COVID-19 impacts on production and schedules.


Paizo General Discussion


how much has COVID-19 impacted production?

We know that most Paizo employees work from home, but what about printers? and things being shipped TO paizo warehouse(s)?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I don't work for Paizo, but I do know that many non-Paizo items have had their release dates delayed, and no already existing product in my sidecart has shipped since this whole situation began.

On the Paizo side, they have struggled to complete monthly shipments in the usual shipping window, but I have seen little evidence of products being delayed at the Paizo end solely because of the current situation. (Shipment to other countries is a whole other situation, as you can see in the associated sticky thread in Customer Service.)

Liberty's Edge

Most of the big offset printers that print RPG books have been closed due to the pandemic, which is having a massive impact on production for all RPG companies. Some are starting to open back up, so books will slowly begin to enter the pipeline again ... soon.


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Since March, there has barely been any physical product on sale across major European territory outlets such as Amazon or BookRepository. Very few listings on Amazon, and BookRepository which holds complete product line until the end of the year listed takes preorders but doesn't ship anything, claiming to await production for each of them.

Amazon had cancelled sale on many products (such as Bestiary 2 Special Edition) despite ongoing preorder, and no one lists new Paizo products there for two months now. Paizo products have unrealistically high prices (above MSRP) on Adventure Paths but even ordering them will result in temporarily out of print status.

It seems that production is yet completely halted and backorders are not respected, and there's no clue when the whole back ordered catalog from March until now will be produced, if ever (or whether in smaller print runs resulting much more difficulty acquiring product).

I am happy that PDFs are released on time, but unless we have clear idea what is going on with physical products, it doesn't look good.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Actually for all that goes into them the books are underpriced.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
ApoApostolov wrote:

Since March, there has barely been any physical product on sale across major European territory outlets such as Amazon or BookRepository. Very few listings on Amazon, and BookRepository which holds complete product line until the end of the year listed takes preorders but doesn't ship anything, claiming to await production for each of them.

Amazon had cancelled sale on many products (such as Bestiary 2 Special Edition) despite ongoing preorder, and no one lists new Paizo products there for two months now. Paizo products have unrealistically high prices (above MSRP) on Adventure Paths but even ordering them will result in temporarily out of print status.

It seems that production is yet completely halted and backorders are not respected, and there's no clue when the whole back ordered catalog from March until now will be produced, if ever (or whether in smaller print runs resulting much more difficulty acquiring product).

I am happy that PDFs are released on time, but unless we have clear idea what is going on with physical products, it doesn't look good.

In fairness, Amazon is always like that.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Amazon undercuts whoever they want and however they want as part of their strategy of killing off brick and mortar economy and making sure that everything you buy comes from them. It's a long game, but they're getting there.


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

Erik Mona was on the glass cannon podcast “cannon fodder” a few weeks back and indicated there’d been very minimal impact. He mentioned that their printers in China are big enough so that as regions were shut down there they were able to move the production to other factories.

(I believe the delays in the various Absalom products were due to him being stretched thin, creatively rather than any production delays.)

No doubt there has been a slowdown in freight times, but I know the warehouse has still been receiving product pretty consistently. I think the delays and so on are more to do with Paizo -> us, rather than printer -> Paizo.


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ApoApostolov wrote:
Since March, there has ***

Amazon also had the whole "only keep essential products in stock" thing going.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
No doubt there has been a slowdown in freight times, but I know the warehouse has still been receiving product pretty consistently. I think the delays and so on are more to do with Paizo -> us, rather than printer -> Paizo.

Paizo is in a good location as far as this is concerned. Being right there in Seattle means that the truck only has to go an hour or so from the port to them, as opposed to halfway across the country. Even if freight time is increased by 200%, it would be barely noticeable from the consumer side.


I understand the negative sentiment towards Amazon killing the brick and mortar and the LGS. but for the European market there is no other stable distributor that can get you the books.

Now even that source is not reliable. The smaller game-industry focused distributors do not get the books either. Nobody in Europe gets them at the moment. I have preorders waiting for months with no clear indication that they would be fulfilled.

As for Paizo subscriptions unless they have European distribution warehouses, the shipping on products to even major European addresses (not counting Central or Eastern Europe) is not feasible. S&H costs have jumped close to 20% this year on US threatening to leave the UPU) to a point where the shipping costs more than the book.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The ugly truth is that Europe is 10-20% of D&D/PF market at best. Unless that changes, the amount of money, time and energy put into getting the books quickly in the Yurpeen hands will amount to "well, Amazon sells there and we do ship some stuff to Esdevium/Pegasus/Rebel".

But it likely won't change, as D&D and its offshoots are "the roleplaying games" in the US and "just another fantasy game, but we have DSA/Warhammer for that" in EU.


Sure, I still don't understand why Amazon, BookRepository, even Blackfire/Asmodee are not getting product.


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ApoApostolov wrote:
Sure, I still don't understand why Amazon, BookRepository, even Blackfire/Asmodee are not getting product.

In Australia, one of the first things that happened was that the air freight companies slashed their capacity. That had a spill-in effect to other, slower methods of shipping as well (as some people opted for those methods, in lieu of queuing for a nebulous air freight delivery date). Even though those slower methods didn’t drop their volume by as much.

The upshot being that a lot of product is still coming to us, but much, much slower than we’re used to. That looks like companies are “out of stock” when, in fact, they’re labelling shipping delays in that way. Maybe there’s a similar phenomenon occurring in trans-Atlantic shipping?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ApoApostolov wrote:
Sure, I still don't understand why Amazon, BookRepository, even Blackfire/Asmodee are not getting product.

Because they're getting their books from Diamonds/Alliance, US largest distributor of comic books and TTRPGs, which has mostly halted operations due to COVID-19. Paizo is way too small to deal directly with Amazon or Bookdepository, they all get their books from distributors.

You're lucky Paizo didn't halt doing new books, like comic book companies had to, faced with a complete shutdown of physical distribution.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Erik Mona was on the glass cannon podcast “cannon fodder” a few weeks back and indicated there’d been very minimal impact.

Are you sure this is the source? I see the last Cannon Fodder episode as being uploaded in June of 2019.


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

Yeah they've moved to patreon exclusive now.

Later episodes of cannon fodder (rebooted this year) are only available via crowdcast now and you need to back at the $10 level, I believe, to access them.


ApoApostolov wrote:
Sure, I still don't understand why Amazon, BookRepository, even Blackfire/Asmodee are not getting product.

Well...

Souls At War wrote:
ApoApostolov wrote:
Since March, there has ***
Amazon also had the whole "only keep essential products in stock" thing going.

Amazon isn't the only one doing that, and others are either closed, or at reduced capacity. then there is the whole transportation of non-essential goods issue.

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