Maybe it was Stranger Things, celebrity players, or maybe the pandemic lockdown created the ideal environment, but Dungeons and Dragons capped off their 6-year sales streak with an additional 33% growth in 2020.
More than just a side hustle, the role of DM (or GM) is intimate and important. Think Gandalf. Think Dumbledore. Think Obi-Wan. They really care about the players and take their roles as guides seriously.
The role of the DM is to eliminate any obstacles to playing. And even with DM fees, players can still save hundreds of dollars a month not purchasing physical boards, books, and dice associated with these games.