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Pathfinder 2E Is It Time for PF2 "Essentials"?

GreyLord

Hero
Paizo mentioned another item (Well, a Paizo Employee) recently which could be another metric that we could see even here.

Forum discussion of Pathfinder in general has risen over the past two years. I think that is one metric that we can see here. Pathfinder discussion was about dead, so dead that for a while they even removed the Pathfinder forum completely and merged it with older games and such.

Now, Pathfinder discussion, while not booming, has it's own forum again and we see a lot more discourse (ironically, a lot of it started with topics by one individual, but it is still a lot more discussion than there was before about Pathfinder).

Something I thought of when Paizo mentioned it recently regarding PF2e and sales.
 

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wakedown

Explorer
Paizo mentioned another item (Well, a Paizo Employee) recently which could be another metric that we could see even here. Forum discussion of Pathfinder in general has risen over the past two years. I think that is one metric that we can see here. Pathfinder discussion was about dead, so dead that for a while they even removed the Pathfinder forum completely and merged it with older games and such.

Not entirely true. As someone active on those forums particularly the PbP ones, PF2E recruitment is fairly anemic. It used to be that every day you'd have a dozen games opening up for PF1e PFS games that would play out. Another area where things have dried up is folks engaged on the adventure paths - if you go back to the weeks post-launch of their 1E Adventure Paths (take your pick of early ones like Runelords or ones in the middle of the 1E lifespan like Reign of Winter or near end of line ones like Giantslayer), the unique participants (reach) and number of new posts per day have dropped as interest in APs has waned.

"Reddit subscriber growth" is never a good metric. All subreddits will see subscriber growth due to the nature of how bots crawl reddit and subscribe into reddits. Posts per day is the real metric to gauge rising or falling interest, and aside from release triggers, the PF2E subreddit has been stable at 25 posts per day since Summer 2019. Pathfinder_RPG (which is where 1E was but still has some 2E discussion) has dropped from ~55 to ~45 per day over the same timeframe. All-in, Reddit sees ~40 PF1E posts per day and ~30 PF2E posts per day and these numbers have been fairly stable for 2 years.

This is all moot, the game is stable from a business continuity perspective. Paizo can serve a small fan-base on PF2E, PF2E Essentials, PF3E for a decade or more with just a handful of core employees. They've shed a ton of veteran staff and reduced their release schedule and are (presumably) in no real danger of bankruptcy as long as they can maintain their current pace. Folks have cited that Paizo may have debt, but there's never been a better time to refinance business debt and stretch it out over a new term in America, so even if they had some, their CFO now CEO could've refinanced that several times in the past few years and stretched it out over new terms.

Paizo also did extremely well with the PPP program getting a big infusion of 1.02 million dollars less than a year ago and likely having it forgiven (something they'd be closing out right now) - which is essentially a million dollars of free cash for just keeping folks employed. This gives you a sense of their scale with $5M in payroll and just how much they need to sell (not just PF, SF books but just general gaming supplies from their online store) in a year to keep the engines running in 2021 and beyond.
 

Porridge

Explorer
"Reddit subscriber growth" is never a good metric. All subreddits will see subscriber growth due to the nature of how bots crawl reddit and subscribe into reddits. Posts per day is the real metric to gauge rising or falling interest, and aside from release triggers, the PF2E subreddit has been stable at 25 posts per day since Summer 2019. Pathfinder_RPG (which is where 1E was but still has some 2E discussion) has dropped from ~55 to ~45 per day over the same timeframe. All-in, Reddit sees ~40 PF1E posts per day and ~30 PF2E posts per day and these numbers have been fairly stable for 2 years.
Yeah, I agree that the best way to assess a subreddit's growth is via metrics like posts/day and comments/day. Your post inspired me to take a look at this data more carefully.

Using the raw data for the pathfinder2e subreddit from subreddit stats, here's a graph of the 7-day average of comments/day (the orange line), and the 7-day average of the posts/day (the dark blue line):

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 1.47.22 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 1.50.02 PM.png


Putting aside the two spikes following the release of the PF2 CRB and the release of the APG, both metrics seem to show a steady increase in activity. Looking at year-to-year increases, the latest comments/day and posts/day averages on the graph (for March 22nd 2021) are 323 and 30.7; a year ago (March 22nd 2020) they were 125 and 15.7.

As an aside, while I agree that raw subscription numbers aren't good indications of growth, I think you can still see some interesting things by comparing subscription increases in related threads. For example, over the last couple months the number of new subscriptions/week to the pathfinder2e subreddit has been roughly three times that of the starfinder_rpg subreddit. What does that mean in absolute terms? No idea! But it is interesting.
 
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Teemu

Adventurer
There was some talk of Bestiary 3 being the litmus test for continued PF2 support on Roll20. Well, the book's out now on Roll20, so there's that. Plus they also added the Sundered Waves one shot.
 

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