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PF2E Release Day Second Edition Amazon Sales Rank

Hussar

Legend
Note those figures are four years old. The RPG market in NA is $80M now.


Really, that just makes my point even stronger.

We never know in dollar terms, what first, second or third place actually mean. All we know is how a given game is doing relative to another game. So, what does second place actually mean? Sure, Pathfinder got into first place, but, at a point when the market was only about 15 million dollars total. Presuming that being in first place means a majority share of the market, that puts Pathfinder somewhere around the 8 million dollar mark. Give or take.

Now, fast forward to 2020. Second place could be 8 million dollars and no one would even notice since the signal noise from the other 60 million that 5e is controlling just blots out everything else. It gets even more difficult with smaller numbers.

Which is just my way of saying, no one really knows how well or badly Pathfinder 2 is doing. My gut feeling is that people's opinion of how well the game is doing has far more to do with whether or not they like the game than with anything else.
 

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BryonD

Hero
Really, that just makes my point even stronger.

We never know in dollar terms, what first, second or third place actually mean. All we know is how a given game is doing relative to another game. So, what does second place actually mean? Sure, Pathfinder got into first place, but, at a point when the market was only about 15 million dollars total. Presuming that being in first place means a majority share of the market, that puts Pathfinder somewhere around the 8 million dollar mark. Give or take.

Now, fast forward to 2020. Second place could be 8 million dollars and no one would even notice since the signal noise from the other 60 million that 5e is controlling just blots out everything else. It gets even more difficult with smaller numbers.

Which is just my way of saying, no one really knows how well or badly Pathfinder 2 is doing. My gut feeling is that people's opinion of how well the game is doing has far more to do with whether or not they like the game than with anything else.
Your last point is absolutely true.
But I'll again point out that the multiple lines of evidence that it isn't doing any better than PF was doing isn't tied to the rankings. The rankings are clearly a potential positive sign because PF2E IS #2. But the value of that ranking is clearly very uncertain.

And, also, as has already been pointed out, comparing 2020 data to 2010 data it a bait and switch. PF was in the exact same #2 spot as recently as 2017. You are using ancient data, data which contradicts your data has been shown, the lack of significance of any of that data has been established. If we assume your case is 4 times stronger, we still end up with 4 X 0 = zero.

We didn't need ranking to know that PF was overtaking 4E. We were predicting that for months before it happened because you can tell by being engaged with the gaming community. We don't need rankings to tell us that 5E is massive. Seriously, one could claim that PF2E is right on 5E's heels based on just looking at rankings. And if we relied on rankings that would be as reasonable as any other assessment. But, because we can see the world around us, we know that isn't true.
 


Has Paizo done layoffs? No, not that I am aware of. Which means they are probably doing OK.
They haven't done layoffs, no. But in 2016 through 2018 they shed a lot of staff that all chose to leave, both publicly and quietly, and often in small batches. And many were not replaced, as the teams shrank.

Even at the time I commented that Paizo was encouraging people to move on amicably. Because Paizo was huge and had a LOT of staff.
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip

We didn't need ranking to know that PF was overtaking 4E. We were predicting that for months before it happened because you can tell by being engaged with the gaming community. We don't need rankings to tell us that 5E is massive. Seriously, one could claim that PF2E is right on 5E's heels based on just looking at rankings. And if we relied on rankings that would be as reasonable as any other assessment. But, because we can see the world around us, we know that isn't true.

But, again, there's the problem. Was Pathfinder overtaking 4e because Pathfinder was growing or because 4e was shrinking or some combination of the two (which is probably closer to the truth)? What we absolutely DO know that is that Pathfinder was number 1 in a field that was worth about 15 million dollars. Again, give or take. Now that field did still include other games, so, obviously Pathfinder never reached 100% dominance of the market. I think we can agree on that.

Which pegs 2012/13 Pathfinder at somewhere in the neighbourhood of 8 million dollars. Can we agree on that?

Now, PF2 is in second place, but, since we have zero idea what that actually means in terms of market share, it could be absolutely true that PF2 is bombing terribly, doing moderately well, growing healthily or anything else, but, because the market is so much larger today than it was 10 years ago, we can't really tell because 2nd place could be any number from 5-20 million and it wouldn't change PF2's ranking.

I have zero horse in this race. None. Don't play either game. Probably never will. But, claims about how well or not well something is doing should be tied to more than just gut feelings and anecdotes. And, my interpretation is, because the market is so much larger than it was 10 years ago, we really can't tell and in general, we're going to have to wait two or three years before we can make any honest determination.
 

Porridge

Explorer
They haven't done layoffs, no. But in 2016 through 2018 they shed a lot of staff that all chose to leave, both publicly and quietly, and often in small batches. And many were not replaced, as the teams shrank.

Even at the time I commented that Paizo was encouraging people to move on amicably. Because Paizo was huge and had a LOT of staff.

I remember wondering the same thing, since it seemed like for a while there was a new high-profile "farewell" blog post every couple months. But there were also several big "new additions" blog posts too, so I wasn't sure how everything shook out, numbers-wise.

Here's my best attempt to figure out how things stand. On 12/31/2019, in a thread where people were raising these kinds of worries, Lisa Stevens dropped in and said: "Paizo isn't smaller, it is larger than it has ever been. And we are growing even more in the coming months."

So, assuming she isn't lying, Paizo at the end of last year was as large as it has ever been. Since then, there have been two blog posts listing new hires and promotions:

Paizo People, Additions and Promotions (2/6/2020)

Paizo People, Spring 2020 (4/10/2020)

Most of these are promotions or title changes, but 9 of them seem to be new hires. And I didn't see any "farewell" blog posts since Lisa's 12/31/2019 post.

Putting that together, that would seem to indicate that Paizo has grown, numbers-wise, and so remains larger than it's ever been.

(This assumes, of course, that there haven't been "invisible" departures between 12/31/2019 and 4/10/2020 that weren't accompanied by "farewell" blog posts. But I have no way of checking that.)
 


I remember wondering the same thing, since it seemed like for a while there was a new high-profile "farewell" blog post every couple months. But there were also several big "new additions" blog posts too, so I wasn't sure how everything shook out, numbers-wise.

Here's my best attempt to figure out how things stand. On 12/31/2019, in a thread where people were raising these kinds of worries, Lisa Stevens dropped in and said: "Paizo isn't smaller, it is larger than it has ever been. And we are growing even more in the coming months."

So, assuming she isn't lying, Paizo at the end of last year was as large as it has ever been. Since then, there have been two blog posts listing new hires and promotions:

Paizo People, Additions and Promotions (2/6/2020)

Paizo People, Spring 2020 (4/10/2020)

Most of these are promotions or title changes, but 9 of them seem to be new hires. And I didn't see any "farewell" blog posts since Lisa's 12/31/2019 post.

Putting that together, that would seem to indicate that Paizo has grown, numbers-wise, and so remains larger than it's ever been.

(This assumes, of course, that there haven't been "invisible" departures between 12/31/2019 and 4/10/2020 that weren't accompanied by "farewell" blog posts.)
I remember seeing that post. But I also remember seeing the CEO of WotC giving an interview on ICv2 about how well D&D was doing, when they were cancelling books left-and-right in 2011 and how happy they were with sales of D&D. When we now know they were scuttling 4e and in the early stages of preparing 5e.
Because what else would she say? "Paizo is imploding and we're all running around in a panic!"

And why on Earth would they be "bigger than ever" when they're no longer doing the Player Companion and Campaign lines, the novels are gone, and they're producing fewer accessories?
Even if PF2 was selling better than PF1 they don't need as many people. Why increase the overhead and expenses?
I don't think she's lying deliberately but I don't know how to reconcile that statement with what Paizo is doing.
 

Porridge

Explorer
...why on Earth would they be "bigger than ever" when they're no longer doing the Player Companion and Campaign lines, the novels are gone, and they're producing fewer accessories?
Even if PF2 was selling better than PF1 they don't need as many people. Why increase the overhead and expenses?

Good question. I think I can give a partial answer (though I don't know what exactly you have in mind regarding accessories).

1. I believe the novels were written by contract, so they don't bear on the number of salaried staff.

2. Regarding the player companion and campaign setting lines replacement, there's a slight drop in production, but one I think can be explained by the extra level of review the material now goes through.

There were 12 32-page player companion titles a year, which is 384 pages of content. The campaign setting titles varied a lot (initially they were monthly, but they really petered out over the last couple years), but in their heyday there were 10 64-campaign setting titles a year (and 2 map folios), which is 640 pages of content. So that adds up to 1024 pages of content/year.

In the new merged "Lost Omens" line which replaced them, they're scheduled to release 6 products in the first calendar year (1 being a map folio), and those five books add up to 136+136+128+296+136(?) = 832 pages of content, about 20% less.

But unlike the player companion and campaign setting lines, the Lost Omens content now goes through a full developer review. (Likewise, I believe the extra material at the back of APs now goes through a full developer review.) This makes this content more balanced with respect to Paizo's core book offerings, but also takes more time to produce.

3. I'm not sure what the reductions in accessories you're thinking of are, so it's hard for me to make an educated guess.

I will note, though, that Paizo seems to be hiring a lot of people for outreach, quality control, and managerial tasks (e.g., looking at the recent hires/position changes, you don't see a lot of designer or writer hires; instead you see things like organized play associate, editor (x2), HR generalist, public relations manager, project coordinator, web content manager, program manager, director of brand strategy, visual design manager, etc). These aren't positions which directly contribute to the production of content. (Though hopefully several of them do improve the quality of the content that is produced.)
 




And why on Earth would they be "bigger than ever" when they're no longer doing the Player Companion and Campaign lines, the novels are gone, and they're producing fewer accessories?
Even if PF2 was selling better than PF1 they don't need as many people. Why increase the overhead and expenses?
I don't think she's lying deliberately but I don't know how to reconcile that statement with what Paizo is doing.

The answer could be Starfinder. No canpaigns or companions, but they have an entirely new line that requires hardbacks and a new AP line.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
Interesting discussion. My feeling is PF2 will take longer to adopt than PF1. PF1 had the advantage of using a very popular rule system that D&D was moving on from completely for a version of D&D that was a major move away from what the player base was accustomed to. The splintered community gave them a nice boost.

PF2 is entering a very different market with a very different product. It might take some time for people to realize how good the system is. It's a good system. When I read the player test, my gaming group and I thought it looked kind of lame. Lots of small bonuses, weaker casting, and changes to nearly everything. It seem far less powerful. Then when we played it, we found that it played better than it looked. It was a very smooth, interesting, fun play experience.

I hope PF2 succeeds once word of mouth spreads and more people give it a try. It has a lot of interesting mechanics that are fun for a DM and players.
 






DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
Yeah like Uni said that's almost 6 months ago. I'd be curious what they're saying now. And to answer your question, it was Dancy,Mona, and Stevens talking up Pathfinder Online I thought?

My recall is fuzzy, but I was under the impression that Goblinworks (I think that's the name of the company) was run by Dancey and there was some drama between Goblinworks and Paizo when the thing collapsed.
 

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