Paizo Community Update and a Look Ahead

Paizo's president, Jim Butler, gave a behind the scenes look at what's happened over the last year as well as a look ahead.

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In a press release today, Jim Butler talks about what's been happening since he took over as president a little over a year ago as well as a look to the future.

United Paizo Workers​

Before he became president, Jim lead negotiations to create the tabletop industry's first-ever collective bargaining agreement. Working together with UPW, they have created an agreement that works for both the company and the employees.

Rise of ORC​

This biggest story of the year has been the OGL and publishers leaving it to create ORC. This was a decision Paizo did not take lightly, but they could no longer operated under a license that another corporation could change whenever they wanted to. This caused them to push back the publishing of scheduled books in order to bring forward ORC Remastered rulebooks in November. The shift will also necessitate a change in the Paizo Compatibility License and Community Use Policy. Those will be available for public comment soon.

Reorganization​

Paizo has been working to streamline operations throughout the company, merging teams to better share and work toward common goals to support customers, distributors, and local game stores. The merging of the creative team also added the ability to create games outside the RPG fold, the first of which will be Elemental Stones this fall.

With most of the staff working remotely, they will be closing down their Redmond offices and moving their warehouse over the coming months. There will be some downtime for Paizo.com and the forums as they move their servers to a new data center. They will let the public know about it when they get closer to the move.

New Store and Forums​

As soon as they update their finance platform, Paizo will be replacing their store with a new one. The new store will allow for an easier checkout process with more payment options, a more robust reward program, more subscription options including the ability to skip certain books, and provide better organization.

In addition to investing in a better store experience, they are investigating new platforms to provide a better forum experience. They will provide more updates as they finalize their decision.

Pathfinder Fiction and Licensing​

They will be trying out some new strategies to bring Pathfinder and Starfinder to a wider audience. This is why they've partnered with Owlcat, BKOM, Demiplane, and Hero Lab Online. These games and tools bring more people to the table and make it easier to make characters.

More people means more stories. That includes the ability to use the Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite programs to allow creators to produce their own work using Paizo's material and make money for their efforts.

Paizo has also greenlit a standalone Pathfinder novel for 2024. This will allow them to tell stories in ways game products can't and reach fantasy readers.

What's your take on the changes that have happened and are coming down the pipeline?
 
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Dawn Dalton

Dawn Dalton

The interesting thing to me is the full post linked above specifies several states that workers can work remotely from. The states are Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington. I wonder why those states?

Edit: As others have said, glad they're upgrading their website. It needs it!
Those are probably the states where Paizo has the business license/Tax set up to work. I have had to do the same for specific states with my own company when we've had remote workers cross state boundaries in the past. When a remote worker is in that specific state, the company is now paying taxes, unemployment insurance and other features, and is defined by that state's employment laws. It can be a messy bit of book-keeping sometimes.
 

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We just had a huge "everybody back to the office" week. Rabid covid out break and now we are all back at home.
Yikes! My offices were identified as critical services, so it never closed and we kept a rotation on staff (about 50/50) working from home and office. That changed back to a 90/10 split about a year and a half ago. Last COVID outbreak was me, the last one in the office to get it, as of November last year.
 

For the same reason as to why the fans cared about United Paizo Workers -- they want better working conditions for the employees. The ability to work remotely is the single greatest improvement and real wage increase Paizo workers have ever had. This allows them to move out of the Seattle area if they want to -- to areas FAR cheaper to live in. Net income after rent can easily double (maybe triple) and a whole group of people in their 20s and 30s don't have to live like they are in college, with three other room-mates. Staffers can afford a mortgage if they live in cheaper areas of the USA to buy property.

This isn't just a boon to union members; Erik Mona, the Publisher of Paizo and one of its longest-tenured employees was never able to afford a home in the Seattle area either. He has just bought one in Minnesota and is process of moving there.

Yes. Many fans care about it. I was happier to hear of this than any other recent change to Paizo. The pandemic made this possible - as Paizo operated under remote working conditions for more than 2 and a half years. So they know it works and that they can manage staff effectively when working remotely.
It's a boon if you're the Seattleite moving to that state, but as my own state is learning this has dire consequences locally. In New Mexico the average median household income is lower than a Seattle single income (source), but housing has skyrocketed to unaffordability for locals because of so many out of state people coming here. The result is a housing crisis that's insane. I know of people with 9-10 family members struggling to afford 2 bedroom apartments because no one can afford a $2800 a month, 30 year mortgage on a house all of a sudden. Houses that were "ok" purchases for $150K just five years ago jumped to $350K or more now, in "so so" neighborhoods, and trashy houses in the local equivalent of the ghetto are commanding $200K or more. I hadn't even made the connection that this was driven by out-of-state buyers until my realtor tipped me off on why I keep losing bids.....I may do well locally as a business owner, but I can't compete with the out of state incomes rolling in.
 

So many other things to comment on, but I was a little disappointed that they didn't talk about any future plans specifically for Pathfinder 2E and Starfinder, I guess the only info to know is already announced and in the works?
 

So many other things to comment on, but I was a little disappointed that they didn't talk about any future plans specifically for Pathfinder 2E and Starfinder, I guess the only info to know is already announced and in the works?

Saving it for GenCon, I assume? Or are they not there this year? I honestly haven't been paying attention to the convention circuit.
 

Retreater

Legend
Saving it for GenCon, I assume? Or are they not there this year? I honestly haven't been paying attention to the convention circuit.
They have some big streams coming up during GenCon. From what I can tell, most of the big news is related to the Revisions - many of the other projects in progress have been pushed back to rush through the Revisions.
 

So many other things to comment on, but I was a little disappointed that they didn't talk about any future plans specifically for Pathfinder 2E and Starfinder, I guess the only info to know is already announced and in the works?
As @Retreater and @Justice and Rule mentioned, they'll probably have some stuff to talk more about at GenCon. I'd guess we'll get something on Starfinder Enhanced since it's coming out in October. The PF2e Tian Xia AP material comes out in October also, so it would be cool if they touched on the Lost Omens material for that but I think that comes out early 2024 so might be best to just focus on the Remaster promotion for now.
 

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