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Pathfinder 2E Release Day Second Edition Amazon Sales Rank

The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
I will say Roll20 and Amazon really might not be reliable metrics for this, over on the sub no one mentions roll20 when we're asked for VTT recommendations, and similarly a lot of people are probably buying direct from Paizo depending on Amazon price shenanigans, the demand for pdfs, and such. I get that they seem like the reliable metrics on the face of it, but Roll20 took hits from that whole controversy, Paizo's market is probably doing a little more research on which VTT they're using too since the product is aimed a little more at power users while still being accessible.

Meanwhile the people who are using this to spin their 'man, if paizo had just designed the game completely differently they wouldn't be failing' thing are bewildering, I think it would have nose dived had they gone in the direction of making it more like 5e, since it wouldn't offer the things it does now. Literally everyone who converts talks about the differences as being the motivator, there would be no reason to switch if it weren't the case.

Like, Look at this person, or this one, and then this. This is an almost daily thing-- most of the playerbase is from 5e, and self describes their reason for switching as being options, difficulty challenging their players, and even support for character optimization.

If anything I would use the growth of the subreddit to better capture the growth of interest in the system. Their growth has only really accelerated, which to me is pretty convincing evidence that the game as a whole is growing pretty aggressively-- more users are looking for resources and discussion on the game, regardless of what they're playing on, or where they're buying their books. Even though thats only a fraction of the market, I think it probably speaks to the greater volume of players that they represent a fraction of.

I'd actually argue the drop in Amazon sales might have more to do with that massive humble bundle deal they did a little while back, it literally cleaned out their entire stock of Core Rulebooks, it might have front loaded a lot of the interest and channeled it away from Amazon.
 

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Mistwell

Legend
and similarly a lot of people are probably buying direct from Paizo depending on Amazon price shenanigans, the demand for pdfs, and such.
I won't speak to Roll20, but I don't understand the logic here. Ignore Covid, and just look at Amazon sales numbers pre-Covid. Amazon has not had any "price shenanigans" for 2e which they didn't also do with 1e. But both have fairly consistent trend lines. Of course it blips up and down with price changes, but there is an overall clear trend over periods of time.

And we can see that trend - it was ranking in the 1000-2000 range for many many years on Amazon for 1e despite the price changes and despite the humble bundles and such Paizo did over those years.

And now it's ranking over 3000 consistently, even prior to Covid, despite price changes and humble bundles and such.

That's meaningful data. It cannot just be hand waived away easily. Can this really have been the expectation for sales that Paizo had, that they would lose that large a percentage of their Amazon sales in the edition change with no announcement about a change in marketing strategy or anything like that indicating this was an intentional thing?
 

The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
I won't speak to Roll20, but I don't understand the logic here. Ignore Covid, and just look at Amazon sales numbers pre-Covid. Amazon has not had any "price shenanigans" for 2e which they didn't also do with 1e. But both have fairly consistent trend lines. Of course it blips up and down with price changes, but there is an overall clear trend over periods of time.

And we can see that trend - it was ranking in the 1000-2000 range for many many years on Amazon for 1e despite the price changes and despite the humble bundles and such Paizo did over those years.

And now it's ranking over 3000 consistently, even prior to Covid, despite price changes and humble bundles and such.

That's meaningful data. It cannot just be hand waived away easily. Can this really have been the expectation for sales that Paizo had, that they would lose that large a percentage of their Amazon sales in the edition change with no announcement about a change in marketing strategy or anything like that indicating this was an intentional thing?
Personally? I think that they're playing a longer term strategy overall, and that they knew they were functionally resetting their player base to grow it over again with the new edition, 1e was a very particular situation they've mentioned knowing they wouldn't be able to recapture.

My evidence for something not being quite right with the amazon numbers as a metric, is the growth of the sub accelerating over the same period. I assume we're not just getting more people clicking subscribe without actually getting into the game at all. I do think people finally getting core books in that humble bundle was a major contributor, and probably a mass move to pdf following a general switch to online gaming.
 

kayman

Explorer
Yeah, I also imported AoA into Roll20, and it was a lot of work, and still wasn't 100% right. Even worse than the work I had to do as GM was the extra work it put on my players - and that, to me, is what makes the experience unacceptable. Even after buying the rules modules, it has a substandard character creator and anemic compendium support.
So why I don't use Foundry....
First, I couldn't because I didn't have a computer that would run it. Now that I do, I could convert all my games, make my players learn a new system, etc, but we're already on Roll20, and it's working fine for what we do currently (which isn't PF2).
Second, I can access my game from any computer. If I'm on break at work, I can access my maps, characters, and make quick changes or look up information for my players. I don't have to be at my home computer at my home office. (This was a major problem when I lost everything in Fantasy Grounds when my dog destroyed my previous laptop.)
Third, the various modules you can add to Foundry can create a vastly different experience. This customized experience can make troubleshooting issues and learning the system a challenge, because everyone's game is different.
Fourth, there's not really an official marketplace for content. Most things on there to download are available purely as
an oversight by the companies, and if they do eventually get shut down (which has happened a few times already) GMs and their players will be out of luck. It's like the Limewire of VTTs. I'm not even sure the modules are a legal service.
Fifth, on Foundry I'm responsible for hosting or setting up a hosting client, so I'm still paying subscription costs and at the mercy of clogged servers.
Sixth, I'm good at putting in maps on Roll20. Like I can do it in a matter of minutes. I have watched numerous tutorials on Foundry, and it seems much more complex.
Seventh, I don't need features like animated battlemaps, ambient sound effects. I'd prefer just to have officially licensed modules and compendium content.
Eighth, Roll20 has a larger install base. If I'm going to find a game to play, join at a convention, or host new players, it's more likely they'll have access to Roll20. And if not, it's more accessible with many tutorials on YouTube. The basic "how to get started as a player with Foundry" is over 20 minutes.
Ninth, the sunk cost fallacy is kind of true. I've got lots of purchased material on Roll20 that I would need to buy again, custom imported maps and tokens, system knowledge, etc. To learn all that again, repurchase everything, and ask my players to do the same is something I'm not willing to do.
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I understand your points but for me it is not a choice at all .... as i said , i already bought all pf2 pdf on paizo website ... the fact that i have to buy again in roll20 is unbelievable ...as for the maps , i have a diferent perpective than you , i use all ... and by the way the only reason that i still have my roll20 acount active is to buy Gabriel Pickard tiles...
 

Retreater

Legend
I understand your points but for me it is not a choice at all .... as i said , i already bought all pf2 pdf on paizo website ... the fact that i have to buy again in roll20 is unbelievable
If you link your Paizo and Roll20 accounts, you get a code for the PDF from Paizo when you purchase the content from Roll20. This is how I got PDFs of the Core Rulebook, APG, and Bestiary. So I'm not buying twice either, unless I want to buy the book in print (which you'd have to do regardless of the VTT you use).
The Foundry PDF importer could be handy for things like Society modules that aren't regularly available on Roll20. However, I don't think there's a compendium feature on Foundry to drag and drop feats, spells, etc, so that could be a strike against.
 

Aldarc

Legend
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.
This is where your post went completely off the rails for me, especially considering the relative popularity of Golarion as a setting. It's one of the most widely recognized unofficial settings set in a "D&D game."
 

fearsomepirate

Adventurer
This is where your post went completely off the rails for me, especially considering the relative popularity of Golarion as a setting. It's one of the most widely recognized unofficial settings set in a "D&D game."

The only way to stop selling like a D&D clone is to stop presenting as one. Golarion is, like the Pathfinder RPG itself, a D&D knock-off. This intrinsically limits Paizo's audience.
 

Aldarc

Legend
The only way to stop selling like a D&D clone is to stop presenting as one. Golarion is, like the Pathfinder RPG itself, a D&D knock-off. This intrinsically limits Paizo's audience.
Then you are not asking for Paizo to detach itself just from Golarion but also from everything that Paizo built as part of its brand. They may as well not be Paizo at that point. How is that strategy meant to solve anything for Paizo?

"Okay. Pepsi. The only way for you to compete against Coca Cola is to stop calling yourself 'Pepsi,' radically change your ingredients, and actually just stop being cola entirely."
 


kayman

Explorer
If you link your Paizo and Roll20 accounts, you get a code for the PDF from Paizo when you purchase the content from Roll20. This is how I got PDFs of the Core Rulebook, APG, and Bestiary. So I'm not buying twice either, unless I want to buy the book in print (which you'd have to do regardless of the VTT you use).
The Foundry PDF importer could be handy for things like Society modules that aren't regularly available on Roll20. However, I don't think there's a compendium feature on Foundry to drag and drop feats, spells, etc, so that could be a strike against.
I think you only get a discount, if you link your account ... maybe i am wrong...

... You can drag everything... you have acces to all bestiaries , all the rules , feats , spells you can create you own itens ,journals , etc.... everything that exist in the archives of nethys you can drag to you pc and you can import you character direct from the pathbuilder 2e...

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Porridge

Explorer
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.
FWIW, Golarion currently has all of that. You can find steampunk in Alkenstar. You can find different flavors of sci-fi in Numeria, and on Aballon and Apostae. You can find different flavors of post-apocalyptic in the Worldwound, the Cairnlands, the Mana Wastes, and on Eox. And so on.
 

Retreater

Legend
I think you only get a discount if link you account ... maybe i am wrong...
I believe it's a discount up to the amount you paid on Roll20, which I think is always more than the cost of the PDF on Paizo - so effectively free.

You can drag everything... you have acces to all bestiaries , all the rules , feats , spells you can create you own itens ,journals , etc.... everything that exist in the archives of nethys you can drag to you pc and you can import you character direct from the pathbuilder 2e...

Well that's certainly a good feature for PF2. (You can't even drag and drop everything on Roll20 after buying the rules modules. Its lack of features is an embarrassment to Roll20 and a disservice to PF2 players.)
Perhaps if I had a group that wanted to switch campaigns and game systems to PF2, I'd look into Foundry for that system. But right now with all my groups, PF2 is the last thing they want to play.
Even with a killer app adventure, the ship has sailed for us. To have kept us all on board, Paizo really needed to knock it out of the park on its first AP. The "second chance" was Age of Ashes after having negative experiences throughout the playtest. PF2 is a curseword for my players like "4E" is for other groups.
 

kayman

Explorer
The only way to stop selling like a D&D clone is to stop presenting as one. Golarion is, like the Pathfinder RPG itself, a D&D knock-off. This intrinsically limits Paizo's audience.
I agree with you .. and the blame for this lies on WoC for making 4e(i known the system has its strenths) and stop supporting dragon and dungeon magazines ... making a blunder with Forgotten Realms , stop supporting greyhawk, darksun , dragon lance , etc... Remenber a lot of the paizo staf work in D&D products ... can you image having all the best Adventure Paths in FR or greyhawk (the setting that i love so much) ... i love D&D , We all now should be playing a mixture of 5e (with its elegance) and pf2 (crunchness and the three-action-economy)... once again sorry for my bad english...
 
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Justice and Rule

Adventurer
The only way to stop selling like a D&D clone is to stop presenting as one. Golarion is, like the Pathfinder RPG itself, a D&D knock-off. This intrinsically limits Paizo's audience.

This is true, though at the same time I wonder if games are limited by being anything that isn't D&D. I looked up the newest Chaosium CoC rulebook (given that CoC is generally #2 on the Roll20 charts, though it's obviously not a perfect comparison given the wide breadth of rules available for the setting) and it does have occasional spikes into the PF2 range, but it also goes into those high ranges where the difference of a few books each day gives drastic spikes. FFG Star Wars has all its problems with Asmodee's restructuring killing any momentum that game could have had, along with FFG's atrocious supply problems... but it's probably the only setting I could think of outside of CoC that has the pop culture cache to actually bust out like D&D. It's even worse, given that The Mandalorian came out right when RPG book production had wound down to a near halt.

This is one of those things where a broad market research study of how different genres usually perform would be pretty cool to have.

Even with a killer app adventure, the ship has sailed for us. To have kept us all on board, Paizo really needed to knock it out of the park on its first AP. The "second chance" was Age of Ashes after having negative experiences throughout the playtest. PF2 is a curseword for my players like "4E" is for other groups.

I do find it utterly hilarious that the games you hated (and I assume you got to early) are games I came to late (or came back to, with 4E) and found I really enjoyed. Not a shot at you, but I just find it kind of humorous how different our trajectories seem to be. :)
 

kayman

Explorer
And the botton of the line for me is three action economy ... there is no comeback ... i can not see myself using standard , move , free , etc...actions ...
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
And the botton of the line for me is three action economy ... there is no comeback ... i can not see myself using standard , move , free , etc...actions ...

I will say there is a place for it if you are doing something cool with, say, initiative (I love me some Greyhawk Initiative). But that's basically the only reason at this point because 3-Action Economy is just wonderful for anything else.
 

Retreater

Legend
I do find it utterly hilarious that the games you hated (and I assume you got to early) are games I came to late (or came back to, with 4E) and found I really enjoyed. Not a shot at you, but I just find it kind of humorous how different our trajectories seem to be. :)
With 4E I got back into it with D&D Encounters after the Keep on the Shadowfell gave the system a bad start. I was basically there with it until 5E got released and even went back and ran some games around 2 years ago.
I run for several groups with a variety of tastes. One of them considers 4E the pinnacle of the D&D/PF experience. This was the same group that was on board to try PF2 even after the playtest had initially soured them. (I have other groups that wouldn't touch either system.)
It's a shame that PF2 went so badly for my players, as it had the potential to offer the crunch, customization, and deep tactical play they've been wanting to replace 4E. But it failed hard - mostly due to the obscene difficulty of AoA and the players feeling they were "stupid" for not getting through it. The entire group imploded as a result, players hating each other because of the stress and demands of perfect play. It was the most frustrating, hopeless campaign I've ever run, and I've run the entirety of Call of Cthulhu's "Masks of Nyarlahotep."
I admit that there are many groups out there, and there are ones who will enjoy PF2. So my criticism is done from a place that Paizo can appeal to a broader fanbase. Producing better adventures with a larger "net" thematically would be the first step. Actually following their encounter guidelines, it basically works. How they created the mess that is AoA, I have no idea. I was creating better encounters in a weekend than their staff writers.
 

kayman

Explorer
With 4E I got back into it with D&D Encounters after the Keep on the Shadowfell gave the system a bad start. I was basically there with it until 5E got released and even went back and ran some games around 2 years ago.
I run for several groups with a variety of tastes. One of them considers 4E the pinnacle of the D&D/PF experience. This was the same group that was on board to try PF2 even after the playtest had initially soured them. (I have other groups that wouldn't touch either system.)
It's a shame that PF2 went so badly for my players, as it had the potential to offer the crunch, customization, and deep tactical play they've been wanting to replace 4E. But it failed hard - mostly due to the obscene difficulty of AoA and the players feeling they were "stupid" for not getting through it. The entire group imploded as a result, players hating each other because of the stress and demands of perfect play. It was the most frustrating, hopeless campaign I've ever run, and I've run the entirety of Call of Cthulhu's "Masks of Nyarlahotep."
I admit that there are many groups out there, and there are ones who will enjoy PF2. So my criticism is done from a place that Paizo can appeal to a broader fanbase. Producing better adventures with a larger "net" thematically would be the first step. Actually following their encounter guidelines, it basically works. How they created the mess that is AoA, I have no idea. I was creating better encounters in a weekend than their staff writers.
Fisrt of all .. congratulation on "Mask" it is my dream run this adventure one day....
I agree with you on AoA ,,, it was a blunder (even if i think the last book was great) ....But if you want to try again take a look on Abomination Vaults (James Jacobs) ... a classical dungeon crawl with a lot of room for the GM to create and a great lovecraftian theme.
 

The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
With 4E I got back into it with D&D Encounters after the Keep on the Shadowfell gave the system a bad start. I was basically there with it until 5E got released and even went back and ran some games around 2 years ago.
I run for several groups with a variety of tastes. One of them considers 4E the pinnacle of the D&D/PF experience. This was the same group that was on board to try PF2 even after the playtest had initially soured them. (I have other groups that wouldn't touch either system.)
It's a shame that PF2 went so badly for my players, as it had the potential to offer the crunch, customization, and deep tactical play they've been wanting to replace 4E. But it failed hard - mostly due to the obscene difficulty of AoA and the players feeling they were "stupid" for not getting through it. The entire group imploded as a result, players hating each other because of the stress and demands of perfect play. It was the most frustrating, hopeless campaign I've ever run, and I've run the entirety of Call of Cthulhu's "Masks of Nyarlahotep."
I admit that there are many groups out there, and there are ones who will enjoy PF2. So my criticism is done from a place that Paizo can appeal to a broader fanbase. Producing better adventures with a larger "net" thematically would be the first step. Actually following their encounter guidelines, it basically works. How they created the mess that is AoA, I have no idea. I was creating better encounters in a weekend than their staff writers.
I'm going to be blunt, I think your group was the problem with your group, and you're kind of scapegoating the system. Do you really think its the system's fault your players are 'hating each other?' if it was that severe wouldn't it be time to revisit their demand you run it exactly as written and accept you'd all have more fun with slightly adjusted encounters?

If they don't want to get better, and they don't want you to make it easier, and they're getting angry about it all the same, and then take it out on each other, they sound like jaw-droppingly immature people. As a GM I'm kind of secondhand upset they put you through that, and would have slapped them down hard. For point of reference, I went through something similar with a 5e group, and then went on to enjoy the system more with other people entirely after leaving that group.

Any game is garbage with toxic people, and if all it takes is a hard game to bring out the worst in them... then yeah, def toxic people.
 

Retreater

Legend
I agree with you on AoA ,,, it was a blunder (even if i think the last book was great) ....But if you want to try again take a look on Abomination Vaults (James Jacobs) ... a classical dungeon crawl with a lot of room for the GM to create and a great lovecraftian theme.
Unfortunately from the Paizo forums it looks like Roll20 announced they have no plans of releasing it on their platform. If it's good, maybe I will have to move to Foundry?
 

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