Tuesday, 3rd July, 2012, 03:26 PM #1
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Google Statistics on the Edition Wars: D&D & Pathfinder [updated]
Awesome Dice Blog has performed a statistical analysis on the number of web searches for terms related to both D&D and Pathfinder, in an attempt to add some new data to the "edition wars". The analysis tries to take into account the various types of search phrases which people might use, simultaneously attempting to avoid the problem that there's a car with the same name as Paizo's game. It's obviously not conclusive in itself, but it does add to the oft-cited data points (such as Amazon sales rankings, iCV2 retailer reports, a plethora of anecdotes, and more) regarding the popularity of the competing game systems.
Interestingly, it concludes that D&D 3.5 isby far the most searched for D&D-branded system, that D&D in general gets more searches than Pathfinder, but that Pathfinder seems more popular than any specific D&D iteration (although it only overtook 3.5 recently).
My suspicion is that many people searching for D&D information don't tend to specifiy an edition - most people just have a few rulebooks and play a game they call "D&D" without thinking too hard about its edition; so a group of teenagers searching for a clarification on, say, a 4E rule, will often tend to just search for something like "Ranger attack powers D&D" or something, rather than specifying "4E". Much of the detail comes into play in online communities like EN World rather than the greater world. But that's just a suspicion.
You can read the full report and see more graphs here. No edition warring, please. Thanks to David for the scoop.
Of course, information like this is far from conclusive. @dkyle (further down the thread) showed how the exact opposite conculsion can be reached just by varying the search terms. The below graph shows Google Insights (the numebrs are a 1-100 scale); as you can see, each variation of D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, Dnd, and so on, individually outweighs Pathfinder by a massive amount, and combined by a factor of 147-3. This isn't conclusive either; it just serves to illustrate how the conclusion can vary depending on your search terms.
Last edited by Morrus; Wednesday, 4th July, 2012 at 01:04 AM. Reason: Updated
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