Board Game/RPG Odds: Predicting the Best-Sellers of 2017

It’s time to get back to basics! Forget about your Maddens and Battlefields and Final Fantasies and Minecrafts. Let’s take a moment to unplug and enter the exciting world of board games and tabletop role-playing games. It may have taken a backseat to its louder, more tech-savvy younger sibling, but the board game industry is alive and well — even thriving!

When most people think of tabletop RPGs, Dungeons and Dragons is the one that springs to mind. And with good reason. It is by far the most popular RPG and arguably the only one to break through to mainstream culture. But really, D&D is just the tip of the iceberg. The last year was huge for tabletop RPGs and board games, with a stack of new games, new editions, and new variants released.

Which game will reign supreme in the year to come? Here are our odds on the best-selling tabletop RPGs and board games in 2017. As you’ll see, there are a few games that have a decent chance of topping the charts. It all depends on critical reception, 


Odds on the Best-Selling Board Game/RPG of 2017

7th Sea: Second Edition: 17/3

The first edition of 7th Sea was released back in 1999 by legendary game designer John Wick. The RPG was hugely successful upon release but ultimately faded into obscurity. This year, Wick returned with the second edition of 7th Sea, launching it independently through Kickstarter. It was beyond successful. Over 11,000 backers raised $1.3  million to make the project happen.

It’s possible that the 2nd edition – which returns players to the mythical land of Theah – will have an even bigger impact than the first.

A Game of Thrones: Second Edition: 17/3

A Game of Thrones in action. François Philipp (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)].
Just from the name itself, you know it’s going to sell well, even though it’s been out for a few years. The board game mimics the show as you would expect. Each player commands one of the houses of Westeros, pitting the show’s characters against each other. Like in the show itself, players can forge alliances, betray each other, and negotiate among themselves. The main objective is to claim as much of Westeros as possible for your house, from Dorne in the south to the Wall in the north.

Seafall: 23/3

From the man who brought us Risk Legacy and Pandemic Legacy comes the highly anticipated SeaFall. Rob Daviau describes the game as “Indiana Jones in the seventeenth century.” It’s a swashbuckling adventure game that sold out of its limited copies before the it was even made available to the general public. As long as they make enough games, it should be among the best-sellers in 2017!

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu: 9/1

The original Pandemic map. Padaguan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)].
Pandemic Legacy was released in 2015 and was a huge success. Now, the Cthulhu version of Matt Leacock’s Pandemic puts a new spin on the reliably successful game. The cooperative board game is considered one of the most influential games ever created. We can trust Reign of Cthulhu to do well.

The Last Friday: 19/1

If you’ve always fantasized about being a deranged mass murderer but didn’t want to deal with the legal and moral repercussions, then The Last Friday is your game. And you’re not alone; the game debuted at this year’s Gen Con, where it sold out instantly. Expect more sales in 2017, though the subject matter will likely turn some people off and prevent it from being the best-seller overall. 


Feature photo credit: “fighting with the legends of yore” by Scott Swigart, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.