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Pathfinder 2E Release Day Second Edition Amazon Sales Rank

Mistwell

Legend
How much presence does PF2 have with streaming Actual Play? Is there a show that people talk about?
I am not the best person to answer this but I know of Age of Ashes.

I've often wondered why there isn't a weekly or monthly regular live stream game of some of the top names at Paizo or who have worked on Pathfinder. People like Erik Mona, Owen K Stephens, Sean Reynolds, Jason Bulmahn, Logan Bonner, Lyz Liddell, Mark Seifter, Michael Sayre, etc..

I also think it might be a good use of marketing dollars to pay (sponsor) some celebrities to run it, at least as a one-off. Particularly right now, when a lot of actors and even voice-over people have some spare time, I imagine a zoom-type game would be something plenty would be interested in.
 

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Justice and Rule

Adventurer
I am not the best person to answer this but I know of Age of Ashes.

I've often wondered why there isn't a weekly or monthly regular live stream game of some of the top names at Paizo or who have worked on Pathfinder. People like Erik Mona, Owen K Stephens, Sean Reynolds, Jason Bulmahn, Logan Bonner, Lyz Liddell, Mark Seifter, Michael Sayre, etc..

I also think it might be a good use of marketing dollars to pay (sponsor) some celebrities to run it, at least as a one-off. Particularly right now, when a lot of actors and even voice-over people have some spare time, I imagine a zoom-type game would be something plenty would be interested in.

There was one: Band of Bravos. It was not bad, though the funniest thing about it is that I realized one of the players was also part of a completely different Let's Play that I watched (Warhams).

I do wonder how much D&D 5E not having digital versions (yes, you can technically read them through D&D Beyond, but that is not the same) helps increase their overall sales...
 

Mistwell

Legend
(yes, you can technically read them through D&D Beyond, but that is not the same)
I hear this often. I think it was true at one time, but it's no longer the case. You read them through D&D Beyond. It really is effectively the same these days. Everyone is now online, pretty much all the time. The days of "Oh I need a separate PDF which isn't online" are kinda in the past at this point. Almost everyone has a smart phone now with enough data (often unlimited) to always be on. Same for high speed internet for a laptop or chromebook or desktop. The main differences are, 1) it's more expensive, and 2) it has more utility because keywords you just hover over and a pop-up of that other rule comes up, and it has better search capabilities. But it really is at accessible as a PDF for 90%+ of people.
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
I hear this often. I think it was true at one time, but it's no longer the case. You read them through D&D Beyond. It really is effectively the same these days. Everyone is now online, pretty much all the time. The days of "Oh I need a separate PDF which isn't online" are kinda in the past at this point. Almost everyone has a smart phone now with enough data (often unlimited) to always be on. Same for high speed internet for a laptop or chromebook or desktop. The main differences are, 1) it's more expensive, and 2) it has more utility because keywords you just hover over and a pop-up of that other rule comes up, and it has better search capabilities. But it really is at accessible as a PDF for 90%+ of people.

I suppose it's less about having a separate PDF and more that I just don't like the "We converted this into a webpage" style. It works, but I like having things like two-page spreads for PDFs when I have my laptop open and such.
 

Parmandur

Legend
How much presence does PF2 have with streaming Actual Play? Is there a show that people talk about?

Nothing major. The non-5E streaming shows tend to cluster around more known IP, like Call of Cthulu or Star Trek. Crunchy, mini heavy rules are also not the ideal for streaming games: HarmonQuest tensed to broadcast edited games, so the rules wouldn't big down the audience, which isn't a major concern for 5E or simpler rulesets.
 

How much presence does PF2 have with streaming Actual Play? Is there a show that people talk about?
I would guess Glass Cannon is the most popular Pathfinder actual play. But their main show is still PF1 and they've only dipped their toes into PF2.

I'm not sure how much streaming shows sell game systems. I'd hazard that most of the people who watch/listen to GCP (and Critical Role, etc.) don't even play RPGs.
 


Mistwell

Legend
I would guess Glass Cannon is the most popular Pathfinder actual play. But their main show is still PF1 and they've only dipped their toes into PF2.

I'm not sure how much streaming shows sell game systems. I'd hazard that most of the people who watch/listen to GCP (and Critical Role, etc.) don't even play RPGs.
And I would hazard to guess streaming shows like Critical Role are the number one most powerful marketing tool behind 5e. And even if most who watch don't play, the 45%-ish who watch and do play, MOST decided to play because they watched the show. And we're talking MILLIONS of viewers.
 

Porridge

Explorer
How much presence does PF2 have with streaming Actual Play? Is there a show that people talk about?

There are a number of PF2 actual play shows I’ve heard people talk about, though (unlike 5e with Critical Role) I don’t know if there’s one single show that’s leaps and bounds more popular than the rest.

The shows with official ties or licensing deals with Paizo that I know of are: The Knights of Everflame, Band of Bravos, and Oblivion Oath (all run by Jason Bulmahn), Roll for Combat, Echo Quest, Find the Path, and Hideous Laughter. Those are among the highest profile ones.

I’ve also heard good things about several others without official ties/licensing deals, like Dice Will Roll and MNmaxed.
 
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Justice and Rule

Adventurer
And I would hazard to guess streaming shows like Critical Role are the number one most powerful marketing tool behind 5e. And even if most who watch don't play, the 45%-ish who watch and do play, MOST decided to play because they watched the show. And we're talking MILLIONS of viewers.

Yeah, CR just hit right in the middle of the ascension of "Let's Play" videos and has a level of craft, professionalism, and polish that most don't. It's the sort of on-going, evolving fiction that the internet is just built to consume. Given that their forays into other systems typically do great numbers, I definitely think they have given more to 5E than 5E has given back to them.

I also wanted to say that I think while system and popular IPs can matter, the biggest driver of non-CR streaming shows is largely popularity outside of that realm: I feel like the big Let's Play RP shows that I am able to view come from previously-established content creators (a good example would be Jesse Cox, who runs a Star Wars game on his channel but is best known for his video game content) or the McElroys, who had a presence well before they started up The Adventure Zone.
 

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).
I found an old camel camel camel graph of pathfinder 1 sales rank going back to 2010


pathfinder sales rank graph..png


from this thread D&D 5E - Amazon: D&D at the start of 2018
 

gss000

Explorer
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.
There's a lot of speculation here based on your over reliance of the subreddit as your source of information. As someone who has to look at survey data for a living, relying on message boards is very problematic. It's a piece of information, like any social media site, but it can't be used reliably by itself. A poster is generally more enthusiastic about a topic than a lot of members of the the public in that they voluntarily register and share their opinions. It's useful to see this positive indicator, but can't be used as the sole indicator of a system's health. I'd make an argument if that was the only data point we have. However, that's why you can't disregard Roll20 or Amazon sales rank, which with estimators out there can give you a part of the sales numbers.

I agree with you that using Roll20 user statistics by itself as a strong indicator of Pathfinder interest or lack thereof is problematic, especially if people are leaving for other VTT. But, we have to look at why people are leaving. Is it because people are leaving en masse? Nope, else you wouldn't see subscriber numbers up this quarter. Probably it's because of the lack of Roll20's support. I think Pathfinder is in a death spiral on that Roll20 where lack of support leads to lower number of games as as people leave, which leads to less support, etc. I don't think the death spiral is a knock on the game itself, but I'm not encouraged when I wonder why Roll20 didn't put the resources in from the beginning. Maybe someone better in the know can explain.

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.
To me, this looks like a cherry picked stat to fit your conclusion of growth. It's a good sign for the strength of the game, but it's only one good sign. I've not yet seen signs of greater volumes of players elsewhere on other roleplaying message boards. What I'd expect if there were overall good signs of growth is message boards beyond Redditt and the Paizo's board where there is robust Pathfinder 2e discussions. I'd also expect more YouTube streams and podcasts of campaigns or discussions. I'm not seeing that either when I look for it, which could just be because of the fact they aren't getting a lot of hits.

I do expect when a game like 5e is over 6 years old you are going to see people leave it to play other games. This churn is part of a games lifecycles. If a game is healthy it gains new players faster than it loses them. That people are leaving 5E and going to Pathfinder 2e is again a good thing, but is it enough? There was that recent high profile Taking 20 "I'm leaving Pathfinder" vid from someone who initially rated Pathfinder 2E better than 5E. Is that an indication of people leaving the game faster than people coming in? Way too early to tell there, but the positive subreddit stat should be taken with a big grain of salt.

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.
That explains a dip for a period back in July 2020 and a bit afterward, but why would it still be a factor seven months later? I don't think so. The current sales rank levels in the 11,000s - and one day this week as low as the 15,000s, which I think was a short blip and not a long-term bottom - is coming at a time when there is plenty of supply on Amazon and has been for a while. I agree the humble bundle probably front loaded for a time, but not now and that argument is no longer valid. I'm even less encouraged for Pathfinder 2e's future when I see that old camel camel camel that shows 2e's current trend is already looking like 1e's trend in late 2017, and that game had a constant several years of high Amazon sales.

I have no doubt that Paizo overall health, even as I remember how many of the signs people point to as reasons for Paizo's health could have been said of TSR before the WOTC acquisition. I actually hope the game does well for the next few years. My philosophy is that whatever keeps people gaming is good, and the industry needs multiple strong games. However, sixteen months after it's release, I'm not seeing enough indications of a game with long legs. With new data, I'd be happy to change that position.
 

Teemu

Adventurer
I think the reason why Roll20 didn’t give PF2 a strong initial push was 5e. They have a limited amount of resources to convert books into Roll20 modules and compendium additions, and Paizo produces a lot of content. But 5e has a much bigger audience, so 5e Roll20 modules and books are much more profitable. Further, a sizeable portion of Paizo’s fanbase gets their products through the subscription service, which means that particular segment of consumers would have to pay more for the same product on Roll20. Roll20 actually stopped converting a PF1 AP about midway through due to lack of sales! This was around PF2 release, maybe shortly before.

I think Roll20 isn’t doing Abomination Vaults right now because their PF2 team is focused on the new Otari adventure, and probably Bestiary 3. Paizo just pumps out too much material for it all to be worth converting ASAP on Roll20. 5e books do so much better saleswise, plus Roll20 has also been producing versions of many smaller games.

Foundry is different since it’s basically fans creating mods that convert PDFs and so on. Their business model is not the same as Roll20’s. Foundry doesn’t have a licensed marketplace, it relies on legally available SRDs like what PF2 has (the whole rule set for free), or illegal/legally questionable tools for games like 5e.
 

willrali

Explorer
I think the reason why Roll20 didn’t give PF2 a strong initial push was 5e. They have a limited amount of resources to convert books into Roll20 modules and compendium additions, and Paizo produces a lot of content. But 5e has a much bigger audience, so 5e Roll20 modules and books are much more profitable. Further, a sizeable portion of Paizo’s fanbase gets their products through the subscription service, which means that particular segment of consumers would have to pay more for the same product on Roll20. Roll20 actually stopped converting a PF1 AP about midway through due to lack of sales! This was around PF2 release, maybe shortly before.

I think Roll20 isn’t doing Abomination Vaults right now because their PF2 team is focused on the new Otari adventure, and probably Bestiary 3. Paizo just pumps out too much material for it all to be worth converting ASAP on Roll20. 5e books do so much better saleswise, plus Roll20 has also been producing versions of many smaller games.

Foundry is different since it’s basically fans creating mods that convert PDFs and so on. Their business model is not the same as Roll20’s. Foundry doesn’t have a licensed marketplace, it relies on legally available SRDs like what PF2 has (the whole rule set for free), or illegal/legally questionable tools for games like 5e.
I’d agree with this. Roll20 has ‘5e and everything else.’ Pf2 is in the ‘everything else’ and has to share resources with dozens of small games.

I wouldn’t say that Pf2 is shrinking based on the Amazon numbers and Roll20, but there’s no way I’d say it’s growing right now. It has an engaged fan base (me included). That’s a start.

If they want more players then Paizo needs a hook to reach the category of 5e players open to something new. Maybe a nice dnd-beyond website to help people create and manage their characters, and automate the numbers?
 

The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
While I don't think message boards are of statistical signfigance, I don't think thats data we have in the first place. I'd argue its likely the best data we have.

The Amazon sales rank depends specifically on sales through Amazon when Amazon most definetly doesnt carry the pdfs, which probably have massive volume, and doesnt reflect subscriber number, or the inventory-clearing sales surge from the humble bundle either.

Meanwhile roll 20 while strong for other game systems is recommended against heavily in the Pathfinder community, which from an information sciences perspective means Google searches looking (functionally) for consumer review material are turning up the Foundry recommendation.

I agree with you about churn as a possibility, but thats also fraught since pf2e very much has a specific market niche relative to 5e that would correlate to poaching certain demographics.

Similarly, online discussion has changed dramatically over the last few years as Discord has come to be a center for that kind of engagement, rather than traditional forums.
 



The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
Citation needed.

The fact that Paizo did a Humble Bundle to clear the first printing at all is what I'd consider a troubling sign.
Citation not needed, statements from Paizo pertaining to pdf volume are publically available through the forums.

Demand for PDFs so severely outstrips demand for print that Paizo was afraid they wouldnt be able to sell the print product at the prices they would like to, if a seperate pdf subscription option existed, as the prices at time of writing were based on a discount they got from their printers for doing such large orders.

Notably, this was years ago, the overall demand for digital books has only increased. Both within and without the RPG category, so its unquestionable that a large portion of their sales are pdf, absent material sales figures to the contrary. Nevermind sales through their own web store front and actual subscriptions.
 

The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
Message boards are often anti-data. I've seen at least a couple companies immolate themselves by mistaking the 0.01% of users who post on message boards as representative of their player base.
Using your message boards (which are made up of power-users whose tastes won't match more cadual players, and who might develop hive minded tendencies) to determine the wants, needs, and opinions of the playerbase, and using the overall growth of communities that center your game as an indicator of growing interest in your game as a whole are two very different propositions.

Its also one of a few things giving us information that things are going well, as Paizo is still hiring, and the release schedule shows no signs of slowing down beyond them having gotten the core of the game out in a crunch and transitioning to the pace theyve been talking about since day one.
 

darjr

I crit!
Citation not needed, statements from Paizo pertaining to pdf volume are publically available through the forums.

Demand for PDFs so severely outstrips demand for print that Paizo was afraid they wouldnt be able to sell the print product at the prices they would like to, if a seperate pdf subscription option existed, as the prices at time of writing were based on a discount they got from their printers for doing such large orders.

Notably, this was years ago, the overall demand for digital books has only increased. Both within and without the RPG category, so its unquestionable that a large portion of their sales are pdf, absent material sales figures to the contrary. Nevermind sales through their own web store front and actual subscriptions.
Not that easy. Cite please.
 

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