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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Hussar

Legend
It all depends on how many people you have on the project and what you expect the system to actually do. Yes, you can get a very basic system set up in as little as a few months. It won't do but a fraction of what existing VTTs do and it won't have much content. The problem is that the market of people who are willing to pay for a very basic system that doesn't do at least what the major VTTs today do, is extremely small.

I don't know what else to tell you. Most RPG companies are smaller than you think and only a few would have the resources to attempt it. Those who have, have not been successful doing it.

I agree except for your last point. Other than a brief foray by WotC in 4e, those who do have the resources to attempt it, just haven't. It's not that they aren't successful, it's that they've never given it a try.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I agree except for your last point. Other than a brief foray by WotC in 4e, those who do have the resources to attempt it, just haven't. It's not that they aren't successful, it's that they've never given it a try.

There are only two RPG companies that might have the resources - WotC and Paizo. WotC tried in 4e. Failed. They then tried (using a dev company for the purpose)* for 5e, and that project crashed, so they then allowed another VTT to license material.

Paizo hasn't tried VTT. But their software venture with Goblinworks? Hasn't turned out too well, now has it?

Don't measure how easy it is by how many you see on the market - "Oh, there's a handful of them out there, it can't be that hard!" That sample is biased, by it being the success stories. You don't see how many failed projects there were.


*And don't tell me it would have been different if they did it in-house. They are game publishers, not a siftware development company, and don't have the in-house expertise to even know how to hire staff for in-house software work. It would be like starting a whole new company - very risky. Handing it off was the smart move, though not a guarantee of success.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Yeah, they did. They announced Paizo Game Space in 2012.

http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5ldzj

Okay, yeah. And their try went so well... I never heard of it, or don't recall it if I did!

And has Playbook gotten anywhere? Their blog had nothing from the end of August until... yesterday?

Overall, I think the pattern becomes clear - doing this well isn't easy.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Okay, yeah. And their try went so well... I never heard of it, or don't recall it if I did!

And has Playbook gotten anywhere? Their blog had nothing from the end of August until... yesterday?

Overall, I think the pattern becomes clear - doing this well isn't easy.

Playbook's big Pathfinder launch was a few weeks ago. I haven't heard anything since. I've no idea if anybody is using it.

But yeah, this stuff isn't trivial to do. Still, Hero Lab does character management *really* well, and both FG and Roll20 are great VTTs, so we have options. I seem to recall Hero Lab announcing 5E support at one point? Or was I imagining that?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
A decent game (which is awhat a VTT really is) usually takes around 2 years or more to program. I would be shocked at any decent VTT that did not take 2 years to program.
 

Nylanfs

Adventurer
Playbook's big Pathfinder launch was a few weeks ago. I haven't heard anything since. I've no idea if anybody is using it.

But yeah, this stuff isn't trivial to do. Still, Hero Lab does character management *really* well, and both FG and Roll20 are great VTTs, so we have options. I seem to recall Hero Lab announcing 5E support at one point? Or was I imagining that?
Herolab is doing the same thing we are. Waiting to see what the new license will be.
 

darjr

I crit!
WotC actually tried twice in 4e. Once with something 'internal' that they wanted to launch with 4e and after 4e had been going, they subbed it out. That was the one that went into public beta.
 


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