Pathfinder Sales Surge as Players Seek Dungeons & Dragons Alternative

One unexpected (but unsurprising) beneficiary of the mass revolt against Wizards of the Coast's proposed changes to the Open Gaming License - Pathfinder. Today, Paizo revealed that the current print run of the Pathfinder 2E Core Rulebook had sold out at its warehouse, with a supply that was meant to last eight months lasting just two weeks due to a surge in demand. A new print run of the Core Rulebook hardcover has been ordered, with an estimated delivery date of mid-April. The Pathfinder 2E Core Rulebook has also sold out at Amazon and most other major online book retailers. Paizo noted that the Pocket version of the Core Rulebook, which has smaller dimensions and a paperback cover remains available at their warehouse. 

The surge in interest in Pathfinder is due to tabletop RPG players seeking an alternative to Dungeons & Dragons after Wizards of the Coast attempted to release a new version of the Open Gaming License, which provides a legal framework for publishing third-party material compatible with Dungeons & Dragons. The proposed changes, which included a royalty structure, license back language, and a de-authorization of previous versions of the OGL, would have had a chilling effect on the third-party D&D ecosystem and led to a grassroots campaign that caused thousands to cancel their D&D Beyond subscriptions. Wizards of the Coast apologized for the changes, which were initially proposed to some publishers under NDAs and a tightened deadline, and is now actively engaging with the community on moving forward with a new OGL. However, some fans have decided to abandon their D&D campaigns and opt to look into the many other tabletop RPGs available today. 

This isn't the first time that Pathfinder benefited from a Wizards of the Coast misstep. The original Pathfinder was launched as a modified version of Dungeons & Dragons "3.5" Edition and sold as an alternative to Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, which was a radically overhauled version of the game meant to mimic popular MMORPGs. The original version of Pathfinder was published under the original OGL 1.0 and became a rival to Dungeons & Dragons for years, although Dungeons & Dragons' marketshare grew exponentially with the launch of the simpler 5th Edition ruleset.