How many people work in the RPG industry? Survey

Ben from questing beast is doing this survey :
“People on reddit are saying that there’s probably no more than 100 full time professionals working in RPGs, I’m not sure if that’s true. I made a quick survey to get a ballpack estimate, feel free to take it and share it:”

The original reddit thread :

Interested to hear your guys thoughts on this


I’m sure WotC employs more than 100 alone, what with marketing, management, etc. etc. so I would say this estimate is way off.

I feel like “Professional” is a bit of a loose term in the rpg industry. I see the big boys like Pazio and WOTC has a fair number of people on staff, but I also feel like they have 10x that number with commissioned freelancers and the like helping them with their many projects (which extends out to the rest of the industry since small press likely as one or two managers and a team of freelancers assembled).

Hasbro and other larger games companies have rpg-related staff. I know of one smaller rpg company based in the UK that’s full-time for two people, possibly more in recent years. I’m sure if you add things up across the world, 100 is a bit low. The problem with the original ‘less than 100’ idea is that it’s probably maybe only thinking of the US and maybe possibly the UK. Even then the number seems a bit low.

1 Like

I think it varies a lot depending on your definition of “professionals”. Like, somebody working at Paizo but not directly involved (or not directly involved full time) in TTRPGs design should be counted?


It’s a good question to ask.

“Full-time” seems to be the key term here. I take that to mean “not needing another job” (but may have another job anyway).

My guess–just a guess!–is that 100 is too low, but I would also guess that it’s in the right order of magnitude. I mean there are probably hundreds, not a thousand or more. I’ll be curious to know the results, but such a survey is limited by reach.

1 Like

I’d say it’s also limited to being English-language based, whereas there are rpg companies in various other countries. Generally people still tend to see it as a US/English thing and I think this is why the 100 number has come up.