Marketing -- How to better market Pathfinder


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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CrystalSeas wrote:
Is this about things we can do to help market Pasthfinder better or is it us telling staff how they could do a better job?

Obviously, it's about people with no access to Paizo financial and sales information telling staff that they aren't doing their job correctly.

If you had any experience leading a marketing department, or if you had any access to their income statement, or balance sheets, or cash flow projection reports, then your opinion might be useful.

Right now, all you're doing is arguing that what you want (continued development of PF1) is financially viable because you said so.

I don't work at Paizo; do you? Can you direct us to the Paizo financial data that you're using for the basis of your recommendations?

Or do you, like the rest of us, need to fall back on your own professional marketing and business management experience to critique ideas?


People throw this around all the time, but I'm not convinced 5e is outselling Pathfinder. It might be easier to get a game of 5e going, but at the rate they publish books they would have to sell 5-10 copies for every 1 Pathfinder sells. 5e can't compete with the monthly magazine business model that Pathfinder uses for its Adventure Paths to such success.


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Though, I've put about $800+ into PF1 and I'll be focused on getting my money's worth out of that.

*Blinks*

*Looks over at his THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS of Pathfinder books*

*LAUGHS HYSTERICALLY*

I bought mostly PDF files. I thought about people who bought the hard back versions ... How do those of you who did feel about how Paizo is preserving your investiment?

What investment? I bought the books because I enjoyed the game and I wanted to support the company. I can STILL play the game. In fact, I still plan on running a PF1 game right alongside any other game that I run. Whether it be D&D, PF2 , CHAMPIONS, or whatever. The very idea that you won't be able to find anyone to play in a PF1 game after PF2 comes out is RIDICULOUS. The pool of players may shrink but if there are people out there running AD&D or 4E or 3.5? There will still be a pool of players running PF1.

I was HERE during the transition from 3.5 to 4E. People played 4E. But those of us who didn't care for it still played 3.5. Paizo SUPPORTED 3.5 until they released Pathfinder. The 1st 4 Paizo AP's (Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness and Legacy of Fire) were 3.5 well into 4E's lifespan.
Paizo is doing one better than WOTC did during that time, They are keeping the previous version on their game IN PRINT.

There almost 10 years of development and official material not to mention a metric assload of 3rd party material for PF1. To expect Paizo to continue development on a system that had it's issues (as all systems do) while rolling out a new system is unrealistic.

If you want support for PF1 so badly and if you think the demand is out there for it start your own imprint and start hiring freelancers to develop material.

If you cant do that, then ORGANIZE. Try to find like-minded individuals who will spread the gospel and run games and introduce people to the system that you love.

But I think the ship for new PF1 material has salled. I know that I personally have enough PF1 material to run games for the next few DECADE or so. The 1st 17 AP's I have in hardcopy (and I plan on picking up Return of the Runelords and Tyrant's Grasp), RAPPAN ATHUK in hardcover, THE SLUMBERING TSAR in hardcover, every Pathfinder RPG Hardcover, a bunch of assorted Campaign setting, players companions and modules. And then there's the 3.5 AP's like AGE OF WORMS and SAVAGE TIDE that can be converted over.

Nah, I'm GOOD for PF1 material...


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Gorbacz wrote:
And getting easily picked up by casual players is extremely important these days, because RPGs are losing full time to board games due to the issue of high entry bar.

THIS.

I have an easier time introducing normals to a game of SUPER DUNGEON EXPLORE or ZOMBICIDE than an RPG.

And I LOVE RPG's but the barrier to entry is high because most people don't have a concept of what an RPG is or how it's supposed to work. Again CRITICAL ROLE has gone a LONG WAY into lowering that barrier but we need MORE things like that to show people "Hey this is what this looks like" and "No it really isnt that hard to start".


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Let's look at this another way. You think Paizo should continue developing PF1 products during the launch of PF2 - that it would help both products sell better. So, let's consider what that entails.

Game Development costs (it's long):

We'll take Paizo's PF1 print schedule down to 1 hardcover and 2 softcovers per year. I don't have my books with me, but let's say, hypothetically, that it takes 4 authors for something like the Advanced Class Guide, as an example of the hardcover, and 2 authors for something like the Inner Sea World Guide. Now, each of those authors needs to make a salary. According to glassdoor.com, a Fantasy Flight Game Designer makes $31,587 per year, so we'll use that as our salary for all 8 authors (4 for the hardcover, 2 for each softcover). So, that's $252,696 in salary for our designers. They need a couple of graphic designers for the art, so again, we'll pay FFG's rate, $28,359 per year. That's $56,718 for designer salary. Finally, you need a lead developer/produce. Again, FFG's pay point for that is $36,000. So, you have $345,414 in salary per year to maintain development of PF1. That does not include any editors or book layout people who also need to work on the books.

Now, can most of this salary be covered by freelance work? Sure, but you still have to pay for it, and you'll probably have to pay more people a lesser amount to get everything. Plus, you still need editors, book layout people, and a couple of designers/producers to make sure the content is good. You're paying the salary money either way - it's just a question of how it's being distributed.

But what about having already in-house designers continue working on it? That way you avoid new salary costs. Well, sure, you can do that, but it will slow the development of either PF2, Starfinder or both, which isn't a very good thing, especially if you're trying to get PF2 launched as a new RPG. You want your product to be released and people interested in it, feeding their hunger for new content.

So, $345,414 in salary costs. Now, let's turn to printing for our hardcover. DriveThruRPG's print cost calculator of a large, standard color heavyweight hardcover book that is 400 pages long is $21.10. Now, that's PD, so let's lower the rate to $18.00 even. Let's say you get a further discount for every 1,000 you order, to a minimum of $10.00 per book. So, to get the lowest printing cost, you order 8,000 books for a total of $80,000. That adds to your salary costs for $425,414 in costs to continue developing PF1 - so far.

Printing our two softcovers. DriveThruRPG's print cost calculator of a large, standard color heavyweight softcover that is 200 pages long is $8.83. Let's lower that to $6.00 even for printing, with an extra $0.50 cost reduction per thousand copies to a $4.00 minimum. So, you order 4,000 copies of each softcover for $32,000 total.

Total cost to continue developing PF1: $457,414. Now, this isn't counting the cost of shipping books to game stores to sell, including to overseas stores. This is also using salary information for a company that's based in Roseville, MN as opposed to Seattle, Washington, so Paizo's salaries are probably higher on account of being in a higher cost of living area, but with just those numbers, Paizo needs to sell each book for an average of $28.59 per book to break even - to say nothing of turning a meaningful profit. We also didn't include salaries for editors and people doing the book layout, which further increases the cost of each book. Assume that, end run, you need to sell all 16,000 books for an average of $45.00 apiece in order to make a profit worth the costs of development and printing. For every book under 16,000 you don't sell, the profit margin for the entire run decreases. You don't see any of that money until the books hit the shelves and people buy them, so a lot of this is speculative that you've met the demand. If you've overestimated the demand, this could lose you money, which results in loss of company profit, people losing jobs, and the possible shuttering of the PF1 product line not out of choice, but due to loss of funds.

That entire wall of text is just the financial aspect - we haven't even touched on the creative aspect, which revolves around this question:

What is left for them to develop for PF1?

We currently have: 63 races (including androids and alien races), 44 base classes (counting core, alternate, hybrid, and unchained), a plethora of archetypes for all of them, a long list of prestige classes, and hundres feats of differing types, from Combat to Teamwork. We have hundreds of spells and magic items, and an entire book devoted to modern and sci-fi tech. We have an entire book dedicated to turning PCs into demigods with Mythic Adventures. What's left to develop for PF1 that can't be developed for PF2?

Golarion isn't changing much from PF1 to PF2. Sure, there will be a new ruler in Korvosa, and a new ruler in Taldor, and the Worldwound may be closed, but otherwise the world keeps spinning. There isn't going to be any Time of Troubles to rework the deities or planar apocalypse to re-work the cosmology. Setting information for PF1 going forward wouldn't be any different than setting information for PF2. Are you honestly saying that there's a concept you can't make work in PF1 as it currently stands? Something that couldn't be developed for PF2 just as easily and without having an entirely separate, dedicated design team?


Steve Geddes wrote:


FWIW, I consider it obvious that sales of PF2 will be greater than sales of PF1 going forward. Note that 4E outsold 3.5 despite being ultimately unsuccessful - there is inherent value in being new.

You seem to hold up unjustified claims as the main part of your arguments. Do you have a URL for the claim that 4e out sold 3.5?

I'm just saying a claim like that warrants a citation.

Yes, I agree that consumer behavior favors new. Unfortunate, because new isn't always better.

Whether sales are better for PF2 depends on how the market embraces it. I'm not comfortable with PF2's action economy as it was described 2 months ago, but that is for a different blog thread. That's at the core of the game and may infuence me to skip that edition (and maybe other people).


CrystalSeas wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
Is this about things we can do to help market Pasthfinder better or is it us telling staff how they could do a better job?

Obviously, it's about people with no access to Paizo financial and sales information telling staff that they aren't doing their job correctly.

If you had any experience leading a marketing department, or if you had any access to their income statement, or balance sheets, or cash flow projection reports, then your opinion might be useful.

Right now, all you're doing is arguing that what you want (continued development of PF1) is financially viable because you said so.

I don't work at Paizo; do you? Can you direct us to the Paizo financial data that you're using for the basis of your recommendations?

Or do you, like the rest of us, need to fall back on your own professional marketing and business management experience to critique ideas?

No, I don't work at Paizo. Yes, I'm assuming that continued development for PF1 is good for Paizo because it shows commitment to the PF1 community -- just like the PF2 community would like commitment. It just depends on how much people spend on these games. The more people spend, the more commitment they want. I don't think I should have to keep explaining that.

PF2 could potentially flop. Then, what?
Discontinued development will have already killed PF1 by the time that's known. This leaves Paizo with nothing to fall back on.

There are people who love and are very loyal to PF1 -- and, again, have spent serious money on it. It's not going to rub us the right way to stop development and make it harder (potentially) to get players just because everyone likes things that are new.

The burning question is, when will that happen to PF2?

Past behavior might determine future success.


Malachandra wrote:
People throw this around all the time, but I'm not convinced 5e is outselling Pathfinder. It might be easier to get a game of 5e going, but at the rate they publish books they would have to sell 5-10 copies for every 1 Pathfinder sells. 5e can't compete with the monthly magazine business model that Pathfinder uses for its Adventure Paths to such success.

Here's a URL. I think it's talking about number of players and you are talking about revenue stream, though.

https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/38060/top-5-roleplaying-games-spring -2017

Don't know how much we can trust it. I could not find another source.


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
The more people spend, the more commitment they want. I don't think I should have to keep explaining that.

The reward for loyalty is that Paizo is keeping the pocket editions in print and all PDFs available for sale. That's the commitment.

Quote:
PF2 could potentially flop. Then, what? Discontinued development will have already killed PF1 by the time that's known. This leaves Paizo with nothing to fall back on.

Nothing but Starfinder and maps and accessories and all they other products they create beyond Pathfinder. Yes, it might return them to the miniscule 3rd party business they were before Pathfinder, but at least they have other income streams.

Quote:
It's not going to rub us the right way to stop development and make it harder (potentially) to get players just because everyone likes things that are new.

But that's exactly what they are doing. At the beginning of August, 2019, there will be no more new PF1 materials.

They've looked at their costs, the income they get from each of their product lines, their sales, and all the other information that a business uses to make product decisions. What they see has caused them to decide on going full tilt for PF2, and not producing any more PF1 materials.

They're betting their business on this decision. It's their business. They get to make those decisions. Only the owners of that business get to decide how to run their business.

As you saw from the post above, it would be incredibly expensive to keep PF1 going. Half a million dollars or more every year that could instead be used to make PF2 better.

So they've decided not to run the risk of having two almost identical games in development. They aren't going to stop selling PF1, but they are stopping development.

Your requests for loyalty and commitment are going to have to show up in their income stream before they will be relevant for Paizo's business decisions. And what they've seen so far led them to the decision to not produce any more PF1 materials.


CrystalSeas wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
The more people spend, the more commitment they want. I don't think I should have to keep explaining that.

The reward for loyalty is that Paizo is keeping the pocket editions in print and all PDFs available for sale. That's the commitment.

Quote:
PF2 could potentially flop. Then, what? Discontinued development will have already killed PF1 by the time that's known. This leaves Paizo with nothing to fall back on.

Nothing but Starfinder and maps and accessories and all they other products they create beyond Pathfinder. Yes, it might return them to the miniscule 3rd party business they were before Pathfinder, but at least they have other income streams.

Quote:
It's not going to rub us the right way to stop development and make it harder (potentially) to get players just because everyone likes things that are new.

But that's exactly what they are doing. At the beginning of August, 2019, there will be no more new PF1 materials.

They've looked at their costs, the income they get from each of their product lines, their sales, and all the other information that a business uses to make product decisions. What they see has caused them to decide on going full tilt for PF2, and not producing any more PF1 materials.

They're betting their business on this decision. It's their business. They get to make those decisions. Only the owners of that business get to decide how to run their business.

As you saw from the post above, it would be incredibly expensive to keep PF1 going. Half a million dollars or more every year that could instead be used to make PF2 better.

So they've decided not to run the risk of having two almost identical games in development. They aren't going to stop selling PF1, but they are stopping development.

Your requests for loyalty and commitment are going to have to show up in their income stream before they will be relevant for Paizo's business decisions. And what they've seen so far led them to...

That's part of my point. You say you don't work for Paizo, yet constantly attempt to speak on their behalf. I am expressing my concerns and whatever or however they made their decisions will not stop me from trying to change their minds.

As I've said repeatedly, Paizo would be well advised to scale down rather than stop PF1 development.

The URL above claims in 2017 that PF1 had the #2 largest market share for the RPG market.


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Phntm888 wrote:

Let's look at this another way. You think Paizo should continue developing PF1 products during the launch of PF2 - that it would help both products sell better. So, let's consider what that entails.

** spoiler omitted **...

I find it particularly telling that Mark the Wise and Powerful hasn't addressed or responded to this post yet.

I think there have been several pretty solid arguments posted here as to why Paizo isnt going to continue to support PF1 over developing for PF2 and SF.

I'm not against more PF1 material. But at this point, it's probably going to come from a third party source. And that's if that 3rd party source isnt jumping on the 2E bandwagon. maybe a smaller company with freelancers will be able to pull off producing for both.


Phntm888 wrote:

Let's look at this another way. You think Paizo should continue developing PF1 products during the launch of PF2 - that it would help both products sell better. So, let's consider what that entails.

** spoiler omitted **...

I aporeciate all the effort to make estimates, but it's a lot of supposing about their financials.


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
The URL above claims in 2017 that PF1 had the #2 largest market share for the RPG market.

I dont know how it does because the link takes me to a 404 Error.

" 404 NOT FOUND :(
Sorry, but the page you were trying to view does not exist.

It looks like this was the result of either:

a mistyped address
an out-of-date link"


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Phntm888 wrote:

Let's look at this another way. You think Paizo should continue developing PF1 products during the launch of PF2 - that it would help both products sell better. So, let's consider what that entails.

** spoiler omitted **...

I aporeciate all the effort to make estimates, but it's a lot of supposing about their financials.

You mean the way youre supposing that Paizo continuing to develop for 1E will be better for their financial situation in the long run? You mean THAT kind of supposing?


In answer to the question, what's left to be developed for PF1 ...

APs and consolidated volumes of rule books pulling together all the 20+ PFRPG books into a smaller series into a smaller number of books that are easier to search.

Once Paizo walks away from PF1 development, it will greatly weaken the PF1 community and it will be harder to find players because it will make PF1 stale. I am asking Paizo to reconsider this and, instead, continue PF1 development at a reduced pace limited to producing APs, consolidated volumes, modules, or whatever to continue to support a healthy PF1 community rather than killing it by stopping development altogether. That's my opinion on what should be done and what will happen if it is not done that way.

I don't care about all the other supposing. That's my opinion.

Yes, I have organized and advertise with a quality ad in local game stores and college. We have two groups that play regularly.


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ShinHakkaider wrote:
I dont know how it does because the link takes me to a 404 Error.

\

It's got a extraneous space


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CrystalSeas wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:
I dont know how it does because the link takes me to a 404 Error.

\

It's got a extraneous space

Thanks CrystalSeas!


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
I don't care about all the other supposing. That's my opinion.

But Paizo has moved on, long ago, from when they could even consider your opinion.

They have stated, quite clearly, that they aren't going to do that, no matter how often people ask.

They've been working on this project for several years. They have made a business decision to only keep developing one version of the game. They have announced it, posted it, and said it in podcasts.

I'm not "speaking on their behalf". I'm simply repeating what their staff have said over and over again. Quoting Paizo staff is not me making things up. It's what staff have said, in public, in print, and in person.

Their reality is quite different from the one you're wishing for.

And my repeating what staff have said doesn't make it my "opinion".


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


FWIW, I consider it obvious that sales of PF2 will be greater than sales of PF1 going forward. Note that 4E outsold 3.5 despite being ultimately unsuccessful - there is inherent value in being new.

You seem to hold up unjustified claims as the main part of your arguments. Do you have a URL for the claim that 4e out sold 3.5?

I'm just saying a claim like that warrants a citation.

It was an interview with the CEO of WotC. No I don’t have a URL (it was years ago). I have no interest in proving anything. You’re clearly ignorant of some facts and some business realities so I thought you might like some extra information.

I won’t continue replying. I’ll leave you to keep making assumptions based on the limited experience/opinions of your friends and a rudimentary understanding of business.


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Malachandra wrote:
People throw this around all the time, but I'm not convinced 5e is outselling Pathfinder. It might be easier to get a game of 5e going, but at the rate they publish books they would have to sell 5-10 copies for every 1 Pathfinder sells. 5e can't compete with the monthly magazine business model that Pathfinder uses for its Adventure Paths to such success.

The ICv2 surveys are the best estimates we have access to and they back up the claim. There have also been a number of gaming stores who have observed that 5E is remarkably efficient - despite a comparatively glacial release rate, the revenue from WotC’s two or three products each year (plus evergreens) typically outstrips that from Paizo’s forty or fifty. (I think there’s a shop called Black Diamond, or something similar where the owner produces an interesting blog. He had some explicit numbers behind this, as I recall).

Subscriptions are only estimated (as are sales through non-gaming stores) but ICv2 is the best public estimate I’ve been able to find of the RPG market overall.


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Vic Wertz wrote:

While I don't have accurate information on how accurate their estimates are, my estimate of the accuracy of their estimates is that they're probably fairly inaccurate.

Most game sales in our industry are via four distinct markets:

• Hobby (your basic game stores)
• Book (Amazon, chains such as Barnes & Noble, and the few independent book retailers that remain)
• Mass Market (places like Target, Toys-R-Us, Wal-Mart)
• Direct (sales by the publisher themselves, commonly online or at conventions)

<snip>
So while ICv2 may have decent insight into *some* online sales, they have literally zero insight into other online sales.

While I agree they're the source of the best estimates available to the general public, it's important to realize that their margin of error is probably quite large.

Personally, I suspect their accuracy is low enough that I can safely assume that any actual number they report is almost certainly not the right number... but I also wouldn't be super surprised if most of the *ratios* between their numbers are within 10-15% of true.

From this post

ICv2 Accuracy


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


FWIW, I consider it obvious that sales of PF2 will be greater than sales of PF1 going forward. Note that 4E outsold 3.5 despite being ultimately unsuccessful - there is inherent value in being new.

You seem to hold up unjustified claims as the main part of your arguments. Do you have a URL for the claim that 4e out sold 3.5?

I'm just saying a claim like that warrants a citation.

It was an interview with the CEO of WotC. No I don’t have a URL (it was years ago). I have no interest in proving anything. You’re clearly ignorant of some facts and some business realities so I thought you might like some extra information.

I won’t continue replying. I’ll leave you to keep making assumptions based on the limited experience/opinions of your friends and a rudimentary understanding of business.

I wish I’d written “unaware” instead of “ignorant” there. It wasn’t intended to be rude. If a moderator sees this in time, would you mind deleting this post and amending (or deleting) the quoted one?

Sorry about that. I was too slow.

Sovereign Court

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I think the great way to market pathfinder, would be to market it not for its rules by themselves, but as the fantasy game engine that allows any kind of fantasy world to exist, and the limitless possibilities.

people don't like rules, and they like even less big rulesbook. But they do want Adventure.


ShinHakkaider wrote:
Phntm888 wrote:

Let's look at this another way. You think Paizo should continue developing PF1 products during the launch of PF2 - that it would help both products sell better. So, let's consider what that entails.

** spoiler omitted **...

I find it particularly telling that Mark the Wise and Powerful hasn't addressed or responded to this post yet.

I think there have been several pretty solid arguments posted here as to why Paizo isnt going to continue to support PF1 over developing for PF2 and SF.

I'm not against more PF1 material. But at this point, it's probably going to come from a third party source. And that's if that 3rd party source isnt jumping on the 2E bandwagon. maybe a smaller company with freelancers will be able to pull off producing for both.

We're not having some sort of contest here. I have my opinions and you all have yours. The idea is we express our thoughts to give some input ultimately to Paizo.

But, there is a difference between expressing an opinion versus asserting facts for which there's no real evidence -- almost in the context of pretending to be a Paizo employee, having statistical data you (not you in particular) really don't have, or having a background you (not you in particular) really don't have.

So far I've formed opinions that have not been changed by many of the other postings. But some have provided useful points of views or inputs.

As far as having a "debate", rules of engagement should be followed for it to be productive -- otherwise we fall into a non-productive downward spiral of tit for tat. A waste of time ...


CrystalSeas wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
I don't care about all the other supposing. That's my opinion.

But Paizo has moved on, long ago, from when they could even consider your opinion.

They have stated, quite clearly, that they aren't going to do that, no matter how often people ask.

They've been working on this project for several years. They have made a business decision to only keep developing one version of the game. They have announced it, posted it, and said it in podcasts.

I'm not "speaking on their behalf". I'm simply repeating what their staff have said over and over again. Quoting Paizo staff is not me making things up. It's what staff have said, in public, in print, and in person.

Their reality is quite different from the one you're wishing for.

And my repeating what staff have said doesn't make it my "opinion".

And, yet, you still claim all this knowledge about the inner workings of Paizo but acknowledge you are not an employee.

Sorry, but I feel like you are putting words in their mouths.

I just don't agree that things are that way. Paizo just released a new PF1 book June 2018. It's called "Planar Adventures". If you look at the home page, Paizo is claiming sales of the book are absolutely spectacular.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
People throw this around all the time, but I'm not convinced 5e is outselling Pathfinder. It might be easier to get a game of 5e going, but at the rate they publish books they would have to sell 5-10 copies for every 1 Pathfinder sells. 5e can't compete with the monthly magazine business model that Pathfinder uses for its Adventure Paths to such success.

The ICv2 surveys are the best estimates we have access to and they back up the claim. There have also been a number of gaming stores who have observed that 5E is remarkably efficient - despite a comparatively glacial release rate, the revenue from WotC’s two or three products each year (plus evergreens) typically outstrips that from Paizo’s forty or fifty. (I think there’s a shop called Black Diamond, or something similar where the owner produces an interesting blog. He had some explicit numbers behind this, as I recall).

Subscriptions are only estimated (as are sales through non-gaming stores) but ICv2 is the best public estimate I’ve been able to find of the RPG market overall.

I don't dispute that 5e sales are killing PF1. I've looked at 5e, and I just can't figure it out -- but, for example, the turn out for Adventure League fills up 15 tables (as of spring 2018) with people being turned away at Madness Comics and they report that Pathfinder Society is only filling a table or two (on another day).

I love Pathfinder and this makes me very sad. I think it is leaps and bounds a better product in almost every aspect from the binding, art work, volume of material, quality of print, availablity of PDFs, etc.

The first two D&D 5e books I looked at had a binding problem for one and a printing error for the other. The art work in 5e is dull.

I'm technical, so maybe I see the complexity PF1 has as an asset. A lot of people say it's a liability. Maybe, it is in between. For advanced players, I just think 5e is just too simple to be interesting. But not Pathfinder.

So, maybe PF2 should be somehow designed to allow entry level players and GMs to use simpler rules and, then, let more advanced people use a more scaled up version with more options.

I'm not talking about a Beginners Box, here, though. Entry level people would have much more than that.


Do Paizo employees have any input?


How should PF2 marketing be done to better compete with 5e?

Anything different verses what was done with PF1?


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

And, yet, you still claim all this knowledge about the inner workings of Paizo but acknowledge you are not an employee.

Sorry, but I feel like you are putting words in their mouths.

If I post direct quotes from Paizo staff, with links to their post, that is in no way "putting words in their mouths."

It is them writing, for everyone to see, what they are doing.

For example, when asked when the last PF1 materials will be released,Lisa Stevens, CEO of Paizo said

Lisa Stevens wrote:
July 2019

When asked how long the rulebooks would stay in print, she said,

Quote:
If you read the FAQ, you will notice that we plan to keep Pathfinder 1st edition in print through our pocket editions until there is no longer enough sales to justify them. If they last another ten year, then cool! No need for a 3PP. We are already going to do it.

You may not believe it when the owner of the company says they're not publishing anything for PF1 after July 2019, but I do.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

And, yet, you still claim all this knowledge about the inner workings of Paizo but acknowledge you are not an employee.

Sorry, but I feel like you are putting words in their mouths.

If I post direct quotes from Paizo staff, with links to their post, that is in no way "putting words in their mouths."

It is them writing, for everyone to see, what they are doing.

For example, when asked when the last PF1 materials will be released,Lisa Stevens, CEO of Paizo said

Lisa Stevens wrote:
July 2019

When asked how long the rulebooks would stay in print, she said,

Quote:
If you read the FAQ, you will notice that we plan to keep Pathfinder 1st edition in print through our pocket editions until there is no longer enough sales to justify them. If they last another ten year, then cool! No need for a 3PP. We are already going to do it.
You may not believe it when the owner of the company says they're not publishing anything for PF1 after July 2019, but I do.

CrystalSeas, he's not interested in hearing anything counter to how he thinks things should be unless it's from Paizo themselves. He feels that he's owed an explanation as to why things aren't being done the way that he wants them done.

He talks about having an opinion and that's fine. But there's such a thing as having an INFORMED opinion which he clearly does not have and quite frankly isn't interested in listening to. I'm not going to post in this thread anymore because there is nothing even remotely constructive to be gained here.

I think if there is any further support for PF1 to be had it's with a 3rd Party publisher who can put out quality products. He's not interested in that. Paizo is supporting Starfinder AND a pending new edition. Where is the manpower coming from to continue to support 1E? Where is the money coming from to pay these people to support 1E? He also has no idea of the manpower and the amount of time that goes into creating just ONE hardcover book and how far ahead in advance that needs to start.

I've been listening to publishers, designers, and developers for over to a decade on how this particular business works and what goes into it. I listen to them because THEY'RE ACTUALLY DOING THE WORK. It doesn't take a lot of effort to find where developers, designers, and publishers are saying the same things that are being put forth here. and a fair amount of what we're saying is COMMON SENSE.

but like I said, he's not here to hear any of that. He just wants what he wants. And really you cant have a productive conversation with a person like that so...


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ShinHakkaider wrote:

I think if there is any further support for PF1 to be had it's with a 3rd Party publisher who can put out quality products. He's not interested in that. Paizo is supporting Starfinder AND a pending new edition. Where is the manpower coming from to continue to support 1E? Where is the money coming from to pay these people to support 1E? He also has no idea of the manpower and the amount of time that goes into creating just ONE hardcover book and how far ahead in advance that needs to start.

I've been listening to publishers, designers, and developers for over to a decade on how this particular business works and what goes into it. I listen to them because THEY'RE ACTUALLY DOING THE WORK. It doesn't take a lot of effort to find where developers, designers, and publishers are saying the same things that are being put forth here. and a fair amount of what we're saying is COMMON SENSE.

but like I said, he's not here to hear any of that. He just wants what he wants. And really you cant have a productive conversation with a person like that so...

Agreed; time to lock this thread.


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D&D 5e is doing a great thing for the overall hobby by bringing in a lot of new players. So although PF is in a sense losing market share, what it's really doing in maintaining itself in a rapidly growing market.

Going head to head with 5e in attracting new players is very difficult. D&D has the name recognition that's unbeatable.

Instead, the way to go is to offer PF2 as an alternative to 5e. Compare and contrast.

Do this by showing where PF2 is different. If those differences appeal to players, then some will switch. Eg: depth of character customisation, tactical sophistication, campaign setting.

In other words, accept 5e as 'the standard' and then show where you differ. Offer consumer choice.

Paizo appear very aware of this. Many of them have spoken at length about their points of difference as a game, and how they're making sure PF2 focusses on those. They know what they're doing.

There's really no point in Paizo marketing PF1 to new players, although they can at very low cost continue to talk to existing players about P1 until PF2 launches. The return on investment for more widely marketing just isn't worth it. Paizo have bet the company on PF2 and need to go all-in on it when it launches.

Fortunately Paizo appears to have a large enough fanbase for PF2 to sell well to them (us) initially. As long as they don't lose players over the version change they'll be fine financially. And hopefully they create a masterpiece and PF2 grows playerbase significantly. Which, given the rapidly expanding overall number of people playing RPGS, is quite possible.


Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

In answer to the question, what's left to be developed for PF1 ...

APs and consolidated volumes of rule books pulling together all the 20+ PFRPG books into a smaller series into a smaller number of books that are easier to search.

Once Paizo walks away from PF1 development, it will greatly weaken the PF1 community and it will be harder to find players because it will make PF1 stale. I am asking Paizo to reconsider this and, instead, continue PF1 development at a reduced pace limited to producing APs, consolidated volumes, modules, or whatever to continue to support a healthy PF1 community rather than killing it by stopping development altogether. That's my opinion on what should be done and what will happen if it is not done that way.

I don't care about all the other supposing. That's my opinion.

Yes, I have organized and advertise with a quality ad in local game stores and college. We have two groups that play regularly.

I just got back to this thread after the weekend, so I'll respond now. This will be my last post, though, since there isn't much to say after it.

Your suggestion of what's left to develop is APs and consolidated volumes of rulebooks. So, basically, a "Class Compendium", a "Race Compendium", a "Feats Compendium", and a "Spells Compendium". There's nothing really new in those, is there, and once they're out, you're kind of done with development, right?

That leaves us with APs. Now, you could ask an AP author to design the AP for both systems, but that's a lot of work, and the overall quality of the AP for both systems would likely suffer. You're better off focusing on one thing to produce the highest quality content, and that's going to be PF2.

Still, I can respect your opinion, and I understand your concerns. However, Paizo has looked at the numbers, they've looked at the way the game industry is changing, and they made the decision they feel is best for their business. You can choose to dislike the decision, you can choose to disagree with the decision, and you can make your disagreement known. Just don't expect that you'll be able to change the course. Happy gaming.


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Though, I've put about $800+ into PF1 and I'll be focused on getting my money's worth out of that.

*Blinks*

*Looks over at his THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS of Pathfinder books*

*LAUGHS HYSTERICALLY*

I bought mostly PDF files. I thought about people who bought the hard back versions ... How do those of you who did feel about how Paizo is preserving your investiment?

The answer to that question might determine future PF1 and PF2 sales.

Not saying Paizo is doing anything horribly bad, but there's an opportunity for a win-win situation. Continue a slow but reasonable rate of PF1 development, while taking off like a rocket cranking out PF2.

OK, you asked. I own everything by Paizo that is marked as a Pathfinder product, except the rare PFS scenarios that are reserved for special occasions and special GMs.

On the money side, I just did a calculation of the printed Pathfinder First Edition stuff I bought from Paizo, not counting Beginner Boxes or supplements like character sheets, GM screens and the like. Just the books (i.e. 28 RPG line books, 116 Adventure Path issues, 98 Campaign Setting books, 86 Player Companions, and 34 Modules).

Even taking into account that I get 15% off everything at Paizo due to my AP subscription, I'm getting to about $6,500 I've spent here for this stuff. And that does not include the stuff that was published for D&D under the Pathfinder label, or the non-print stuff such as the 280+ PFS scenarios. Or all the third party stuff I own, bought via shops or expensive Kickstarters, which might amount to a similar same sum again.

AND YET. I am thrilled to see Pathfinder Second Edition. My First Edition stuff is not becoming invalid or crumbling away. I will keep playing my current campaigns, and possibly play one or more First Edition campaign after that, depending on what my players would like to do.

I don't feel that Paizo has cheated me, abandoned me, made my stuff worthless or whatever. I don't see buying stuff from Paizo as an investment, I buy for entertainment. I've literally gotten thousands of hours of entertainment out of these books—and that is not hyperbole. I've been playing Pathfinder since it came out 10 years ago, and up to 4 times a week. Reading the books alone counts, too. Conservatively calculated, I'm getting, let's just say maybe $2 per hour. That's a good price for entertainment. It's not an investment that is suddenly becoming worthless. I've already gotten my money's worth, even if I stopped playing Pathfinder right now.


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I can't express how jealous I am that you get to play up to 4 times per week!

For us it's weekly if we're lucky (and those sessions have got shorter and shorter over the years..) :(


Steve Geddes wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
People throw this around all the time, but I'm not convinced 5e is outselling Pathfinder. It might be easier to get a game of 5e going, but at the rate they publish books they would have to sell 5-10 copies for every 1 Pathfinder sells. 5e can't compete with the monthly magazine business model that Pathfinder uses for its Adventure Paths to such success.

The ICv2 surveys are the best estimates we have access to and they back up the claim. There have also been a number of gaming stores who have observed that 5E is remarkably efficient - despite a comparatively glacial release rate, the revenue from WotC’s two or three products each year (plus evergreens) typically outstrips that from Paizo’s forty or fifty. (I think there’s a shop called Black Diamond, or something similar where the owner produces an interesting blog. He had some explicit numbers behind this, as I recall).

Subscriptions are only estimated (as are sales through non-gaming stores) but ICv2 is the best public estimate I’ve been able to find of the RPG market overall.

Minor note, but doesn't Paizo's subscription model skip over brick and mortar stores in a way that WotC doesn't? A lot of Paizo's most loyal customers are never going to give their money to a comic book store because their books come directly in the mail.

It's possible I'm completely misunderstanding how the subscription works because I've never used it, but I thiiink this is right.


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

Yeah, subscriptions aren’t directly counted (I think bookshops like Barnes & Noble aren’t either).

ICv2’s estimates of the global market are through all avenues. They’re definitely heavily reliant on estimates though.


For the GM who owns 1e Adventure Paths, if Paizo provided free 2e stat blocks for all the creatures used in 1e Adventure Paths, wouldn't that make good marketing sense?

Might help Paizo reduce a potential market split along 1e and 2e lines?


Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

For the GM who owns 1e Adventure Paths, if Paizo provided free 2e stat blocks for all the creatures used in 1e Adventure Paths, wouldn't that make good marketing sense?

Might help Paizo reduce a potential market split along 1e and 2e lines?

Or maybe even charge for it? Maybe as another book for the AP for those who already own it? As an insert for future buyers -- or those who own the PDFs?

Sovereign Court

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Or, more likely, in future Bestiaries little by little.

It's completely, spectacularly unrealistic for them to create and release so much content in one burst, especially for free. Their freelancers, writers, developers, editors, layout artists, and web team don't work for free, after all, and all of them have much better things to do with their time.

My advice would be to watch the individual subforums dedicated to each AP. I'm sure other fans will take care of these conversions for you. ^_^


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Steve Geddes wrote:

I can't express how jealous I am that you get to play up to 4 times per week!

For us it's weekly if we're lucky (and those sessions have got shorter and shorter over the years..) :(

We haven't played in months.

Snow, so much snow!

I shovel snow in the winter.


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

It was 47 Celsius here a couple of weeks ago. Snow sounds like heaven!

(Then again if it ever did snow here I think the city would grind to a halt. I doubt there's a snow plough within 500 miles of here. :o)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

We've gotten 52 inches of snow so far this year.


Kalindlara wrote:

Or, more likely, in future Bestiaries little by little.

It's completely, spectacularly unrealistic for them to create and release so much content in one burst, especially for free. Their freelancers, writers, developers, editors, layout artists, and web team don't work for free, after all, and all of them have much better things to do with their time.

My advice would be to watch the individual subforums dedicated to each AP. I'm sure other fans will take care of these conversions for you. ^_^

Well, as I suggested, they could put a price tag on it. Without an easy bridge from 1e to 2e (which could be paved with revenue earning conversion material), I don't have any plans to put effort into 2e. I've already put a lot of effort and money into 1e. I honestly don't even know if I like 2e. I haven't kept up with the changes made during the Playtest. Assuming that 2e is some sort of manifest destiny without making it easy for 1e players would be a big mistake. I'd roll out the welcome 1e players and GMs to 2e welcome mat, if Paizo wants to be strategic and encourage people to migrate. Lots of 1e players and GMs I've chatted with are just fine with ignoring it. Making the transition smooth is in Paizo's interest. Make money off it. I'm sure marketing and sales can find a way.

As I said, I'm not really sure I like 2e. There's some in it at the beginning of the Playtest I thought were good ideas -- but I also saw a lot of awkwardness that doesn't really interest me.

I'd like to support Paizo in their effort with 2e, but I just got to feel supported in making a bridge from 1e -- or I'm not going to try to do it. 2e just doesn't seem magnetic enough.

A number of 1e people are feeling abandoned. I'd really do something to embrace them a lot better than all this "too bad" kind of talk.


I think with all the input that's been taken in from the Playtest that there might be one major, burning issue ...

If Paizo took most of its input from the Playtest for 2e, a problem with that is ... most of the people who gave that input probably mostly like 2e and identify with it.

That may not represent the demographic of people waiting to buy more Paizo playing materials. What if that demographic really doesn't like 2e, would prefer a revamped 1e, or might consider 2e with some major changes not yet done to the product?

Has enough input been taken from 1e people, who do not identify with or accept 2e?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I mean... they could either create this massive compendium of 10 years' worth of stat blocks for GMs who want to run older Adventure Paths (which isn't ideal from a business perspective for various reasons - supporting products, most of which are old sales rather than new sales, from an edition they're trying to phase out is most certainly not good for the bottom line), or they could create new books full of game material for their new game that synergize with their new Adventure Paths. They can't do both - the manpower just isn't there.

And do you know how large a product like that would have to be? Even if they sold it as PDF only, destroying a massive share of their market in the process, it would still have to cost easily a hundred dollars, if not far more. For a product that only people intent on running several 1e APs in 2e will even maybe have interest in. When they have a fanbase of people who will happily and eagerly do that for free on their very own website, allowing them to make products that aren't industry suicide.

I understand that you don't want 2e. But sometimes it's just not going to work out. Whether we like it or not, we're living in a state of capitalism, and that means needing to make money. Even if it doesn't please every one of the fans.

In the meantime... like I said, the fans will probably do this themselves soon enough. And then, you don't even have to pay for it. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. ^_^

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Has enough input been taken from 1e people, who do not identify with or accept 2e?

While this is... certainly a question one might choose to ask, the honest truth is: it doesn't matter whether enough input was taken. At this point, 2e is in production, and they can't change that. Preorders have been made. Product schedules are moving. And the book has to be out by Gen Con. It's almost certainly already in final copyediting, or even farther down the line. Because it needs to be. Because it is, at this point, either this or Paizo dies. That is, in fact, how this works, whether anyone involved likes it or not.


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Wait a minute, I can pre-order already? Where might I find this.


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I think Kalindlara was referring to Paizo having made economic decisions and placed orders (with freelancers, art orders and such). ie: the die is cast in terms of PF1 fan vs PF2 fan levels of engagement.

You can’t preorder it here (though maybe there’s a site somewhere that’s taking orders already).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It's all good, I just thought I missed something, I can wait.

Personally, I wasn't all that impressed with the play test, but I'm still excited to see what 2nd edition will be and I will gladly support Paizo in their new endeavor.

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