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PF2E Release Day Second Edition Amazon Sales Rank

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
Most posts by Lisa Stevens on their forums will be about how Covid-19 has impacted their work flow, shipping, and such. There is a posting in January, though that's only a month later than the link Dave posted.

I mean, it's only been 4.5 months since that post on 12/31, and I hardly would expect a monthly update.

That said, however, if (in person) Gen Con gets canceled (which I think is likely), we won't have a visual barometer for the game for a while. Also, the Advanced Player's Guide for PF2 is a Gen Con release so it would suck for them (and many others, I'm sure) if in-person Gen Con doesn't happen.
 

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Porridge

Explorer
The Amazon sales rankings over the past couple weeks suggest relatively good news. Both 5e and PF2 seem to have settled into a new regime, and are both doing significantly better now than they were during the horrendous mid-March to mid-April period following the coronavirus shut down.

They're still lower than where they were before the coronavirus hit, which seems inevitable given the general economic downturn. But if we take 5e sales to be an indicator of how TTRPG sales are doing in general (which seems reasonable), then the fiscal viability of TTRPG companies looks considerably rosier than it did a month ago.

(Obligatory link to source: Amazon sales estimator.)
 

Parmandur

Legend
The Amazon sales rankings over the past couple weeks suggest relatively good news. Both 5e and PF2 seem to have settled into a new regime, and are both doing significantly better now than they were during the horrendous mid-March to mid-April period following the coronavirus shut down.

They're still lower than where they were before the coronavirus hit, which seems inevitable given the general economic downturn. But if we take 5e sales to be an indicator of how TTRPG sales are doing in general (which seems reasonable), then the fiscal viability of TTRPG companies looks considerably rosier than it did a month ago.

(Obligatory link to source: Amazon sales estimator.)

Yeah, the hobby seems to be doing well in this situation: all the groundwork for long-distance play online has really paid off...
 

gss000

Explorer
Yeah, the hobby seems to be doing well in this situation: all the groundwork for long-distance play online has really paid off...
I don't think that is what we are seeing. I think we saw a dip because of the pandemic, but the recent bump I bet reflects the built up demand that was released after shelter in place orders started being lifted and stores could order and replenish stock. The numbers are droppimg again back toward what they were before stores started closing. The recent bump is not a long lasting one.

I think the hobby was better able to handle the pandemic and closing of stores and distributors, but maybe a spike over a week doesn't erase the recent damage or the Amazon trend for Paizo.
 

darjr

I crit!
Eh. Much higher than it’s been. Still BY FAR the second highest RPG on Amazon. Some may say that doesn’t mean much but is it possible that it might be further ahead of number three than D&D is of it. Which actually makes me kinda sad. I wish the broader market for RPGs did better. I know they are doing better than ever but still.
 

Porridge

Explorer
I don't think that is what we are seeing. I think we saw a dip because of the pandemic, but the recent bump I bet reflects the built up demand that was released after shelter in place orders started being lifted and stores could order and replenish stock. The numbers are droppimg again back toward what they were before stores started closing. The recent bump is not a long lasting one.

I worry that you may have misunderstood what I was saying. Just to get clear about the facts on the ground: there hasn't been a bump above how 5e and PF2 were doing before the pandemic hit in mid-March. There's just been a substantial improvement from how thing were from during the terrible mid-March to end-of-April stretch, an improvement that's looked pretty stable over the last two weeks. But things are still worse than they were before the pandemic hit.

  • 1/1-3/13: 5e generally bounces around in the 20-70 range (averaging about 45).
  • 3/14-5/4: 5e craters, generally bouncing around in the 120-300 range (averaging about 210), though a big sale at the end of April drives it briefly into the 20s.
  • 5/5-5/18: 5e generally bounces around in the 90-160 range (averaging about 125).
And you see a similar pattern for PF2:
  • 1/1-3/13: PF2 generally bounces around in the 2000-6000 range (averaging about 4000).
  • 3/14-5/4: PF2 craters, generally bouncing around in the 5000-10000 range (averaging about 7500).
  • 5/5-5/18: PF2 generally bounces around in the 2500-4500 range (averaging about 3500).
(Well, I guess PF2 has been pretty much doing about as well as it was before the pandemic hit. That may be due to noise. In any case, PF2 certainly hasn't been doing noticeably better than it was before the pandemic hit.)
 

zztong

Explorer
Looking at Google Trends on the assumption that there may be some vague relation between searches and sales...

12 Month...

There's a slight decrease in searches for Pathfinder (non version specific) while D&D (not version specific) has a slight increase during the pandemic months. Those changes many not be significant.

I do note Trends seems to be doing a better job of isolating Pathfinder the game from Pathfinder the automobile than it had been doing in previous years.

5 Year...

If you look at a longer-term view, from August 2019 to present there's also a slight decrease, probably insignificant. Peak interest appears to have been Sep/Oct 2018.

Looking into the query details, note that "mesmerist" and "kineticist" are searches #2 and #5, then "vigilante", "unchained monk" are searches #6 and #7. I may be wrong, but I think these are only in PF1.

I also note that "the trove pathfinder" is #3. The Trove, being a source of PDFs, could be folks who just want a PDF to go with a book they have already purchased, but it can be people who are trying to avoid a purchase, or people looking to find products that are otherwise unavailable such as a very old module.

...
 

Porridge

Explorer
Looking at Google Trends on the assumption that there may be some vague relation between searches and sales...

12 Month...

There's a slight decrease in searches for Pathfinder (non version specific) while D&D (not version specific) has a slight increase during the pandemic months. Those changes many not be significant.

I do note Trends seems to be doing a better job of isolating Pathfinder the game from Pathfinder the automobile than it had been doing in previous years.

5 Year...

If you look at a longer-term view, from August 2019 to present there's also a slight decrease, probably insignificant. Peak interest appears to have been Sep/Oct 2018.

Looking into the query details, note that "mesmerist" and "kineticist" are searches #2 and #5, then "vigilante", "unchained monk" are searches #6 and #7. I may be wrong, but I think these are only in PF1.

I also note that "the trove pathfinder" is #3. The Trove, being a source of PDFs, could be folks who just want a PDF to go with a book they have already purchased, but it can be people who are trying to avoid a purchase, or people looking to find products that are otherwise unavailable such as a very old module.

...

Very cool!

The steady increase in D&D searches over the past 5 years is especially impressive; they've almost quadrupled.

Looking into the query details, note that "mesmerist" and "kineticist" are searches #2 and #5, then "vigilante", "unchained monk" are searches #6 and #7. I may be wrong, but I think these are only in PF1.

I think that's an artifact of the fact that you're looking at query details over the past 5 years. (I also think you were looking at the highest ranked "rising" search terms, not the highest ranked "top" search terms.) If you focus on the past 12 months (the first link you provided above), the highest ranked "top" queries are:
  1. "pathfinder"
  2. "pathfinder 2e"
  3. "pathfinder spells"
  4. "pathfinder feats"
  5. "pathfinder armor"
(And the highest ranked "rising" queries are:
  1. "pathfinder heirloom" [An unrelated search]
  2. "pathfinder 2e character builder"
  3. "pathfinder wrath of the righteous kickstarter"
  4. "pathfinder 2e"
  5. "pathfinder 2e srd")
 


darjr

I crit!
Found out today that Amazon has an Amazon’s Choice entry for the players handbook and starter set, from a third party reseller that includes dice and other things. Looks like it’s been swiping top spot results in searches for D&D and Players Handbook. I wonder if they did the same for PF2? Anybody see it?
 

Mistwell

Legend
Found out today that Amazon has an Amazon’s Choice entry for the players handbook and starter set, from a third party reseller that includes dice and other things. Looks like it’s been swiping top spot results in searches for D&D and Players Handbook. I wonder if they did the same for PF2? Anybody see it?

Yes I think that was mentioned in the PHB tracking thread. Made it difficult to track the actual sales since you need to combine both products to get a true read.
 


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.)

A brief follow-up on this. A historian has recently started working on a comprehensive history of Paizo. There are lots of interesting little nuggets to be found in the stuff they've been posting (Paizo LLC was almost dissolved by the State of Washington after some key paperwork was lost in the CFO shuffle?!). But more on point, they've compiled a complete list of who's worked and Paizo and when they worked there. They even have a nice graph of the number of Paizo staff over time.

Anyway, Paizo currently employs 73 people, which is, indeed, larger than it's ever been.
 

A brief follow-up on this. A historian has recently started working on a comprehensive history of Paizo. There are lots of interesting little nuggets to be found in the stuff they've been posting (Paizo LLC was almost dissolved by the State of Washington after some key paperwork was lost in the CFO shuffle?!). But more on point, they've compiled a complete list of who's worked and Paizo and when they worked there. They even have a nice graph of the number of Paizo staff over time.

Anyway, Paizo currently employs 73 people, which is, indeed, larger than it's ever been.
That is concerning, not a good time to have your largest staff ever. I hope they have a plan.
 


BryonD

Hero
I do feel like the APG release is going to be the next real telling point for 2e. That was really the turning point for PF1 and it could really be the same for PF2. Not that it will catch 5e that isn't happening, but where it establishes itself.
The APG is out, and PF2E is much lower than it was when this prediction was made.
 

Puggins

Explorer
Supporter
The APG is out, and PF2E is much lower than it was when this prediction was made.
I dunno, that humble bundle deal was a huge success, apparently, making the core rule book hard to get. Wouldn’t be surprised if that had an immediate effect of dropping amazon sales a bunch, since everyone who wanted one got it at a bigger discount than Amazon could provide. There’s a good chance that it isn’t the case, though.

In other words, I don’t consider that convincing evidence given recent events, but we can check in again in a few months.
 

BryonD

Hero
I dunno, that humble bundle deal was a huge success, apparently, making the core rule book hard to get. Wouldn’t be surprised if that had an immediate effect of dropping amazon sales a bunch, since everyone who wanted one got it at a bigger discount than Amazon could provide. There’s a good chance that it isn’t the case, though.

In other words, I don’t consider that convincing evidence given recent events, but we can check in again in a few months.
Time will tell has been my position throughout.
The claim is that it would be a telling point. And, yet again, all we have is reasons to possibly ignore a declining trend over time and a drop right at the time a rebound was forecast. It certainly isn't good news.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I dunno, that humble bundle deal was a huge success, apparently, making the core rule book hard to get. Wouldn’t be surprised if that had an immediate effect of dropping amazon sales a bunch, since everyone who wanted one got it at a bigger discount than Amazon could provide. There’s a good chance that it isn’t the case, though.

In other words, I don’t consider that convincing evidence given recent events, but we can check in again in a few months.

"The fire sale got everything out the door!" doesn't seem all that promising.
 

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
I find it very sad that pf2 is, by all accounts struggling. In a way it's understandable, as a lot of hardened pf1 gamers were never going to jump onboard, and even if they'd simplified the ruleset I don't think they could compete with the behemoth that is 5e

It's (IMHO) a very good ruleset, that while it has its faults, is very very serviceable and a nice alternative to what's out there, and even if I wasn't interested healthy competition would be good for the industry
 

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