The Orr Group Industry Report: Q1 2020 - Reimagining the Classics

The Roll20 Team

The Roll20 Team


2020 has seen widespread growth for nearly every game system on Roll20. Let’s look at how that growth plays out!

Campaign Percentage: How many Roll20 campaigns use this game system.*

_Account Percentage: How many Roll20 users play this game system.* _

*Only games with at least one hour of playtime are counted in these results.

When we compare this quarter’s Top 10 to the ones from Q4 2019, we find that there’s been very little movement in the overall rank. D&D 5E continues to be the top game by both Campaign and Account Percentage.

That’s because most systems have grown in proportion to the overall growth of games on Roll20. As a whole, Roll20 has seen nearly double (181%) more active campaigns in Q1 2020 compared to Q4 2019. To keep using D&D 5E as an example, that system also nearly doubled (192%) the number of active campaigns in Q1.

This holds true for most systems across Roll20, with games like Pathfinder Second Edition (199%) or FATE (217%) also doubling. That growth is substantial for both systems - I know I’d like to have twice as many friends to game with - even though it doesn’t change the overall ranking.

But there are some major exceptions. Let’s look at those.

*Growth Percentage: Percent Change in number of active Roll20 campaigns between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. Only systems that had more than 200 Active Games in Quarter 2** have been counted.

**Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that systems had to have more than 200 Active Games in both Q1 and Q2.

We’re popping champagne corks for all the games in this list because tripling, quadrupling, and even quintupling your playerbase is an achievement worth celebrating. Even so, we had to ask ourselves: what on EARTH is happening with HeroQuest?

No, it’s not a typo. HeroQuest, a game from 1989, really grew by 4,066% in the first quarter of 2020. Looking at the system that had the second highest growth (Old School Essentials, 962%) gave us a clue about why.

Old School Essentials only launched last year, but it’s a system designed to emulate the feel (and the mechanics) of classic tabletop RPGs from the 1980s. We looked at other roleplaying games that have either been around for decades (Rolemaster, 1980) or built in the style of them (Zweihänder, 2017 and Labyrinth Lord, 2007) and found that they consistently outpaced the overall rate of growth on Roll20.

What do you say, old school tabletop gamers? Have you moved your games online to comply with social distancing protocols? If so, welcome and we hope we’ve been able to provide a good home for you and your group.

To everyone who’s been joining us on Roll20 to play online during these unique times: we’re grateful to all of you doing your best to keep your communities safe. We’ll keep the servers up, you keep the dice rolling, and let’s all keep telling stories together.

View the full report:


Compare with the previous report!

About The Orr Group Industry Report

The Orr Group Industry Report explores trends within the tabletop gaming industry with a focus on the online tabletop community. Created in 2014, the Orr Report has always aimed to go beyond the topic of “what games have sold recently” and really centralize the focus on what games people are continuing to play and enjoy on an ongoing basis. Everyone from players to publishers can get a bird’s eye view for the usage and popularity of different systems on Roll20 and identify trends for tabletop as a whole.

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Roll20 is the all-in-one solution for organizing and playing tabletop games online, allowing you to play your games anywhere and share them with anyone virtually. With the ability to choose from a number of popular titles built ready for your virtual tabletop, your adventures are limitless and you can get started playing with little to no prep. Dive into advanced features like Dynamic Lighting or explore macros and APIs to add some extra depth to your game. Roll20 lets you play your tabletop games, your way.