analysis of RPGNow/DriveThruRPG Sales Figures based on order numbers. While Order numbers are not an accurate indication of absolute sales, they should be a good proxy for relative sales. For example seeing if sales increase by 20% or 100% over a previous year.
Blackmarsh puts me in a good position to look at the order numbers as somebody orders a copy of the PDF nearly everyday, 5,581 copies as of April 30th 2015.
Here are the figure up to 2013.
For 2014 we started out at Order# 5394233 and ended with Order# 6654344. For 2014 over 1,260,111 order were handled in some manner. This is a small increase over 2013's figure of 1,196,729.
How is 2015 shaping up?
For 2014, the number of Orders handled to May 1st was 462,252..
For 2015, the number of Orders handed to May 1st is 580,603.
Look 2015 will see an increase over 2014 continuing the trend of increasing sales at OBS. Undoubtedly one factor driving is the fact that OBS (the company behind RPGNow/DriveThruRPG) keep expanding it range of products. It now includes physical books, small posters, and cards. Another is the impact of PDF sales of TSR/Wizards products.
The only downside seems to be the fact that sales of iPads and other tablets have seemed to have flattened somewhat. But on the other hand larger smartphones are coming into the picture and just about every manufacturer, especially Apple, has had increased sales.
If Wizards gets a third party license out for DnD 5e, I bet there will be an explosion of sales as complaints are starting to mount about the how slow the product release cycle is. The OSR, Runequest/Legends, and Fate keep growing as well and each of these games has a lot of third party support behind them.