The 2000 Wizards survey was 2-6 million gamers. I went with the lower.
You went with the lower...and then applied it to Worldwide as opposed to US only which is what the survey's numbers actually apply to.
Basically I went with the 2,000,000 number because it was concrete and a nice bare minimum number. If I was going to err I prefer to err on the conservative side since the whole point was to assess the possibility of a worse-case scenario.
You went the other direction with a best case scenario that tosses in 3% of the 0-12 age segment, and 3% of the 70+ age segment which do not have any like-hood at all of hitting even the .1% mark. As far as the 36-70 segment it would be entirely anecdotal without another survey. I'd be willing to grant some percentage between .1 and 3% for that age group but as I said I was aiming low.
Reasonably speaking the number is somewhere between my 2 million lowball and your overly generous 24 million.
Larger than 3.5 by 50% doesn't really mean much since my understanding as that there were more D&D 3 books sold than there were 3.5 books and if I recall 3.5 was reprinted a few times. Without WotC releasing actual numbers for the print runs - there really isn't anything to be learned from the statement.
Um, you just accused WotC of making up their survey number of ~6 million based on core book sales for 3.0 and 3.5. So which is it - did they sell millions or 100,000 books. At the very least it says they either sold 150,000 or millions in 2 weeks. Even 150,000 would be considered a good sized run for such a niche market by your own numbers.
The 2000 survey asks about general RPG gamers and wargamers. Rouse speaks specifically to active D&D 3.x gamers. The two are not comparable at all.
Your own survey and your earlier numbers give at least 40% of TRPGers play D&D. So then in 2000 roughly 1,000,000 in Dancy's 2.25 million RPG segment played D&D. Are we going to say % are important in one place and then turn around and call them noncomparable in the next?
For your premise of saturation to hold true - there would need to be a Law of Conservation of Miniatures. Miniatures can never be destroyed and will always migrate to new gamers when old gamers quit. This however is not true.
All it really needs is numbers which show that the (number of miniatures in circulation) minus yearly(breakage and trashing) plus yearly (new miniatures bought) could be greater than a (speculative saturation point).
Even using your numbers of 24,000,000 RPG gamers in the EU and English speaking countries would generate a saturation point of 24 billion miniatures if we said 1,000 minis each is enough for RPG (remember those gamers were divided into groups of 6 so we'd have a unusually high saturation of 6,000 minis per group). So a more common average might be 1,000 per group. Which drops our saturation to 4 billion.
4 billion doesn't seem like that many when you've claimed that 1 billion pieces of metal have at one point been part of the market.
Half the people who ever start gaming quit gaming.
Nice factoid. This puts your statement about half of the 3.x players no longer playing the game in perspective. i.e. It's normal.
For a second there I thought you were implying that 3.x and WotC sucked so much that half of its audience quit.
Wargamers probably buy 3 or 4 miniatures for every 1 bought by an RPG player (likely quite a bit more).
At least I'm not the only one tossing around 'guesses', 'estimates', and 'approximations'. Maybe this was true in 2004. Maybe it is still true. Or maybe the market is shifting.
However, my point was and remains solely about RGPers. I am well aware that some Wargamers have the inclination to buy the same armies over and over each edition. Even a cursory glance at GW makes that clear. As long as that is true I think the wargaming aspect is quite safe.
Dragon Magazine also is only applicable to people who player the current version of D&D (roughly half the RPG players). If you try to make any assumptions from that, you miss out on a large number of gamers who are probably even more dedicated than you average D&D player and have more money to spend on miniatures (since less of their entertainment dollar is being spent on new versions of books).
What's the alternative? The Dragon and Dungeon numbers are concrete factual numbers of individual gamers. How much can we surmise about the population of RPGer based on the aggregate sales numbers? That only tells us how much was sold, not to how many.
60,000 is reasonable? By what measure? How do you determine that is reasonable? Do you have anecdotal information to justify it, do you have sales figures to justify it?
Well if only 75% of RPG groups would use miniatures then I peg the total of US lifestyle RPG groups at 80,000 on the low end (and by your estimate 4 million worldwide on the high end - 24 million/6). Per earlier numbers the US RPG market is roughly $30 million a year so that's an average of $375 per year per group for players of the current edition. Just over $60 per player by my numbers - or 2-3 books per year.
If we peg the current edition D&D players at 1.125 million and D&D sales at only 40% of the $30 million pie ($12 million). That's just over $10 a piece for current players yearly. Not even a book every few years doesn't sound like current players to me. (1.125 million comes out to 200,000 groups in the US)
$23 - $40 million worth of collectible miniatures sold in 2004. If you figure a dollar per miniature on average, that is 23 - 40 million miniatures divided between 1.125 million RPG gamers in the US. Each gamer would only need to buy a few boxes over the course of the year in order to hit those numbers (one box of each DDM set released in 2004 would do it). That isn't very hard to imagine at all.
So you've established that each player is buying maybe 6 metal character minis per year and possibly 3 boosters of DDM (24 figs) per year. So they are adding up to 180 figs to the group collection per year (minus breakage and tossed figures). In 5 years they have maybe 900 figures. So within the 6th year they hit a possible saturation point of 1,000 minis. And we're almost 5 years into DDM.
Nah, saturation would never happen.