Best Guess: How many quarters will D&D Next beat Pathfinder on the ICv2 list (if any)?


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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My 2 cp here:

Jester David wrote:

Kickstarter and side RPGs are likely claiming some of the audience.

But that side competition that might erode away at D&D (the Strange/Numenera, 13th Age, FATE, and Star Wars) also chip away at Pathfinder's sales.

Looking at 4Q sales figures (which is the holidays remember?! biggest sales of the year and all) and they show that PF sales dropped significantly with the release of 5E. How significantly? Hard to say because profitability matters more than absolute sales. But the PF Core Rule Book may have had its worst holiday period since its first year.

However that's not my main point, which is that, IMO, fragmenting the market cannot be good for anyone in the industry.

I've tried to get answers from others deep in the industry <cough>Sean Reynolds...Keith Baker...</cough> that are always going on about this RPG Kickstarter or that RPG Kickstarter. And I get ignored - I am after all really no one to them so this is not unexpected, but I think guys like these are making a buck at the expense of the TTRPG industry as a whole.

For individual authors, and serious hobby-gamers who produce products for sale, Kickstarter can be a good thing. However, if the TTRPG "pie" isn't growing, then Kickstarter and the like are simply slicing thinner and thinner portions for everyone else as each new product enters the market.

In short, no one has been able to show me how that (more TTRPG choices) can possibly be good for the [larger]industry as a whole[/larger] and the big players in particular. No one has offered any evidence that Kickstarter and its clones are growing the TTRPG market.


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They may show which way to go. With KS you propose the project not to the marketing etc., but rather directly to the customer.

Anyway I doubt that PF core was hindered in sales THAT significantly, because a lot of people who bought 5E core books have already their PF core on the shelves from the past. If there was a PF2 core release then it would have been different, but things that might have been touched are more likely the adventures and settings, that might just get purchased as an alternative to the Tiamat compaign for 5E, or not. That's the field where direct confrontation could be seen IMO.


Zmar wrote:


They may show which way to go. With KS you propose the project not to the marketing etc., but rather directly to the customer.

Anyway I doubt that PF core was hindered in sales THAT significantly, because a lot of people who bought 5E core books have already their PF core on the shelves from the past. If there was a PF2 core release then it would have been different, but things that might have been touched are more likely the adventures and settings, that might just get purchased as an alternative to the Tiamat compaign for 5E, or not. That's the field where direct confrontation could be seen IMO.

I subscribe to the Pathfinder RPG line with occasional purchases of other Paizo products and a number on non-Paizo products. I bought all three 5E core books and the DMs screen (the books from Amazon, the screen at a B&N brick and mortar location). I don't buy Paizo adventures and won't buy WotCs either. Or 3PP adventures. I run my own game / adventures and I'm thinking of running both 3.x and 5E in my own setting. We'll see, there are things I like about both systems.

As for Kickstarter, I've been in on several (Traveller 5 and Bethorm). Neither of these came at the expense of another purchase or replaced another game. I've always liked Traveller and I'd like to run it again some day. And I'm a sucker for everything Tekumel related. From my point of view KS doesn't matter to my RPG habit, it just provides nice little surprises occasionally. I probably have a larger budget for RPGs than a lot of younger gamers though. It would be nice if I had the time I used to devote to them. *sigh* Oh, waiting on Star Citizen, but that's another addiction entirely :)


I was just trying to say that the PFRPG Core book and 5E Core books are not really competing on comparable scale at the moment, with one book being out for seven years and the other just starting to get it's first sale numbers it's not really going anywhere to compare just these at the moment.


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Well, there must be some nervousness about 5e cannibalizing sales. The new "core" PFS announcement and rationale echoes some of the language I've heard from friends who are switching from PF to 5e. Unfortunately, the Paizo understanding of "simpler" doesn't necessarily mesh with the players' reasons. At some point, a lot of the people who abandoned WotC as D&D moved away from its original flavor (especially the 3.5 - 4 issues) have become receptive to 5e's mechanics and flavor. They weren't necessarily fans of PF as they were not fans of WotC and 4e. So I'm not sure that "core" PFS is going to do much except appeal to those who were already not going anywhere.

Of course, no one has to play just one game. I'm presently in a long running PF game and running my own 5e game. I won't stop either in the foreseeable future. But I will be buying the next 5e adventure and materials, and it's likely that I won't be spending any more money on PF (as the ACG and the OA playtest convinced me that Paizo has lost its way... and entered the Land of the Bloat).


Quark Blast wrote:

My 2 cp here:

Looking at 4Q sales figures (which is the holidays remember?! biggest sales of the year and all) and they show that PF sales dropped significantly with the release of 5E. How significantly? Hard to say because profitability matters more than absolute sales. But the PF Core Rule Book may have had its worst holiday period since its first year.

Where did you get the 4Q sales for PF?

Liberty's Edge

Quark Blast wrote:

My 2 cp here:

Jester David wrote:

Kickstarter and side RPGs are likely claiming some of the audience.

But that side competition that might erode away at D&D (the Strange/Numenera, 13th Age, FATE, and Star Wars) also chip away at Pathfinder's sales.

Looking at 4Q sales figures (which is the holidays remember?! biggest sales of the year and all) and they show that PF sales dropped significantly with the release of 5E. How significantly? Hard to say because profitability matters more than absolute sales. But the PF Core Rule Book may have had its worst holiday period since its first year.

However that's not my main point, which is that, IMO, fragmenting the market cannot be good for anyone in the industry.

I've tried to get answers from others deep in the industry <cough>Sean Reynolds...Keith Baker...</cough> that are always going on about this RPG Kickstarter or that RPG Kickstarter. And I get ignored - I am after all really no one to them so this is not unexpected, but I think guys like these are making a buck at the expense of the TTRPG industry as a whole.

For individual authors, and serious hobby-gamers who produce products for sale, Kickstarter can be a good thing. However, if the TTRPG "pie" isn't growing, then Kickstarter and the like are simply slicing thinner and thinner portions for everyone else as each new product enters the market.

In short, no one has been able to show me how that (more TTRPG choices) can possibly be good for the [larger]industry as a whole[/larger] and the big players in particular. No one has offered any evidence that Kickstarter and its clones are growing the TTRPG market.

So, everyone should just give up. We have enough, too few people and too little money for anyone else to jump in.

Whatever. If TTRPG wants to survive, they need to make product that appeals to the short attention span generation. So far they haven't. Enjoy the fact that people are willing to continue to write stuff for a fading hobby. It's had a good run, but, like many things, its time of glory is in the past.

The industry can be best described as "cottage". It will eventually all be kickstarter type stuff for a dedicated core of people holding on to their favorite hobby. It is never going to be as big as it was in the Eighties, sorry.

Liberty's Edge

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houstonderek wrote:
The industry can be best described as "cottage". It will eventually all be kickstarter type stuff for a dedicated core of people holding on to their favorite hobby. It is never going to be as big as it was in the Eighties, sorry.

And the most depressing comment of decade goes to...

Mainly because I can't help but agree. I blame that new fangled microchip, we only had the potato chip back then.


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I'm into IF games (think text adventures like Spider & Web, Photopia or Depression Quest) and that's a hobby that's found itself thriving as a fan thing without many commercial actors. So if that happens to TRPG, that might be fine. Arty games, indie games, retroclones -- a lot of great things in the hobby is already surviving as labors of love alone.

However, I wouldn't have predicted our current golden age of board games, either. So I'm not counting out a new one for TRPG. Anything can happen.


2097 wrote:

I'm into IF games (think text adventures like Spider & Web, Photopia or Depression Quest) and that's a hobby that's found itself thriving as a fan thing without many commercial actors. So if that happens to TRPG, that might be fine. Arty games, indie games, retroclones -- a lot of great things in the hobby is already surviving as labors of love alone.

However, I wouldn't have predicted our current golden age of board games, either. So I'm not counting out a new one for TRPG. Anything can happen.

One of the fundamental differences is that board games have been around for a very long time, and there was a willingness to accept different and experimental design mechanisms . What RPGs are going through at the moment reminds me of miniature wargaming in the 1980s, and that status wasn't really changed for more than a decade - and is showing signs of returning as the generation that started the second "golden age" gets older in it's turn.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Jester David wrote:
The catch is Paizo has been expanding a LOT in the past five years, really increasing their production. Monthly Player Companions, five hardcovers a year, and more. I've heard comparisons to TSR in it's peak. Having done the numbers myself, Paizo is comparable in terms of RPG books, even if you include the Realms and campaign settings (it does fall behind when you consider the magazines though).

We've just learned from our German translation partners that there are now more Pathfinder products in German than there have ever been D&D products—ever, regardless of edition. And while our French translation partners haven't actually counted, they believe the same is probably true for their language.

That's cool news.

Is 5e being translated into German or French? My understanding is that it is English only at this point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jester David wrote:


I think WotC is taking a hand's off approach and letting word of mouth spread.

Their hand is so far off that EN World reported that they started laying people off who worked on 5e. They had eight people working on the game, now they have 6.

I think that tells you something about their near term plans for the game, if any.


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Danbala wrote:

That's cool news.

Is 5e being translated into German or French? My understanding is that it is English only at this point.

As far as I know, it's still English only and no plans have been announced to change that. Here's an earlier post on that.

Cheers!
Landon

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In other news, Chris Sims and one more person were laid off from WotC D&D team.


I think that was what Danbala was mentioning. But... are there any reasons given?


LazarX wrote:

Comparisons are misleading. The overall market for RPG's in general is a good deal smaller than that time, many of the indpendents have closed up shop or are just doing licensed deals of TV shows such as Buff/Angel, Star Trek, Dr. Who, and Dresden Files. Paizo is doing well enough to keep a decent size staff fed and working full time on product. And what product they produce, they sell. They're not shoveling vast quantities of their printed material into landfills.

THAT is the measure of viability.

I agree with most of this comment as from the information given to me via my sources it is a lot smaller than what people think it is actually.

Secondly:

I agree with Jester David has posted on this topic as well as line of thought is concise and mostly parallels my own.

I Have issues with 3.5. The bloatware is unacceptable. Layer upon layer of rules has made the game clunky. A revision is needed and soon, regardless of 5E having the option of OGL.

Silver Crusade

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Tacticslion wrote:
I think that was what Danbala was mentioning. But... are there any reasons given?

As per usual, no reasons. But if you lay off two editors, it means the amount of stuff to be edited is going down, logically.


Hm. :/


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Gorbacz wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
I think that was what Danbala was mentioning. But... are there any reasons given?
As per usual, no reasons. But if you lay off two editors, it means the amount of stuff to be edited is going down, logically.

It makes wonder if the layoff was planned or is a reaction to sales.

I noticed that before the PHB released there was talk of some supplements that never ended up on the schedule. It makes me think that they hoped to get the green light for some things provided that the game did well enough. But now it looks like that is not happening.


:-(


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

All the anecdotal evidence I've heard has indicated that the 5e launch was considered very successful, even that the development team was pleasantly surprised that it did even better than they were hoping.

It's always possible, of course, that a success for Wizards of the Coast is not a big enough success for Hasbro. :\

Liberty's Edge

Don't read too much into the layoffs. It seems to be an annual tradition over there.

Liberty's Edge

Joana wrote:

All the anecdotal evidence I've heard has indicated that the 5e launch was considered very successful, even that the development team was pleasantly surprised that it did even better than they were hoping.

It's always possible, of course, that a success for Wizards of the Coast is not a big enough success for Hasbro. :\

Pretty much. If it doesn't move millions of units, it's not worth Hasbro's attention.


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houstonderek wrote:
Don't read too much into the layoffs. It seems to be an annual tradition over there.

I get that. Although this layoff didn't follow the December pattern and seems to have caught Simms off guard.

My guess is that they let go of two of their editors because they made the decision that there would be less books this year to edit.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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The Rot Grub wrote:
If Vic is still checking this thread, I have a question: This talk about the spread of Pathfinder internationally is pretty exciting. Is there any chance that the Beginner Box will see any translations?

Sorry—just checking in occasionally. Yes, we encourage our translation partners to put out the Beginner Box as quickly as they can manage, especially in places that don't have a strong RPG tradition. It has been out in French, German, and Italian for a while, and more languages are on the way.


Vic Wertz wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
If Vic is still checking this thread, I have a question: This talk about the spread of Pathfinder internationally is pretty exciting. Is there any chance that the Beginner Box will see any translations?
Sorry—just checking in occasionally. Yes, we encourage our translation partners to put out the Beginner Box as quickly as they can manage, especially in places that don't have a strong RPG tradition. It has been out in French, German, and Italian for a while, and more languages are on the way.

Any plans for a swedish translation?

For my group it's not an issue of not understanding the actual rules, but dealing with the rather odd combination of swedish and english that is spoken at our table during any of our Kingmaker sessions... Our GM does his best to localize place names, but a series of OFFICIAL translations of (the names only)

1: Spells
2: Items
3: Monsters

would be amazingly useful!

English terminology is already seeping into sessions from terms like "attack of opportunity" and "charge" and such. It would be great to have official translations for names of things, though. It would mitigate the language issue slightly.


Spells: "besvärjelser"
Items: "saker"
Monsters: "väsen"

Or is that not what you asked for :p

Attack of opportunity: "passa-på-attack"
Charge: "rusa".

Silver Crusade

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But don't all Swedes know English better than an average American does?


As someone running a group where the table language is English but several of the players are Swedish, I can say the answer is no, they don't. At least not all Swedes.


Here are some of the words I've heard at our table:
"Wave" (for "balance scale").
"Arrower" (for "archer").
"Reading" (for "riding").

Mostly comprehensible. I do like this group a lot.

Shadow Lodge

I think Pathfinder will probably continue to beat D&D 5e on the ICv2 list, although I think it's going to be because of the sheer volume of RPG material they put out, rather than because of any individual book selling more than individual 5e books.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Ganryu wrote:
Any plans for a swedish translation?

To the best of my knowledge, we have not been approached by a professional Swedish publisher, but we'd certainly be open to talking to one!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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And more on topic, you all might find this blog by Gary Ray of Black Diamond Games interesting. I can't say that what he's saying is necessarily representative of the industry, but I can say that in terms of business sense, Gary is an above-average hobby retailer.

FYI, you can see his previous years' top 10 lists here. (Note that last year, he had listed Warmachine and Hordes separately, but said that "together they would be at the number four spot;" Cards Against Humanity would have then been number 10.)

The Exchange Owner - Black Diamond Games

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I felt my ears burning. A couple things.

I like ICV2. I'm one of those retailers who regularly gets interviewed by ICV2. However, ICV2 numbers are based on informal phone surveys of a handful of retailers. They are not remotely scientific or definitive of what's going on. It's more a mood than a quantitative analysis.

But the premise is still valid. How long will D&D 5 top Pathfinder in sales? It's kind of complicated. On one hand, they only have core books and will only have these core books and some minor accessories for most of this year. On the other hand, I can sell 80 Pathfinder core rulebooks a year, every year, since about 2010. In fact, 75% of my Pathfinder sales come from just hardcover rulebooks, which account for a dozen titles of the 300+ that I stock.

So D&D 5 has no extended content, but those core books might have legs. Those core books are REALLY good too. That said, if Wizards of the Coast doesn't start producing some traditional "popular" content, sales will fall. When I talk to third party publishers who have tentatively ventured into 5E publishing, they have no faith WOTC will deliver. I call it D&D 5: The Stable IP Edition, because I think it's basically a place holder for developing money projects, video games and movies.

--gary

Black Diamond Games


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BlackDiamond wrote:

I felt my ears burning. A couple things.

[snip]

--gary

Black Diamond Games

I enjoyed reading your blog post. Its exciting to think that 5e might be bringing in new players to the hobby.

The topic of Pathfinder, rules bloat, and 2.0 is also an interesting one. Its tempting to see things like the PFS Core system and the Pathfinder Unchained as a way of fending off a new revision.

Here's a thought: would it be technically possible under the OGL to create a version of Pathfinder that was essentially, but unofficially, compatible with 5e? I wonder what that would do for sales?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Danbala wrote:
Here's a thought: would it be technically possible under the OGL to create a version of Pathfinder that was essentially, but unofficially, compatible with 5e? I wonder what that would do for sales?

We have no interest in shenanigans like that. And if anybody but us did it, they couldn't call it Pathfinder.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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BlackDiamond wrote:
... I can sell 80 Pathfinder core rulebooks a year, every year, since about 2010.

Gary! Good to see you in here.

Question for you. The buzz we have from distribution, and from other retailers, is that D&D is doing great. For some, a little better than Pathfinder; for some, a little worse. But they pretty much all say—and our own sales figures say—that Wizards' success is not coming at the cost of Pathfinder—that their Pathfinder sales are in the same ballpark as before, if not up a little. What are you seeing in that respect?

Liberty's Edge

Vic Wertz wrote:
And more on topic, you all might find this blog by Gary Ray of Black Diamond Games interesting. I can't say that what he's saying is necessarily representative of the industry, but I can say that in terms of business sense, Gary is an above-average hobby retailer.

I agreed with much of the blog, and agree that RPGs are struggling with the times. Churning out sales is just a bandaid though, boosting sales for the retailer but shortening the lifespan of the edition necessitating a rule update no one wants (again) and making the game less accessible for new players who will only see the shelf of books,

The end of the blog made me cynical. "What we need is Pathfinder 2"? Or rather, retailers need that, even if gamers don't. Buy all you books again. Again.

D&D updates tend to be like Popes. You have a big edition followed by a little edition. You have the update that a percentage of the fanbase ignores because they decide it's easier to stick with a "finished" game and go through the content they have then start again, and the percentage that just leaves for another system, and then the percentage that stays. Finally, you update again and win back some lost players who skipped a revision. There needs to be some breathing time between the end of an edition and buying the books again.

Pathfinder 2 is in an unenviable position. I can't try and be simple, because that's what D&D is doing. So it has to try and capture the more tactical players and optimizes who feel unsatisfied by 5e. But neither can they go the route of 4e, with too much optimization, dissociative mechanics. They need to do something firmly Pathfinder. I have faith in Paizo, but I'm uncertain they can satisfactorily pull off a Pathfinder Revised any time soon

BlackDiamond wrote:
I like ICV2. I'm one of those retailers who regularly gets interviewed by ICV2. However, ICV2 numbers are based on informal phone surveys of a handful of retailers. They are not remotely scientific or definitive of what's going on. It's more a mood than a quantitative analysis.

They may not be scientific, but it's the best we have. It's a lovely data point. And when paired with the Amazon chart it's a fair gauge of the industry.

It was correct when Pathfinder tied with D&D, and it was correct when Pathfinder passed D&D. And so long as it polls a representative number of game stores, it should be accurate now.

The Exchange Owner - Black Diamond Games

Vic Wertz wrote:
BlackDiamond wrote:
... I can sell 80 Pathfinder core rulebooks a year, every year, since about 2010.
Question for you. The buzz we have from distribution, and from other retailers, is that D&D is doing great. For some, a little better than Pathfinder; for some, a little worse. But they pretty much all say—and our own sales figures say—that Wizards' success is not coming at the cost of Pathfinder—that their Pathfinder sales are in the same ballpark as before, if not up a little. What are you seeing in that respect?

It's the question of whether D&D 5 can increase the size of the pie. It's the same question I asked with Pathfinder and D&D 4. Pathfinder increased the size of the pie for a short period before D&D 4 cratered. Then PF became de-facto D&D. The pie.

We're in that same period now with D&D 5. The pie is increasing in size. My D&D 5 sales outsold Pathfinder 2:1 since Summer, without being at the expense of my Pathfinder sales. That was with six D&D products compared to 300+ with Pathfinder.

Will this last? No. The reason I can sell 80+ Pathfinder core rulebooks all day long is I have 300+ products backing it up. If all I sold was core rulebooks I would never see sales anywhere near this. Most retailers would agree. That's what D&D is in danger of experiencing. All dressed up and nowhere to go.


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BlackDiamond wrote:
My D&D 5 sales outsold Pathfinder 2:1 since Summer, without being at the expense of my Pathfinder sales. That was with six D&D products compared to 300+ with Pathfinder.

One thing I've often wondered about with the ICv2 surveys is whether retailers distinguish between paizo produced Pathfinder books and 3PP pathfinder books. Does your 300+ titles include any third party product?

Do you report 3PP sales of pathfinder compatible books (if there are any) as Pathfinder sales in the ICv2 surveys?


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Jester David wrote:
Pathfinder 2 is in an unenviable position. I can't try and be simple, because that's what D&D is doing. So it has to try and capture the more tactical players and optimizes who feel unsatisfied by 5e. But neither can they go the route of 4e, with too much optimization, dissociative mechanics. They need to do something firmly Pathfinder. I have faith in Paizo, but I'm uncertain they can satisfactorily pull off a Pathfinder Revised any time soon

I wholeheartedly disagree.

If Paizo put out a Pathfinder 2 of the same complexity level as 5e, I think people would embrace it eagerly and thankfully. Maybe not tomorrow, but maybe a year or two or so from now. BlackDiamond is right--5e is beautiful, but it's the IP edition. WOTC has pretty much said as much, and has shown as much in dragging their feet on providing an OGL that would make supporting the edition possible. If Paizo published a very similar product, they would have something just as beautiful, but with the support of Paizo and the 3pp community behind it.

It's tempting to think 5e puts a Pathfinder 2 on the ropes, but I think it's deceptive. I don't think Paizo needs to feel constrained by the direction 5e has gone in terms of design in the slightest. If anything, they should feel liberated. After all, they've proven they can beat WOTC at their own game before. 5e has shown that people are willing (and eager) to embrace a lighter ruleset. The time may come when Paizo (technically) follows suit, but does it right.

I'm not saying that's what they *should* do. I'm just saying they could. I don't think 5e takes away any options from them.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
...and our own sales figures say—that Wizards' success is not coming at the cost of Pathfinder—that their Pathfinder sales are in the same ballpark as before, if not up a little.

I'm really glad to hear that.

I have always been on the "I like both" side of the various arguments in which Wotc and Paizo feature. It's encouraging to hear any evidence that a success for one doesnt have to come at the expense of the other.

Shadow Lodge

Hudax wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Pathfinder 2 is in an unenviable position. I can't try and be simple, because that's what D&D is doing. So it has to try and capture the more tactical players and optimizes who feel unsatisfied by 5e. But neither can they go the route of 4e, with too much optimization, dissociative mechanics. They need to do something firmly Pathfinder. I have faith in Paizo, but I'm uncertain they can satisfactorily pull off a Pathfinder Revised any time soon

I wholeheartedly disagree.

If Paizo put out a Pathfinder 2 of the same complexity level as 5e, I think people would embrace it eagerly and thankfully. Maybe not tomorrow, but maybe a year or two or so from now. BlackDiamond is right--5e is beautiful, but it's the IP edition. WOTC has pretty much said as much, and has shown as much in dragging their feet on providing an OGL that would make supporting the edition possible. If Paizo published a very similar product, they would have something just as beautiful, but with the support of Paizo and the 3pp community behind it.

It's tempting to think 5e puts a Pathfinder 2 on the ropes, but I think it's deceptive. I don't think Paizo needs to feel constrained by the direction 5e has gone in terms of design in the slightest. If anything, they should feel liberated. After all, they've proven they can beat WOTC at their own game before. 5e has shown that people are willing (and eager) to embrace a lighter ruleset. The time may come when Paizo (technically) follows suit, but does it right.

I'm not saying that's what they *should* do. I'm just saying they could. I don't think 5e takes away any options from them.

Besides, D&D 5e is really more of a "rules-medium" rather than a "rules-light".


BlackDiamond wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
BlackDiamond wrote:
... I can sell 80 Pathfinder core rulebooks a year, every year, since about 2010.
Question for you. The buzz we have from distribution, and from other retailers, is that D&D is doing great. For some, a little better than Pathfinder; for some, a little worse. But they pretty much all say—and our own sales figures say—that Wizards' success is not coming at the cost of Pathfinder—that their Pathfinder sales are in the same ballpark as before, if not up a little. What are you seeing in that respect?

It's the question of whether D&D 5 can increase the size of the pie. It's the same question I asked with Pathfinder and D&D 4. Pathfinder increased the size of the pie for a short period before D&D 4 cratered. Then PF became de-facto D&D. The pie.

We're in that same period now with D&D 5. The pie is increasing in size. My D&D 5 sales outsold Pathfinder 2:1 since Summer, without being at the expense of my Pathfinder sales. That was with six D&D products compared to 300+ with Pathfinder.

Will this last? No. The reason I can sell 80+ Pathfinder core rulebooks all day long is I have 300+ products backing it up. If all I sold was core rulebooks I would never see sales anywhere near this. Most retailers would agree. That's what D&D is in danger of experiencing. All dressed up and nowhere to go.

Something else to consider. I have been in the same area as the Game Store (Black diamond) and I buy NONE of my PF stuff from them (of course, I don't buy much from them at all, I think I called them to see if they had the 5e PHB in, I think there was some sort of mix up or something at that time so I was unable to get it from them unfortunately). IMO there are also a ton of people NOT represented by the stores that buy most of their PF stuff online.

Ironically however, I was more willing to buy hardcopies of 5e core when it first came out and 5e stuff on release from a gamestore than online. I of course am not all that enthused about 5e, and probably won't buy anything else (but some people in CA I'm gaming with still all seem enthusiastic about it...much to my despair).

I wonder how many others were or are like me, in that they were more willing to buy stuff for 5e from the store than online due to the wait time of the rules (you see, Paizo has the stores beat, if you order from them, you get the stuff early...or at least it seems I get it early if it actually gets to me, plus you support Paizo directly!) if you order online.

That may sway the perceptions of how well 5e is doing in the stores as well...perhaps? So that 5e may seem to be doing better in the stores because of that dynamic...possibly?

Just a thought.

I wanted to add

Vic Wertz wrote:

And more on topic, you all might find this blog by Gary Ray of Black Diamond Games interesting. I can't say that what he's saying is necessarily representative of the industry, but I can say that in terms of business sense, Gary is an above-average hobby retailer.

FYI, you can see his previous years' top 10 lists here. (Note that last year, he had listed Warmachine and Hordes separately, but said that "together they would be at the number four spot;" Cards Against Humanity would have then been number 10.)

WOW...D&D outsold Warhammer 40K?

Of course, that's another arena where it appears sales may be distorted in regards to how well they are actually selling...isn't Warhammer and GW making around £120 Million+ a year (that's probably around $180 Million USD) which really kind of puts it as king of the hobby game makers by about...100 million miles?

[though it is puzzling figuring it all out, it appears that though 123 million is the listed revenue, that they may only have 35 million (or around 50 million USD) in assets. That's sort of odd.]


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A high asset turnover ratio isn't that unusual for small companies.

Silver Crusade

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Games Workshop is knee deep in crisis. They pretty much fell behind Privateer Press on all fronts, their stock prices in London all headed towards trash values and they're in panic mode with moves like 'our stores will be now a one employee affair regardless of store size', 'White Dwarf is weekly now!' and 'you want to make a Space Marine dates a pigeon visual novel for Iphones? Great, here's the license, just give us 1 cent per sale, please?'.


Games Workshop are large enough that they're required by law to make their annual report available online. That lists annual revenue around £120 million for several years now.

Privateer Press had annual revenue of $15 million in 2010. They've haven't grown anywhere near fast enough to be close to GW.

And it's not as if the IcV2 data doesn't include miniatures, if there's any assumption that they mean anything. Guess what they think is number one.

Silver Crusade

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Bluenose wrote:

Games Workshop are large enough that they're required by law to make their annual report available online. That lists annual revenue around £120 million for several years now.

Privateer Press had annual revenue of $15 million in 2010. They've haven't grown anywhere near fast enough to be close to GW.

And it's not as if the IcV2 data doesn't include miniatures, if there's any assumption that they mean anything. Guess what they think is number one.

You can have all the revenue in the world, but it's profit that counts. GW, at 120m rev, has had its profits fall from annual 30m in 2010 to ca. 12m in 2014. That's ... harsh, to say at least, for a publicly traded company with a business model that's not exactly the most flexible one out there.

I don't think Priavteer is publicly traded, so any numbers will be hard to come by and hardly reliable, and 2010 is an age ago in wargaming business. But everybody whom I know to play GW games actively jumped ship already, so there's to that.


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Before we start clamoring for Pathfinder 2 (no thanks), let's see what Pathfinder Unchained looks like. That might do what some people want from Pathfinder 2. Therefore, we may all win. :)


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Hudax wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Pathfinder 2 is in an unenviable position. I can't try and be simple, because that's what D&D is doing. So it has to try and capture the more tactical players and optimizes who feel unsatisfied by 5e. But neither can they go the route of 4e, with too much optimization, dissociative mechanics. They need to do something firmly Pathfinder. I have faith in Paizo, but I'm uncertain they can satisfactorily pull off a Pathfinder Revised any time soon

I wholeheartedly disagree.

If Paizo put out a Pathfinder 2 of the same complexity level as 5e, I think people would embrace it eagerly and thankfully. Maybe not tomorrow, but maybe a year or two or so from now. BlackDiamond is right--5e is beautiful, but it's the IP edition. WOTC has pretty much said as much, and has shown as much in dragging their feet on providing an OGL that would make supporting the edition possible. If Paizo published a very similar product, they would have something just as beautiful, but with the support of Paizo and the 3pp community behind it.

It's tempting to think 5e puts a Pathfinder 2 on the ropes, but I think it's deceptive. I don't think Paizo needs to feel constrained by the direction 5e has gone in terms of design in the slightest. If anything, they should feel liberated. After all, they've proven they can beat WOTC at their own game before. 5e has shown that people are willing (and eager) to embrace a lighter ruleset. The time may come when Paizo (technically) follows suit, but does it right.

I'm not saying that's what they *should* do. I'm just saying they could. I don't think 5e takes away any options from them.

I think the issue is that many people would be resistant to such a change if it rendered their existing library useless, and people would probably be hesitant to continue buying from Paizo's back catalog. While I think a new edition is inevitable, I think it's also going to be constrained to be backward compatible with the current version of Pathfinder

Any huge 4E or 5E style major rule change, which renders the existing system obsolete, is probably going to hurt Paizo more than aid it.

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