- July 8, 2020
- Last Update July 5, 2020 10:32 am
For the most part, we knew that Dungeons and Dragons was rapidly finding its ‘cool’ over the last couple of years, but data from a number of sources show that it’s picking up even more attention leading up to and through the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out these data signals that help tell the story of how Dungeons and Dragons is picking up steam more than ever!
An article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) this week told a story many of us are now more familiar with than we may have been pre COVID-19. In the search to keep our love of D&D alive, we’ve taken to a varied cocktail of digital tools, like Zoom, Discord, even Facebook Messenger to maintain our tabletop game campaigns – My personal stack, currently, is Roll 20 for the game platform with Zoom handling video and Discord for voice.
Recently, we’ve seen some pretty impressive stats from Hasbro c/o Wizards of the Coast, that were neatly packaged in the WSJ piece, like these:
- The average player age is 28 years old, with 30 to 45-year-olds making up 48% of the total player base
- Roughly 16,000 campaigns were launched over Twitch and YouTube in 2019
- Over 146 million hours of D&D content has been viewed over social media sharing/streaming services in 2019
- Around 50,000 users have joined the hobby in the past month – 25% over previous months
Here are some other fun stats that speak to the growing popularity of Dungeons and Dragons:
- Post 5e launch sales rocketed up 41% from 2014-2017 then another 52% in 2018
- 9 million viewers watched D&D streams on Twitch alone in 2017
- Roll20 Comparison of campaigns show D&D 5e at 52% and 54% of ALL accounts/users playing D&D fifth edition in 2019
- Wizards of the Coast estimates that the player base has broken over 40 million players worldwide
- Dungeons and Dragons was one of the only owned brands* that reported growth for Hasbro in 2019 despite a 19% drop for other owned brands
*keeping in mind that Magic: The Gathering is a franchise brand and not an ‘owned’ Hasbro brand
My Two Copper:
There will always be pundits and purists who scream at these types of growth indicators with the classic “X edition was the only REAL edition,” but these are hard, fast (and impressive) stats that show marked growth from a business perspective and shows an indisputable rise in interest, engagement and adoption of Dungeons & Dragons as a hobby.
Even without the hard stats from these credible resources, you can simply use your eyes to surf through millions of hours of streams, podcasts, articles, blogs – literally anywhere – and see that 5th edition D&D is BY FAR the most popular edition of Dungeons and Dragons, at least in the past two decades, and that it has become immensely more widely enjoyed.
I am over-the-moon excited that more and more people are discovering what many of us have known for more than 40 years: That TTRPGs like D&D are freaking awesome and fun and honest. I hope the world is flooded with new adventurers and if you can’t get behind that, then maybe you should embrace retirement as an NPC or the next BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy), because you can’t stop this train and every new D&D hopeful that joins the quest is a great win for us all.
Plus inspiration if they turn out to be a Dungeon Master/Game Master!