Netflix show Stranger Things, fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons both rise in The NPD Group ranking of fastest-growing licensed book properties in US in Q2 2022; Dungeons and Dragons ranked sixth with sales of US$14.9M, up 9% from Q1

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PORT WASHINGTON, New York , August 10, 2022 (press release) –

“Dungeons and Dragons” and “Stranger Things” both rose in the U.S. licensed book rankings from the NPD BookScan License Reporting Service

The fantasy tabletop role-playing game “Dungeons and Dragons” and popular Netflix television series “Stranger Things” both rose in The NPD Group ranking of the fastest growing licensed book properties in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2022. “Dungeons and Dragons” ranked in sixth place in the second quarter of 2022, with sales of $14.9 million based on manufacturer’s suggested retail (MSRP) book prices. The property’s growth rate was 9% higher than the previous quarter. Books based on “Stranger Things” ranked 21st, with MSRP sales of $593,000 in the second quarter and a sequential quarterly growth rate of 390%.

“The 1980s nostalgia that infuses the popular streaming TV series ‘Stranger Things’ has obviously struck a chord with viewers and we have seen it drive a resurgence of ‘Dungeons-and-Dragons’ books license growth ever since the release of the ‘Stranger Things’ second season,” said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for NPD. “Parents who once played ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ back in the day are now watching their kids get involved in the game, thanks to being featured in the Netflix series. And licensed book sales are reflecting the game’s heightened profile and renewed popularity.”

Information from NPD’s Subscription Video Track service reveals higher viewer engagement for the latest season of “Stranger Things” compared to the previous season. The total hours watched in the fourth season was 38% higher than the third season, while overall season consumption grew by 13%. “It’s interesting to watch how these two brands are interacting,” McLean said. “When we look at overall media coverage, ‘Stranger Things’ is the hot topic. However, in the world of books, ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ continues to be the standout star. The pandemic has also helped propel the ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ franchise, as it has given people lots of time to invest in playing analog games during their increased time at home.”

The NPD BookScan License Reporting Service provides quarterly views branded book sales under more than 3,000 licenses. NPD’s book industry analysts use this data to compile and analyze trends in the licensed book market. 

About NPD Books
With the explosion of content generated by print books, streaming video-on-demand services, podcasts, and audiobooks, our culture is increasingly dominated by the stories we tell. In this interconnected media landscape, books are where some of today’s hottest media properties get their start. But as retail and consumer change accelerates, it can be a challenge to make sense of it all. We work with all the major players in U.S. publishing, retail, media, and toys to understand how digital and print content is evolving. Our books industry experts know the publishing world inside and out; they tap into our point-of-sale data to help you make better and faster decisions in today’s market.

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Dan Rivard
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