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D&D Surges Into Lead In Orr Group Figures

The last two times the Orr Group (makers of the popular Roll20 online gaming tools which cite a user base of close to a million users) produced statistics on which games were being played, Pathfinder held the top spot. Those were in October 2014 and January 2015. However, April 2015 brings us a different picture: it seems like D&D 5th Edition has surged into first place in terms of games played (but not in terms of number of players, a title curiously held by D&D 3.5).

Interestingly, the top 4 spots are all one flavour of D&D or another (including Pathfinder, of course). This matches ICv2's latest hobby game retailer surveys which have D&D regaining the top spot after several years. Paizo's Erik Mona does note, however, that the "post-5th Edition paradigm" has not significantly harmed Pathfinder's sales.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Corrosive

Adventurer
I'm curious about their claim of nearly a million users. I've heard them claim that a few times. Looking at this list, adding up the number of players doesn't come to close to a fraction of that. What are these million people playing? The list includes "other games".
 
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I'm curious about their claim of nearly a million users. I've heard them claim that a few times. Looking at this list, adding up the number of players doesn't come to close to a fraction of that. What are these million people playing? The list includes "other games".

If you look at the top it mentions a "Sample Size" of around 70,000 gamers, so this appears to be a random sampling not the actual breakdown of all members.

A million users? Do you have a link to these claims? I find it highly unlikely.

You can go to roll20.net and check out the prominent "Join 800,000 Tabletop Gamers" headline, if that helps.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
At the ENnies last year they said they were at 600K users. Whether it's 600K, 800K, or a million, they're clearly a popular platform.

[video=youtube;P-gIXk4xeN0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-gIXk4xeN0[/video]
 

Agamon

Adventurer
Impressive. Of course, a user is probably just someone who has signed in at least once. But impressive, nonetheless.
 


Mercurius

Legend
Roll20 probably has 800K users in a similar way that EN World has 168K users ;D (actually, I'm curious [MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION], if you know the percentage of those 168K users who post at least once a week, once a month, have 10+ posts, etc).

Anyhow, interesting stuff although of limited use for a variety of reasons. One that comes to mind is that it is an online gaming suite which might be skewed more towards certain games. I'm guessing, for instance, that a lower percentage of OD&D players use online gaming tools than 3E or 4E. Not to mention World of Darkness (speaking of which, why are there more games of Vampire than of all White Wolf games?).

I am a bit surprised at how low certain games are - Dragon Age, Warhammer, one or two others.

I'm also wondering why Settlers of Catan is one there. Isn't this RPGs only?
 

Fildrigar

Explorer
Roll20 probably has 800K users in a similar way that EN World has 168K users ;D (actually, I'm curious [MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION], if you know the percentage of those 168K users who post at least once a week, once a month, have 10+ posts, etc).

You'd probably find quite a few members who hardly post at all. Note that I've been a member since 2008, but posted the first time this January.
 

Kramodlog

Naked and living in a barrel
What are the percentages next to the numbers supposed to mean? The first clearly means the total percentage D&D games represent in relations to the total number of games being played. But the second percentage, I'm not sure.
 
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Hussar

Legend
Couple of interesting points.

If you look at the January report, the player sample size was half of the one for this quarter but the game sample size is not that hugely different, about 50% more this quarter from last. I wonder why.

Also, the number of 5e players has darn near doubled as well. Not a big shock all things considered. It probably takes a bit of time for a system to "catch up" after release. People aren't going to drop ongoing games necessarily. They will finish out the current campaign and then move on later, so, there is always going to be some lag.

As far as Paizo's bottom line is concerned, I imagine that their subscription base is their bread and butter, which likely won't be impacted by all this all that much.
 



turkeygiant

First Post
Pathfinders subscriptions are probably going to keep them going for a while. I think the thing they need to be concerned about is making sure they are releasing adventures and content of the same quality as WotC, so far they haven't been threatened by the two Tyranny of Dragons modules which weren't great, but by all accounts Princes of the Apocalypse is fantastic and if the D&D releases continue to be that quality I can see people start to cancel their ongoing pathfinder subscription in favour of picking up the latest D&D modules instead.
 

Hussar

Legend
I dunno. I get a very strong sense that Pathfinder subscribers are more interested in reading material than gaming material. I'm not sure if the same is true for wotc ap players.
 

Wicht

Adventurer
I dunno. I get a very strong sense that Pathfinder subscribers are more interested in reading material than gaming material.

I suspect you are presenting a false dichotomy.

Also the play by post forum over on Paizo is a very happening place. I started a game there a couple weeks ago and it surprised me how many people are using those forums for actual gaming. The PbP area used to be much slower and less "crowded". Someone is playing Pathfinder still. A lot.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
What are the percentages next to the numbers supposed to mean? The first clearly means the total percentage D&D games represent in relations to the total number of games being played. But the second percentage, I'm not sure.

First is games, second is players.
 

Hussar

Legend
I suspect you are presenting a false dichotomy.

Also the play by post forum over on Paizo is a very happening place. I started a game there a couple weeks ago and it surprised me how many people are using those forums for actual gaming. The PbP area used to be much slower and less "crowded". Someone is playing Pathfinder still. A lot.

Oh, without a doubt. But, there's a difference between players and buyers. I mean, heck, on this thread alone, you've got 3e players beating out both Pathfinder and 5e in terms of number of players. I doubt 3e players are buying a heck of a lot of products.

By the same token, this is just my gut feeling, so, it's wild speculation. :D I'm thinking that a number of Pathfinder buyers are similar to Dungeon and Dragon buyers - those that like reading even if they aren't actually using everything or even a large fraction of what they read. At one point, that would describe me perfectly. I had a several year subscription to Dragon, at various points in time, and I barely used 10% of the material I bought. And probably significantly less. But, I sure miss having a print Dragon mag appear in my mailbox, even if I wasn't using it.
 

Wicht

Adventurer
Oh, without a doubt. But, there's a difference between players and buyers. I mean, heck, on this thread alone, you've got 3e players beating out both Pathfinder and 5e in terms of number of players. I doubt 3e players are buying a heck of a lot of products.

By the same token, this is just my gut feeling, so, it's wild speculation. :D I'm thinking that a number of Pathfinder buyers are similar to Dungeon and Dragon buyers - those that like reading even if they aren't actually using everything or even a large fraction of what they read. At one point, that would describe me perfectly. I had a several year subscription to Dragon, at various points in time, and I barely used 10% of the material I bought. And probably significantly less. But, I sure miss having a print Dragon mag appear in my mailbox, even if I wasn't using it.

I understand what you are saying and are in that boat as well of buying far more than I use. So I agree with you there :)

But I am also running one PbP game, have one home game going, and am writing up scenarios to run at Origins using Pathfinder.

So I am not sure that the dichotomy between buying and playing is legitimate, meaning it doesn't have to be one or the other - it can be both buying for reading and buying for playing. Actually I think, personally, that the sweet spot with consumers doing both, is where an RPG game company should want to be.
 

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