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Pathfinder 2E Release Day Second Edition Amazon Sales Rank


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I mean, it's grown, but it's still a fraction of the active PF1E community, and smaller than other RPG Subreddits, like Call of Cthulu.

It's not that nobody plays it, or is buying it, but it is not what Pathfinder was, or could have been.

Relative growth, in absolute numbers....not so much. The concerning issue at this juncture is that it is well over the average time of a campaign, and PF1E is still many times more active.

It's a fraction of the subscribers, but it's not too far off in terms of activity (and hey, there's still 2E activity on that subreddit anyways). To look at the stats:

Screenshot (12).png


Screenshot (11).png


As you can see, while one has 4 times as many subscribers, it's not really too far when it comes to actual activity, which makes sense given that the general Pathfinder reddit has been around for for 8+ years.

For comparison, Call of Cthulhu's reddit:

Screenshot (13).png


More subscribers, but also a lot less activity. Again, part of being a game that has been around much longer and thus has had more time to create a community. You can see it more clearly on this plot here:

newplot.png


This is comments per day, with Green as r/Pathfinder_RPG, Orange as r/Pathfinder2e, and blue as r/callofcthulhu. As you can see, the Pathfinder subs are fairly comparable while CoC has significantly less engagement.
 

Aldarc

Legend
It's a fraction of the subscribers, but it's not too far off in terms of activity (and hey, there's still 2E activity on that subreddit anyways). To look at the stats:

This is comments per day, with Green as r/Pathfinder_RPG, Orange as r/Pathfinder2e, and blue as r/callofcthulhu. As you can see, the Pathfinder subs are fairly comparable while CoC has significantly less engagement.
Also worth pointing out is that rules discussion of PF2 also transpires on r/Pathfinder_RPG, so the higher activity in the general PF subreddit also includes PF2 related activity too.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
It's a fraction of the subscribers, but it's not too far off in terms of activity (and hey, there's still 2E activity on that subreddit anyways). To look at the stats:

View attachment 132686

View attachment 132688

As you can see, while one has 4 times as many subscribers, it's not really too far when it comes to actual activity, which makes sense given that the general Pathfinder reddit has been around for for 8+ years.

For comparison, Call of Cthulhu's reddit:

View attachment 132689

More subscribers, but also a lot less activity. Again, part of being a game that has been around much longer and thus has had more time to create a community. You can see it more clearly on this plot here:

View attachment 132690

This is comments per day, with Green as r/Pathfinder_RPG, Orange as r/Pathfinder2e, and blue as r/callofcthulhu. As you can see, the Pathfinder subs are fairly comparable while CoC has significantly less engagement.

OK, so not much PF1E chatter, either. Still seems to correspond with the VTT and Amazon sales data.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Also worth pointing out is that rules discussion of PF2 also transpires on r/Pathfinder_RPG, so the higher activity in the general PF subreddit also includes PF2 related activity too.

While true, every time I ever go there you have to Wade through pages of specifically tagged PF1E threads to find any PF2E chatter. It's mostly de facto segregated by edition, though not de jure, nor completely.
 


darjr

I crit!
No. It’s actually quite good data even if not complete.
It confirms that PF2 is solidly in the 2nd best selling RPG position by a long shot. It’s the 800lbs gorilla of RPGs that are not D&D.

The problem is that some take it as a confirmation of... all kinds of things. Some think those numbers are “not good”, fans and haters, which is “a” conclusion but also a guess?
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
No. It’s actually quite good data even if not complete.
It confirms that PF2 is solidly in the 2nd best selling RPG position by a long shot. It’s the 800lbs gorilla of RPGs that are not D&D.

The problem is that some take it as a confirmation of... all kinds of things. Some think those numbers are “not good”, fans and haters, which is “a” conclusion but also a guess?

Yeah, and Paizo is doing fine. I'm just disappointed that it ended being as niche as it is. If Paizo managed to really break out with PF2E, that would have been really nice for the whole hobby.
 



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).
So it looks like PF2 is still selling better than PF1 was after the announcement of PF2, generally, I think. The numbers for the PHB 4e doesn't go back past 2020, which sucks. And the PF1 numbers don't go back before the PF2 announcement.

Looks like WotC ran out of stock or couldn't ship Amazon enough stock recently as well, the ranking tanked for a bit. Into the 400's, but it's back at 160 or so. It looks like it's something that happens to them periodically, if someone could dig up the early numbers, that first few printings it kept catching WotC by surprise too.

I'd go capture them and post them but man I'm not feeling well.....
 

Yeah, and Paizo is doing fine. I'm just disappointed that it ended being as niche as it is. If Paizo managed to really break out with PF2E, that would have been really nice for the whole hobby.
I think Paizo have learned that "D&D but crunchier and with more scope for PC optimization" isn't nearly as big of a market as it was 10 years ago. The growth in the RPG hobby has been almost entirely in people who are more interested in story and socializing, rather than the types who buy multiple books and study them at home to build uber-PCs.
 

TheSword

Legend
So it looks like PF2 is still selling better than PF1 was after the announcement of PF2, generally, I think. The numbers for the PHB 4e doesn't go back past 2020, which sucks. And the PF1 numbers don't go back before the PF2 announcement.

Looks like WotC ran out of stock or couldn't ship Amazon enough stock recently as well, the ranking tanked for a bit. Into the 400's, but it's back at 160 or so. It looks like it's something that happens to them periodically, if someone could dig up the early numbers, that first few printings it kept catching WotC by surprise too.

I'd go capture them and post them but man I'm not feeling well.....
I saw some stats recently by a book store trade group that stated Curse of Strahd sold 6,000 units in its first week of release. Just from book stores (not from Game Stores or Amazon). It would be interesting to know if this kind of hard figure matches sales rank.

Incidentally the source was publishers weekly. Who also suggest that Amazon counts on average for 30% of total book sales.
 
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I think Paizo have learned that "D&D but crunchier and with more scope for PC optimization" isn't nearly as big of a market as it was 10 years ago. The growth in the RPG hobby has been almost entirely in people who are more interested in story and socializing, rather than the types who buy multiple books and study them at home to build uber-PCs.
I would say its a little more complicated than that, we basically have people getting into the game for story and socializing and they bring their friends, both themselves and their friends may or may not find themselves getting into "Crunchy and Customization" as time passes and they have more experience with the game. After all, many of the younger people getting into the game (20s and below, as opposed to people who played ADND and are coming back) have plenty of experience with that sort of thing from video games and enjoy it. Once they have experience with 5e... well there's a reason that community has gotten kind of complicated over the last couple of years, one of them is that its the most popular system so people want to keep playing it with their friends, but there's a growing frustration with WOTCs decisions in terms of game balance, expansion, and so forth.

It isn't like, the majority of the playerbase or anything (even the community as a whole, is only a fraction of the casual base) but its still a chunk of people, in absolute numbers.
 

dave2008

Legend
I would say its a little more complicated than that, we basically have people getting into the game for story and socializing and they bring their friends, both themselves and their friends may or may not find themselves getting into "Crunchy and Customization" as time passes and they have more experience with the game. After all, many of the younger people getting into the game (20s and below, as opposed to people who played ADND and are coming back) have plenty of experience with that sort of thing from video games and enjoy it. Once they have experience with 5e... well there's a reason that community has gotten kind of complicated over the last couple of years, one of them is that its the most popular system so people want to keep playing it with their friends, but there's a growing frustration with WOTCs decisions in terms of game balance, expansion, and so forth.

It isn't like, the majority of the playerbase or anything (even the community as a whole, is only a fraction of the casual base) but its still a chunk of people, in absolute numbers.
I think all of that is likelye true. I also think that the market for crunchy systems hasn't shrunk, it is just a lesser percentage of a much larger pool of players. the total numbers of crunchy players is not going done. In fact, I imagine it to is growing, just not quite as fast currently.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I see no signs Paizo as a company is in trouble. Short essay coming up, sorry for the length.

I do see signs that Pathfinder 2 is not selling as well as their likely expectations, as I think they expected it to do better than PF1 was doing before PF2 was announced, and it does not appear to be able to maintain those levels at least for physical copies of the books.

I also am not sure that's necessarily the game's fault, as opposed to the marketing approach and Covid-19. I think Pathfinder as a game seems more tailored to be marketed through in-person play than 5e for growth in new players, and I think the pandemic damaged their ability to popularize PF2 with new players in the first year.

I think 5e has more of a marketing budget for online advertising and sponsorship of things like Critical Role, and also had years to popularize it with fans in-person to get a foothold in the marketplace first. Paizo was relying on more fan-driven spread of the game through game stores and conventions. So when you shut down the later, you shut down a bigger source of Paizo's marketing of PF2. Which was even more critical for them than 5e right now, because it's so early in the edition's marketing cycle and they hadn't hit a critical mass number of fans who could really push it ahead on their own.

So I suspect that's why we're seeing such a small growth in PF2's numbers. Shifting it to digital this early in the edition cycle, without a larger core of new fans brought in through game stores and conventions, probably threw a larger monkey wrench in their plans than expected.

That would at least help explain the Amazon numbers we're seeing. They were not maintaining PF1 sales numbers on Amazon pre-pandemic, but it wasn't that far off. They were hitting around rank 3000, and that was about 1000 off from their prior PF1 numbers. But I think it was slowly gathering some steam and perhaps was headed back up to that 2000 mark prior to the pandemic (or maybe not, hard to tell). And then the pandemic seems to have really tanked their sales numbers on Amazon severely (while it might have slightly helped 5e at the same time). I assume some of that is a shift in Paizo's marketing to digital, with the humble bundle and then online marketing and direct sales.

But that's also shutting down your best pathway to new players. It's a strategy focused on maintaining your existing PF1 and PF2 base of players primarily (with PF2 slowly cannibalizing PF1 players too). Their existing players can still recruit new players, but they also lose players over time, so I don't think this has been overall good for the growth of PF1 or PF2 this year. They kinda needed new players to see the game causally being played in a game store, or having a "safe" environment like a convention to try out a one-shot of PF2 to see if they like it, to market the new game in its first year.
 
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