We've had a chance to compile the wish list data for this year, and that means we can take a look at it to see what games are in the highest demand, for a number of reasons.
It also means that if you would like to get the wish list data for your own events, so you can go into more detail in your own planning, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask (and remember to include your group name). If you aren't the event organizer for your company or group, ask them to do it - we won't be sending data to individual GMs or anything.
First, the same caveats and instructions from last year still apply:
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.
What is the point of looking at this list? Well...
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.
With that taken care of, here are the high-demand games for this year:
- Call of Cthulhu (Mostly 7th edition, but some 5th & 6th. Interest was also concentrated at established groups, but just about everyone had more demand than could be accommodated)
- Dungeons & Dragons (Almost entirely 5th, but with some 3.5 or Advanced 1st/2nd edition. This isn't just a hunger for official events, either - independent GMs, as a group, were the second highest overall demand)
- Star Wars (Specifically the new Fantasy Flight editions, all three flavors)
- Savage Worlds (General, but also some focused interest
- Shadowrun 5th edition
- Dungeon Crawl Classics
- Paranoia (2nd & 25th Ann. edition, mainly)
- Dresden Files (Both normal Fate & Fate Accelerated)
- Trail of Cthulhu
- Delta Green
- Fate (Pretty much just Core)
- The Strange
- Shadows of Esteren
- Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition
- Mouse Guard
- 7th Sea 2nd edition
- Night's Black Agents
- Cypher System
- Mutant Crawl Classics
- Kobolds Ate My Baby!
- Star Trek Adventures
- Conan: An Age Undreamed Of
- Doctor Who
- Lamentations of the Flame Princess
- Traveller 2nd edition
- 13th Age
- Unknown Armies 3rd edition
- Hero System
- Dungeon World
- The One Ring
- Urban Shadows
- Middle-Earth Role Playing
- Masks: A New Generation
- Clockwork: Dominion
- Dragon AGE
I pulled out the RPGs that were in high demand that I don't believe will be out in time for Gen Con, so it will be hard for general attendees to run more events for them:
- Eclipse Phase 2nd edition
- Sentinel Comics
- Torg Eternity
- Vampire: The Masquerade 5th edition
"Homebrew" would have been in the list last year, carried entirely by one Harry Potter event, but this year without that it had enough capacity for the initial demand (as a category).
Board & Card Games
- Terraforming Mars
- Dark Souls: The Board Game
- Dead of Winter
- Arkham Horror The Card Game
- Captain Sonar
- First Martians
- Zombicide: Black Plague
- Exit: The Game - The Secret of the Premiere
- Dinosaur Island
- The Captain is Dead
- Vast: The Mysterious Manor
- Sword & Sorcery
- Lord of the Rings The Card Game
- The Godfather: Corleone's Empire
- Blood Rage
- Betrayal at House on the Hill
- Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks
- Alien Artifacts
- Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
- Roll Player
- Birth of Europe
- Great Western Trail
- Star Trek: Ascendancy
- Battlestar Galactica
I removed a couple games from this list (RoboRally, King of Tokyo, Catan) because their demand was driven by very special large-scale events.
Some high-demand games that I don't think will be out before Gen Con (but correct me if I'm wrong - and I'm sure I missed plenty of other premiers/new releases) included:
- Legend of the Five Rings LCG
- Fallout the Tabletop Game
- Eyrewood Tales: Thornwatch
Other Event Types
For other event types, things get more chaotic and individual. For LARPs, unserved demand was for specific custom games or for home-brew games that are driven by the gaming group's reputation and/or the IP.
Historical minis (HMN) did not have individual games systems at the same scale, but Bolt Action and Blood & Plunder were pretty close. Non-historical minis (NMN) were mostly spread out as well, but A Song of Ice & Fire had a lot of demand, with Imperial Assault and Space Hulk also almost making the same threshold I set for RPG, BGM, & CGM.