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WotC Comparing EN World's Demographics to the D&D Community's

WotC released some figures this week. I thought it would be fun to compare them to the demographics of our own little community here on EN World for the same period (2019).

WotC uses a metric it refers to as 40,000,000 'D&D Fans', but that's not defined. For the purposes of this, I assume a fan is a person who has interacted directly with D&D in some way (played a game, bought a book, watch a stream, played a video game, etc.) A fan's a fan, however they interact with D&D!

For comparison, I'm using people who have interacted with EN World in some way -- and what we can measure is unique visitors. Obviously this isn't on the same scale (40M people is a LOT) but it doesn't matter too much for what we're doing here; they're both samples for conversation. So, let's start at the top!
  • Short version: EN World skews younger, but more male than the overall D&D community.
WotC is looking at 40M fans, we're looking at 5.6M unique users (as opposed to overall visits, which numbers in the tens of millions). We get this data using Google Analytics, which provides a lot of anonymized demographic data. I can't identify any individual person with this; it merely shows the overall numbers. Our demographic data includes just under half of those 5.6M users; I don't know how WotC's data is derived. I know they do surveys from time to time, but I don't know what percentage of those 40M fans fill out those forms.

As an aside - 40 million D&D fans is awesome! We're definitely living in a golden age of tabletop gaming, and as the market leader, WotC is the entity most responsible for bringing in new gamers. Well, maybe Critical Role is, but they're playing D&D!

Age

So, the controversial data that everybody on Twitter is talking about -- the age groups. Google Analytics breaks it down a little differently to WotC's figures, so here's what we have. GA doesn't give stats on people under 18 years of age. The figures below are those GA has data on for EN World -- obviously that's only about half of overall users.

Age​
Numbers​
Percentage​
18-24592,401 users24.58%
25-341,309,373 users54.33%
35-44330,755 users13.46%
45-54138,372 users5.74%
55-6426,689 users1.11%
65+12,631 users0.52%

As you can see, the figures aren't as evenly distributed as WotC's. There's a significant number of 25-34 year-olds, and a higher number of 18-24 year-olds. Also, it shows people above the age of 45, who don't appear in WotC's stats.
  • We show a slightly higher percentage of people 34 or under (79% compared to WotC's measure of 74%) although we're not measuring people under 18, which would skew it younger if we were.
  • 26% of WotC's audience is over 25, while only 20% of EN World's is.
  • 7.37% of EN World's audience is over 45.
  • Under 18s are not included in the stats.
  • EN World skews younger than the D&D community overall.
Screen Shot 2020-04-25 at 12.09.27 AM.png

For comparison, here are WotC's figures.

Screen Shot 2020-04-25 at 12.42.49 AM.png


I've turned them into a quick and dirty bar graph. The number of players increases slowly from 8 up until age 35, peaking at ages 30-34, and then it starts to drop off sharply. That's the same age that the drop-off on EN World's readership takes place, too. Seems about 30 is peak age.

wotc_age.jpg


And here are those same figures in absolute numbers -- 10% of 40,000,000 people is a LOT of people!

Age​
Percentage​
Numbers​
8-1212%4.8 million
13-1713%5.2 million
18-2415%6 million
25-2915%6 million
30-3419%7.6 million
35-3915%6 million
40-4511%4.4 million

Gender

The gender demographics here skew much more male than WotC's stats do. Google Analytics shows male and female (it doesn't track non-binary people) and reports on under half of overall users (2.3M out of 5.6M total).

Of those, it reports 85.56% male, 14.44% female. It doesn't provide data on non-binary visitors.

Screen Shot 2020-04-25 at 12.08.51 AM.png



Geography

WotC's report shows that Europe is growing for them. As a European (at least geographically!) that's heartwarming news for me. So here's some figures on EN World's geographical distribution.

As you can see, it skews primarily English-speaking heavily, which is expected for an English-language community.

United States3,376,839 users59.14%
United Kingdom (yay!)478,217 users8.38%
Canada411,179 users7.2%
Australia198,922 users3.48%
Brazil125,682 users2.2%
Germany109,248 users1.91%
Italy95,682 users1.68%
Netherlands74,139 users1.3%
Sweden51,479 users0.9%
Spain47,096 users0.82%

The list goes on for pages, but we're under 1% now.

The average EN World reader is male, American, between 25-34.
 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments



atanakar

Hero
Very interesting. Pretty much the picture I had in mind. I'm proud of the very high representation of younger generations. Proves my theory that first generations of gamers showed their kids how to play and they will do the same. Growth is exponential !

Where are the 55-64% ? The table is missing a row I believe.
 
Last edited:



Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It's interesting to see this. I wonder what it'd look like with gender breakdowns of the age groups, both in ENworld's data and in WotC's.
It sounds like something Google Analytics should be able to do, but it may be above my competence level with the interface!
 







Hussar

Legend
If anyone wonders why back in the 90's WotC's market survey cut off at 35, well, here's the reason. :D Or, maybe people think that D&D has skewed younger in the past twenty some years?
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Is it the age range at time if registration it does it update?

Eg say you registered age 25 2008. Do you get counted as 25 or 37?
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Maybe this is the place to ask -- and I'll understand if you don't want to answer, Morrus -- but has ENWorld seen an increase in traffic since the release of 5E?

I ask because it's another metric to gauge 5E's success, since a lot of people distrust WotC's numbers, for whatever reason.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Is it the age range at time if registration it does it update?

Eg say you registered age 25 2008. Do you get counted as 25 or 37?
It's Google Analytics. It's what Google knows about you, not what your profile here says.

(and your profile here just optionally asks your birth date; it doesn't ask your current age, so the question makes no sense)
 

Eltab

Hero
6 and a fraction % are in the ideal age range.
7 is a Divine number
6 x 7 = 42 The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything
(for those who think The Answer is 43, see the fractional percent.)

So we grognards have the best of both worlds and we really do know it all !
 


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