I visited Gen Con today. It's my favorite time of the year. In the best years I get to go all four days, but sadly this year was another single day visit year.
I get a charge out of being in a sea of tabletop gamers. My favorite event are the seminars.
The dealer's room hasn't been very heavy in RPG product in any year I've attended, but it seemed really sparse this year. It was more than none, but it was the lightest I've seen before. What I noticed this year was booths selling board games or card games with occasional banners advertising upcoming Kickstarter campaigns for RPG products.
The market has changed entirely - I get that, but I was disappointed that I didn't run across *any* surprises I was interested in this year. A few years ago I came across one of my favorite RPGs of all time, Warbirds, and I hoped to have an experience somewhat like that, but this wasn't the year. Like I said, there were some there, but it was the least I've seen.
Even the consignment area of the auction was skimpy on RPG content.
I'm not saying that this is a portent. I think we're kind of in a revival of tabletop RPGs, it's just that the economics of my favorite con and the modern market have reduced the role of RPG book sales there.
I don't go to buy game books though (it's just a fun bonus to talk to creators and pick up stuff I've never seen), so of course it was still fun.
Then I had a medical situation and had to leave earlier than expected. Attending for only one day, leaving early, and not having the surprise of discovering an unknown RPG made Gen Con 2016 my least favorite. It was still fantastic, just less than I hoped.