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D&D Increases Its Lead In Orr Groups Q3 2015 Report

It's that time again! Every quarter or so, we get stats from The Orr Group, Fantasy Grounds, and ICv2. Usually, they all say the same thing - over the last year, they've all been saying that Dungeons & Dragons has retaken its #1 market position from Pathfinder. The Orr Group's Q3 2015 (that's July - September) stats just came in. The Orr Group maintains the Roll20 virtual tabletop app, which has over a million users. These stats indicate that D&D has held on to its overall lead, and that for the first time the player count is the highest, as opposed to just the number of games.

Below, as usual, I present the stats. D&D leads Pathfinder by 10% in terms of number of games, and by 3% in terms of number of players. I'm not sure how to interpret those two different figures - but I'm sure you will in the comments! Interestingly, D&D 4E is higher than any non-D&D-derived (by which I include Pathfinder) game - D&D and its derivatives have nearly 70% of the number of games played. As Monte Cook once observed in an interview I conducted with him and Shanna Germain, it's interesting that the top spots are being vied for by variations of Dungeons & Dragons by a BIG margin.


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Orr Group's previous report is here. In that report D&D had 25% of the number of games, and 31% of the number of players, and now it has 30% and 41% respectively. That's some growth. Pathfinder has dropped very slightly (and it is slight) to 20% and 37% from 21% and 40%.

Also see the ICv2 figures from the last few years (I expect new figures soon). They say much the same thing, especially the Spring 2015 ICv2 report, as, indeed, did Fantasy Grounds' latest report (although now they're officially licensed by WotC their stats are probably not as useful).
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Not too surprising. Looks like people are coming over from other D&Ds.

Interesting to see some of the other games. 547 Stars without numbers games, 328 apocalypse world games, and 54 games of something called the MAID RPG.
 


turkeygiant

First Post
So this is just the numbers of people playing games right? What would be really interesting to see is if 5e has brought entirely new money into the rpg market to be spent, or if it is instead just eating up all the money that would have gone to Pathfinder in previous years?

I'm guessing it's probably a mix of both, but I would bet Paizo is watching very carefully to make sure they don't let it be too much of the former. Im still surprised they haven't come up with any gamelines of their own (that I know of) it would make sense to me not to have all your eggs in the "D&D alternative" basket especially when people are flocking to D&D and not away from it.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I find it interesting that almost the same number of people playing Pathfinder stuck with D&D 3.5. I personally would go with the supported variation of the ruleset (i.e. Pathfinder) but it seems that a significnt number of people see value in the base 3.5 ruleset.
 

Cody C. Lewis

First Post
When I heard (a few years ago now) about DnD coming out with a new edition and that they were going to have an open playtest for fans to give them feedback I remember thinking "Good for them. But honestly it's too little, too late."

I cannot believe how FAST this edition has been accepted by the community.

I think it has made me come to realize... Pathfinder was always only ever borrowing players who grew up with 'Dungeons and Dragons'.

Which is a shame really. I feel like Paizo kept DnD(as in tabletop rpgs not truly D&D) alive for a lot of people that might not have continued to support the industry if they were only given the choice of 4e or a 3.5 that had no new products really being released with the exception of SOME 3rd parties.

I am torn because I feel like Paizo > WOTC; 5e > PF
 

Hussar

Legend
I find it interesting that almost the same number of people playing Pathfinder stuck with D&D 3.5. I personally would go with the supported variation of the ruleset (i.e. Pathfinder) but it seems that a significnt number of people see value in the base 3.5 ruleset.

I think we underestimate the number of players out there who don't buy new books. I mean, good grief, even though there hasn't been a new 3.5 book out in years, there's still hundreds, if not thousands (if you count 3pp) titles for the line. There's enough modules for 3.5 to essentially play forever and never have to write a single adventure. Dozens of settings and whatnot. And, because of the Hypertext SRD, you can play 3.5 with very little buy in.

Yes, I know Pathfinder has an online srd as well, but, those who started and stayed with 3e have no real reason to change, and the Pathfinder books are so darn thick, and you still only have a single setting with a solid wall of adventures deeply buried in that single setting, I think it becomes somewhat impenetrable for new players.

What blows my mind is you have one MILLION players on Roll20. Holy CRAP! Online play has landed and it's here to stay.
 

Quatermane

First Post
I am very pleased to see D&D riding this new wave of RPG interest. Fifth edition is excellent IMHO. My players really like it and look forward to more content for it.

Of course, the D&D brand recognition is so deep that it will likely always have presence in the industry. Kinda like Coca-cola and Pepsi... the brand is the thing.

In my circles and travels where I meet people that are not gaming fans...
If I bring up that I play RPGs, the general initial assumption is that it is an online game of some kind.
If I bring up that I play Pathfinder or Dungeon World, often I get lost looks or people asking if those are some kind of new computer game.
But if I bring up Dungeons & Dragons as my hobby... immediate recognition of what I am talking about... and lately... many questions about how to get into a gaming group to give it a try.

The advent of online video presentations of D&D sessions is also fueling the resurgence of RPG interest. More and more people seem to be tuning into this phenomenon called D&D through Youtube and Twitch.
More and more I see people asking how best to begin their adventures in D&D through chat and discussion board entries associated with D&D video sessions.

Good for D&D... good for other RPGs and gaming product creators riding this wave of interest.... better for all of us looking for people to begin a gaming group. :)
 

When I heard (a few years ago now) about DnD coming out with a new edition and that they were going to have an open playtest for fans to give them feedback I remember thinking "Good for them. But honestly it's too little, too late."

I cannot believe how FAST this edition has been accepted by the community.

I think it has made me come to realize... Pathfinder was always only ever borrowing players who grew up with 'Dungeons and Dragons'.

Which is a shame really. I feel like Paizo kept DnD(as in tabletop rpgs not truly D&D) alive for a lot of people that might not have continued to support the industry if they were only given the choice of 4e or a 3.5 that had no new products really being released with the exception of SOME 3rd parties.

I am torn because I feel like Paizo > WOTC; 5e > PF

I have to agree with this. I really like 5th Edition, but can't stand the way that WOTC is so secretive about everything. I love the fact that Paizo has no problem letting you know what they are up to, that on their forums they will sometimes sign in and comment on what people are talking about or suggesting ..... and I LOVE Pathfinder!! But .... as much as I love Pathfinder, (and how much support they have from 3PP .... that big Freeport book, DSP's Ultimate Psionics, and AAW's Rise of the Drow are all amazing,) they are not D&D. Sure, DSP's Psionics Bestiary, has something in it like a Mindflayer .... but it's still not a Mindflayer. I missed Beholders. I missed the Giths.

I know I'm going to catch so much flack for this ..... but sometimes WoTC strikes me like they have this attitude like we, the player, owe them because they saved our game from the failing hands of TSR. Yet Paizo seems to really appreciate the fact that we have given their game a fair chance. But damn ...... I really do enjoy 5th so much. The only thing that bothers me, is that in order to get the official stats on Tiamat and the Demon-lords, I had to buy WoTC's lackluster adventures.

I also wish that WoTC would just scrap their ideas for psionics and just hook-up with Dreamscarred Press and get psionics right for 5th Edition.
 

Agamon

Adventurer
I find it interesting that almost the same number of people playing Pathfinder stuck with D&D 3.5. I personally would go with the supported variation of the ruleset (i.e. Pathfinder) but it seems that a significnt number of people see value in the base 3.5 ruleset.

Actually, the number of players for each game comes from what people mark in their profile under "Enjoys Playing", not what they are currently playing. So similar numbers for both 3.5 and Pathfinder makes sense.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Actually, the number of players for each game comes from what people mark in their profile under "Enjoys Playing", not what they are currently playing. So similar numbers for both 3.5 and Pathfinder makes sense.

Oh, really? Huh. That makes that stat next to useless, then.
 


Grimstaff

Explorer
something called the MAID RPG.

I had to go and look that up lol

"You are a maid, having worked dutifully for the Saionji family for several years. You are also a shy albino princess who does odd jobs for the yakuza, and train with the three-section staff. Your peer Maya is an outgoing young maid with freckles, a streak of being greedy for sweets, and who also happens to be a military cyborg."
 

Grimstaff

Explorer
I find it interesting that almost the same number of people playing Pathfinder stuck with D&D 3.5. I personally would go with the supported variation of the ruleset (i.e. Pathfinder) but it seems that a significnt number of people see value in the base 3.5 ruleset.

This stood out to me as well. I wonder how much is long-time players sticking with the edition, and how much is simply because the SRD is free and accessible online.
 

darjr

I crit!
This stood out to me as well. I wonder how much is long-time players sticking with the edition, and how much is simply because the SRD is free and accessible online.

above someone said that the 'players' stat is simply those who have checked a box that they like to play that version. My bet is that nobody goes back and removes those checks but might check new editions.
 

Barachiel

First Post
The hype will die down, WotC will screw up even more, Pathfinder rises back to #1. Give it another year. I will never have faith in the current owners of D&D until someone more fitting somehow gets a hold of it. I love how PF has been covering many regions of their setting's entire world (even worlds beyond) but yet WotC can't manage to quit rehashing the same areas in my favorite setting, Forgotten Realms. Places like Sossal, Veldorn, Maztica, Old Empires regions, Kara-Tur, Zhakara, Jungles of Chult, Lantan, and many more areas in need of covering yet we get another edition and another line of books covering Waterdeep, Sword Coast, Silver Marches, Cormyr and the Dalelands over and over and over again.
 

Grainger

Explorer
They're still using "original D&D" but describing it as BECMI, but these are two different games. So is this category meant to include both, or one or the other? I know it's a moot point are regards the overall results, as the percentage is so small, but a specialist RPG site (Roll20) should really know this.

Probably worse is that they separate out so many editions of D&D and Pathfinder, yet lump in all "Star Wars" games together, when they are much more different from each other than are the various editions of D&D and Pathfinder. If they don't have accurate descriptions and consistent categories, how can they hope to collect accurate data? It doesn't really instil confidence in their other data, really.

Presumably it's too late to change these definitions, because players and GMs have made their selections, and Roll20 will never be able to get everyone to re-classify. However, if they're going to be releasing stats to all and sundry, a specialist RPG site really ought to have been much more careful with their classifications in the first place.

[pedantic rant ends]
 
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I think we underestimate the number of players out there who don't buy new books. I mean, good grief, even though there hasn't been a new 3.5 book out in years, there's still hundreds, if not thousands (if you count 3pp) titles for the line. There's enough modules for 3.5 to essentially play forever and never have to write a single adventure. Dozens of settings and whatnot. And, because of the Hypertext SRD, you can play 3.5 with very little buy in.

Yes, I know Pathfinder has an online srd as well, but, those who started and stayed with 3e have no real reason to change, and the Pathfinder books are so darn thick, and you still only have a single setting with a solid wall of adventures deeply buried in that single setting, I think it becomes somewhat impenetrable for new players.

What blows my mind is you have one MILLION players on Roll20. Holy CRAP! Online play has landed and it's here to stay.

Yes, this is anecdotal, but...
I've seen that the kids playing in schools in Alaska tend to be using older editions; the handful I've asked are either using a parent's old books, or are playing books they bought in used book stores and/or pawn shops. (In fact, one pawn shop I know of has more game books space than video games space.)
 


thzero

First Post
That is not a million players, it's a million accounts. Big difference.

And how many of these 'games' are actually games that are being played, versus some signed up for for and never really went anywhere.

I'd much rather see stats on 'completed' games, if someone can arrive at a definition for what is completed.
 

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