Pathfinder is the best selling RPG in Q3, according to ICv2


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Sovereign Court

memorax wrote:
Im glad that PF is in first place and that D&D made the list. Second place is not imo a bad place to be. Lets also not assume that it spells the death of Wotc either. The only time I would worry about that is when D&D does not make the list.

I wouldn't mind it if WOTC was disbanded...then Paizo could hire some of the actually creative and imaginative people that work for wotc...imagine the awesomeness!!!


Hama wrote:
memorax wrote:
Im glad that PF is in first place and that D&D made the list. Second place is not imo a bad place to be. Lets also not assume that it spells the death of Wotc either. The only time I would worry about that is when D&D does not make the list.
I wouldn't mind it if WOTC was disbanded...then Paizo could hire some of the actually creative and imaginative people that work for wotc...imagine the awesomeness!!!

I'm not sure I would wish that kind of unemployment on anybody during this troubled economy.

My wishing star wish if for Ed Greenwood to be given back full control over the Forgotten Realms stuff and for Paizo to be his publisher of choice.

Congratulations to everybody at Paizo for some truly well deserved recognition.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
cibet44 wrote:
You really can't measure that accurately either. What's considered "in the player base"? Do you have to play once a week? a month? a year? What if you never play but still buy the books? What if you play often but never buy anything?

I know getting such a measure is never going to happen but by player base I mean someone willing to play in a game on more than a one-off basis (i.e. not just trying it out for a couple of sessions).

And in the end that is what is important to players (rather than what is important to the publishers) - am I going to be able to find players so that I can actually play this game?

If you were living in my town and a member of my Meetup group you probably wouldn't want to get into Pathfinder and would instead get more gaming done if you played 4e as the last time I checked my LGS carried no Pathfinder stuff, but plenty of D&D4e (as well as Traveller, Exalted, Dark Heresy etc), also after a few years of running we have just had our first Meetup for a Pathfinder game posted today! Whereas there are plenty of D&D3.5 and 4e campaigns on going.

Conversely, the only reason I play Pathfinder is because if I want a good chance of playing in a 3.x game at a convention (and especially if I want to partake in a living campaign that is widely supported) then PFS is the only viable choice.


DigitalMage wrote:
If you were living in my town and a member of my Meetup group you probably wouldn't want to get into Pathfinder and would instead get more gaming done if you played 4e

Yeah. I think you could say the same in my area as well. It seems with 4E you can find the quick pick types groups and games much more easily than you can find any Pathfinder games. The PF games seem to be happening with more private groups in dedicated campaigns (like my own group). Also, like I mentioned above, I have met a few people who read Pathfinder stuff (and I assume buy it) but don't play. I've never met anyone that buys 4E stuff knowing they won't be playing it.


That is a very interesting observation about the relation between people who but RPGs and don't play vs people who do and do play. Thinking back I have brought alot of RPGs and read though them and have yet to play them...mostly due not being able raise interest in them for the group to try...but they can be great to read and helpful for running other RPGs. Personaly I love reading Pazio stuff...4th ed stuff is very...meh. Even if I liked the system I would probably not buy the books and just use a subsciption.

Though I think one things is people don't buy 4th ed books...because they don't need too. Just subscibe online and you get the content. Why pay for something twice? Especialy when they were release schedule of two books a month?


cibet44 wrote:
spectating consumers

While I actually play 4E, I'm often a "spectating customer" in that I have no less than four books that I simply can't use because there's not enough hours in the year to use all the things I want to.

And John, I don't subscribe because I like actually owning what I pay for (despite using a computer).


Congrats, Paizo! This "summer surge" is good news not only for this company, but the hobby/industry in general. For what it's worthm this summer I ddi notice a lot more Pathfinder books on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble.

Here's a question I hop someone can answer: what are the actual numbers we're talking? Couldn't find it in the article: is it # of units sold, overall sales #'s or something else? What are the total numbers of the gaming industry as a whole, and what percentage of the audience at large is that. Both the record industry and the comics market have had very different ideas of what constitiutes big numbers over the decades.

I'm reminded of nothing so much as the great Marvel/DC rivalry, which sometimes led to frenzied fans, but typically a sense of friendly competition across both sides' bullpens. While I understand there is some history and/or bad blood between the two companies, hopefully one day that sense of mutual respect can become the norm.

D&D, Pathfinder, I likes 'em both and all, Thanks to all those who work towards putting out products that have brought me such enjoyment over the years.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
John Kretzer wrote:
Though I think one things is people don't buy 4th ed books...because they don't need too. Just subscibe online and you get the content. Why pay for something twice? Especialy when they were release schedule of two books a month?

I buy 4E books. I don't play often enough to make a DDI subscription worth it.

I think the slow release schedule is the biggest detriment to their sales numbers. I really loved the Dark Sun books. I'd buy some Planescape books. I'd buy any number of interesting monster vaults. I would also buy more Gamma World books if they produced more!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
cibet44 wrote:
Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:
I really wish we could get an idea not just of how well an RPG is selling but also how big its player base is
That'd be neat, but I doubt anyone (including the companies making these games) has accurate numbers for that.

You really can't measure that accurately either. What's considered "in the player base"? Do you have to play once a week? a month? a year? What if you never play but still buy the books? What if you play often but never buy anything?

Sales are really the only measurable metric and really the only thing that matters. Whether you actually play the game is not as important to the game publisher as buying the game. You can never play it but still buy it and that's fine with them.

I have always felt the RPG industry in general has a very high level of spectating consumers, which I consider consumers that buy the products but don't use them to actually play the game. Comparing the big 2 (4E, PF) I would guess that PF has way more spectators than 4E. I would love to see numbers on active consumers versus spectating consumers for the two games. I bet 4E has very few spectators in its player base while PF has many. From my (admittedly very anecdotal) observations 4E consumers tend to buy stuff because they will be using it in a game right now or don't, while PF consumers more often tend to buy out of curiosity, loyalty, or hope of playing some day in addition to actually playing. If I see a guy buying a 4E book at a book store there is probably a 90% chance he will be using that book to game in the next week, with PF it's probably 50/50.

I don't know what this says about the games or consumers but I do think it is interesting.

I think it's interesting too (and also true, though I don't have any real evidence beyond my group). A couple of reasons I would guess is paizo's focus on flavor material over crunch. Also 4E's ease of conversion from other systems.

I buy and use stacks of paizo products for my 4E game. I wouldn't be able to use much of my 4E stuff in my PF game.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Set wrote:
Each additional online subscriber is just more money, with minimal added cost, for bandwidth. Each additional print subscriber requires another book to be printed and shipped.

True, but I think part of TwoWolves' point was that a single Paizo subscriber can provide a lot more revenue than a single DDI subscriber:

TwoWolves wrote:
Paizo can sell to 1/4 the total number of people and still be #1 in sales if they sell more than 4 times as much to each customer on average.

And he's not wrong there. Depending on the plan they're on, each DDI subscriber nets Wizards between $5.95 and $9.95. For us, though, a Pathfinder Tales subscriber nets us just $9.99 every few months, while a Paizo Superscriber might sometimes spend $100 in a single month.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
And he's not wrong there. Depending on the plan they're on, each DDI subscriber nets Wizards between $5.95 and $9.95. For us, though, a Pathfinder Tales subscriber nets us just $9.99 every few months, while a Paizo Superscriber might sometimes spend $100 in a single month.

wince And don't I know it.... (and I'm not even a superscriber!)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Yeah the two subscription services have pretty significant differences. The DDI derives a lot of value through the online tools. They both give the PDFs but paizo gives you actual product.

The more I look into this survey the more it irritates me (not rationally, but still...). It almost gives me the information I want, but the methodology is hard to get information about. Id really like them to split out the BB and the D&D boxed set. Similarly, I wish the core Rulebook was tracked separately from sales of APs.

It's none of my business, of course, but I find some of the rpg companies' decisions to be very odd. It leaves me curious. :/

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Steve Geddes wrote:
The more I look into this survey the more it irritates me (not rationally, but still...). It almost gives me the information I want, but the methodology is hard to get information about. Id really like them to split out the BB and the D&D boxed set. Similarly, I wish the core Rulebook was tracked separately from sales of APs.

If the ICv2 survey bugs you, you'd have been driven *insane* by Comics & Games Retailer, the organization that compiled charts before ICv2. We know for a fact that many retailers were reporting sales of our 3.5 Pathfinder AP volumes as "D&D."


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
The more I look into this survey the more it irritates me (not rationally, but still...). It almost gives me the information I want, but the methodology is hard to get information about. Id really like them to split out the BB and the D&D boxed set. Similarly, I wish the core Rulebook was tracked separately from sales of APs.
If the ICv2 survey bugs you, you'd have been driven *insane* by Comics & Games Retailer, the organization that compiled charts before ICv2. We know for a fact that many retailers were reporting sales of our 3.5 Pathfinder AP volumes as "D&D."

You're a very useful person to know! This is indeed something which bugged me, but I'd been told it was happening in some stores reporting to ICv2 (on the grounds that PF/D&D is "like" rogue trader/dark heresy) I didn't realize the survey had a predecessor.

Now I can be slightly less annoyed with ICv2. Cheers.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

1. WOO!
2. HOO!


Steven Tindall wrote:


My wishing star wish if for Ed Greenwood to be given back full control over the Forgotten Realms stuff and for Paizo to be his publisher of choice.

My wishing star wish is for someone at Paizo to seize power in a bloodless coup, thereafter locking Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn in a basement and forcing them to scheme up an organized-play style campaign that uses the Pathfinder rules set but is designed from the ground up already benefitting from all the hard lessons the administrators of the various TSR/WotC campaigns learned the hard way.

(No slight intended to Team PFS, who run the best 'living' game around right now -- but when I reminesce about the good parts of Living Greyhawk I mostly sigh a lot and think, if only... )

Wow, did that ever get off on a tangent.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Yora wrote:

I wonder if anyone was expecting that. I certainly didn't. I thought it was pretty much going to be the same as the adventures they published.

Though that makes me wonder how much of the sales of rulebooks is in relation to adventures. I know lots of people who love the game, but don't use published adventures at all.
Don't companies have to publish regular reports on their profits? How did Paizos profits turn out after the release of the rulebooks?

Publicly traded companies (i.e. you can buy stock) report on a regular basis (typically quarterly).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kata. the ..... wrote:
Yora wrote:

I wonder if anyone was expecting that. I certainly didn't. I thought it was pretty much going to be the same as the adventures they published.

Though that makes me wonder how much of the sales of rulebooks is in relation to adventures. I know lots of people who love the game, but don't use published adventures at all.
Don't companies have to publish regular reports on their profits? How did Paizos profits turn out after the release of the rulebooks?

Publicly traded companies (i.e. you can buy stock) report on a regular basis (typically quarterly).

Paizo isn't one, so they don't.

Hasbro does, but their reports pretty much say "WotC earned us XXX$" without really revealing what's from D&D, what's from Magic and what's from Axis and Allies.


cibet44 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
Even more surprising, D&D Miniatures ranked at 10th under collectable games, giving WotC two separate positions. Except, last I checked, DDM hasn't had an addition or expansion in, what, a year?
That's actually kind of bananas.
Don't forget DDMs have multiple uses. They can be used in any version of D&D, Pathfinder, as a game unto themselves, and as collectibles, plus (I suspect) the packaging is attractive enough to lure purchases from non RPGers as well. I also buy them for my kids, they love them.

If WOTC wants to release miniatures again as they say I am all for that. DDM's are useful on any game table. I even use star wars minis for Pathfinder.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
The more I look into this survey the more it irritates me (not rationally, but still...). It almost gives me the information I want, but the methodology is hard to get information about. Id really like them to split out the BB and the D&D boxed set. Similarly, I wish the core Rulebook was tracked separately from sales of APs.
If the ICv2 survey bugs you, you'd have been driven *insane* by Comics & Games Retailer, the organization that compiled charts before ICv2. We know for a fact that many retailers were reporting sales of our 3.5 Pathfinder AP volumes as "D&D."

You're a very useful person to know! This is indeed something which bugged me, but I'd been told it was happening in some stores reporting to ICv2 (on the grounds that PF/D&D is "like" rogue trader/dark heresy) I didn't realize the survey had a predecessor.

Now I can be slightly less annoyed with ICv2. Cheers.

CGR also offered a breakdown by company... and many retailers counted Dragon and Dungeon magazine sales for Wizards instead of Paizo.

ICv2 certainly has its limitations, but on the whole, I suspect it's at least nominally more accurate than its predecessor.


When I was first introduced to the Paizo adventure paths, I was told they were by the D&D guys and that Paizo was just a subsidiary company of WotC. It wasn't until a little while later that I figured out that they were in fact separate companies.


Not being in the rpg business I would assume a minority of sales for D&D and Pathfinder are made through retail locations. Most of the 4e players I know don't buy D&D books. They use DDi or pirate the book PDFs or pirate DDi stuff.

Do most of the Pathfinder players actual buy the books? How many buy through retail locations?


Monte Cook's last article (linked in said closed thread) that was concerned with "readability" and "conversational tone" might speak to this spectator phenomena. Cook is concerned that 4E has gone too precise and formal with its rules, that while making for great references, can be too dry for people to read cover to cover, which is what a spectator will spend more time doing than not. I don't know enough PF materials well enough to compare, but I'd bet APs have alot more imaginative things going on (even applicable to non-PF games!) than the setting and class books WotC is trying to sell. Even their classes, as inheritors of the 3E legacy, are somewhat lower on jargon and stat blocks.

And as mentioned, yes it's mainly that Wizards is not releasing 4E books. If the end of 3.5e is anything to go buy, it's because they've decided its time for yet another new edition soon. They'll take that profit hit now if they think the development invested in 5E will more than pay for itself. With the kind of money Magic is making and their move to "focus on core product lines", DnD may be having trouble justifying itself to a company that expects far bigger returns than a tiny place like Paizo is pulling off.

Silver Crusade

Congratz to Paizo and I just want to say "God I love Pathfinder!"

Shadow Lodge

FoxBat_ wrote:
Even their classes, as inheritors of the 3E legacy, are somewhat lower on jargon and stat blocks.

O.o

*boggles*

Admittedly, I'm not overly familiar with 4E, but a practically universal opinion seems to be that it's much less stat-block heavy then 3.X. Yours might be the first thing I've seen written that differs from t his opinion.

And I have to say once again that 4E still being in a close second place speaks to their power within the industry. I don't really think that Paizo would manage #2 if their output was anywhere near as slow as 4E's has been over the past year or so.

Scarab Sages

hogarth wrote:
Yora wrote:
I wonder if anyone was expecting that. I certainly didn't.
Like Wicht said, if you have been looking at WotC's release schedule (pretty thin at the moment) and the columns on their web site where they are pretty clearly fishing for ideas for 5E, it's not surprising. They're winding down 4E and gearing up for 5E.

WTF!? WoTC want help to produce 5E? LMFAO! I think it's time the designers at WoTC called it a day if they're fishing for ideas on the forums...here's an idea: release this as a press release:

To the gaming world,

We WoTC, as the copyright owners of the first fantasy rpg, do hereby apologise for the travesty of both Dungeons and Dragons 3.5E and 4E.

We do declare that, as roleplaying game designing ho's, we prostituted our asses to Hasbro for profit and not to create fun games that people would like play. We would also like to apologise for not going to Paizo with our collective tails between our legs and beg for jobs as playtesters, designers or promoters.

We would also like to apologise to the gaming community for re-employing Monte Cook and allowing the 5E rumourmill to go into overdrive.

....or something like that :D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
AntediluvianXIII wrote:
hogarth wrote:
columns on their web site where they are pretty clearly fishing for ideas for 5E, it's not surprising. They're winding down 4E and gearing up for 5E.
WTF!? WoTC want help to produce 5E? LMFAO! I think it's time the designers at WoTC called it a day if they're fishing for ideas on the forums

So asking for player feedback is a bad thing? Paizo did that big style with their Alpha and Beta playtests. I get a feeling that if WotC didn't ask for opinions and just brought out 5e players would be damning them for not asking for player input.

AntediluvianXIII wrote:
We WoTC, as the copyright owners of the first fantast rpg, do hereby apologise for the travesty of both Dungeons and Dragons 3.5E and 4E.
I do not think you can say that D&D3.5 or 4e are travesties, even if you don't like either, the fact that they have done so well shows they had something going for them - and yes that includes 4e, if 4e was so bad, how come they are still at 2nd place in the ICv2 chart (and were top for a over a year whilst Pathfinder RPG was on the market).


Okay, I see some real hate for 3.5e here despite the ironic fact that Pathfinder wouldn't even exist in it's current incarnation without it (just like how there wouldn't be Christians if the Jewish had never existed). Haters aside, I am not going to go to heated debates over what this surge of sales on Paizo's part will mean to the market. I like 3.5e and Pathfinder (though I prefer the former's mechanics and the latter's fluff) but I'm not really finding reasons to present any more radical opinions on that.

With that said, I am actually curious to see what kind of design will 5e have, if it doesn't get cancelled at any part.


DigitalMage wrote:
AntediluvianXIII wrote:
hogarth wrote:
columns on their web site where they are pretty clearly fishing for ideas for 5E, it's not surprising. They're winding down 4E and gearing up for 5E.
WTF!? WoTC want help to produce 5E? LMFAO! I think it's time the designers at WoTC called it a day if they're fishing for ideas on the forums
So asking for player feedback is a bad thing? Paizo did that big style with their Alpha and Beta playtests. I get a feeling that if WotC didn't ask for opinions and just brought out 5e players would be damning them for not asking for player input.

(I fixed the attribution of quotes.)

I think "fishing for ideas" was probably the wrong phrase to use. It's more like they've been soliciting feedback on their design philosophy.

Sovereign Court

AntediluvianXIII wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Yora wrote:
I wonder if anyone was expecting that. I certainly didn't.
Like Wicht said, if you have been looking at WotC's release schedule (pretty thin at the moment) and the columns on their web site where they are pretty clearly fishing for ideas for 5E, it's not surprising. They're winding down 4E and gearing up for 5E.

WTF!? WoTC want help to produce 5E? LMFAO! I think it's time the designers at WoTC called it a day if they're fishing for ideas on the forums...here's an idea: release this as a press release:

To the gaming world,

We WoTC, as the copyright owners of the first fantast rpg, do hereby apologise for the travesty of both Dungeons and Dragons 3.5E and 4E.

We do declare that, as roleplaying game designing ho's, we prostituted our asses to Hasbro for profit and not to create fun games that people would like play. We would also like to apologise for not going to Paizo with our collective tails between our legs and beg for jobs as playtesters, designers or promoters.

We would also like to apologise to the gaming community for re-employing Monte Cook and allowing the 5E rumourmill to go into overdrive.

....or something like that :D

Summoning Sergeant Ed Ition Warrior for battle...

Scarab Sages

DigitalMage wrote:
AntediluvianXIII wrote:
columns on their web site where they are pretty clearly fishing for ideas for 5E, it's not surprising. They're winding down 4E and gearing up for 5E.
WTF!? WoTC want help to produce 5E? LMFAO! I think it's time the designers at WoTC called it a day if they're fishing for ideas on the forums

So asking for player feedback is a bad thing? Paizo did that big style with their Alpha and Beta playtests. I get a feeling that if WotC didn't ask for opinions and just brought out 5e players would be damning them for not asking for player input.

AntediluvianXIII wrote:
We WoTC, as the copyright owners of the first fantast rpg, do hereby apologise for the travesty of both Dungeons and Dragons 3.5E and 4E.
I do not think you can say that D&D3.5 or 4e are travesties, even if you don't like either, the fact that they have done so well shows they had something going for them - and yes that includes 4e, if 4e was so bad, how come they are still at 2nd place in the ICv2 chart (and were top for a over a year whilst Pathfinder RPG was on the market).

DID YOU NOT SEE THE ":D" AT THE END OF MY POST???

Hello, tongue firmly in cheek - sheesh without 3.5 we wouldn't have PFRPG - 3.5 and 4E, IMO, were a huge money making or errata efforts, forced on WoTC by Hasbro's Marketing Department


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
AntediluvianXIII wrote:
3.5 and 4E, IMO, were a huge money making or errata efforts, forced on WoTC by Hasbro's Marketing Department

I see this sort of view a lot and I suspect it's quite wrong - wholly owned subsidiaries are not usually run like that. It's poor business practice, in general, and Hasbro are not poor at business. I suspect, provided they meet various revenue/profit targets, WoTC are free to run their business largely as they like - within broad guidelines.

Any corporate evilness is probably in house, IMO, not imposed by the big multinational.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
AntediluvianXIII wrote:
DID YOU NOT SEE THE ":D" AT THE END OF MY POST???

Yes, but I interpretted that as you gleefully having a pop at WotC. So do I take it that you feel it is good that WotC are asking for player input and that you don't think 3.5 or 4e were travesties?


fjw70 wrote:

Not being in the rpg business I would assume a minority of sales for D&D and Pathfinder are made through retail locations. Most of the 4e players I know don't buy D&D books. They use DDi or pirate the book PDFs or pirate DDi stuff.

Do most of the Pathfinder players actual buy the books? How many buy through retail locations?

I don't have any skin in the game, but it bugs me when players use pirated books. Of course they give me the tale they can't afford it because they need to feed their kids, but they are not going out stealing bluray players because they need to feed their kids.

Seriously, I have the book. If you need to use it you can look at it. My friend argues with me that allowing him to use PFSRD and not complaining is the same as pirating. But it just isn't.

I don't know why pirating games bugs me so much. Maybe it is because I am willing to buy the material and do the work for the adventures. Then your not even willing to buy the book. If your not willing to buy the book fine, use mine at the table. I guess it is silly, because if he wasn't going to buy the book anyway it makes no difference.

just one of my Pet peeves I guess.

Scarab Sages

DigitalMage wrote:
AntediluvianXIII wrote:
DID YOU NOT SEE THE ":D" AT THE END OF MY POST???
Yes, but I interpretted that as you gleefully having a pop at WotC. So do I take it that you feel it is good that WotC are asking for player input and that you don't think 3.5 or 4e were travesties?

DAMMIT!!!!!DAMMIT!!DAMMIT!!

I just typed out a longish reply, then the page refreshed:

I refuse to answer your question, sir, until I have a lawyer present:D

(Damn that auto refresh on my IP)

Paizo now has a market/fanbase which WoTC lost with the release of 4E - they are probaby asking for input to keep their current customers happy so that they continue to support the company. They may even need to take a page out of Paizo's work ethic and customer relations etc to stay afloat.

Scarab Sages

Mournblade94 wrote:


but it bugs me when players use pirated books.

Not as much as it bugs the Paizo guys :D

I got two Core rulebooks in my house only because my son wanted his own copy and wanted (his words) 'Stop bugging you and have my own'....
because he would always ask me when I was either painting the fence, putting stuff in the loft, sorting out the mess that is the study, mowing the lawn NEVER when I was just sitting on my ass watching TV or listening to music!! My wife asked me if I've thought about what I want for christmas. I downloaded the Paizo catalogue, then made my list :D my son saw it and said 'We could have this as our collective chrimbo list'

I've bought a few pdf's only because of space/storing issues, but you can't beat the feel of the hardback rulebooks that Paizo (or WoTC) have produced.

My son much prefers PFRPG over 4E even though he plays both. I would never tell him to 'ONLY PLAY PATHFINDER' he has a life and is perfectly capable of making his own decsions....he's even gone so far as to tell the 4E GM about what's going on at WoTC regarding 4e being dropped and the possibility of 5e being released, only because he doesn't want his friend to have the 4E rules and it no longer being supported by the company and he's told him about PF but he aint listening


Considering that so much of WotC's business comes from the online tools and subscriptions, I don't think it makes sense to compare the modern RPG market based on hard-copy sales.

My group plays 4e, but most of us just use D&D Insider rather than buying the books.

Also, considering how slow WotC release schedule has been lately, I'm not surprised that Paizo is ahead in book sales.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I may be partly responsible for these results, given that I've recently bought a TON of Pathfinder stuff that I've missed in the last few years.

I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more Pathfinder!


Matthew Morris wrote:
Congrats, now we (meaning the geeky gaming shut-ins)* need to grow the hobby base, to cement Paizo's hold on the masses. ;-)

Speak for yourself! I've converted three 3.5 Edition Players and a 4th Edition Player, plus introduced three people to Pathfinder who have never played an RPG before.

Sovereign Court

Golden-Esque wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Congrats, now we (meaning the geeky gaming shut-ins)* need to grow the hobby base, to cement Paizo's hold on the masses. ;-)
Speak for yourself! I've converted three 3.5 Edition Players and a 4th Edition Player, plus introduced three people to Pathfinder who have never played an RPG before.

I'm 100% sure I've taught 7 people to play pathfinder, 4 of which I know still regularly play, and I think I might have taught one or two more.

Dark Archive

Set wrote:


[pure speculation] I would assume it costs a hell of a lot less to develop content and post it up on the DDI than it costs to print a book and ship it to someone, so, I would expect that WotC gets a hell of a lot more cash-in-hand vs. outlay from the DDI than Paizo gets from a subscription. Each additional online subscriber is just more money, with minimal added cost, for bandwidth. Each additional print subscriber requires another book to be printed and shipped. [/pure speculation]

Yes, but your not including the cost of web design/matience/upkeep/host into those costs. Its not free to just put up.

Dark Archive

FoxBat_ wrote:
Monte Cook's last article (linked in said closed thread) that was concerned with "readability" and "conversational tone" might speak to this spectator phenomena. Cook is concerned that 4E has gone too precise and formal with its rules, that while making for great references, can be too dry for people to read cover to cover, which is what a spectator will spend more time doing than not.

Exactly. The first three core(DM, player, MM) were incredibly dry reading. Actually they were unreadable from an enjoyment viewpoint. Folks that I know that play 4e say they have gotten better, but not like older sets.

Conversely, while I have played shadowrun twice, I own practically every book from 1st to 3rd edition, and several 4th edition ones. Shadowrun is the high point of readability if you pick up stuff for that. Better then piazo in my opinion.

Grand Lodge

Black Knight wrote:

Considering that so much of WotC's business comes from the online tools and subscriptions, I don't think it makes sense to compare the modern RPG market based on hard-copy sales.

My group plays 4e, but most of us just use D&D Insider rather than buying the books.

Also, considering how slow WotC release schedule has been lately, I'm not surprised that Paizo is ahead in book sales.

Do not forget that much of Paizo's sales also rely on their digital marketing of their PDF's too. So while DDI is or may be lucrative Paizo's PDF's are certainly up there too sir.

So I consider that comparable even if you do not.


carmachu wrote:
Set wrote:
[pure speculation] I would assume it costs a hell of a lot less to develop content and post it up on the DDI than it costs to print a book and ship it to someone, so, I would expect that WotC gets a hell of a lot more cash-in-hand vs. outlay from the DDI than Paizo gets from a subscription. Each additional online subscriber is just more money, with minimal added cost, for bandwidth. Each additional print subscriber requires another book to be printed and shipped. [/pure speculation]
Yes, but your not including the cost of web design/matience/upkeep/host into those costs. Its not free to just put up.

There are significant fixed costs involved in making a product to be subscribed to; things like content production and website maintenance have to be covered by having enough subscribers. However, the marginal costs per additional subscriber are trivial -- just bandwidth -- whereas the marginal costs per additional book printed and shipped are meaningful, buying highly-processed solid matter and the fuel to move it.

I attribute a great deal of Paizo's business success to smart management of those physical product costs, learned from their background in periodicals. I think that web subscriptions would be a risky business model for dang near anyone else, but for a brand with as much market heft as D&D has, it has to feel like printing money. So, I can kind of see both of your points, but I don't fully agree with either.

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