D&D General As of 1998, 4,007,685 people played AD&D in the US, as estimated by Ben Riggs.

I suspected this thread would be pedantic. It has not disappointed.

Ben's math feels like a good faith if imperfect effort to estimate the player base. He's far from the first to try and arguably fail. Cut him some slack.

More interesting to me is WotC's claim that 50 million people have "experienced" D&D. Experienced does not equal played. It probably includes those who have played the computer games, watched the Saturday morning cartoon, regrettably rented one of the movies, wore a t shirt, bought a plushie, etc. It's a measure of the brand, not of the game.
 

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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
That’s absolutely true, but it is still statistically very unlikely that we aren’t among the first intelligent species in the universe - however many there may have been before us, there will be a lot more than that after us. And that’s weird, because it makes us an exceptional case, which is by definition unlikely. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but more likely there’s something off in our assumptions. Colonialist aliens is a pretty good explanation because if it were true. it would make the observation that we’re early exactly what we would expect.
It seems I heavily misunderstood some of what you said earlier on this front. The "grabby alien" hypothesis is in fact something I've heard about and it was much better-reasoned than the usual arguments relating to one's relative position in a sequence of things when you don't know how many total things there might be. My apologies.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It seems I heavily misunderstood some of what you said earlier on this front. The "grabby alien" hypothesis is in fact something I've heard about and it was much better-reasoned than the usual arguments relating to one's relative position in a sequence of things when you don't know how many total things there might be. My apologies.
No worries. The grabby alien hypothesis is in fact what I was trying to explain, but I may have done so poorly.
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yeah, and that is possible, but by definition very unlikely. Far more likely is that we’re working from flawed assumptions.
Thinking of the Drake equation, specifically, it's pretty easy to set some of the unkown variables to get the result "1 or fewer," and there is no particular evidence yet that is or is not the case considering the statissample size of...1
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Thinking of the Drake equation, specifically, it's pretty easy to set some of the unkown variables to get the result "1 or fewer," and there is no particular evidence yet that is or is not the case considering the statissample size of...1
Right, but the Drake equation is used to estimate the number of currently active and communicative civilizations in our galaxy. The statistical models I’m referring to are concerned with what portion of civilizations that will ever arise will do so within what portion of the universe’s lifespan. Basically, you can mess around with variables like how rare life is and how long it takes to develop all you want; any way you slice it, we have developed at an incredible early point in the universe’s lifespan. 13 billion years seems like a long time, but it is a very short time compared to the lifespan of the longest-lived stars, which are also much more common than shorter-lived stars like the sun. So, unless you assume that intelligent life can only develop on planets very much like earth, around stars very much like the sun (which would also make us an exceptional case), there’s no set of variables that doesn’t point to us having developed at a very early point relative to most other intelligent life that will ever exist.
 
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GreyLord

Legend
WotCown numbers put the number of everyone who ever played an RPG at the end of the 90's at 5.5 million, but the number of active D&D fans in 2020 at 50 million. So a nearly 10 fold increase is the case. And note that a huge portio of those 50 million people weren't even born yet in 1998!

I know 5e is popular...but when people start saying it is as popular as the X-Box in the United States...I ask myself something to see how accurate it may be.

Does it seem reasonable that as many people bought D&D books as bought an X-box one. Did it have that type of market penetration. Is it as EASY to buy D&D books as it is to buy an X-box one. Is there any other indication other than what they say that D&D is as popular among people as an X-box One was/is.

Does it seem reasonable that D&D 5e is played by double the amount of people that had an original Xbox? Is it actually that fluous through society that it is as popular as the original Nintendo?

If I had to judge compared to Consoles, and how much people talk about and it's penetration into society...what does it seem closer to? The atari Jaguar? The 3do? An original Xbox? An Xbox 360? The Playstation 2?

Their statements are marketing...and aimed at making people feel like they are part of a movement? Obviously the numbers are based on something, the question is do they believe their own numbers and how accurate are they in reality vs. marketing speak?

edit: Going to the 80s, one can ask the same thing about the 80s (if one was there). Did D&D seem to have as much penetration and marketing as an Atari 2600? the Intellivision? Coleco? The Atari 5000? The Nintendo Entertainment System? Where could you buy it, was it as available? Was it as prevalent? It won't give you the absolute number, but it will give an idea of how popular or unpopular. Would it seem reasonable for those that were there that there were 20 - 25 million players of D&D overall during that time period, or would that also be reaching?
 
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darjr

I crit!
I know 5e is popular...but when people start saying it is as popular as the X-Box in the United States...I ask myself something to see how accurate it may be.

Does it seem reasonable that as many people bought D&D books as bought an X-box one. Did it have that type of market penetration. Is it as EASY to buy D&D books as it is to buy an X-box one. Is there any other indication other than what they say that D&D is as popular among people as an X-box One was/is.

Does it seem reasonable that D&D 5e is played by double the amount of people that had an original Xbox? Is it actually that fluous through society that it is as popular as the original Nintendo?

If I had to judge compared to Consoles, and how much people talk about and it's penetration into society...what does it seem closer to? The atari Jaguar? The 3do? An original Xbox? An Xbox 360? The Playstation 2?

Their statements are marketing...and aimed at making people feel like they are part of a movement? Obviously the numbers are based on something, the question is do they believe their own numbers and how accurate are they in reality vs. marketing speak?
Xbox? I dunno. But it’s been in the top 100 and often top 50 of all books on Amazon US for years. Years.

Just recently I looked and it was 18 out of all sci-fi on Amazon US.

How many PHBs is that a month? 500? 1000? 5000? Just from Amazon.
 

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