It’s been somewhat of a transitional year for both video and tabletop RPGs.

On the video game side, there were only a handful of AAA single-player RPGs (all published by Bioware, Obsidian, and CDProjekt) of any note, and almost nothing in the way of non-expansion MMO releases (save Star Trek at the very beginning of the year). I may be missing a few that flew under my radar. Meanwhile, more companies seemed to have extensive layoffs than in any other year in recent memory save perhaps the wash of Austin layoffs a few years ago. Ultimately, 2010 proved that the video game industry is far from recession-proof, as investors began getting serious cold feet about anything that wasn’t a Facebook app. 2011 looks promising, particularly due to some 2010 games that were held off for more polish, so maybe we’ll see some fun and innovative stuff in the next few months.

On the tabletop RPG side, the interesting thing about 2010 on the major publishing side was Paizo becoming a major player pretty much entirely on the back of Pathfinder. I seem to recall hearing that they’re now the second largest tabletop RPG publisher. Part of this also likely has to do with White Wolf increasingly treating the tabletop market as a distraction from the development of the World of Darkness MMO, moving to completely transition to a video game studio instead of a tabletop one. Meanwhile, potentially under the radar of most, some second-tier tabletop publishers with high production values started doing some very interesting things: Margaret Weis Productions’ Smallville and Leverage are both licensed mainstream properties that nonetheless do some very experimental things with their game design, and Fantasy Flight Games’ take on Warhammer Fantasy is an interesting hybrid of D&D 4th, indie ideas, and their own board game sensibilities. As usual, lots of indie RPGs came out over the year, many of which mostly flew under my radar but were well-received by RPGnet, but the biggest was probably the long-awaited release of the Dresden Files RPG. With the production values involved, it may mark Evil Hat’s transition from an indie publisher to a mainstream one (if that distinction even really makes a difference any more in the diverse land of small print runs that is the tabletop RPG industry).

Meanwhile, on this blog, 2010 has been an amazing year of growth in my readership, with each recent month seeing more pageviews than the entire year of 2009. I’m hoping that, if I keep up the content, you’ll all keep coming back.

And because everyone likes top 10 lists, here are the top and bottom 10 posts from this blog, as of the first of 2011, ranked by pageviews (and weighted by number of days active). They don’t include syndicated views or people viewing the post directly via the home page, just the number of times the post was directly viewed (so it’s, at best, an approximation of interest).

Top 10

  1. D&D 3.5/Pathfinder Overpowered Spells
  2. Sandbox D&D and E6/8
  3. D&D: Level by Wealth
  4. Pathfinder, RotR: House Rules
  5. Pathfinder, Kingmaker: House Rules
  6. Dungeon Inertia
  7. From Radioactive to Riches, Part 1
  8. D&D: Modified Buff Spells
  9. System Review: Fading Suns, Part 1
  10. D&D: Cooldown Casting

Bottom 10

  1. The Karma Contract
  2. MGI: Diminishing Returns Cooldowns
  3. Ultimate Star Wars – Force Powers
  4. SNFO 2: Mazes and Monsters
  5. The Hook Mountain Massacre, Part 5
  6. SNFO 3: the Pit
  7. The Sims: With Great Power
  8. Bartle’s Four and Fantasy Fiction Styles
  9. Consciousness Twinning
  10. The Transliteration Problem