Orr Group Report – Q4 2014


THE ORR GROUP Releases 2014 4th Quarter Tabletop Gaming Industry Report
Creators of Roll20 Virtual Tabletop report 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Surge

Kansas City, Kansas (January 8th, 2015) The Orr Group, creators of the Roll20 Virtual Tabletop, have released their newest collection of game popularity data from their system in the form of an Industry Report. The biggest change since the third quarter report is the significant growth of the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons from 12% to 20% of all games played and from 16.6% to 24.3% of players. 

“It is clear that the release of the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition tools like the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide along with The Rise of Tiamat adventure book stirred Roll20 users towards picking up and playing in this new rule set,” said The Orr Group cofounder and Roll20 spokesperson Nolan T. Jones. 

The Orr Group Industry Report also saw changes from last quarter via growth in number of respondents and several new games being added to the list. 

“We expected our sample size to grow with population, but we also believe more users are taking the time to select what games they are playing in reaction to knowing their selections are being noted by the roleplaying community via The Orr Group Industry Report,” said Jones. 

Roll20 began as an effort to keep The Orr Group founders Riley Dutton, Jones, and Richard Zayas in touch via long distance gaming. Since launching via Kickstarter, it has attracted more than 725,000 users as a free service. The program continues to be funded by subscribers who receive features that assist advanced gameplay.


Here is a summary of the report numbers. My commentary is below.


Those are some interesting numbers! Folks curious about how they gather their numbers in a little more detail should take a look at their blog post explaining their method.

For those that want the quick summary, they essentially mine the data from two parts of Roll20. The Personal Profile page where Roll20 user can list what games they like to play. For them to be counted, according to the blog post, the player has to have been active in the quarter the data is compiled. The My Campaigns area is also used to mine this data. This is the page where a GM states what game he or she is running. Those two locations are where the numbers for Game % and Player % are generated.

For this quarter’s data it looks like the data was pulled from a collection of nearly 26,000 games and 18,000 plus active players. Definitely an interesting snapshot into what is being played on what is one of more successful VTTs out there.

It is also interesting to note that unlike ICv2, which is focused on sales, Roll20 doesn’t rely on certain systems to have had new releases or currently in print books. Their data mining is much more a look into what is actually being played.

This should be an interesting way to see what is out there being played as future quarterly reports are released!

Roll20 Launches ‘Rugged Reroll’

Roll20 has put out a press release regarding their major overhaul to the popular VTT gaming application. I have not had the chance to take it for a spin since the update – but I look forward to experiencing the updates!

Largest, most comprehensive update in the platform’s history goes live today.

Roll20 Logo

Wichita, Kansas (December 16th, 2013) The developers of the online virtual tabletop Roll20.net have maintained a rapid update schedule since their successful Kickstarter launched the platform in April of 2012. So rapid, in fact, that the developers found themselves with a unique set of problems.

“We’ve been pushing new content live so fast that we weren’t giving ourselves a chance to see how everything fit together into the bigger picture,” said Roll20 co­creator Riley Dutton. “Our subscribers get really excited about improvements, and we get excited about the challenge. But we had come to a point where we wanted to take our time and do some bigger features, and that’s what the ‘Rugged Reroll’ has been about.”

While Roll20 typically has operated on a three week update schedule, the Rugged Reroll was a planned ten­and­a­half week grouping of large improvements. These included a major overhaul of the system’s rendering engine to better handle sizable maps, the addition of “waypoints” to allow better shared strategizing between players, the often­requested ability to “split” a group of gamers between two locations in a single game, context­specific token actions, the ability for users to access character and journal features outside of the game space, and a massive improvement to voice and video chat powered by TokBox’s new WebRTC platformC. All of the changes were made available to Roll20’s Mentor subscribers to test and provide feedback on throughout the process and were unveiled to the community at large via regular developer blogs.

Co­creator Richard Zayas said, “This update has given us the chance to make substantial changes, in a way that engaged our community while really giving us something to be proud about as an undertaking. And we gave ourselves time to get proper help documentation for once!”

Roll20 began as an effort to keep developers Dutton, Zayas, and Nolan T. Jones in touch via long distance gaming. Since launching via Kickstarter, it has attracted over 345,000 users as a free service. The program continues to be funded by subscribers who receive features that assist advanced gameplay.

Roll20 Wins Tabletop Gaming Industry Award and Surpasses 250,000 Users

Roll20 has released a press release regarding their recent ENnie award for “Best Software” and surpassing 250,000 users! It seems like just yesterday I was posting their announcement of surpassing 100,000 users.

My comments regarding the press release follow the press release posted below.

Online Application’s Creators Attend Gen Con Indy as the Gaming Hobby Soars
Roll20 Logo
Indianapolis, Indiana (August 25, 2013) The development team of the browser based virtual tabletop Roll20.net was recognized last weekend as creators of the “Best Software” at the Annual Gen Con EN World Roleplaying Game Awards, known as the “ENnies.” The Roll20 program added its 250,000th user over the weekend since launching the popular gaming platform eighteen months ago.

Project lead Riley Dutton said of the ENnies win, “It is exciting and encouraging to be recognized as valuable to the tabletop gaming community. Some of the very best creators in the industry were recognized at the ENnies, and to be listed next to them is a true honor.”

Added co-creator Richard Zayas about the Gen Con weekend, “So much of what we do is online, so the chance to go to Indianapolis and see nearly 50,000 gamers– meet some of our users, play new games we haven’t yet gotten to try, and just enjoy the celebration of these hobbies was fantastic.”

On the subject of Roll20’s quarter million users, program co-creator Nolan T. Jones said, “We created Roll20 as a way for us to personally play games with our friends across the country, and knowing that we’ve been able to help so many others do the same is staggering.”

The Roll20 development team stated at panels over the Gen Con weekend that future updates will revolve around better methods to find gamers in their system, and that they are actively seeking to work with major publishers to bring their content to users in easy-to-use formats.

Roll20 began as an effort to keep developers Dutton, Jones, and Zayas in touch via long distance gaming. Their project became public with an eighteen day Kickstarter campaign in April of 2012. Since then it has attracted over 250,000 users as a free service. The program continues to be funded by subscribers who receive features that assist advanced gameplay.


I thought the “Best Software” award was well deserved. While I was torn between wanting Roll20 and Purple Sorcerer’s Crawler’s Companion to win this category with 250,000 users it is little surprise Roll20 ended up with the gold.

If you haven’t checked out Roll20 yet and have any interest in online gaming with a virtual tabletop, you owe it to yourself to take a look. I have been running a DCC RPG campaign over Roll20 for the past year. The software has pretty much just worked. We lose no time sorting out connection difficulties or anything typically associated with a VTT. Though their features have increased over the months, one can still just use it to display a map for a more theater of the mind game keeping complexity to a minimum.

Roll20 has certainly allowed me to get a lot more gaming in over the past year than I would have otherwise.

In regards to surpassing 250,000 users, it was January 21, 2013 when their press release went out announcing surpassing 100,000 users! Here we are in late August with a 150,000 user increase! Very impressive! That is quite the player pool to work with when looking for a new game to play or group to play with.

Roll20 Passes 100,000 Users

Today the folks at Roll20, the Virtual Tabletop, put out a press release announcing they had passed the 100,000 user mark! Here is the press release in its entirety:



Wichita, Kansas (January 21st, 2013) Just under a year ago, Wichita, KS programmer Riley Dutton had grown envious about the gaming joys of his former college roommate Nolan T. Jones, now of Las Vegas, NV.

“We’d talk on the phone, and he’d talk about how much fun he was having getting back into tabletop roleplaying games. And I realized how much I wanted to play with my friends again, but we were literally spread across the country. That’s when I had the idea, and tried to get Nolan to talk me out of it,” said Dutton.

But Jones talked Dutton into pursuing his idea, and with the help of another former roommate — Richard Zayas of Arlington, VA — they started testing a system to play table based games online. After two months of testing they took their program to Kickstarter, an online “crowdfunding” platform where entrepreneurs pitch projects for funding to users that only expect a working product and input in return for their investment. They made over $39,000 in an eighteen day campaign at the end of April 2012. By June they moved the program into an open beta test and in September declared Roll20.net to be in regular service. Today Roll20 has logged its 100,000th account, with over one hundred and fifty-four years of gametime amassed by their users.

“We knew we were filling a need– both in reuniting people across long distances and giving potential newcomers to tabletop gaming a safe way to try these games from home. But I don’t think any of us knew this would become so popular so quickly. The community that’s rallied around this program has been incredible,” said Zayas.

The system is free to use, but has subscription options for those who desire more advanced features. The creators say that the most popular games used in Roll20 are various editions of “Dungeons & Dragons” and “Pathfinder”, but the system is capable of handling a variety of popular card and board games. Currently the group is working on expanding the social elements of their website along with making game setup faster.

“Our success to this point has been based in being easy to use– which is a result of us building Roll20 for our own use. We intend to keep using it, so we intend for it to keep getting easier to pick up and play,” said Jones.

Contact: Nolan T. Jones

Congrats to the folks at Roll20 for this milestone! I have been using Roll20 on a near weekly basis since about July or August of 2012. It has been a wonderful tool and has done a marvelous job of lowering the technical barrier to effective play over the Internet.