Fans have watched more than 8000 years of D&D to date, according to a recent report from Wizards on how 2019 has been the best year for D&D to date.
A recent report from Wizards of the Coast reveals that 2019 was the best year yet for Dungeons & Dragons, releasing sales and engagement figures as well as some rather astounding data, like the fact that D&D fans have watched 8181 years of Dungeons & Dragons on Twitch. And Critical Role probably only covers like a millennium at best. At any rate, WotC reports huge gains for D&D, with the game performing its best ever in 2019, as well as laying some hints about what to expect in 2020 and beyond. Here’s hoping they haven’t been so focused on gains they forgot to work on their cardio.
via Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast has reported that 2019 was the best year in history for their classic tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons. The game saw its 45th anniversary last year, which was also the fifth anniversary of its most recent edition. Fifth Edition has been supported over the years with droves of new content, including a few Magic: the Gathering themed expansions, and the team has promised much more content to come in the following months.
Dungeons & Dragons has always been the most iconic name in tabletop roleplaying. When one thinks about the genre, D&D is almost always the first name that comes to mind. The game has had a long and rather turbulent history; it’s been viewed in the past as an interest too niche and too “nerdy” to be accepted in the mainstream. In the 1980’s it was rather infamously the topic of an outright moral panic, with religious conservatives linking enjoyment of the game to Satanism and occult practices. While these beliefs were unfounded and misguided, they did have a pretty severe impact on the public image of the game. Today, however, appearances in popular television shows like Community, South Park, and Stranger Things have bolstered enthusiasm for the game. The 5th edition, which released in 2014, has been received very positively, and some consider it the best edition of the game to date.
Right, we get it. D&D is cool now. Everyone from the New York Times to Time magazine to the Guardian have had some form of ‘D&D is actually cool you all, who would have known?’ article in the last year or so. But going by the numbers, D&D has a lot more going for it. According to WotC they’ve now hit more than 40 million players worldwide, with sales booming in Europe, and the aforementioned millennia of content–4.3 billion minutes watched on Twitch. We did the math, that’s 8181 years. And that’s just Twitch.
More important to investors and their corporate overlords at Hasbro, to whom D&D is but a drop in the bucket, D&D is also doing incredibly well financially, which is no surprise considering that Hasbro mentioned them by name in their shareholder report earlier this year, but here’s just a taste of how good: sales of starter boxes are up 300% from 2018. Which was already the best year on record for D&D. But here, look at this handy Infographic from Wizards of the Coast and see for yourself.
There’s no denying that D&D is doing well–it’s the biggest RPG out there, and is basically like 90% of the industry. Everything else, even the other “big names” is just an offshoot of the continental shelf that is D&D. And that trend doesn’t seem likely to change–but there are a few disconcerting things implied by this infographic. First things first.
According to this, nobody over 45 plays D&D. Now sure, you could be saying that those players aren’t included because they’re considered irrelevant from a marketing point of view and this whole infographic is all about getting people with money hyped about putting it behind their brand–but I think that’s hiding a darker truth.
WotC is going full on Logan’s Run on Grognards. Your palm flower crystals have finally started blinking red and black. And if you understood that reference, you’d best watch out, WotC’s Sandmen are coming for you. The infographic reveals some steady growth on women in gaming, and also now includes gender nonconforming folks, which is always great to see acknowledged. Though D&D has a long way to go to do more than just pay lipservice to allyship, it’s a step at least. And the infographic also hints at upcoming releases. It looks like we’ll see something fairly substantial in Q3 and Q4, along with the eventual early access release of Baldur’s Gate III “later this year”. So things are looking up for D&D, folks.
What do you think of the news? Is D&D your go to RPG? Do you think it’ll continue being the top dog? Let us know in the comments!