Roll20 Now Has 10 Million Users

Roll20's user base has doubled since 2020, and is now at a height of 10 million users.

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In 2020 Roll20 had 5 million users, and it had 3 million users two years before that. In February 2021 it reported 8 million users.

A recent blog post says that "From 2017 to the end of 2019, Roll20 grew five times over (in both staff and revenue), and the pandemic more than doubled that growth."

Dicebreaker reports that the platform reported in a press release that new updates were coming, including a UI overhaul, performance improvements, and new features for GMs.

In other news, Roll20 now has a new CEO, Ankit Lal. Nolan T. Jones,co-founder of the company, is stepping back.
 
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payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Yeah, I hear the point about buying things twice. But, there are two counter points to that.

1. Don't. Just buy the VTT implementation of the book. You don't actually need both to play. I haven't bought a WotC physical book since the core 3. But, I do own many of the VTT versions. If money is the issue, it is one way to go.

2. You do get a HUGE amount of functionality with the VTT version that the print version can't give you. So, it's not like you're buying the same material twice. It really isn't. The fact that when I make an adventure, everything (more or less) is drag and drop, it's just so fast. I can completely stat a 10th level adventure in about an hour. And I mean a meaty adventure. Something that's going to take a full level to complete. I certainly could never do that on a tabletop.
This will probably break out into another physical materials vs. virtual materials fist fight soon. Before then, one good thing about the pandemic is its making folks see how great VTTs can be. You will always have folks who prefer the actual table though and nothing is wrong with that. Likely to still be a period of time folks go back and fourth so the complaints will likely remain.
 

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Retreater

Legend
Yeah, I hear the point about buying things twice. But, there are two counter points to that.

1. Don't. Just buy the VTT implementation of the book. You don't actually need both to play. I haven't bought a WotC physical book since the core 3. But, I do own many of the VTT versions. If money is the issue, it is one way to go.

2. You do get a HUGE amount of functionality with the VTT version that the print version can't give you. So, it's not like you're buying the same material twice. It really isn't. The fact that when I make an adventure, everything (more or less) is drag and drop, it's just so fast. I can completely stat a 10th level adventure in about an hour. And I mean a meaty adventure. Something that's going to take a full level to complete. I certainly could never do that on a tabletop.
I do have considerable difficulty finding the information I need to run on a VTT. The automation is nice, but I can't find the information I need to actually run the adventure. (This was almost a disaster-level session when I was running Forbidden Lands recently, where you had to open multiple files to get all the description you need for a single dungeon room.) So I am always going to have a PDF in actual readable format open while running a game. However, I don't mind purchasing a PDF and VTT module. Having put adventures and other custom content in VTTs before, I appreciate the hours of work being done for me, and would gladly pay a premium for the convenience.
What I don't like is purchasing the same content on multiple VTTs, paying multiple subscriptions, learning and adapting to multiple UIs. And what I really dislike is purchasing content on a VTT that is available on one VTT and then having to go to another VTT to use a different book (in the same gaming system) because one VTT doesn't have that specific resource. (For example, the Abomination Vaults isn't on Roll20 for an odd reason, so I have to go from one VTT to another to run PF2 if I want to run Abomination Vaults. Or how The Enemy Within isn't on Roll20, but it has numerous other WFRP adventures.)
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
As always, interesting thread.

Millions of new users probably means millions of new users. They can't be old users, cause new. And you do have to go the trouble of creating that account, there is no reason to do that unless you are going to use it. And people seem to be. On roll20 through or Reddit there are so many people looking for games and players. You can arrange a new game in hours or even minutes, if you are in a hurry.

Roll20 has always been a lighter, easier to use interface. It does have more built in features then it use to, and they mostly work easily (though I recommend not using dynamic lighting unless you really need to). The built in voice chat now works. Teaching someone to use it takes a few minutes, and for players its free. 5e support is great.

Its very flexible for DMs. You can get maps and images on your own and just run it like you would at the table, or use the built in SRD. Or you can buy the add ins, which are hugely convenient. You can mix and move content in platform easily across games.

Its not perfect, but just reading about the "features" of other VTTs, its clear why it is so popular.
 

As always, interesting thread.

Millions of new users probably means millions of new users. They can't be old users, cause new. And you do have to go the trouble of creating that account, there is no reason to do that unless you are going to use it. And people seem to be. On roll20 through or Reddit there are so many people looking for games and players. You can arrange a new game in hours or even minutes, if you are in a hurry.

Roll20 has always been a lighter, easier to use interface. It does have more built in features then it use to, and they mostly work easily (though I recommend not using dynamic lighting unless you really need to). The built in voice chat now works. Teaching someone to use it takes a few minutes, and for players its free. 5e support is great.

Its very flexible for DMs. You can get maps and images on your own and just run it like you would at the table, or use the built in SRD. Or you can buy the add ins, which are hugely convenient. You can mix and move content in platform easily across games.

Its not perfect, but just reading about the "features" of other VTTs, its clear why it is so popular.
I advertised a need for a 5e player for my Thursday game (Roll20/Discord), and had six applicants in 45 minutes.

I advertised for my Zweihander campaign, and got two in four hours. And Zwei is not that well-known.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
I advertised a need for a 5e player for my Thursday game (Roll20/Discord), and had six applicants in 45 minutes.

I advertised for my Zweihander campaign, and got two in four hours. And Zwei is not that well-known.
And its the second that has the bigger implications.

You can find something, including through the roll20 marketplace, that you may have thought you would never have find players for, and now it might just take a few days. Boggles the mind.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I advertised a need for a 5e player for my Thursday game (Roll20/Discord), and had six applicants in 45 minutes.

I advertised for my Zweihander campaign, and got two in four hours. And Zwei is not that well-known.
The ease and accessibility for VTT gaming can't be overstated. If I want to play Call of Cthulhu, all I need is 10 minutes on the Roll20 Marketplace and a post on a Discord server. By the time I've set up the game and skimmed the module (an hour, maybe two), I've got a gaming group ready to go.

There's no comparison to in-person gaming.
 

Hussar

Legend
What I don't like is purchasing the same content on multiple VTTs, paying multiple subscriptions, learning and adapting to multiple UIs. And what I really dislike is purchasing content on a VTT that is available on one VTT and then having to go to another VTT to use a different book (in the same gaming system) because one VTT doesn't have that specific resource. (For example, the Abomination Vaults isn't on Roll20 for an odd reason, so I have to go from one VTT to another to run PF2 if I want to run Abomination Vaults. Or how The Enemy Within isn't on Roll20, but it has numerous other WFRP adventures.)
Well, now, that's fair. And, honestly, I don't think there's any way around that. It's not reasonable to think that different VTT's will be compatible. That's just not going to happen. So, yeah, if you're running multiple different games, then, yup, you're going to have problems and I can totally see how that would be frustrating.

It's kind of like exclusive content on consoles. If I want to play game X, I need console Y. Frustrating and annoying to be sure.
 

Hussar

Legend
The ease and accessibility for VTT gaming can't be overstated. If I want to play Call of Cthulhu, all I need is 10 minutes on the Roll20 Marketplace and a post on a Discord server. By the time I've set up the game and skimmed the module (an hour, maybe two), I've got a gaming group ready to go.

There's no comparison to in-person gaming.
This is a drum I've been banging on for years now and I still don't understand why it isn't more of a thing.

If you want people to buy and play your game, why are publishers not running it on a VTT? Build a community on a VTT for your game and you're so far ahead of things. I know I'd certainly sign up to play Level Up if Morrus was running it. For the smaller publishers, I don't understand why they wouldn't be going the sort of "Public Play" model, training up game masters, then using those game masters to draw in new players.

There must be very good reasons why no one seems to do this, but, I just can't see what they are. Time maybe?
 


timbannock

Adventurer
This is a drum I've been banging on for years now and I still don't understand why it isn't more of a thing.

If you want people to buy and play your game, why are publishers not running it on a VTT? Build a community on a VTT for your game and you're so far ahead of things. I know I'd certainly sign up to play Level Up if Morrus was running it. For the smaller publishers, I don't understand why they wouldn't be going the sort of "Public Play" model, training up game masters, then using those game masters to draw in new players.

There must be very good reasons why no one seems to do this, but, I just can't see what they are. Time maybe?
From my experience and the handful of designers I've spoken to about this very subject, it's mostly time. It's a (relatively) new space to be making games in, and that specific model you describe requires interacting with a lot of other people: it's not like you advertise you're brand new, never-before-seen game system and get applicants as fast as you will advertising a 5e or CoC game, after all. And even when you do, it's likely not a one-and-done scenario. Lots of community management there.

So, it's more about the up-front development/scheduling/time costs being different, as opposed to it being "hard". I think you're onto something though: game development in that manner would lead to earlier and likely easier-to-organize playtesting, which is very handy. That's gonna lead to games that are better designed, potentially, and also specifically designed for the VTT space. Also super handy.
 

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