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Roll20 publishes Game Percentages... Pathfinder at 25%

Cherno

Explorer
Via Tabletop Gaming News.
Source

Game-Percentages.jpg

THE ORR GROUP INDUSTRY REPORT is an overview of tabletop gaming ruleset popularity
based on usage data from Roll20 Virtual Tabletop.
Based on a sample size of approximately 25,000 games and 15,000 players.
Notes on how information is gathered:

? “Games” = % of games where the Game Master said “this is what we’re playing.”
? “Players” = % of players who were active in the quarter and filled in the “this is what I
enjoy playing” field on their profile.
? Percentages will total more than 100% because each player/game can have more than
one game type designated. This is extremely common for players and rare for the
games.
? This only takes into account games/players which were active (e.g. game was played,
player played at least one game) during the 3rd Quarter of 2014.
? This is meant to be a representative sample, as it only takes into account games and
players who filled out relevant fields on their game page/profile. There was significantly
more than 25k games and 15k players who played in this quarter, but many do not fill out
these fields.
? The list of available games to select were curated by Roll20’s staff based on previous
freeform
survey results, and will be changing in the future.​




 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I just came here to post this!

Q3 is July-September 2014.

I don't think the Player% column is of much use. It just looks at what active players have indicated in their profile they like playing, and presumably most of those are set when they create their account and rarely get changed. I could be wrong, but I know I don't even edit my Facebook profile much, let alone more niche ones. I probably last edited that a couple of years ago, save for the profile picture.

The Game% column is much more interesting. So this is 25K games, where the GM stated what game was being played. That's a large sample. I'm not surprised that Pathfinder games are strong, but the 3.5 entry surprises me a little. It'll be interesting to see if 5E rises up the chart over the next couple of quarters.

One stat that would really help is how long each game has been going on. Are we looking at long-term games which started two years ago and aren't likely to change any time soon? Are we looking at newly started games (which is the stat I would personally find more interesting)?

It'd also be interesting to compare that list to EN World's own list of games being talked about across the web. I wonder how much correlation there is. I would hazard a guess that - in general - talking about stuff has a lead on playing it, and so one list might correlate to the other historically by a quarter or so? No idea!
The
 

Cherno

Explorer
I'm a little bit surpirised that PF has that muhc of an edge compared to the other games. It really drives home the point that WotC lost their first place in the fantasy RPG scene and Pazio managed to get on top by a large margin.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It really drives home the point that WotC lost their first place in the fantasy RPG scene and Pazio managed to get on top by a large margin.

Eh. Or it means that players of WotC's games don't do it on that platform. I am not sure taking *one* software tool as a representative sample of the gaming community as a whole is a wise approach.
 

Cherno

Explorer
Eh. Or it means that players of WotC's games don't do it on that platform. I am not sure taking *one* software tool as a representative sample of the gaming community as a whole is a wise approach.

You are right. I still think it's a reasonably indicator, considering that Roll20 is the biggest VTT out there by far (or is it?) and assuming that all RPG players from all different games have the same percentage of VTT usage ;)

One could also theorize that since Pathfinder is considered a fairly popular RPG, it would be played _less_ via VTT since it's easier to find local people playing it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
...and assuming that all RPG players from all different games have the same percentage of VTT usage ;)

Yeah, that's the sticker, right there.

One could also theorize that since Pathfinder is considered a fairly popular RPG, it would be played _less_ via VTT since it's easier to find local people playing it.

Yes, so now we are theorizing on top of data we should at least question?

There is this *huge* drive to determine who is "on top". As consumers, that is not a primary issue. Why do we care who is on top? We care about products, and players, and support directly. If we have what we want in those areas, who is #1 is a non-issue.

WotC and Paizo are not sports teams. The stats don't matter.
 


BigVanVader

First Post
I don't see why there's such competition in the tabletop world. It's like when comic fans rage between Marvel and DC, when the average non-nerd off the street isn't likely to care too much.

Except when it comes to Batman, because everybody loves Batman.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Why do sports teams' stats matter? Seriously. There is at least as much justification for following your favorite game as there is for following a sports team,

It feels to me like a more modern phenomenon that sports team level brand loyalty has spread to consumer products, but it's probably not.

The odd brand loyalty that mobile phone manufacturers and game publishers and comic-book readers and social networks manage to instil in their customers (Apple vs. Android; D&D vs. Pathfinder; and DC vs. Marvel - hell, folks even defend poor, defenseless little Google against Facebook, ferchrissake!) and the fervent desire to "prove" that one's adopted club is the top dog - and even spend large quantities of time engaging in negative campaigning against your perceived "rival" for free on behalf of your chosen brand - is something companies seem to have managed to achieve.

I don't know how recent it is; I suspect it's an old thing which has just become really prevalent in the face of social media.

Just today I've seen Android users attacking Apple, and Marvel customers attacking DC. It's wonderful for the companies, I guess (well, I suppose it happens in both directions, so it's probably a wash).

Charts like these always end up with folks finding ways to explain why it's flawed because their particular brand loyalty isn't on the top of the list, no matter what it says. Often with accusations of various sorts - the word "agenda" is a favourite.

I don't think that's ever going to change. It's validation of one's choices, I suppose. The ICv2 chart results in the exact same thread every single quarter where folks lecture each other on the nature of the chart, how it's anecdotal, how it doesn't include this or that or the other, all without fail - you can literally write the entire thread in advance. EN World's hot games chart makes some people in some places really angry, and I've been attacked over it.

It's human nature, I suppose. You invest time into a social network, or money in a mobile phone, and you don't want to feel you made the "wrong" choice. Therefore everybody who didn't make the same choice you made has made the wrong choice.
 
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darjr

I crit!
It's also important because some of us follow the industry and are just plain curious about it. Also some of us publish for these games or would like to. And some are on the edge about what to buy and are looking for support to make a decision. I just whish there wasn't so much anger over the whole issue.

As for the numbers it is promising to see 5e in the top three by that timeframe. Pathfinder and 3.5 are good games with a big player base.
 

Cherno

Explorer
Yeah, that's the sticker, right there.

Yes, so now we are theorizing on top of data we should at least question? .

That's why I used the term "theorize", I specifically did not state that this was a fact. Just food for thought, is all.

There is this *huge* drive to determine who is "on top". As consumers, that is not a primary issue. Why do we care who is on top? We care about products, and players, and support directly. If we have what we want in those areas, who is #1 is a non-issue.

WotC and Paizo are not sports teams. The stats don't matter.

(Unconnected to the undoubtly questionable statistics presented in the OP):
I care who's on top because it's interesting to see how the RPG scene has developed in the past years. For players, it can also be an indicator of the future of their game system.
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
It feels to me like a more modern phenomenon that sports team level brand loyalty has spread to consumer products, but it's probably not.

I bet Elmore owners were mocking Model T buyers for buying from a flash-in-the-pan car company. I bet it's worse in industries like roleplaying games and computers, where support matters and can disappear in an instant, and not using the same system as your neighbor can cause a lot of frustration.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I was a bit surprised by these results until I realized that it was specific to Roll20. That skews it enormously towards the "rules heavy" versions of D&D, namely 3E, 4E, and Pathfinder. I'm guessing that a lesser percentage of AD&D and other "old school" versions of D&D don't use that tool.

Before I realized this was Roll20 only, I was going to comment that it is hard to imagine how 5E can become the leader. I mean, they might skim a few percentage points from the others, but probably not enough to do anything more than come close to Pathfinder. And one would think that, over time, Pathfinder would continue to siphon players from 3E, maybe even a few from 4E. But again, considering that this is Roll20 I don't think it is all that representative.
 

Jesauce

Villager
Realizing that this is a top-skimmed set of numbers from Roll20 and not a particularly in-depth analysis, I'm more interested to see the numbers for this next quarter. Taking them at face-value for what they are, I'm not overly surprised by 5e's placement. It's a new version of D&D, so it seems fairly natural that there would be a lot of people that are trying it out. I think that seeing how it fares after a few more months of use is going to be more telling. While the numbers may not hold a lot of weight in the grand scheme of things, it's a nice quick-look, as it were, of how the various systems are fairing.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Fantasy Grounds has added its data. This chart shows Q1-Q3 (so Jan through Sep 2014), covering 122K games.

fg.jpg
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
I was a bit surprised by these results until I realized that it was specific to Roll20. That skews it enormously towards the "rules heavy" versions of D&D, namely 3E, 4E, and Pathfinder. I'm guessing that a lesser percentage of AD&D and other "old school" versions of D&D don't use that tool.

Before I realized this was Roll20 only, I was going to comment that it is hard to imagine how 5E can become the leader. I mean, they might skim a few percentage points from the others, but probably not enough to do anything more than come close to Pathfinder. And one would think that, over time, Pathfinder would continue to siphon players from 3E, maybe even a few from 4E. But again, considering that this is Roll20 I don't think it is all that representative.

5e is still in the starting pit. I haven't gotten the MM yet, and the DMG isn't even published. I am a pretty happy 4e player and am going to start up my first 5e game in the next two weeks. It's basically going to be a test-run of the system in our thursday night game.
 

Desalus

First Post
How often do players utilize these tools for RPGs that are largely played via theater of the mind? It seems that these statistics would be heavily skewed towards RPGs that require a grid to play.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
As I mentioned, I asked Fantasy Grounds if they could break the data down by quarter. They did (thanks Doug!) -- this paints a slightly different picture, in which D&D is going up and Pathfinder is coming down.

data_fg.jpg
 

JesterOC

Explorer
Though I never much liked Pathfinder (I played 3E but had fallen out of love of it just before 3.5E). But I know if I loved a game (which most pathfinder players do) I would not jump to 5e right now.
1) I would have some brand loyalty
2) I would be in a game and would at least finish it before we started it
3) The DMG is not even out yet
4) It is being advertised as OSR friendly, and Pathfinder is not about OSR, it is about cool fiddly bits (IMHO) so until 5e gets more fiddly (in time I think it will) why switch now.
5) There is no good support for 5e on either platform.

Give it a year, if 5e gets native support (Maybe because Fantasy Grounds visited WotC a few days ago) I think that 5e will pull from both Pathfinder and 3.5 and become 2-3. I can imagine a 2 years from now it being on top.

Looks like the above chart shows that I was being conservative. It is now 2. If they get official support it will skyrocket.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
2) I would be in a game and would at least finish it before we started it.

That's the biggie. Lots of long-term games which were started a year ago. That's why games started per quarter is the more interesting statistic to me, rather than games being played total (although both stats are, of course, interesting and relevant).
 

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