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The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer


Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
Well, since you tried yourself, paizo.com - Forums: Customer Service: PDF Subscription should be the correct thread where its discussed, though there have been others since.
That thread is over ten years old. Not a strong indicator as to the present impact of PDF sales.

Although it is interesting that Paizo flat out says that offering an "only PDF" subscription would likely put them out of business. I wonder if that has changed since then.
 

The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
That thread is over ten years old. Not a strong indicator as to the present impact of PDF sales.

Although it is interesting that Paizo flat out says that offering an "only PDF" subscription would likely put them out of business. I wonder if that has changed since then.
Given that they still don't have one I don't think so, specifically I would stand by it because ive read more recent discussions of it that might be a bit more time consuming to track down (by their current Marketing Manager) , and because for it to no longer be true, pdfs would have had to become a SMALLER portion of overall sales, regardless of what those overall sales were.

Speaking from a relatively recent library school education (took place in the last few years), that would be in direct opposition to the rest of the publishing world, where the profileration of devices has led to increased demand on digital formats (although counterintuitively, demand for physical books hasnt really decreased in libraries) and with RPG pdfs being a less expensive alternative to expensive hardcovers (along with pocket editions, which recently debuted for 2e) the burden of proof seems more likely to be on the "PDF sales are negligible" side of that debate.
 


darjr

I crit!
I totally understand your predicament, but we do not have a PDF-only subscription, and we have no plans currently to ever make one.
It pretty easy to predict what would happen if we offered a PDF-only subscription: A number of people would cancel their print sub and go PDF-only. The problem is if this number of people reaches a certain threshold, we make less money on the printed copies we do sell. At a certain point, it could happen that we stop making money on these altogether. It is selling these books in print form that keeps the doors open.
Thanks,
cos
From that thread.

This was conjecture. Not a statement on actual sales. Has nothing to do with actual “sales demand”.

it doesn’t say what you seem to want to say it does. This does not say pdf sales are larger than their book sales, either at Paizo.com or in general. Maybe I just misunderstood you.

look. I don’t have a stake in this. I WANT Paizo to be a success, I’m pretty certain they are. I also want to get an understanding of the sales. Why people have to get bent out of shape sucks.
 
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The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
Hey thanks for the jab and then practically citing anyway.

What I do to you?
I just have a hard time maintaining boundaries under pressure, so I maintained it when you asked, and then folded shortly after when others asked-- also I was gonna go more in-depth and find the other threads and stuff for you. I just figured that would be a good starting point for Davies that took me maybe a minute and a half to find.

Also, honestly, the tone you demanded a citation in when I've yet to see any real quality information on the flip side of this debate isn't very inspiring, whereas Davies just expressed a desire to see it firsthand and that they were having trouble finding it. People asking the way you do usually seem to be playing 'gotcha' with some minor aspect of the information to spin it as invalid, or are trying to get me to play defense when their own information isn't very inspiring, so I'm kind of dragging my feet in providing because its all pretty accessible to anyone who actually wants to-- in other words, you haven't given me much to think going out of my way is a very good idea, whereas Davies has.

But incidentally to continue my trend of being awful at having boundaries, here's another link where they brought up that offering a pdf subscription would cause people to dump their physical subscriptions because the demand for the PDFs is much higher, and that most of the people who would do it 'already buy the pdfs manually' meanwhile this data IS a decade old. But in the years that would follow that statement ebook use would grow dramatically though less than some expected (although interestingly some of that was likely due to increasing adoption of audiobooks in other areas of the publishing world, which doesn't affect us, today audiobooks are VERY popular since you can do something else while you listen.)

So I have little reason to think PDF sales would be a small part of their offerings-- it doesn't have to be larger than published book sales for it to have affected a distortion in the amazon oriented data, especially since Paizo has its Subscribers and Physical Website sales, neither of which are represented through Amazon either.
 


gss000

Explorer
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.

I also don't think you can definitively make a call from those numbers about the total number of players. However, I do think the Amazon numbers tell you how the "casual" players are picking up the game. To me, this person is someone who wants to try the game but doesn't want to spend a lot of money; may not have or even know about a Friendly Local Gaming Store; saw the game somewhere and wants to see more without a big investment; etc. The declining numbers say to me that this crowd in general is not picking up the game. That's not too surprising given the complexity of PF2 vs 5e and it's prominence.

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.
I may be misunderstanding your point here, but I think they are a factor that can help explain what we see. When I look at survey data, I look at the comments to help give other answers context. Here, the number of comments and frequency tell me how energetic the crowd is. If I wanted to read what people say, that tells me narratives people hold about the game, which is a different question than what we've all been discussing.
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.
Yes, all that is true, which is why I don't use Amazon numbers to say anything about the overall health of Paizo. We can't say anything regarding PDF sales or volume unless Paizo releases numbers. I haven't seen any disclosures like Hasbro makes about D&D sales in 2020. I don't think the company has to like Hasbro does, but until I hear or see a stat about growth there, I can't tell anything about it. Without an official statement of some kind, I will only assume subscriptions are staying the same. Someone please educate me if there has been news on this that is recent.
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.
Yup, which is why I don't see the declining numbers in and of themselves as a bad thing. It's more a reflection on Roll20 and it's lack of support. Based on other comments, the lack of support is probably not a big thing, either.
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.
That is a good point, but that would affect all game systems, too. That is why I look at the established forums I used to go to that are still around for a cursory examination, and I don't see a lot of PF2 chatter.

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.
I don't want to talk too much about items involving the economic health of Paizo because that involves other areas that aren't relevant to PF2's reception and uptake, even if it's the flagship product. Hiring is good news overall, true. Knowing a little about publications, I put less weight into the release pace. That's dictated months and months in advance. It's good they haven't changed it, but I don't see that as changing too much unless things went really poorly, which there's absolutely no sign of.
 

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