Which is the most popular?
The truth is, we live in relative darkness about what games are being sold and what games are being played. To date, our best resource has been ICv2 which just tells us the top few best selling games through the retail channels.
This has allowed an awful lot of us to live in ignorance. Didn't release a supplement this month? Nobody is playing your game!
What's more, is that the people in charge of the companies have no motivation to dispel any illusions the players have.
And it's not really a mud-slinging type industry—After all, products that focus on "fixing" things and are built around not having "problems" other gaming systems have don't do well. Or so I believe, and who's to tell me otherwise?
The Orr Group, that's who.
Who are the Orr Group? They are the Roll20 programmers who consumed Tabletop Forge when several people quit the project. (A slight exaggeration, Joshua Owen approached Roll20.) They provide a Virtual Table Top interface for people playing on-line games.
Now people don't like to have their illusions shattered. Anyone who doesn't like these numbers or facts will just come up with excuses about how it doesn't count home games, or people playing games on G+ online might not be using these pieces of software.
Well that's true. it's also true that those people don't understand statistics and sampling data either. After all, I play B/X so I don't need Roll20, so I'm not counted.
Let's look at the numbers we get for the third quarter of 2014.
THE ORR GROUP INDUSTRY REPORT is an overview of tabletop gaming ruleset popularity based on usage data from Roll20 Virtual Tabletop. Third Quarter results are as follows: 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.
Notes on Roll20 / THE ORR GROUP:
- 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.
Roll20 began as an effort to keep developers and The Orr Group founders Riley Dutton, Nolan T. Jones, and Richard Zayas in touch via long distance gaming. Since launching via Kickstarter in April of 2012, Roll20 has attracted more than 600,000 users as a free service. The program continues to be funded by subscribers who receive features that assist advanced gameplay.
Did it match your expectations? Was the Popularity of the games played related to your internal narrative of which games are popular and which games are not?
Does it matter if more people are playing 1st edition than whatever game you are playing that isn't Dungeons and Dragons?
Hack & Slash
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