Roll20's Latest Usage Report: D&D Steady, Cthulhu Down!

Roll20 has released it's latest quarterly report -- and has a new format which features less...

Roll20 has released it's latest quarterly report -- and has a new format which features less numbers but prettier graphics! Everything is percentages now, rather than absolute numbers.

D&D is in the lead as ever at 52.7% (down 1%), followed by Call of Cthulhu at 11.9% (down 4.4%) then Pathfinder at 3.2% (down 0.2%) (Pathfinder users apparently use Foundry these days). That's a big drop for Cthulhu which has been on a steady rise for the last year or two.




orrreport-2021-q3-in2.jpg


Some systems are called out --
  • Tormenta (Brazilian) rose 45%
  • Vampire the Masquerade rose 500%(!)
  • Powerd by the Apocalypse is up 130%
  • World of Darkness overall is up 550%
  • WFRP is up 50%
  • Modiphius' 2d20 is up 160%
Screen Shot 2021-11-12 at 1.25.13 AM.png
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Roll20 has the lion's share of VTT users. Proportionately, PF2 should be higher there if it's being widely adopted - even if a good chunk of the players are on Foundry.
But the PF2 fans will cite any exception to make it look like the system is widely in use.
No one's playing on Roll20? Well, that's because everyone is playing on Foundry.
Books languishing on store shelves? Well, that's because everyone is buying online, using Archives of Nethys, etc.
Numbers are low on Amazon? Well, that's because everyone is buying directly from Paizo.
Can't find local PFS events? Well, that's because of the pandemic, everyone's playing on Foundry, etc.

It's okay to like a system that isn't popular. I'm running a PbtA game and a WFRP game at the moment on Roll20. I'm not under the illusion that either system rivals 5e in popularity.
You seem invested in “proving” PF2 isn’t popular. I mean, they are playing on Foundry.

PF2 isn’t as popular as 5E, of course. Nobody is claiming that.
 

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Retreater

Legend
Then I'm not understanding what makes that better for PF2 than roll20?
The explanation was for 5e, not PF2.
PF2 on Foundry has the blessing of Paizo. They can access the entire PF2 SRD (which is basically every rule, supplement, character option, monster, etc).
There's a great PDF importer tool you can link to your purchased adventures and load them into Foundry
 

Retreater

Legend
You seem invested in “proving” PF2 isn’t popular. I mean, they are playing on Foundry.

PF2 isn’t as popular as 5E, of course. Nobody is claiming that.
Third party publishers aren't producing PF2 stuff in large amounts, as I'm sure you're aware as a third party publisher.
So these theoretical PF2 players aren't buying books through traditional channels, aren't playing on the biggest VTT (the only one that gives stats), aren't purchasing 3rd party products, aren't playing in local game events. Even if only some of these metrics applied to only some of the players, we'd see a proportional increase if there were a widescale adoption.
The only thing we can go on is the personal testimony of a few very loud fans online. It fails in every other quantifiable metric we have access to.
 
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The Foundry “excuse” of private networks should apply to Fantasy Grounds, but they can report the number of sessions. Only FG publishes actual numbers that can be tracked over time. Roll20 uses percentages and total number of accounts and changes how the percentages are calculated. Foundry does not give out any stats at all.
 

It would be really interesting to see truly accurate numbers and breakdowns on a each game system and edition and from all the various online gaming platforms. Roll20s are just done so crazy that getting a real number about anything is just pure speculation.
Fantasy Grounds also publishes a similar report but they give actual numbers out.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Third party publishers aren't producing PF2 stuff in large amounts, as I'm sure you're aware as a third party publisher.
So these theoretical PF2 players aren't buying books through traditional channels, aren't playing on the biggest VTT (the only one that gives stats), aren't purchasing 3rd party products, aren't playing in local game events. Even if only some of these metrics applied to only some of the players, we'd see a proportional increase if there were a widescale adoption.
The only thing we can go on is the personal testimony of a few very loud fans online. It fails in every other quantifiable metric we have access to.
The fact that folks are playing PF2 on Foundry rather than Roll20 has nothing to do with books or 3PP stuff or the general popularity or lack thereof of PF2. It just means that the folks who are playing PF2 on VTTs are doing so on Foundry.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It would be really interesting to see truly accurate numbers and breakdowns on a each game system and edition and from all the various online gaming platforms. Roll20s are just done so crazy that getting a real number about anything is just pure speculation.
They used to. They stopped recently.
 

Retreater

Legend
The fact that folks are playing PF2 on Foundry rather than Roll20 has nothing to do with books or 3PP stuff or the general popularity or lack thereof of PF2. It just means that the folks who are playing PF2 on VTTs are doing so on Foundry.
Not upset at all. I'm happy anyone is playing any system they want, in person or on any VTT they want.
Even though PF2 didn't work for me, I have lots of systems I do like. Hopefully Level Up will be a good fit when we get around to trying it.
 

ChaosOS

Legend
Related, the Savage Worlds community pretty strongly prefers Fantasy Grounds and Foundry - PEGinc has clearly been pushing Foundry support with all their official content for the platform, including the Savage Pathfinder adaptation.
 

The Foundry “excuse” of private networks should apply to Fantasy Grounds, but they can report the number of sessions. Only FG publishes actual numbers that can be tracked over time. Roll20 uses percentages and total number of accounts and changes how the percentages are calculated. Foundry does not give out any stats at all.
Fantasy Grounds, if I understand correctly, has an inbuilt Cloud service that they directly report. I'm not sure if they use any telemitry with their LAN versions, but this makes it much easier for them to report stats.

Foundry, in contrast, is significantly more decentralised. While there are hosting services such as Forge, none of them are 'official' official; I suspect there's a good amount of Foundry users who host locally or host via free AWS accounts. This makes it more difficult for Foundry to gather accurate stats. The most accurate you would get is from Forge.

However, another thing to point out is that, if I understand Roll 20's business model correctly, for a large amount of games you can effectively play for free and just use it as a VTT (without necessarily having inbuilt system support, but if I understand correctly 5e's SRD is freely available there). Foundry requires an explicit license that the GM has to buy, and Fantasy Grounds has a mixed model (there is a 'free seats' model for Fantasy Grounds that means a GM can buy a more expensive license and nobody else has to pay; but they do then have to pay for the system in most cases, in my understanding).

This probably biases the data in some way. I am making a big assumption, but I think it may be a fair one; since 5e is so dominate and so popular, I can imagine a large amount of people use Roll 20 because it's also relatively free and inexpensive - and in some ways, not as ''hardcore' or 'dedicated' in their purchasing decisions.

I imagine, then, for other VTTs, if we were to get data from them, would be biased by those users being more 'dedicated' or 'hardcore' in some ways, and this may change what games are being played.
 

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