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.