasive argument that those 12% in the 3.x/Pathfinder column would have been loyal WotC customers had the edition war never started.
If those numbers truly are accurate, that’s almost 40% of WotC’s market share. That’s gotta sting.
The Mind of Mearls
Here’s what I don’t understand: it’s admirable that Mearls wants the constant sniping between the 4E and 3.xE DnD players to end. It’s not good for the hobby, as it makes us all look like idiots to the outside world; and it’s not good for WotC.
I get that. But it won’t work. Does anyone think it will?