|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Yeah, WotC has, mostly thanks to M:tG, a relationship with brick'n'mortar stores that's pretty much pure love and fluffybuns - which is why they don't ever want to do anything that would remotely irk LGSes. Paizo went the opposite direction and decided to g%@ d#@n the torpedoes with direct sales, subs and PDFs for everything, resulting in a far less cordial relationship with stores. Time will tell who bet on the right horse.
At this point, I would have to say Paizo.
For all that Paizo may not have the close relationship with game stores that WotC does, they still have a decent working relationship with most of them. PFS still brings a lot of people into the actual stores, and their subscriptions are more broken down so that people will often buy books from lines they don't subscribe to from stores. In the end, Paizo may have tensions with brick and mortar game stores, but they do have a working relationship with them despite those tensions. As long as they keep communication channnels open and PFS remains strong, they will likely continue to have that working relationship.
In contrast, WotC has virtually zero internet presence, and that will definitely hurt them going forward. The needs of catering to the Magic crowd limits their ability to expand into what for D&D is a crucial area, as physical books are now just one part of publishing a tabletop RPG. The relationship that WotC has fostered and requires for Magic is going to be a major problem when it comes to supporting the D&D brand, which has already hurt WotC, and will only do so more and more in the future. They are in a tough spot where in order to keep both brands strong, they are going to have to accept that some things are going to have to change across the entire company, not just in the individual brands, making necessary changes much, much harder.