Sales Stats: Wizards vs Paizo
I'm not sure how much weight I put into the ICV2 sales numbers but its always an interesting perspective on the sales of RPG games.
Paizo’s Pathfinder, #1 in the roleplaying game category, continued to gain momentum, with sharp differences in the number of releases between It and WotC’s category-defining Dungeons and Dragons. Some retailers told ICv2 of differences between the customers of the two games, with D&D 4.0 appealing to new players and people that don’t want to get super-involved in an RPG, and Pathfinder the choice of players that want to spend more time on playing.
Expectations are high for the holiday season. “We’re ecstatic about how the fourth quarter is looking right now,” a distributor told us.
Wizards of the Coast's D&D line was beat out by Pathfinder. Wizards did put out fewer titles during this time than Paizo, however they have been neck and neck for the last year or so. Overall it is good news for everyone though. It seems like the entire industry was doing better over all.
More interesting were the differences in the type of customers and their purchases. Wizards of the Coast's strategy to make their game more accessible to new players is paying off according to resellers. While Pathfinder is appealing to the experienced and older school types.
That seems to add up when you look at most "Edition Wars" discussions. But, in my opinion, it also tells a story about the future of gaming that might be tough on Paizo in the long term. If Paizo continues to focus on the good ole' 3.5 players out there and isn't attracting new players, what will happen to them in 10 years?
Sure they are out-selling Wizards now, but if Wizards is adding new users, then I think they are better off over the long term. My hope is that both systems continue to compete with each other. Any industry dominated by a single company is bound for failure. A healthy industry with great competition is what we want to see as gamers.