FROM THE CEO
Dear Paizo Customers,
First off, I want to thank you so very much for all of the support and encouragement you have shown to us at Paizo Publishing since the announcement of the end of Dragon and Dungeon as print magazines. We had hoped that you liked what we have been doing for the past five years, but we've been overwhelmed by the support you've been giving us! Your enthusiasm drives us to produce the best gaming products that we can, and if you could feel the energy at Paizo, you would know that we're ready to keep giving you great products for years to come! Thank you!
With this letter, I'd like to address some of the issues that have popped up in the days since the announcement.
On the topic of our relationship with Wizards of the Coast, I have to say that they have been tremendous partners to work with for the past five years. They have really given us the leeway to turn Dragon and Dungeon into the magazines that they are today. We've been given fairly free reign over the magazines, which Wizards almost always approved without requiring changes. As somebody who has worked with many licensors in the past, I have to say that Wizards is one of the best. Everyone at Wizards has been very supportive of Paizo and our work on the Dungeons & Dragons brand.
Wizards, as the licensor of Dragon and Dungeon magazines, made the decision not to renew our license at the end of the current term. They generously gave us a ten-month notice that the magazines would be ending, even though they were only obligated to give us notice in a much shorter time frame. Once they let us know their decision, we both cooperated on a transition plan to take care of our customers. Wizards agreed to extend our original license so that we could complete the Savage Tide Adventure Path. They allowed us to time the announcement so that we could discuss it with distributors and retailers at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas in April. They have also graciously agreed to allow us to continue to sell our Dragon and Dungeon products until they are gone, rather than forcing us to blow them out or destroy them at the end of the license. In short, they have really bent over backwards to allow Paizo to give our customers the best service possible in this time of transition, and for that, I am very thankful.
Many people have asked why Paizo doesn't just create new print magazines that would be just like Dragon and Dungeon, but without the official D&D content. Well, if there were a viable way for us to transition to a new magazine format, we might have. However, you can't just create a new magazine and have it automatically appear in all of the places that carried Dragon and Dungeon. Hobby store managers and gamers might understand the value of a new magazine, but what about bookstore managers, military suppliers, major magazine distributors, or advertisers? You've basically got to start over from scratch with them, and in many cases that means you have to buy your way in. When we started Paizo five years ago, Dragon and Dungeon magazines had a combined 40 years of inertia behind them, but in today's marketplace, starting a new magazine on that scale would take more than a million dollars. I'm sure that some enterprising company will come out with a magazine to try to fill that niche, but I sincerely doubt that they will be able to afford to put in the same high-quality content that Dragon and Dungeon had each month and sell it for the low price that we were able to offer thanks to the size and dedication of the Dragon and Dungeon audience.
Instead, we decided to take the type of content that you have been telling us that you have been enjoying so much in the magazines, and we migrated it to Pathfinder. Pathfinder isn't a magazine; it's a monthly 96-page, full-color book. It will feature the same artists and authors that you love so much from Dragon and Dungeon magazines, but there is no advertising (except for a few house ads in the back). The $19.99 MSRP might initially seem high compared to the two magazines, but you're really getting a similar amount of content. Dragon and Dungeon average around 55 pages of content per issue for $7.99. That's 110 pages of content for $15.98 each month. Pathfinder will give you 96 pages for $19.99, but you're buying a book that's printed on higher-quality paper and that will survive extensive use at the gaming table much better than a magazine. In short, we think that we will continue to be giving you one of the best values in gaming.
Some people are worried that Pathfinder is all about the Adventure Path, but that's literally just part of the Pathfinder story. About half of each volume will contain the adventure. The remaining half of each volume consists of the kind of crunchy goodness that you have come to expect from Dragon magazine. Monsters, spells, classes, races, deities, demons, cities, new rules—it will all be there in Pathfinder.
Thanks again for your wonderful loyalty to and support of Paizo Publishing. We are a dedicated group of gamers whose goal in our business is to provide you with the gaming products you need to run the best roleplaying game sessions. We hope you'll take some time to learn more about Pathfinder; our monthly 32-page, full-color GameMastery Modules; our Item Cards, Map Packs, and Flip Mats; and lots of other great gaming products at paizo.com. And while you're checking out the games, drop by our messageboards and interact with one of the best roleplaying game communities on the Internet. You'll see all of the Paizo folks hanging out on those boards too, because at the end of the day, we love this hobby as much as you do!
Thanks again for your support!
Paizo Publishing, LLC