Followup: CNBC on D&D’s best earnings year ever

“For generations, D&D has typically been played around a table. The dungeon master organizes the game, setting the quests for players to complete and describing everything they see and hear along their journey. The players create characters, improvising how those heroes — or scoundrels — respond to scenarios and rolling to the dice to determine their success or failure in those actions.

When the pandemic struck, gamers, who often gathered for weekly or monthly sessions in-person, were forced find new ways to interact online. Many turned to video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Teams and Skype to assemble their party and used services like Roll20 or D&D Beyond to share maps and keep track of stats.

In recent years, the sale of new player handbooks and starter sets have been a large portion of the D&D brand’s growth. That accelerated in 2020. Box sets and the company’s Essentials Kit, which contain everything players need to start an adventure, had record sales last year, Cocks said.

“That means new players are coming in and adopting the game,” he explained.”