The Orr Group Industry Report Q3 2020 - Breakout Hits and Steady Classics

The Roll20 Team

The Roll20 Team


A new quarter is here, and with it, a new Orr Report. We love data here at Roll20, and we love having the chance to share that data with you, our users. Though there are, of course, mitigating factors, looking at the play data on Roll20 provides a nice framework for understanding up-and-coming trends in the TTRPG industry as a whole. Whether you’re a designer, producer, or just a fan, we hope the Orr Report helps you better understand the TTRPG market and hobby. Let’s see what got played on Roll20 in Q3!

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

We crossed quite a milestone in Q3: Over 100 million total play hours were logged across Roll20 in Q3! That’s a lot of nat 1’s rolled. Maybe even a handful of nat 20s, too (we’re joking, please don’t get mad at us about your dice results).

What games did users play during those hours? A wide variety, as it turns out! Dungeons & Dragons: 5th Edition remains the most popular system on Roll20, but there are some others worthy of note in Q3 as well.

First, Powered By the Apocalypse continues to go strong. This is the first time we broke the PTBA-based Monster of the Week’s ranking out on its own. If we look at Apocalypse World games as a whole–as in, if we include both Dungeon World and Monster of the Week with Apocalypse World’s ranking–AW games outrank Starfinder! While we’re at it, if we include Blades in the Dark (another Powered By the Apocalypse title, albeit one that doesn’t use the 2d6 system), PBTA games become our 6th most popular system overall, outranking Warhammer and World of Darkness and trailing just barely behind Pathfinder.

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

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

Compared to last quarter, in relative percentage terms, we saw more Call of Cthulhu games played on Roll20. With Compendium support and excellent modules like Harlem Unbound coming to the site, Call of Cthulhu’s growth isn’t surprising, and we expect to see it continue to flourish on Roll20, especially with some of the upcoming releases and developments on the horizon. Or maybe in this case, lurking just below the surface.

Speaking of unsurprising–we also saw more Pathfinder 2nd Edition played on the site. Last quarter, Pathfinder 2nd Edition outpaced D&D 3.5 for the first time ever, and the game’s trajectory continues to trend even higher, soaring on the wings of an Advanced Player’s Guide and multiple excellent Adventure Paths. Pathfinder fans are some of our most engaged and passionate users, and it’s been a real treat to see this audience grow.

We had several breakout titles this quarter, too. These are games that had either a small number of campaigns last quarter or none at all, but had hundreds of campaigns during Q3. These up-and-comers don’t have a large past to compare and trend against, and we’re excited to see where they go in the future.

Growth Percentage: Percent Change in number of active Roll20 campaigns between Q2 2020 and Q3 2020. Only systems that had more than 200 Active Games in Quarter 3 have been counted.

The previously mentioned Monster of the Week finds itself in this class (you’ll find it on the full list below, at .07%). Its growth can largely be attributed to its play on the popular Actual Play podcast The Adventure Zone, coupled with some spiffy and easy-to-use Roll20 conversions from publisher Evil Hat.

Burn Bryte launched in Q3 and soon became our 65th most popular RPG system, in league with titles like Mothership, Symbaroum, and Kids on Bikes. There’s more to come from Burn Bryte, very soon! Like, real soon.

Finally, the überdark artpunk MÖRK BÖRG rounds out our class of breakouts as the 89th most popular title on Roll20, with a leap from 79 games to 233 in Q3. Death by dice, indeed.

Outside of the breakout class, here are some of the other games that saw growth compared to their performance in Q2.

Tomenta, a Portuguese fantasy RPG, saw significant growth at 26.32%. inSANe, a Japanese language multi-setting horror RPG, saw a spike, too, with an increase at 17.51%. LANCER, the tactical mecha RPG, continues to put in impressive numbers, with a growth of 14.06%. LANCER enjoyed similar growth last quarter, too, and we expect to see it continue to climb up the charts.

Rounding out the notable winners in growth are Star Trek Adventures, Delta Green, and Old School Essentials. Star Trek Adventures has always been a hit with fans of the show. We’re excited to see the conspiracy-unweaving Delta Green find a bigger home on Roll20, too, and happy to have Old School Essentials bringing some much-welcomed OSR to Roll20.

Finally, a note on D&D 5E, which maintains its comfortable spot at the top of the list. 5E’s overall share of the pie increased slightly this quarter, by .31%. So, while less games were played overall, 5E’s share of the market increased ever-so-slightly.

You can view the full Orr Report below!

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