Roll20 Reports First Drop For D&D

Roll20's latest stats are in. In terms of games run, D&D has shown its first drop since I last reported on Roll20's stats, from 51.87% in Q2 2019 to 47.54% in Q4 (although it is slightly higher than the 45% of Q3, which I missed!) Call of Cthulhu rises from 14.3% in Q2 to 15.3%, while Pathfinder drops from 6.5% to about 5% (but recovers from a massive Q3 drop, expected in the run-up to a new edition). In terms of player numbers, D&D dropped by about 1%, while Pathfinder increased by about 2%. Call of Cthulhu had a massive 7% rise.

Pathfinder 2E is the strange number here. Just over 1% in Q4 2019 (which is apparently a rise of 82%). I wonder if some of the Pathfinder 1E stats are being conflated with Pathfinder 2E under the generic "Pathfinder" heading?

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The Orr Group also shows an interesting new stat, with the biggest growths in Q4 2019.

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Ironsworn RPG's big spike coincide with Roll20's own in-house stream, so it is to be expected on their own internal reports.

Here's the full list.

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And here's the Q2 report.

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Russ Morrissey

Comments

dave2008

Legend
Interesting, so 5e was trending down in Q2 and Q3, but is moving back up in Q4. Isn't Q4 when Eberron came out?
 

Superchunk77

Explorer
I'm surprised Savage Worlds is so low. I thought it was one of the more popular games that wasn't D&D/Pathfinder.
Savage Worlds get played in person, A LOT. It's one of those games that plays better in physical form that it does via VTT. I gleaned that from the Facebook posts I see showcasing miniatures and game table setups of "savages".
 

EricVulgaris

Explorer
I wrote the report and I can help explain some of the discrepancies. The reasons for stuff like FATE ( Core, Accelerated, Dresden Files... ) // FATE or D&D 5e // Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition being separated is a bug with how systems got labeled and what bucket your game fell into. The total number of games being reported is right, just how they got bucketed was wrong. This does slightly change the %s of some systems, but not by much!

As pointed out in the new reporting revamp in 2019, we look at both how players label their game (you can do that via campaign settings and put a game system in playing)
as well as character sheet usage, with preference to labels.

What was going on is that if you self-labeled your game D&D 5e, that bucket never got added to the 5e character sheet bucket. Sadly it's no conspiracy. It's just a goof by me! No vast conspiracy. In fact I already am fixing it now so this never happens again!
 
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gss000

Villager
I wrote the report and I can help explain some of the discrepancies.
Hello! Since you wrote the report, I have a question regarding all of the numbers. As these are percentages, could you say something about the total number of games on roll20? Is that number going up or down? I'm interested in knowing whether the player base is growing, declining, or staying the same. Thank you!
 

Reynard

Legend
Savage Worlds get played in person, A LOT. It's one of those games that plays better in physical form that it does via VTT. I gleaned that from the Facebook posts I see showcasing miniatures and game table setups of "savages".
Savage Worlds also ranks much higher in general on Fantasy grounds. it may simply be that the SW fan community embraced FG first, or perhaps FG is a better fit for some reason.
 

Jimmy Dick

Explorer
I am not sure how they tabulate things to generate the report. I have four tables I use for Pathfinder 2 game play. I only use them for Pathfinder Society games. One of the tables has 11 PFS2 scenarios built on it and I've hosted about 20 game sessions on that one table alone. I have the PF2 sheet enabled on it. The other three tables have the PF2 sheet enabled but I've only ran a game or two on each one to this point.

I have about 20 other tables with multiple PF1 games on them. I use the Pathfinder Companion or community sheet for them, not the official Roll20 sheet. I've had about 150 or so sessions on them since 2016. I still have players that won't use a sheet and prefer to use self-built macros instead.

So, how does this report get compiled? That's the big question. If it goes by table alone, then it's not reflective of game play by a long margin. If it goes by sheets, that's another issue. Labeling seems to be important, but the lack of labeling by table creators is going to skew the report again. It's all about how the data is generated.
 
I'm surprised Savage Worlds is so low. I thought it was one of the more popular games that wasn't D&D/Pathfinder.
My experience (and I'm a fan of the system) is that Savage Worlds is definitely niche. None of the local shops carry it. There's no organized play at game stores (or even demo games). It hasn't crossed into any other media [no video games, movies, board games, Munchkin card games, monopoly, etc.] and has no real media tie-ins l like Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, Star Trek, Conan, etc. [unless you count stuff long out of the pop culture attention like Lankhmar or Flash Gordon].
Every time I've attempted to run it, it's considered a weird system. I might as well ask to run Forbidden Lands, Monster of the Week, or Dread. Book sales might not reflect that, but I think that in actual use it's probably a lot less popular than we'd expect.
 
Savage Worlds also ranks much higher in general on Fantasy grounds. it may simply be that the SW fan community embraced FG first, or perhaps FG is a better fit for some reason.
Savage Worlds has a full fledged ruleset on Fantasy Grounds and a lot of DLC already available. If you wanted a VTT to play it, I think that Fantasy Grounds is a more natural choice.

DCC is similar, full ruleset and some DLC available on Fantasy Grounds.

The Orr Group typically only releases total number of accounts (not total number of active accounts), never the number of games played, only percentages. It is obviously part of their marketing plan to make sure they can claim to be the biggest.
 

EricVulgaris

Explorer
I'm interested in knowing whether the player base is growing, declining, or staying the same. Thank you!
So roll20's trying to balance sharing all the different TTRPG systems people are playing without giving away too much to any current or future competitors. You'll have to take me at my word here that Roll20s continuing to grow!
 

ronaldsf

Explorer
So roll20's trying to balance sharing all the different TTRPG systems people are playing without giving away too much to any current or future competitors. You'll have to take me at my word here that Roll20s continuing to grow!
Can there be a Pathfinder 1E tag instead of a generic "Pathfinder" tag, just there is a "2E" tag? The 2 systems are quite different, and the current labels might be causing some confusion.
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
So roll20's trying to balance sharing all the different TTRPG systems people are playing without giving away too much to any current or future competitors. You'll have to take me at my word here that Roll20s continuing to grow!
Claiming growth really doesn't mean much. Does it mean more free accounts created? Does it mean more gross volume sales int eh store? More subscriptions? More campaigns started, more games played? An increase of a single '1' in any of those categories or others validates a claim of growth.

But the growth of a single new free account (which I am not suggesting is the growth you are indicating) does not indicate a healthy growth. It actually would be very indicative of a company that is crumbling.

For instance, without any ability to compare to the larger market it really doesn't mean much. Hasbro has just said that D&D had 150 million hours of stream hours viewing online which is about a 50% increase. That's a tangible and actionable number. And ICV2 has solid numbers that indicate that D&D is the largest player in the market. Therefore, without non-relative numbers, it would actually be easy to infer that since the relative number of D&D on Roll20 is decreasing, and D&D is increasing apparently in every other platform/market than Roll20 (look at Fantasy Grounds or D&DBeyond), that Roll20 is actually in a huge decline in the major and most profitable RPG market.

And, as a customer, if I was going to buy D&D digital content, I certainly wouldn't buy it on a platform that appears to be struggling with growth of that content and if such a platform was shut down I would be left with no access to "my" content. In other words, why buy D&D content on Roll20 if you risk losing access to it when you don't have a similar risk with other D&D digital platforms?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Claiming growth really doesn't mean much. Does it mean more free accounts created? Does it mean more gross volume sales int eh store? More subscriptions? More campaigns started, more games played? An increase of a single '1' in any of those categories or others validates a claim of growth.

But the growth of a single new free account (which I am not suggesting is the growth you are indicating) does not indicate a healthy growth. It actually would be very indicative of a company that is crumbling.

For instance, without any ability to compare to the larger market it really doesn't mean much. Hasbro has just said that D&D had 150 million hours of stream hours viewing online which is about a 50% increase. That's a tangible and actionable number. And ICV2 has solid numbers that indicate that D&D is the largest player in the market. Therefore, without non-relative numbers, it would actually be easy to infer that since the relative number of D&D on Roll20 is decreasing, and D&D is increasing apparently in every other platform/market than Roll20 (look at Fantasy Grounds or D&DBeyond), that Roll20 is actually in a huge decline in the major and most profitable RPG market.

And, as a customer, if I was going to buy D&D digital content, I certainly wouldn't buy it on a platform that appears to be struggling with growth of that content and if such a platform was shut down I would be left with no access to "my" content. In other words, why buy D&D content on Roll20 if you risk losing access to it when you don't have a similar risk with other D&D digital platforms?
Jeez, dude! Calm down! All they did was share some relative game system percentages because they thought some folks might be interested. We're not in a shareholder's meeting here!
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
Jeez, dude! Calm down! All they did was share some relative game system percentages because they thought some folks might be interested. We're not in a shareholder's meeting here!
Since when did critical discussion and thoughtful inquiry become something unwelcome on ENWorld?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Since when did critical discussion and thoughtful inquiry become something unwelcome on ENWorld?
It sure looked more like an aggressive and criticizing list suggesting you are entitled to business information when you aren't.

When putting in that thoughtful inquiry, please include the thought that they don't owe you the information at all....
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
Wasn't meant to be aggressive. Inquisitive is what I was going for. And certainly not entitled. I was hoping, among other things, to show that reasonable conclusions that the Orr Group probably doesn't want drawn can be drawn from the limited information.

I don't expect them to suddenly change what information they share based upon my comments, but, I felt it would be useful for them to take another consideration of their decision, if they so chose to.

All one can do it point out the potential issue and then let the decision makers chose whether or not they wish to consider or re-consider it. They should be more aware of the intent etc than any of us and are the only ones that can make any such decision. But it can be useful to see outside/customer perspectives of one's decisions.
 

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