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  #1  
Old November 5th, 2008, 06:59 PM
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Default Role Playing Around The World

Roleplaying seems to be extremely popular in the UK. I know that the hobby is not near as strong as it used to be in the 70's & 80's here in the US.

Has role playing died so much in the US that UK is now the center of the role playing world?

Or, does the market in the US still lead sales?
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Old November 5th, 2008, 08:16 PM
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I used to live in Germany and the UK in the 80s and 90s. I'm pretty sure that a) RPGs in the US have always been selling more than in the rest of the world combined; b) the RPG downward spiral has been international.

(With one proviso: Since the hobby has always been (even) more marginal outside the US than within, the contraction may have been somewhat less dramatic abroad. Simply because it's always been a fairly small scene that never even got close to the threshold of the mainstream, as D&D did in the US in the early 80s.)

Re. the UK scene: Is it really that vibrant? Mongoose is essentially and strategically catering to the US market. They just happen to be located in England. Who in the UK would be willing to purchase Lejendary Adventures, their latest license acquisition? Meanwhile, GW dumped the Warhammer RPG.

There is no mid-sized (Mongoose-sized) company in the UK that's producing, or has produced, a consistent and consistently successful output of original (not licensed) RPGs. Whereas in the US there are, or were, half a dozen of those.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 09:15 PM
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Roleplaying is more popular in the Achorage High Schools than it was in the 1980's. There are more groups playing at lunch, and they are playing in more visible areas with less stigma.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 09:34 PM
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I don't hesitate to ascribe that to your baneful influence on the hapless children.

Seriously though, to trod out Ken Hite's observation once again:

In the twenty-first century there has only been one majorly successful* RPG that wasn't either a license or an edition: Exalted.

It used not to be that way in the 80s and 90s.

*where "successful" = sold 10,000+ copies.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 10:05 PM
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I remember at Gencon UK a number of years ago when it was run by Peter Atkinson, someone asked him a similar question. From his observations the UK scene was smaller but we played harder and longer. He thought we were all a little crazy.

And look at BITS. Most people outside of the UK only know of its publishing activities, but they are secondary to organising games at conventions. Is there a comparable Traveller organisation elsewhere? Perhaps a NATS or CaTS or something?
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Old November 5th, 2008, 10:42 PM
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No offense to the British, btw. The wargamers in particular (I mean the historical minis guys) are marvelously nuts, I mean dedicated to their perfectly reasonable hobby.

I think what works in favor of the British scene is the much smaller size of the country. Even if a game is as marginal as Traveller, you're still within driving distance of a Con. Here in the US it feels like plowing the Great Rift in a Beowulf. My home city doesn't even have a gas giant/store.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 12:14 AM
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For me to go to a major con means either double digit hours on planes, or several days driving through another country...
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Old November 6th, 2008, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
For me to go to a major con means either double digit hours on planes, or several days driving through another country...
But it's a friendly country with lots of scenery and nice folk I'd put you up for the night if I could hitch the rest of the way to a con with you I'd even split gas and lodging there. Well, if you catch me on a good week
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Old November 6th, 2008, 02:21 AM
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And they got them round sausages there, too...

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Old November 6th, 2008, 03:23 AM
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Well a friend of mine went to the city's one game store (owned by the wholesaler for the whole country) to buy Spinward Marches and Merc for MGT to be told by the store manager that only 2 copies of each had been ordered for the whole country and that SM happened to be in that store, but he was too late for Merc and they were not getting any more in. Of course the price was about double that of Amazon, where I got mine. Roleplaying is dying in Oz, very few youngsters are taking it up.
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