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Couchpotato January 1st, 2014 00:06

RPGamer - RPGs By The Numbers
RPGamer has a new article with data on all RPGs released in 2013 on every platform.


It's amazing how much context plain raw numbers can provide. Above all of the speculative conjecture that can be provided by "analysts" and "industry insiders," the only data we really have to indicate how good or bad a year has been is historical data. For the unaware, I work for the Canadian government in statistical analysis and labour market development. Numbers are my bread and butter, when I'm not writing for this RPG haven. To that end, I wanted to take this opportunity to detail 2013 in numbers alone.

As with last year's feature, the intent of this article is to examine trends. The game list that was compiled sought to record every RPG release of the year, but there is always a chance that one or two were lost in the cracks. It's more important that the overall movement of the datasets are examined. As with any review of data, white noise is always present when you examine information at a granular level; the impact of overall trends is more important than each singular game recorded. That said, if you wish to examine the dataset you can click HERE.

There were some pretty visible trends this year. We've seen roughly 250 RPGs released throughout the world, with at least 114 only being released to Japanese markets. Sadly, that means that Western audiences have missed out on 45.6% almost half of the RPGs released this year. Some of those games are bound to be localized at a later date, but this is a fairly clear indication by the market that the West isn't nearly as lucrative. Perhaps, the West might even be seen as a niche marketplace for the genre.

More information.

Lucky Day January 1st, 2014 00:06

holy cow, what a report. I haven't read the whole thing bu tthe only time I've seen this kind of statistical analysis hinted at was at internal marketing discussions at places like Bioware.

tomasp3n January 1st, 2014 01:33

I think the genre is to spread out for this to actually mean anything. Especially on the mobile platform most of the "RPG's" are nowhere near what I want from the genre. Still kind of interesting reading though.

SpoonFULL January 1st, 2014 04:56

The spreadsheets are quite an interesting read. What surprised me is that most rpg games released are on mobile - not to say that they are true rpgs, but still.

PC based rpg numbers look good, but a closer look reveal that most are indie and mmos.

I just wish that they release more JRPGs to the west and do on PC for god's sake.

greywolf00 January 1st, 2014 07:42

I've always hated how many RPGs, especially on consoles, never make it out of Japan. Would love to see some of them ported to PC too but that's probably just a pipe dream.

guenthar January 1st, 2014 12:48

A large portion of those rpgs being released in Japan are on the PC and are more like indie rpgs with a low amount of funding.

daveyd January 1st, 2014 19:14


Originally Posted by greywolf00 (Post 1061232953)
I've always hated how many RPGs, especially on consoles, never make it out of Japan. Would love to see some of them ported to PC too but that's probably just a pipe dream.

Yeah, unfortunately localization is expensive and time consuming so most NA publishers tend to only take a chance on titles with a big established fan based (i.e., Final Fantasy). Also, due to the popularity of handhelds in Japan and lower cost of making handheld games, there have been fewer and fewer console JRPGs anyway. We missed out on a lot of potentially good JRPGs on the PSP because the PSP never caught on in the West (and also supposedly due to PSP games being heavily pirated in NA). I'm looking forward to Bravely Default for 3DS and TiTs 2nd Chapter next year though.

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