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


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Bluh. I particularly dislike estimates of this kind which are obviously much, much more exact than the actual data permits.

From the given data, anything between 2 million and 10 million could be perfectly consistent. The former if the re-buy rate is higher and the average number of players per DM is lower (e.g., if it was typical for players to also become DMs down the line.) The latter if the re-buy rate is low and most DMs had more than four distinct players.

Specifying down to individual people is silly. Just call it 4 million and be done with it. You're making assumptions which shift these values by hundreds of thousands, specifying down to thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones is false precision.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
It’s the condescending that bugs me mostly. And I do think you’ve been mostly wrong. I can appreciate skepticism even if I think it’s incorrect.

But Dangit the belittling isn’t appreciated.
I've done neither. I've pointed out that we only have Ben's word on those numbers. I've pointed out that he's making a long string of pure guesses and bad assumptions in his math to reach the number touted in this thread. That's neither condescending nor belittling. I get that people react poorly when someone they've decided to trust is questioned, but again that's neither condescending nor belittling.
 


I've done neither. I've pointed out that we only have Ben's word on those numbers. I've pointed out that he's making a long string of pure guesses and bad assumptions in his math to reach the number touted in this thread. That's neither condescending nor belittling. I get that people react poorly when someone they've decided to trust is questioned, but again that's neither condescending nor belittling.
I would disagree with the assertion that your tone has been perfectly neutral. Things like, "As reported by you, with zero corroborating evidence. But, okay...sure." "Sigh." Etc. That's pretty condescending. You clearly have some beef with the (many, and highly arguable) assumptions flying around here, and I generally agree that this is speculative at best and misleading at worst. I would still say you expressed your point with discourtesy.
 


rooneg

Adventurer
Any summary for those of us who keep the Tome of Visages at arm's length?
Shannon Appelcline thinks it could be much larger, due to bigger groups (10-20 people in some cases) and the fact that people go in and out of them, so individual DMs could have many players. Ryan Dancy thinks it‘s a reasonable estimate, probably the right order of magnitude, within a few million of the correct number.
 

John Lloyd1

Explorer
Bluh. I particularly dislike estimates of this kind which are obviously much, much more exact than the actual data permits.

From the given data, anything between 2 million and 10 million could be perfectly consistent. The former if the re-buy rate is higher and the average number of players per DM is lower (e.g., if it was typical for players to also become DMs down the line.) The latter if the re-buy rate is low and most DMs had more than four distinct players.

Specifying down to individual people is silly. Just call it 4 million and be done with it. You're making assumptions which shift these values by hundreds of thousands, specifying down to thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones is false precision.
I do thinking going down to 7 digits of precision on this was being deliberately cheeky. I appreciate that it's giving us a rough idea of the player base at that time. It could be 2 or 10 million. Or even a bit outside that.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Shannon Appelcline thinks it could be much larger, due to bigger groups (10-20 people in some cases) and the fact that people go in and out of them, so individual DMs could have many players. Ryan Dancy thinks it‘s a reasonable estimate, probably the right order of magnitude, within a few million of the correct number.
Considering the early default assumption of large groups, and longer established record of history/research on the topic, I’m more inclined to agree with Shannon.
 

John Lloyd1

Explorer
Shannon Appelcline thinks it could be much larger, due to bigger groups (10-20 people in some cases) and the fact that people go in and out of them, so individual DMs could have many players. Ryan Dancy thinks it‘s a reasonable estimate, probably the right order of magnitude, within a few million of the correct number.
Or fewer players. When I played in high school it was just the three of us. I can't remember how many DMGs we had.
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
To many assumptions.

My groups for example were 5 or 6 players and people came and went so I probably played AD&D with 20 odd individuals.

They weren't all active players but they experienced it.

I suspect not much has changed.

I remember WotC claiming 6 million players 1999 or so. They probably just attached a number of players to each dmg perhaps including the floaters.
Oh, did they say 6 million? Where was the 20 million figure in my head from...
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Shannon Appelcline thinks it could be much larger, due to bigger groups (10-20 people in some cases) and the fact that people go in and out of them, so individual DMs could have many players. Ryan Dancy thinks it‘s a reasonable estimate, probably the right order of magnitude, within a few million of the correct number.
Go8ng on @Zardnaar memory of WotC repoeting 6 million total when dancey was in charge of things, seems that's about right.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I've done neither. I've pointed out that we only have Ben's word on those numbers. I've pointed out that he's making a long string of pure guesses and bad assumptions in his math to reach the number touted in this thread. That's neither condescending nor belittling. I get that people react poorly when someone they've decided to trust is questioned, but again that's neither condescending nor belittling.
It has nothing to do with questioning the sources, it's coming across as impolite while you do it.
LOL. Wow. What an absurdly terrible assumption.
Yea, people are going to call you out when you open like that. Tone matters.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
May have been Dragon magazine my memory isn't that good. May have even been an ad.

I can't remember if it was recent active players or lifetime players.

It was around 1999-2002 or so don't take it as gospel by any means.
M.T. Black states the following, which as Dancey says is within spittingdistance of @BenRiggs Estimate:

"If we fast forward to the famous Adventure Game Industry Market Research Summary released by Wizards of the Coast in the year 2000, we see they estimate the number of people in the United States playing any tabletop roleplaying game at least monthly to be 2.25 million, with a total number of 5.5 million having ever played a tabletop roleplaying game."

 


a.everett1287

Explorer
M.T. Black states the following, which as Dancey says is within spittingdistance of @BenRiggs Estimate:

"If we fast forward to the famous Adventure Game Industry Market Research Summary released by Wizards of the Coast in the year 2000, we see they estimate the number of people in the United States playing any tabletop roleplaying game at least monthly to be 2.25 million, with a total number of 5.5 million having ever played a tabletop roleplaying game."

But I thought it was such a terrible assumption...
 

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