I understand that people are going to make the comparison, but things were worse in PF1. The old books were released monthly. If you subscribed to both the PF1 and the PF2 lines, you ended up paying more per annum in PF1 for lower quality material. Player Companion books almost never got errata, and the quality was highly variable. One of the advantages of less frequent (but bigger) releases is supposed to be that the quality should be better, and they might actually get errata if they sell well enough.I do think the Lost Omen World Guide should have been entitled Lost Omens Players Guide Or LO Gazetteer. But it wasn’t, and is directed at GMs alongside players (as per the preface). That’s why people compare it to the Inner World Guide, which was likewise directed at GMs and players.
Whether the comparison is fair or not, I don’t know. I know it’s a comparison people draw and one reason why many don’t buy the LO series.
Spreading out the hardcovers in 130 page books just looks like dividing up content in a more expensive manner. Paizo is hardly alone in this, The Dark Eye (Ulisses, licensee of Paizo) is much worse, or some of FFG and GMT’s Expansion lines in boardgaming.
It’s an established sales model: You spread out the content extra wide and only cater to the well pocketed brandline loyalist with strong completionist impulses.
That’s a valid sales model (I’m serious) but
A) let’s not marvel at a smaller market share, and
B) let’s not invalidate the market segment that justifiably feels left behind by that pricing model.
Again, coming from someone who’s onboard with PF2 (and has bought special editions PF2 hardcovers where available).
I do wonder what Paizo’s subscription numbers are before and after the PF2 makeover. Do we have numbers for that? Because they would help to prove or invalidate my hypothesis as to the new sales model.
I agree the way the line has been framed is problematic. I didn’t use Golarion when I ran PF2, so the Lost Omens line was a hard nope for me. I like the 5e approach more because it alternates between option books and setting material instead of mixing the two. If I could pick and choose, then I would have probably bought some books instead of no books. (The rulebooks line kind of fills that non-setting niche, but the LO line has stuff the rulebooks line will never get.)