D&D General Some Interesting Stats About D&D Players!

Did you know that the majority of current D&D players started with 5th Edition?

Phandelver-and-Below_Cover-Art_-Art-by-Antonio-Jose-Manzanedo-1260x832.jpg

The full cover spread for Phandelver and Below, by Antonio José Manzanedo

GeekWire has reported on the recent D&D press event (which I've covered elsewhere). Along with all the upcoming product information we've all been devouring over the last day or two, there were some interesting tidbits regarding D&D player demographics.
  • 60% of D&D players are male, 39% are female, and 1% identify otherwise
  • 60% are “hybrid” players, who switch between playing the game physically or online
  • 58% play D&D on a weekly basis
  • 48% identify as millennials, 19% from Generation X and 33% from Generation Z
  • The majority of current D&D players started with 5th Edition
 

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Nathaniel Lee

Adventurer
Not to take away from your point but WotC does call it fifth edition on the back of each book.
That's fair, although that's more an informal descriptor than what they're actually calling it. It's an adjective: "the fifth edition Dungeon Master's Guide" as opposed to how they actually called earlier editions, like "4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game". And IIRC while the original 3rd edition of the game was never officially referred branded as "3E" or "3rd Edition" with the core books, they frequently referred to it as "3rd Edition" on their website, in marketing, etc. and the revision was officially marketed as v3.5? Earlier than that, we have "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition" prominently on the cover of every book in that time.
 

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Nathaniel Lee

Adventurer
I suspect old flavors of DND have more players than 5e combined which is he key point Hasbro would like to bury.
Where do you get this idea? I in fact wouldn't be shocked if the market for 5E is bigger than the market for most of the previous editions combined. Digging back through some old posts here, it seems like the 5E Player's Handbook already beat the 3E, 3.5E and 4E Player's Handbook lifetime sales numbers only a little more than a year in, and that was before 5E sales really started to skyrocket.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Every poll or information shared by every single rpg or rpg related company has said the same thing (or nearly so) as what WotC has said here for the past forty years or so.

Other than the growth of women in the hobby I suppose.

You can go back to Dragon magazine reader polls in the 80’s and the age breakdown for DnD is pretty much identical to what we see now.
Which seems odd, in that if the biggest cohort of players in - let's say 1983, during the 1e heyday - was in the 15-30 age range at that time, those same people would be in the 55-70 range now. Yet that age range doesn't even register on today's survey(s).

So where'd they all go?

In general, if over the years the peak age range among the player base is always in that 15-30 area, that just tells me they've consistently done a good job of marketing to teens and young adults and a consistently poor job of keeping them in for the long haul.

Were I WotC, I'd see an opportunity there.
 

Blackwarder

Adventurer
Again, what survey? Has anyone been able to find anything except secondhand reporting with untrustworthy framing of even what we're looking at, much less the wording? I'm still strongly leaning toward Wizards had a 40+ or 45+ category in their data and Geekwire reported that as Gen X (not that literally less than 0.5% of the people reached by whatever data collection this was were boomer+) and/or that the actual population studied was something other than 'the D&D player population.'


I also question how much total wealth matters. I think I spent more on RPGs --in real dollars (inflation adjusted or not), not as percent of income -- when I was a teenager working 5-20 hrs/week than I do now at ~50 working full time for high-level professional wages.
That is a valid point that imo falls under bad methodology. But you are right, I haven’t seen anything to corroborate this and it might just be bad journalism.

As for how much wealth matters, I personally spend 20-30$ a month on incidental RPGs products and I’m between games.
I‘ve recently bought 5 starter sets as a gift for friends and family, I am literally the engine that grow the hobby.
I had to look this up because as it turns out, only a certain corner of the internet cared for more than a nanosecond, but man that's hilarious. 'Oh no, mah manliness is threatened by the movie about the children's game I enjoy!'. Sad, fragile Alphas are the best.

What I think happened is that marvel phase 4 put people on edge and that comment simply drove folks to think that it is going to be the same crapy political agenda over good story telling.
I can name dozens, maybe 50-60 people, who watched the movie simply because I bought it on iTunes and gave them my username. Those are people that would have eagerly watched it in cinema a year ago.

And 40% of that group are women. So laugh all you want, it’s a real issue.
I agree about the first part, but not necessarily about the second: being at the tail end of the millennial bracket (i.e. early 40s), there's a notable number of people in my friend circles and communities I'm active in who are done with 5e, and WotC-D&D in general, game-wise. However, many went to see the D&D movie and the feedback was almost universally positive.
In fact, while I don't see myself buying any WotC-D&D book anytime soon, I'd gladly watch another D&D movie (assuming it was following in the footsteps of the current one).

It’s not uniformal. See my response to Vaalingrade above. Some people heard about that and some didn’t.
Some want nothing to do with WotC for various reasons some want nothing to do with 5e or the upcoming 6e, some even refuse to do business with them or use the IP no matter how lucrative the proposed deal is.

And before anyone ask, yes I have inside informatiom, no I won’t comment on it any further except to say that there are a bunch of people trying to fix this.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
They're playing older versions of the game or OSR games.
Exactly.

"I don't like this new D&D. Its rules, lore, and mentality doesn't make my preferences. Luckily I have my TSR books and OSR is still strong. I'm not buying those books."

People over 55 are less than 1% of WOTC's 5th edition's gamers.

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Lucky guys.
There's a bunch of Millenials who don't have "fixed and faster 4e" to take our books and go home with. Or if it exist, its so unknown or poorly marketed that I don't see it (or forgot it existed
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Which seems odd, in that if the biggest cohort of players in - let's say 1983, during the 1e heyday - was in the 15-30 age range at that time, those same people would be in the 55-70 range now. Yet that age range doesn't even register on today's survey(s).

So where'd they all go?

In general, if over the years the peak age range among the player base is always in that 15-30 area, that just tells me they've consistently done a good job of marketing to teens and young adults and a consistently poor job of keeping them in for the long haul.

Were I WotC, I'd see an opportunity there.
They did not go anywhere, the implication is, and this chimes in with other statements from WoTC on the matter is that the market has grown to the size where they do not register.
 

mamba

Legend
Which seems odd, in that if the biggest cohort of players in - let's say 1983, during the 1e heyday - was in the 15-30 age range at that time, those same people would be in the 55-70 range now. Yet that age range doesn't even register on today's survey(s).

So where'd they all go?
stopped playing? It’s not like just because you did something when you were 15-25, you continue doing it indefinitely

Some are definitely still around, others have returned, most probably left the hobby for good for one reason or another

You could say the same about the same people buying records in the millions, the people are still around, but record sales have fallen off a cliff. Things change with time
 



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