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Why do you play games other than D&D?

GrahamWills

Registered User
I cannot tell if you are intentionally trying to misunderstand what flaw aramis erak was pointing out ...
They made the statement, which I think you are agreeing with, that the number of events at a con reflects the size of staff support more than the size of player base. I just don't believe that because Gen Con numbers for D&D 5E, for example, absolutely do not support that. But actually, I don't want to focus on that -- I'm happy you have found a new data source, thank you!

http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/gaming/WotCMarketResearchSummary.html


This is a survey only on US population between the ages of 12 and 35. The study states that they were biasing it towards their target audience, so *by design* this study is meant to look at people more likely to play D&D than the general population. Their methodology is very good, though, so I am comfortable assuming their results reflect 12-35 year olds in the US for 1999.

The survey gives information on D&D vs. other games by dollars spent:

Total RPG spending by age:
12-17: $297
18-24: $850
25-25: $2,213

Total D&D spending by age:
12-17: $164
18-24: $443
25-35: $1,642
So, if you assume people within an age group spend money on games proportional to the amount you play, D&D has between 50%-70% of the play time. I might argue that people are likely to spend more on D&D than other games (with notable exceptions!) so 55% (for the younger age groups) seems a better figure to go with. That also represents 66% of the survey, so even if we just weight by population, we'd end up with a figure of 60%.

The information on "which games have you played last month" give that D&D is played by at least once in the month by 66% of people, and other games are played a cumulative 132% of the time. What we don't know is how much these groups overlap. At one extreme, we could assume every single D&D player plays only D&D -- complete disconnect. In that case D&D has 66% of the play time and the other players play different non-D&D games, but only comprise 33% of players. The other extreme is that people are completely mixed; all players play games with the probabilities as given. In that case D&D would have (66 / 198)% == 33% of the play time.

Both those scenarios are extreme. So the answer lies somewhere in the middle, between 33% and 66%. 50% would be the midpoint, which is pretty close to the 50-60% number we established by looking at dollar spending. However the lack of "other" category is worrying, as we know that games not in this list were played. What percentage do these small-fraction games hold cumulatively? Anything over 0% further reduces the estimations of D&D's share.

In summary, the data support a maximum D&D share of 66%, a minimum D&D share of 33% and a likely share of 55%.

TLDR This data supports the conclusion that people saying that "virtually every game" or "90% of all games" were D&D in the early 2000's are wrong. A figure of just above 50% seems more correct.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
TLDR This data supports the conclusion that people saying that "virtually every game" or "90% of all games" were D&D in the early 2000's are wrong. A figure of just above 50% seems more correct.
http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/gaming/WotCMarketResearchSummary.html said:
"The primary source is a market segmentation study conducted in the summer of 1999."
My memory's bad, but I'm fairly certain that the "Summer of 1999" occurred /before/ "the early 2000s." (I mean, I've been "fairly certain" and turned out to have been wrong, before, so y'all might wanna to double-check.)
 

GrahamWills

Registered User
> TLDR This data supports the conclusion that people saying that "virtually every game" or "90% of all games" were D&D in the early 2000's are wrong. A figure of just above 50% seems more correct.

My memory's bad, but I'm fairly certain that the "Summer of 1999" occurred /before/ "the early 2000s." (I mean, I've been "fairly certain" and turned out to have been wrong, before, so y'all might wanna to double-check.)
Oh my goodness, sometime people just like to argue for the sake of arguing! OK, let's recap --

1) I used data from GenCon 2003 to indicate that D&D was not 80%+ of the games played in the early 2000s (as seems a common misconception)
2) We got a survey from 1999 that showed that in 1999 WOTC believed about 50-60% of the play was D&D.
3) I asserted that supports evidence for the situation in the early 2000's

Now, most people would think there is a correlation between data in 1999 and data in 2003. Maybe you don't and think that unless you have data for the exact 4 days of Gen Con in 2003, it is completely irrelevant. Feel free, but statisticians, data scientists and normal people will disagree with you.

If you have some evidence that there was a HUGE change in player preferences between 1999 and 2003; one that would make well over half non-D&D players become exclusively D&D players, fell very free to cite it. But otherwise you are not making a persuasive argument, you are just arguing.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
I go to GenCon, game around here, etc.; 90% of gaming sounds like wish fulfillment, I'd say +50% could be realistic. It really does a disservice to GenCon to say it is 90% D&D, it's not at all.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Oh my goodness, sometime people just like to argue for the sake of arguing! OK, let's recap --

1) I used data from GenCon 2003 to indicate that D&D was not 80%+ of the games played in the early 2000s (as seems a common misconception)
2) We got a survey from 1999 that showed that in 1999 WOTC believed about 50-60% of the play was D&D.
3) I asserted that supports evidence for the situation in the early 2000's

Now, most people would think there is a correlation between data in 1999 and data in 2003.
Well, there is likely some correlation, but how much?

I mean, let's use an easy example-

Is the market of D&D (as defined solely as WoTC product) significantly different between 2014 and 2018? It's just four years, right?

So, if WoTC did a survey in 1999, why did they do that? Because they had bought TSR in 1997, and they were about to release 3e in 2000.

So there was a very major event that happened in those four years- the survey was done at the nadir of D&D for the time (purchase by WoTC), and then you extrapolate that into the next major boom (the 3e / d20 boom).


Maybe you don't and think that unless you have data for the exact 4 days of Gen Con in 2003, it is completely irrelevant. Feel free, but statisticians, data scientists and normal people will disagree with you.
I do not believe that most statisticians or data scientists would believe that your Gencon information is anything more than interesting, for the reasons people have given.

Now, if you want to survey more conventions, and then find that as a general rule, convention statistics generally (and Gencon specifically) has a specific and predictable correlation to the market, that would be more useful.


If you have some evidence that there was a HUGE change in player preferences between 1999 and 2003;
Again, that would be like someone asserting, "How could there be any change in player preferences between 2014 and 2018? That would be inconceivable!

It is possible for things to change over the course of five years, especially if there have been intervening events. :)

one that would make well over half non-D&D players become exclusively D&D players, fell very free to cite it. But otherwise you are not making a persuasive argument, you are just arguing.
*shrug* I don't think he is making that case; simply pointing out that your case isn't very well made either.

Noting that at one of the worst D&D times 66% of the respondents said they were playing D&D monthly is a pretty impressive figure- I mean, WoTC did come out with 3e, right?
 

Hand of Evil

Villager
D&D is the Happy Meal of RPGs, it is good, it is friendly, it is familiar, and you know what you are getting. Other game systems like Pathfinder and RuneQuest and a few others are the variations of that Happy Meal plus an little extra that is not off the menu too much.

But then, you got to go to a different place, so, you have other games to fill those appetites. :) You are not going to eat there all the time but you have a hunger that needs to be addressed.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
1) I used data from GenCon 2003
Missed that, sorry.
2) We got a survey from 1999 that showed that in 1999 WOTC believed about 50-60% of the play was D&D.
3) I asserted that supports evidence for the situation in the early 2000's
Between 1999 and 'early 2000s' 3e was released. I suspect it had an impact. So 2003 GenCon, sounds relevant, FWIW. 1999's survey, while it might be stronger data, just isn't relevant to the 2000s.
 

uzirath

Explorer
1999's survey, while it might be stronger data, just isn't relevant to the 2000s.
Whoa, that's a strong statement. I don't follow gaming statistics and don't much care how many people play whatever, but from an academic standpoint, it seems hard to swallow that a survey in 1999 wouldn't be at "relevant" to the years following it. I'm sure the release of 3e had an impact, but to bump the figures to 90% would be fairly extraordinary. I was attending conventions and game store events regularly back then and gaming with a wide array of people. I don't recall any sort of blind rush back to D&D. It certainly wasn't harder for me to find GURPS and CoC groups.

I'm not arguing that my anecdotes are data, but market events tend to change market preferences over time, not instantaneously. So 1999 seems like an excellent place to ground one's data for the next five years. Ideally, we would have a similar study conducted in 2005. Alas.
 
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Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Whoa, that's a strong statement.
It is, because there was a very significant event that impacted the hobby in 2000: the release of 3e.

In contrast, I'd be more inclined to accept data from '97 applying to 98 & 99, for instance, as not /that/ much changed - alarm over the failure of TSR probably lessened.

but from an academic standpoint, it seems hard to swallow that a survey in 1999 wouldn't be at "relevant" the the years following it. I'm sure the release of 3e had an impact, but to bump the figures to 90% would be fairly extraordinary.
I'm not arguing the other side. By saying that 1999 data isn't valuable for making one claim about 2002-5, say, I'm not implying that some other claim is any better.

Now, for looking at changes wrought by the release of 3e/d20, 1999 data would make an ideal baseline.
 

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