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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.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Lem23

Adventurer
I mean, sure, I guess, but it's hard to tell from inside the internet using customer base already.

Is there really any such thing as a non-internet using customer base these days, especially in the younger generation? If the internet had been around when I was a kid, I'd have been googling D&D after seeing it the shops before I ever put any money down, and that's if I'd never come across it online in the case first before seeing it in the shops, which would be unlikely these days.
 

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Reynard

Legend
I don't buy it. You can watch people discover things every day meatspace if you spend any time in retail stores. Now, they might see a thing and pull out their phone and google it right there, but they don't have to have been previously exposed to it prior to walking into the store to drop money on it. The real world has its charms, even after the advent of the internet.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I don't buy it. You can watch people discover things every day meatspace if you spend any time in retail stores. Now, they might see a thing and pull out their phone and google it right there, but they don't have to have been previously exposed to it prior to walking into the store to drop money on it. The real world has its charms, even after the advent of the internet.
Even my grandma, before she died, bought knitting patterns on the internet. Everybody uses the internet.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Is it?

The PBH is currently selling on Amazon.co for $18... and it is ranked #70 in books. Not in genre books. Not in gaming books. Just in books. At #70 five years and more after publication?

The Essentials Kit is #610 in Books. The Starter Set is #412 in Books. These things would need to be flying off the shelves of game stores - that are mostly closed at this moment - to support those kind of PHB sales, wouldn't they?

The Starter Set has been flying off the shelves at Target, at least, well enough that Target commissioned WotC to make another boxed set they could put in the board game aisle as an evergreen title.
 

Reynard

Legend
Even my grandma, before she died, bought knitting patterns on the internet. Everybody uses the internet.
You misunderstand me. I am not saying people don't use the internet to discover, research and/or buy things. I am saying that people still do in fact discover and buy things in retail stores. As it relates to this discussion, I am saying people discover and buy those D&D starter sets in big stores. If they didn't, they wouldn't be there.
 


That's moving the goal posts quite a bit. You were clearly talking about veteran players bringing in new gamers before, not "who's the oldest?"
From the very beginning i was talking about a general trend of older players reqruiting younger players.
No goal posts have been moved.
He taught himself. They did not. It just makes sense to ask if they were older or younger (since there are more of them than there are of him). If most of them are younger, trend upheld.

There is no arguing about this. Goal posts. Pfff.

Why on earth woukd it be any different with those whom he taught than himself?

To me it seems like YOU are moving MY goal posts by adding something i never said. "Oh you can only ask how old the poster was. The other people dont exist." Does that sound like it makes any sense? Come ON.

My question is perfectly valid. If you disagree about something as basic as this i respectfully am ignoring your input.
 

That's moving the goal posts quite a bit. You were clearly talking about veteran players bringing in new gamers before, not "who's the oldest?"
Also yeah. I said OLDER. Other people said veteran.

If you read back far enough it becomes clear i always was talking about older. I dont know what others were saying. Its not what i said.

Also, if course i can invert it and ask about the pupils age.

None of this is goal post movement.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
How many of your pupils were younger than you though? Eh?
FWIW, some were younger than me. A few were older. You'll excuse me that I don't have exact numbers - this was over 30 years ago now. We were all generally in a similar age group though. A few years apart at most.

Edit: The largest technical age gap was probably when a friend's grandmother asked if I would run a game for her because she was curious about it (she was in her 70s at the time I think, while I was still in my teens). The timing didn't actually work out, so I never ran for her, although we did talk about it.
 
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akr71

Hero
shrug Anecdote - my goddaughter wanted to learn how to play, so I ran a game for her. She then picked up Critical Role, and then taught her friends, two of whom now also run their own games. Definite chain of mentorship there.

This is what I was trying to convey as well. The younger adults I have played with knew of the game and were interested in the game, but did not know anyone who played or how to get into it. They asked if I would run a game so they could learn. I said yes - fully expecting them to play a bit and then bail, starting their own group.

Nope, they fit right in with us and are now part of our regular crew. On guy had read all the Drizzt books and when I told him Forgotten Realms was D&D his mind was well and truly blown.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
If I am going to Target anyways (because no clothing bought on the Internet fits right when it is delivered) and while I price-check the clothes via the website I notice a D&D Basic set marked In Stock, is my purchase of the game at the cash register credited to the store or to the internet?
😛
 




doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
One of the reasons why I constantly tell people not to believe in the pseudoscience of statistics is because it invites attitudes like this. The people who are having the conversation are the ones who are important; any data which supposedly proves them "statistically irrelevant" is as wrong as Nazi pseudoscience about inferior races, because it is equally excluding real people from consideration on the basis of some dry intellectual nonsense that a bunch of ivory-tower academics produced through some sort of theoretical formulae.
You’re objectively wrong, in a laughable manner.

This sort of anti-scientific rhetoric is directly akin to flat-Earthers and people who believe in homeopathy.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don't buy it. You can watch people discover things every day meatspace if you spend any time in retail stores. Now, they might see a thing and pull out their phone and google it right there, but they don't have to have been previously exposed to it prior to walking into the store to drop money on it. The real world has its charms, even after the advent of the internet.
There are offline transactions, but in every industrialized country with free (as in speech) internet, and many whose internet is restricted, so few consumers are fully offline that they round to 0%.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well, anecdotally.

I would be unsurprised to hear that the physical store channel is small these days, by comparison to what Amazon delivers. Is there going to be a large channel of "never heard about it before, saw it in Target" as opposed to the "My friend showed me this Critical Role thing, and I then bought it on Amazon" channel?
IME, people are more likely to show their friend CR or whatever, and then tell them about the local store that sells all this stuff and you can pick out your dice and they’ll order stuff for you if they don’t have it in stock and you can hang out and talk about games there, etc.

Assuming they have a local store, and that it isn’t a toxic basement sort of a place.
 

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