HomeDungeons & DragonsDungeons & Dragons Fourth EditionPathfinder vs. 4e, In Summation


Pathfinder vs. 4e, In Summation — 6 Comments

      • Hasn’t the free d20SRD been out for like 10 years now? I guess I’m just missing what you are talking about. And I’m pretty sure Paizo is actually making money on the things they *sell* more than the free thing. I could be wrong.

        • Yes, obviously, they make money by selling things… but they’re doing so despite giving away the core value item (the rules) for free. Paizo took an 11 year old system which was available free, then made some relatively minor changes to it, then gave THOSE CHANGES away free, then made up a bunch of new stuff and gave THAT away free… and people are buying the printed books in sufficient numbers that Pathfinder is consistently wither just behind or just ahead of D&D in sales.

          Like the meme says, “You can’t explain that.”

          WOTC, with the brand name under their control, and no obligation under the OGL to keep new content open (Paizo is not obliged to make it EASY to access new content, but they do it anyway, posting the open content within a short time after publication), and the marketing might of Hasbro, decided there was no more money to be made in the 3.5 engine. Paizo, without the D&D brand name, forced by the OGL to keep all new rules content open content, and having chosen freely to post this new material on the net for easy access, is SELLING BOOKS NECK AND NECK WITH WOTC, quarter over quarter. People are PAYING for rules they can LEGALLY GET FOR FREE, rules based on a minor paint job to an ELEVEN YEAR OLD SYSTEM.

          You can’t explain that.

          If I were an executive at Hasbro, and someone told me, “Hey, you know that 11 year old rules system we figured was totally played out? And you know how we figured we were losing money because of that license we somehow got conned into by that Dancey guy? And you know how much time and money we spent developing a whole new system that was better, cleaner, and more playable? Well, it turns out someone else is selling as many copies of the system we threw away as we are of the new one, and, even more, they’re making it really easy for people to get the rules free online.”, I’d be royally pissed and demanding some answers from SOMEONE.

          Ultimately, of course, I’m being extremely tongue-in-cheek, which is what anyone who reads this site halfway regularly ought to seriously expect by now.

  1. If the business world cared at all about this tiny niche industry I think they’d write a chapter in marketing textbooks about this.
    I’m not sure if it was WOTC’s screw-up at the release of 4e, or Paizo’s genius about the open playtest (or a combination of the two)… but somehow the established brand with a celebrated legacy managed to cut its customer base in half and the new kid managed to establish brand loyalty so strong that people are willing to buy books from them that they can legally get for free.

  2. Nothing out of the ordinary, its just a reminder on how important marketing and research is for companies, WOTC rampaged all over the D&D license without preparing the audience for the tremendous shift in direction, as a company you need to bring down consumers resistances to change, for example, hyping up your product and establishing whats so good about it, but above all, being crystal clear about the changes.

    And this is WOTC worst offense, they haven’t been clear, nor when 4E was originally released nor when Essentials was released, even to this every consumer has a different notion of what “new direction” means.

    Paizo on the other hand has always been extremely open to their audience, you posted a quote from one the developers outright saying that one of the options in their books was weaker than the others and that was fine, because that choice was there for roleplaying purposes, compare this to the silent treatment the cleric nerfs got (until the flaming got so bad they had to actually recall the whole thing and explain the changes in a podcast), you know what I see in Paizo?, confidence, they know what they want and they know what their public wants, while on the other hand I wonder what new plan WOTC has in store for the D&D brand.

    Both games are excellent, and both cater to different targets, but how you sell your product is often more important than the product itself **aheem*** Iphones**Aheem**

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