Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
It's mistake to assume that BG only appeals to gamers.
Fortunately I started that paragraph with the general public, not just gamers. Ask someone if they know what Apple is, they absolutely do. Ask them if they know about the Fifa games, they probably do. Ask them if they have heard of Diablo or Skyrim, less likely than Fifa, but there is still probably some awareness. D&D? I would hazard a guess and say the entire brand of D&D has about as much brand awareness as the Elder Scrolls games. Yes, you heard me, the entire of D&D. Baldur's Gate specifically? Its pretty much just something that is obscure.
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Most gamers today likely do not even know what Baldur's Gate even is, in terms of name recognition, I would say it ranks fairly low.
We can see a pretty clear pattern with Beamdog and Larian -- sales dramatically exceed expectations when the D&D label is used.
In the case of Larian, that was clear marketing bullshit. They knew what they were doing when they spent that much money on advertising. How many games get to be the banner image of steam, or the demonstration for the release of a flagship apple product? They knew they were going to appeal to a much wider audience, because they were marketing on such a huge scale. That 1-2m sales of the EA I would be willing to bet was almost entirely due to this. Now here is the question, of those 1-2m people who bought the game, how many would have bought it without that viral advertising. Just a guess, but I would bet significantly less, regardless of the "D&D" name being there. Beamdog's sales numbers are not even in the same ballparks as Larians, so its not a useful comparison at all.
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Again, with Beamdog, one of big mistakes they made was only using gamers as beta testers. But the first version of the EEs didn't work on integrated graphics cards -- because what gamer in their right mind uses integrated graphics, right? They lost nearly a year of momentum and undisclosed numbers of refunds because they falsely assumed their audience was limited to the gaming community.
(not trying to bash at all, it's just missteps made on false assumptions are instructive)
Beamdog was very clearly not marketing to the same audience and at no point was it marketing at the same scale. The only people who would have heard of these games, are people with a vested interest already. When the EA went live, it was most viewed game on Twitch. People I know, who don't play games at all, were talking about BG 3 because they saw it on tech demonstrations, where they were only there for the tech. You can bet that people who are completely unfamiliar with D&D are playing BG 3 and probably a lot of them, I would guess the majority, because that was just how much the game was advertised.
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Or go to comic con and look a the number of cosplayers, go to any D&D tournament and your will see Baldur's Gate references. You will find Baldur's Gate fans a comic conventions, cosplaye events and, of course at table top tournaments -- it's a Big Tent.
No, its only a big tent when you look at it in the context of your "world view." If you ask people outside of those conventions if they have ever heard of BG, most of the time, the answer you will get is no. Look at the size of the cult followings for games like league of legends, or Dota or minecraft. Even if you stick to fantasy specifically, D&D is small relative to the big boys. The most valuable fantasy franchise in the world is Pokemon and its worth roughly 10x as much as WotC. Lord of the Rings is worth roughly twice WotC, not just D&D. Those franchise's are so popular that their merchandise is like a plague, you can find it everywhere.
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Of that number we would need to separate fans of shooters and the like from the RPG fans. I'd estimate the number of RPG gamers who had never heard of D&D at about 5 percent or so? And let's also take the growth of DnD interest into account -- compare the sales numbers by years and you will have pretty impressive stonks chart.
Separation helps when you do not have viral advertising, because the people who are actively interested in the type of product you produce are likely to actively seek it out. In the case of a game which is advertised on a mass market level, it helps to a lesser extent. Lets say that (hypothetical situation here) there are 1m dedicated RPG fans who will buy pretty much every RPG that is released and actively look for RPGs. Lets say a new RPG comes out which isn't marketed well and they all buy it, so 100% of the RPG market buys it. In contrast, lets say there is another RPG which is released, which does things that dissatisfies people who like RPGs and so only 10% of them buy it. At the same time however, this RPG is mass marketed and over 100m people see an advertisement for it. Of that 100m, 5% decide to try it on a whim. This game has sold far more, simply by virtue of advertising to a larger audience.
Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by Sharp
Keeping in mind, this is speculation on both of our parts since neither of us have the market data available to companies like Larian or Bioware.
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Mmmm. I attribute the high numbers to a) the Baldur's Gate name
Most gamers today likely do not even know what Baldur's Gate even is, in terms of name recognition, I would say it ranks fairly low.

If this was the case, they wouldn't have named the game Baldur's Gate III
Thats assuming there is only 1 reason to name a game Baldur's Gate III. There isn't. You could be a fan of a series and want to make your own sequel to it. WotC could also have a contractural obligation requiring them to use the name. We could also look at another example where something similar happened - Fallout 3. Fallout 1 and 2 had a cult following which was very disappointed (rightfully so imo) with Bethesda's sequel to the fallout games. But you can bet that Bethesda wasn't the underdog in that situation trying to make money off of name recognition, they were the much bigger company.

Last edited by Sharp; 12/02/21 02:52 AM.