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Pathfinder 2E Release Day Second Edition Amazon Sales Rank

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don't think anyone believes that Paizo isn't doing "good enough" for their bottom line, but...it could have been more significant on the scene, considering where PF1 was.
 

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So, I've made some charts.

Chart #1: Reported PF2 Core Book Amazon Rankings, as reported in this thread (and where there were multiple reports in the same day, I took the best sales number). Unfortunately the representation here isn't what I'd prefer, as the "higher" it goes up, the "worse" the sales because it reflects the worse sales rank of a higher number. Maybe someone can tell me how to flip that, or I could just make them negative numbers if I have to.

Product sales vs rank tend to look like a power law, so maybe plotting 1/log(rank) would be reasonable.

The most important thing I draw from these two charts?

PF2, a year and a half into its release, is selling worse on Amazon than PF1 was selling on average 7-8 after it's release.

Not really surprising. 5e put Paizo between a rock and a hard place. They had a couple unpleasant options:
-Become a 5e OGL-based 3rd party, delivering primarily APs and monster books (massive staff cuts)
-Try to sustain PF1 forever (die by attrition)
-Make a new game (likely a flat step down in sales)

It also depends on if theyre doing less of their buisiness on Amazon, you can't buy pdfs there and physical books are less convenient for online gaming.

They're at less than 2% of Roll20 games now. At the end of 2016, Pathfinder had over 15% of online games.
 



Nilbog

Snotling Herder
Actually I think it drives the point home. All boats should have risen on this tide.

I agree, but I think we need to be a little mindful that although roll20 is the 500lb gorilla in the room of vtts looking at most message boards it doesn't seem to be the platform of choice for people playing pf2e, most threads recommend foundry. I agree that the likely numbers aren't going to be massive, but I do believe that platform is growing.

I don't run APs, but I agree with the posters who say that the current ones for PF2E aren't system sellers, good (or not) as they maybe they are very niche (which holds appeal for a lot of people, but probably not the mainstream which PF2E needs to target). It really needs it's 'killer app' that is a popular story and highlights what the system is good at.
 

TheSword

Legend
I agree, but I think we need to be a little mindful that although roll20 is the 500lb gorilla in the room of vtts looking at most message boards it doesn't seem to be the platform of choice for people playing pf2e, most threads recommend foundry. I agree that the likely numbers aren't going to be massive, but I do believe that platform is growing.

I don't run APs, but I agree with the posters who say that the current ones for PF2E aren't system sellers, good (or not) as they maybe they are very niche (which holds appeal for a lot of people, but probably not the mainstream which PF2E needs to target). It really needs it's 'killer app' that is a popular story and highlights what the system is good at.
Foundry is good, and I use it from time to time myself. But I think it’s worth remembering that it’s still very new. It’s also not plug and play like roll20, requiring either opening up your computer as a server or paying a hosting subscription with a different provider and uploading your work. If you’re not techy then the first was pretty intimidating and the second is just another hurdle that wipes out the point of the software being a one time purchase.

I would be very interested in the Foundry user numbers, but because it’s software sold not active accounts that could be very difficult to find out. Either way I wouldn’t expect Foundry to be changing the Roll20 numbers much.
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
I mean all of them did, but part of that is obscured by the fact that D&D rose the most. Plus if the player base size doubled like it did in 2020, then 2016's 15% it was would only look like 7% today.

The relevant comparison is that both PF1 are being played significantly more than PF2. They pulled the 4E trick of losing the larger portion of their audience, without brining in more new players.
 

I agree, but I think we need to be a little mindful that although roll20 is the 500lb gorilla in the room of vtts looking at most message boards it doesn't seem to be the platform of choice for people playing pf2e, most threads recommend foundry. I agree that the likely numbers aren't going to be massive, but I do believe that platform is growing.

On Fantasy Grounds, Pathfinder is doing a little better, PF1 holding at 8%, and and PF2 having climbed to a total of 4%. Paizo's total share of FG has at least held steady on FG since 2017, when they had 11%. The market is almost twice as big as it was in 2016, so Paizo can afford to lose share without losing revenue. However, given what information we have:

1. Declining rank on Amazon
2. Declining share on Roll20
3. Stagnant share on FG

we can't do anything better than to say it's inconclusive. And really, what should we expect? PF1's brand identity was "3.5 Thrives!" Translation: "We're continuing that old product you love, since the IP owner is making something you hate!" Well, since 5e is apparently the most popular D&D product since the Mentzer box, both expanding the market and bringing back players who hated 4e (which I rather enjoyed), "Like the old thing you loved, not the new thing you hate" isn't sustainable, so where do you go from there? Paizo's now going for the niche of people who want to play something that is kind of like D&D, but have a very particular itch that's not being scratched. They have a leg up there due to higher brand recognition among D&D players. Far more D&D players have heard of Pathfinder than ACKS, 13th Age, Castles & Crusades, etc. But I don't see how they can realistically maintain anything like the share they had before 5e dropped.
 

Porridge

Explorer
So, I've made some charts.

Chart #1: Reported PF2 Core Book Amazon Rankings, as reported in this thread (and where there were multiple reports in the same day, I took the best sales number). Unfortunately the representation here isn't what I'd prefer, as the "higher" it goes up, the "worse" the sales because it reflects the worse sales rank of a higher number. Maybe someone can tell me how to flip that, or I could just make them negative numbers if I have to. Also, people stopped reporting sales rank numbers so we have far fewer data points for 2020 than we did in 2019. Maybe someone knows how to find that data?
Yes, I do!

Go to this website, and in the "ASIN" blank enter the number: 1640781684. That'll give you the daily Amazon rank of the PF2 core rulebook for the last two years. (It'll also give you the lowest FBA price each day, and the lowest price with shipping each day.)

Here's the full graph:
Screen Shot 2021-02-11 at 11.26.18 AM.png

For reference: the graph starts in April 2019, the low point on the left is July 2019 (release date), and the upward bump in in the middle starts in March 2020 (onset of the pandemic).
 

Retreater

Legend
Not really surprising. 5e put Paizo between a rock and a hard place. They had a couple unpleasant options:
-Become a 5e OGL-based 3rd party, delivering primarily APs and monster books (massive staff cuts)
-Try to sustain PF1 forever (die by attrition)
-Make a new game (likely a flat step down in sales)
Well, making a new game isn't necessarily a bad thing - look at what D&D did with 5e. And they did it with a broad playtest and a mindset about bringing lapsed fans back into the hobby.
PF2 was a vanity project for their designers. They created the "game they wanted to play." And good for them, but it doesn't equate to pleasing a fanbase or making sales. Their playtest should've demonstrated the issues in the system, that it wasn't connecting to many players. Paizo didn't listen. This was the game they wanted to make.
And then they followed up with lousy adventures that did little to excite folks and a disappointing rules rollout on the biggest VTT during a pandemic when online is about the only way to play (and their first AP is still not available on there).
 

darjr

I crit!
Yes, I do!

Go to this website, and in the "ASIN" blank enter the number: 1640781684. That'll give you the daily Amazon rank of the PF2 core rulebook for the last two years. (It'll also give you the lowest FBA price each day, and the lowest price with shipping each day.)

Here's the full graph:
View attachment 132561
For reference: the graph starts in April 2019, the low point on the left is July 2019 (release date), and the upward bump in in the middle starts in March 2020 (onset of the pandemic).
Thank you!!!! I’ve been
Looking for a camel replacement!!!!
 

Well, making a new game isn't necessarily a bad thing - look at what D&D did with 5e. And they did it with a broad playtest and a mindset about bringing lapsed fans back into the hobby.

What WotC did with 5e was make the successor to 3rd edition that the market embraced. Paizo isn't able to do that, because D&D isn't their product. Pathfinder's identity is, "3.5 Lives Thrives!" They built their entire brand around somebody else's product identity, which always meant that they were going to lose market share whenever WotC got its crap together and started listening to customers. Paizo's fundamental problem isn't that it didn't do enough playtesting of PF2, or screwed up its VTT rollout. Their fundamental problem is that 3.5 is dead, because 5e killed it.

Their original market was a large group of people who had rejected 4e as a valid successor to 3.5. That market is basically gone (not that their players are gone; there's just no large pool of "people who completely reject the current edition of D&D as a valid successor to the games of yore" to sell into). So their chosen strategy is to go after people who want to play a game that is like D&D, but different on a technical level, which is the same market 13th Age and Dungeon World were targeted at.

IMO they should have ditched Golarion (aka "Like your favorite D&D settings...but different!") and made a game with a steampunk, dieselpunk, sci fi, or post-apocalyptic setting. There's more growth potential in developing your own product identity than continually trying to eat somebody else's scraps.
 

kayman

Explorer
I thank Paizo for this wonderful game ... IMHO PF2 is the best version of the D20 system ever made... I say this in a GM perspective , never i found myself enjoying gm so much as in the PF2 system ...I run Age of Ashes , PFS scenarios and now Abomination Vaults and the experience has been a blast .. once again thanks Paizo for this game .... I will buy everithing from you ... and by the way ... the world of Golarion is the best .
Sorry for my bad english....
 

The relevant comparison is that both PF1 are being played significantly more than PF2. They pulled the 4E trick of losing the larger portion of their audience, without brining in more new players.

PF1 has had 10 years of entrenchment and the system was founded on the idea that they weren't going to leave a certain system; people who stuck with PF through 5E probably weren't leaving it anyways. I think @fearsomepirate got it right with his three choices.

2. Declining share on Roll20

Clarification: in the Orr Reports, PF2 has been rising each time. PF1 has been declining.
 

Porridge

Explorer
And then they followed up with lousy adventures that did little to excite folks and a disappointing rules rollout on the biggest VTT during a pandemic when online is about the only way to play (and their first AP is still not available on there).
Just to address this last point, since it suggests a confusion about Paizo's role in VTT implementation that seems to come up often.

The relationship between Paizo and Roll20 is a lot like the relationship between Paizo and Barnes & Noble.

Paizo would love to have Barnes & Noble stock all of their books. But it's not Paizo's choice. It's Barnes & Noble's. And while Paizo could theoretically try to apply pressure to Barnes & Noble -- refuse to sell any books to them unless they stocked all of their books? -- they don't really have the leverage to do so. And attempting to do so would just hurt them (by not having any of their books sold by Barnes & Noble).

Likewise, Paizo would love to have Roll20 provide competent and up-to-date support for their ruleset and conversions of their modules. But it's not Paizo's choice. It's Roll20's. And while Paizo could theoretically apply pressure to Roll20 -- refuse to let them do any conversions of their modules unless they did it for all of them, and provided more up-to-date support? -- they don't really have the leverage to do so. And attempting to do so would just hurt them (by not having any Roll20 support at all).

Now, devoting the employee resources required to provide reasonable support for Paizo products is certainly something Roll20 could do -- Fantasy Grounds has had no problem keeping pace. And Pathfinder fans (of both editions) have been complaining about Roll20's poor support for ages. But, again, there really isn't anything Paizo can do about it.
 
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JmanTheDM

Explorer
Counter Argument:
did anyone read the latest paizo blog post about recent hiring's and promotions Paizo People, February 2021

13 new hires
13 title changes and promotions

while there is no way to know if new hires = growth or replacement, seeing things like:
Senior Editor to Managing Editor
Data Entry Clerk to Financial Operations Specialist
Editor to Senior Editor
Warehouse Associate to Warehouse Distribution Lead
Editor to Senior Editor
Warehouse Associate to Logistics Coordinator
Customer Service Representative to Customer Service Lead


in my mind would generally indicate promotions = higher payroll costs.

this blog post does not feel like a struggling organization. this feels like a company that's moving forward.

but who knows, marketing, amirite?

Cheers,

J.
 

kayman

Explorer
... I dont know anything about sales and stuff... but as GM i think PF2 is huge improvement and is reason that i think the game will thrive... The fact that the monster is structure in a simple and diferent way than the PCS is wonderful for the gm , every monster is unique , easy to run and with unique abilities ...
 


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