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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:

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
You were rich. We had to use clods of dirt in the pavement and the neighbours kids for the dice. He quit playing after he scored a critical hit landing on his head.

Dang, you had extra neighbor kids to use as dice? We had to use the ones that came in the box with a crayon to make the numbers more visible :.-(
 

Dang, you had extra neighbor kids to use as dice? We had to use the ones that came in the box with a crayon to make the numbers more visible :.-(
The best we could manage was to pick up the bones of dead rats, use them as dice and imagine the numbers.

But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
You had numbers? We were too poor to learn to count!

We weren't happy either, but we did have turnips....

Ok, it wasn't quite that bad for us. We could count and read. And we did have some happiness when the local paper reported that our area was on the top 100 list of Soviet nuclear targets (nuclear plant and a bunch of aerospace plants). Well, most of us guys thought it was cool, I remember a few girls in class disagreeing...
 


MGibster

Legend
Showoff.
I played Keep on the Borderlands with Basic rules, using a pencil and paper (and eraser).

You had pencils with erasers? We only had one eraser in the house and were only allowed to use it on Christmas. Do you know how hard and useless an eraser gets when you can only use it once a year?
 

Campbell

Legend
It's still resulting in a "lurker ration" of 1 000:1 or more. Are that that many people just reading posts and not writing? how many active participants do we have on the forums? It can't be more than 5000....

I think the vast majority do not read the forums. They might read articles that have an attached forum discussion. Forums are honestly a little outmoded. I am an elder millennial (36). I do most of my game discussing on Discord, Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook. I mostly post here out of nostalgia (having been involved with this community since the run up to 3rd Edition when I was still in the 8th grade).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I think the vast majority do not read the forums. They might read articles that have an attached forum discussion. Forums are honestly a little outmoded. I am an elder millennial (36). I do most of my game discussing on Discord, Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook. I mostly post here out of nostalgia (having been involved with this community since the run up to 3rd Edition when I was still in the 8th grade).

They might be "out of fashion" - but honestly, I find them a superior way to discuss gaming (and a host of other topic). Twitter is too fast, wild and crazy, reddit tends to bump up memes over all else, a pox on facebook, and discord... discord is better than twitter, but still a bit transient.

Forum posts have a permanency to them, and can be found years later.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Forum posts have a permanency to them, and can be found years later.
Quoted for truth.

Somebody is running a new Tiamat campaign, found the "Enhancing..." threads for HotDQ and RoT, and posted a question. (I know this because my EnWorld alert 'pinged' me about the new post.)
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
This is a vital part of it. We get a LOT of traffic from people who google specific questions, for example. Hell, when I google tech questions I often end up reading a forum thread somewhere.

A Tweet or a FB post is transient. Reddit isn't; it's basically a big forum.

The best posts/threads are indeed worth preserving :) thank you for the reply.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I recently found the Story Hour I wrote 17 years ago in high school buried deep in this forum, back when I went by Tsunami. It was so much fun to read it over again... I still play with some of the same players!

That is fantastic! I found some very old story hours I and a friend wrote of a 3e campaign we played while I was in university... good times!
 

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