Our dev team had a chance to put together the wish list data from this year and I wanted to go through it and highlight the games that seem to be in the highest demand this year, just like I did for the data from 2015.
First, remember this list does not reflect overall demand, only high unserved demand - which is expressed here as the number of tickets folks had in their wish lists beyond the number of tickets that could actually be sold, based on submitted schedules. So Pathfinder doesn't show up in this list, for example - that doesn't mean it wasn't hugely popular, just that the schedule Paizo offered had enough space for most of the people who wanted to play (at least overall, I'm not digging into specific events here, but general demand).
It's also wort noting this only measures the kinds of events folks put in their wish lists. Many TCGs and miniature games (and most board games, for that matter) don't have as strong a culture of pre-registering. Many players just show up with generics. Late events obviously won't be in this list, either, nor do games that had no submissions this year, for whatever reason (even if they were on last year's list).
This is not provided to debate the merits of different games or editions, but instead to help GMs figure out what games they might want to run in response to what players are trying to get into.
Second, don't sweat the details too much. There are lots of variables and some strange artifacts can pop up in how events are listed or attendees sign up for them. Friends might double-up and put the same tickets on both their wish lists. Many people will put every session they can find on their list, even if they really only want a single ticket. So the numbers I have aren't exact and don't read too much into these rough rankings. They're not exact, but they are a useful general gauge of what games seem to have a lot of unserved interested behind them.
I'm going to break games up by type this year. Might make it a bit easier to parse quickly. If anyone has any questions or would like other data, let me know and I'll see what I can sort out.
And if anyone wants wish list data on their own events or if any publishers want data on their games broadly, just reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you what we have.
- Call of Cthulhu - 6th & 7th edition in basically equal measure, but Dark Ages & 5th are pretty high, too
- Star Wars - almost entirely for the new FFG editions, but Saga has a decent unserved demand, too
- Dungeons & Dragons - setting aside the RPGA/Baldman/Adventurers' League stuff, it's almost all for 5th & 1st
- Shadowrun, 5th edition
- Savage Worlds, Deluxe edition
- Dungeon Crawl Classics
- Trail of Cthulhu
- Paranoia, 2nd & XP editions, mainly
- 7th Sea - it's all about the new (2nd) edition
- Dresden Files - the Fate edition, not a home-brew
- Hero, 5th edition
- Fate - mostly Core, but reasonable demand for Accelerated
- Eclipse Phase
- Sentinel Comics RPG
- Dark Heresy
- 13th Age
- Mouse Guard
- Night's Black Agents
- Delta Green
- Dungeon World
- The Strange
- Mutants & Masterminds, 3rd edition
- Kobolds Ate My Baby
- The One Ring
- Outbreak: Undead
- Mutant Crawl Classics
- Cypher System
- Achtung! Cthulhu
- Dragon Age
- Fantasy Age
- Luchador: Way of the Mask
- TORG Eternity
- Gamma World - split pretty evenly between 4th & 7th edition
It's worth noting that "homebrew" would be in this list almost entirely on the strength of one Harry Potter-themed event, were it an actual system. It also shows up prominently under LARPs, mainly due to Iocane Productions.
- King of Tokyo
- Dead of Winter
- Game of Thrones
- T.I.M.E. Stories
- Too Many Bones
- Betrayal at House on the Hill
- Battlestar Galactica
- Star Trek: Ascendancy
- Tyrants of the Underdark
- Arkham Horror
- Dark Moon
- Cthulhu Wars
RoboRally & Oh Gnome You Don't! were both in this list initially, but both were driven by interest in a particular variant, not the game in general.
Other Event Types
- Bolt Action (HMN)
- X-Wing (NMN)
- Space Hulk (NMN)
The distribution of high unserved demand events among different event types speaks to player habits and the challenges in scaling some events to meet apparent demand.
If anyone is thinking about running some events at Gen Con and not sure what to do or if you're a gaming group/company looking to expand, hopefully this can be a bit of a guide: pick something from this list and you shouldn't have much troubling finding players.
Let me know if you have any specific questions and email email@example.com if you want your particular data.
Gen Con LLC