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Odraude wrote:Also I recall (perhaps incorrectly) that the hardcovers are sold at a loss. And considering the hardcovers are all on OGL SRD for free, I'm inclined to believe that.
I severely doubt that. The Core Rulebook was what pulled Paizo's butt out of the fire when WotC went to 4th Ed. If Paizo was making a loss on those, they wouldn't be in business long enough to have made the rest of their books.
Their hardcovers are priced similarly to other companies. Which means, that if Paizo is selling theirs at a loss, then everyone else is selling at a loss as well.
Your math just doesn't add up.
The only thing that I've heard that sells close to a loss (but still makes the barest of profit) is the Beginner's Box. That's because they stack as much into that box as they can and want to put it at an affordable price point.
The core rule book did not save Paizo financially, but conceptually.
It allowed them to continue their fantastic subscription-based business.
The CRB did sell a lot, as Lisa has made clear, and I expect that Paizo are making money from it. However, Paizo did not need mad-rulebook-cash to stay afloat; they needed a popular, in-print version of 3.5 for which they could sell adventures.