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Dungeons & Dragons has 15 Million Players in NA Alone; Storyline Is "The Da Vinci Code meets Gangs o

Interesting. The following tidbit has me excited about the new storyline:

“The Stream of Many Eyes” ... story — which will be revealed on June 1 — was described by one D&D staffer as 'The Da Vinci Code meets Gangs of New York.'”
 

Comments

Mistwell

Legend
[MENTION=6716779]Zardnaar[/MENTION] I would like to hear your thoughts on this tidbit?
 
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Parmandur

Legend
WotC spoke to the Seattle Times, and revealed some interesting tidbits! Not only are 40% of D&D players women, the game has over 15 million players (1 in 20 Americans!) in North America alone!


dndred.jpg



  • Nearly 40% of D&D players are women
  • D&D sales grew 44% in 2016
  • D&D also went from 12m to 15m players in North America alone
  • If my calculations are correct, that means nearly 1 in 20 Americans play D&D!
  • More than 50% of new players since 2014 watch games online
  • The new storyline - to be revealed on June 1st - is described as "The Da Vinci Code meets Gangs of New York."
Read the article here
 

Zardnaar

Legend
@Zardnaar I would like to hear your thoughts on this tidbit?
Seems to be going well but once again they decline to provide sales numbers. They can claim anything they want I suppose how they get 15 million players IDK.

Personally I think D&D is doing great, I'm not claiming its failing or anything like that. They don't provide any evidence, sales figures or how they arrived at the 15 million conclusion, there is no data, primary sources or anything like that provided. Its basically PR.

12 to 15 million is also 25% growth not 44% in the OPs post lol. Wife watches some zombie show (I Zombie?)and they were playing D&D in that which I thought was funny.
 
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Pjack

Explorer
"At a recent planning meeting, staffers were tasked with finding “an actual blacksmith,” fire dancers and keeping a close eye on fire codes." In case anyone was wondering where WotC's promotional budget for D&D was going these days. Not that I'm complaining! I just get wistful thinking about those nice certs and Faction Folios you used to get for free when playing in-store. The event sounds like it's going to be awesome, though.
 

Hussar

Legend
Seems to be going well but once again they decline to provide sales numbers. They can claim anything they want I suppose how they get 15 million players IDK.

Personally I think D&D is doing great, I'm not claiming its failing or anything like that. They don't provide any evidence, sales figures or how they arrived at the 15 million conclusion, there is no data, primary sources or anything like that provided. Its basically PR.

12 to 15 million is also 25% growth not 44% in the OPs post lol. Wife watches some zombie show (I Zombie?)and they were playing D&D in that which I thought was funny.
12 to 15 million is in North America alone. Not the total number of gamers. The remainder would make up the 44%
 

12 to 15 million is also 25% growth not 44% in the OPs post lol.
If you read the article, it mentions SALES grew 44% in 2017 over 2016.
But they can’t be doing *that* well given apparently less than one in fifteen people has bought a PHB. :p
 
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Mistwell

Legend
12 to 15 million is also 25% growth not 44% in the OPs post lol. Wife watches some zombie show (I Zombie?)and they were playing D&D in that which I thought was funny.
That's because the OP got it wrong. In the article, it's two different statements:

the D&D brand had a 44 percent sales growth over 2016,
The most number of players in its history — 12 million to 15 million in North America alone.

So two statements, one about the growth in sales year-to-year, and another about the current number of players in North America.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
15 million! That’s an impressive 4.5% of Americans. Or nearly one in twenty Americans are D&D players.
 

15 million! That’s an impressive 4.5% of Americans. Or nearly one in twenty Americans are D&D players.
Americans are less than 2/3rds of the population of North America (Canada & Mexico being most of the rest), 12-15 mil is 2.1-2.7% of North Americans.

Which is staggering compared to what it's been like for most of the last 30 years....

[sblock="bit of negativity over a pet peeve"]In the article, they say 5e was "...designed to be more accessible to new players by streamlining play, simplifying the rules and putting renewed focus on the story."

That's not all quite true, nor the whole story. 5e was /also/ designed to be familiar (and acceptable) to the divided fan-based, from OSR grognards to 3.5 system masters, and doing that has definitely made the game /less/ accessible to new players. Play isn't really streamlined nor rules simplified, unless you compare it to the high watermark of end-of-edition 3.5, and, even then, it's mostly the volume of rules, not their simplicity or sleek lines, that's at issue.

What they actually did was a more impressive feat: they threaded the needle, walked the tightrope, between fans who demanded paleo-D&D, fans who demanded system-mastery-rewarding RAW, fans who wanted this class or that class or those options or don't you dare - and potential new fans who couldn't even cope with listening to the afore-mentioned fans argue all that stuff.
That they hit the magic balance between acceptability and accessibility, when, at each previous attempt, they hadn't even been able to split the difference in acceptability among the factionalized fanbase, is /amazing/. Lightning in a bottle, seriously.

But 5e ain't simple. Sorry. Natural language, complicated 'Vancian' magic-users, hit points, AC, genre-bending, clerics, beatstick fighters, and goofy monsters may be comfortingly familiar to us old-schoolers, but they're as frustrating as ever to new players.

Two things make 5e welcoming to new players: (1) the scaled-back shelf presence of just the Player's Handbook sitting there as the one obvious book you have to buy: no 'advanced' or PH2-17 or anything, just the one book, everything else is clearly for the DM, and the few things that aren't, like SCAG or Xanathar's or whatever, just don't look /obligatory/ the way a PHII does - it's just plain less intimidating at a glance.
And, (2), the legion of experienced DMs who make playing the game actually fun.
;)
[/sblock]

12 to 15 million is in North America alone. Not the total number of gamers. The remainder would make up the 44%
I think what he meant was from 12, to 15 is 25% growth.

But ParmandurMorrus misread the article:
"He declined to disclose sales numbers but noted that in 2017, the D&D brand had a 44 percent sales growth over 2016, and the most number of players in its history — 12 million to 15 million in North America alone."
44% is /sales/ growth (but they're not telling you sales).
12 to 15 mill is the number of players in North America, in 2017, the range is indicating uncertainty about the number of players, not growth.

If growth in players corresponded to neatly to growth in sales (might, might not), 12 to 15 million players, now, would mean 8-10 mill the year before. Of course, we don't know if that's active players or 'have ever played' or 'have played in the last year' (seems plausible) or what, nor how the number was arrived at. It could be off by a lot more than 3 mill - /in either direction/.


"Lies, damn lies, and statistics" aside, it's still an encouraging collection of factoids and buzz in the article.








....but, it does sound like - units or $s - D&D has a huge freeloader problem. Just say'n.
 
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Rygar

Explorer
Seems to be going well but once again they decline to provide sales numbers. They can claim anything they want I suppose how they get 15 million players IDK.

Personally I think D&D is doing great, I'm not claiming its failing or anything like that. They don't provide any evidence, sales figures or how they arrived at the 15 million conclusion, there is no data, primary sources or anything like that provided. Its basically PR.

12 to 15 million is also 25% growth not 44% in the OPs post lol. Wife watches some zombie show (I Zombie?)and they were playing D&D in that which I thought was funny.
I agree. This announcement is basically "Knowing the Unknowable".

-How do they know how many players there are? One set of core books could be one player, or 10 players. They didn't claim 15 million books sold, so they're using some assumption that one set of books = some number of players. So we can say with near absolute certainty that number is wrong.

-"Nearly 40% of players are women"? That number is complete fabrication. They could only know that percentage if the polled every person in every country in which they sell books, because they can't know how many people play. "Nearly 40% of players at conventions or organized play are women"? Sure, they could know that. But since most people don't go to either of those things, they have no idea what the metric is for total players.

-"Most than 50% of new players watch games online". Not only do they have all the problems I just listed above with this number, but now they also have the problem where they can't tell which hits are a misclick, which ones are bots, which ones are blind links from other forums, which ones are the same person on multiple devices, etc. Another totally fabricated number.

I have to wonder if this misleading data (at best) has a correlation to the recent Hasbro report that I understand indicates that Magic the Gathering has dropped by significant double digit percentages?
 



R_Chance

Adventurer
If you read the article, it mentions SALES grew 44% in 2017 over 2016.
But they can’t be doing *that* well given apparently less than one in fifteen people has bought a PHB. :p
I just bought my 3rd set of core books. I have an extra set loaned out... and out... it may return some day. I finally bought a new back up set. That way I can keep one set at home and one set at school (for the Game Club I advise). Even if not everyone has bought one, some of us have made up for it :)
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
(Just a note, this thread was promoted to an article, but I had to write the (brief) article in place of the OP, which was pretty much just a link. It’s still credited to Parmandur, but the words (thus the mistakes) are mine.)
 

DM Howard

Explorer
That's very impressive and I'm not surprised at all! It would be interesting to know how they came to those numbers though.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I agree. This announcement is basically "Knowing the Unknowable".

-How do they know how many players there are? One set of core books could be one player, or 10 players. They didn't claim 15 million books sold, so they're using some assumption that one set of books = some number of players. So we can say with near absolute certainty that number is wrong.

-"Nearly 40% of players are women"? That number is complete fabrication. They could only know that percentage if the polled every person in every country in which they sell books, because they can't know how many people play. "Nearly 40% of players at conventions or organized play are women"? Sure, they could know that. But since most people don't go to either of those things, they have no idea what the metric is for total players.

-"Most than 50% of new players watch games online". Not only do they have all the problems I just listed above with this number, but now they also have the problem where they can't tell which hits are a misclick, which ones are bots, which ones are blind links from other forums, which ones are the same person on multiple devices, etc. Another totally fabricated number.

I have to wonder if this misleading data (at best) has a correlation to the recent Hasbro report that I understand indicates that Magic the Gathering has dropped by significant double digit percentages?
Businesses, News departments, election polls, etc make these kind of estimates all the time. The take a sampling of people and solicit feedback. It has been going on for so long now that methods have been refined to be pretty good, but by no means perfect.

Of course they don't strap every human being to a lie detector test to determine how many play D&D and what gender they are when a sampling will be good enough.

Whether or not this sample and methods used to collect data was good I not I can't say, but to assume it's meaningless just because it didn't include every human being in every country is pretty silly.

Edit: this point is made more eloquently by the poster after me.
 

R_Chance

Adventurer
I agree. This announcement is basically "Knowing the Unknowable".

-How do they know how many players there are? One set of core books could be one player, or 10 players. They didn't claim 15 million books sold, so they're using some assumption that one set of books = some number of players. So we can say with near absolute certainty that number is wrong.

-"Nearly 40% of players are women"? That number is complete fabrication. They could only know that percentage if the polled every person in every country in which they sell books, because they can't know how many people play. "Nearly 40% of players at conventions or organized play are women"? Sure, they could know that. But since most people don't go to either of those things, they have no idea what the metric is for total players.

-"Most than 50% of new players watch games online". Not only do they have all the problems I just listed above with this number, but now they also have the problem where they can't tell which hits are a misclick, which ones are bots, which ones are blind links from other forums, which ones are the same person on multiple devices, etc. Another totally fabricated number.

I have to wonder if this misleading data (at best) has a correlation to the recent Hasbro report that I understand indicates that Magic the Gathering has dropped by significant double digit percentages?
They are probably using a sample of known data that they do have and extrapolating. It's the basis of every poll done, and the heart of social science research. It's not like they call millions pf people on the polls used in your daily news. You have a sample size and a margin of error built into it. If you've constructed it properly it works. Not perfect accuracy, but it allows for broad generalization and produces useful information. Market research is no different, and they do have better access to a set of players through AL and FLGS as well as online games. As for the data they did release, how much valuable trade information did you want :)

*edit* Yeah, what BookBarbarian said in the post just above mine! :)

*edit* Geez, not only do we post in sync, we edit in sync too...
 
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AmerginLiath

Explorer
As usual, I would love it if the actual statistics involved here were linked in some fashion, since newspapers do a poor job of handling such matters (the only journalists who ever seem to see a stats class in college are those writing about electoral polling...at least some of them). There are different references to sales data and surveys, but we aren’t told whether the aggregate information on how well D&D is doing is a package of numbers that WotC presented or partly background that the Seattle Times aggregated. In any case, we don’t know the methods of the surveys used (it appears that 40% of surveyed players were female, which could arguably be telling of the often-younger digital audience, given the survey methods we’ve seen WotC use, unless the reference is to an external survey).

Like other reports, bookseller lists, and popular culture references, the numbers here certainly reference that D&D is popular, wide-selling, and catering to a diverse audience. But the numbers as provided in this column (especially without notes on statistical methodology) don’t inform us exactly on how well. To what degree of confidence can they (and we) assume the percentage given of total players, for example? There’s no information here like a more “serious” story extrapolating numbers from surveys would contain (much less a breakdown of the actual definition/question of player by current, modern, or lifetime status).
 

happyhermit

Adventurer
15 million! That’s an impressive 4.5% of Americans. Or nearly one in twenty Americans are D&D players.
Mind blowing, really, considering the level of investment compared to something like watching TV. To think that the number of D&D players could rival the number of people watching the most popular and influential shows! :) This hobby is dying in the most peculiar way.
 

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