Pathfinder 2nd edition officially hit gaming tables almost a full year ago. Since then, I've noticed quite a lack of questions on this site with the tag compared to other systems, and I doubt it's because of a corresponding lack of rules ambiguity.

I know that 5th edition is Dungeons & Dragons' most successful edition yet; has Paizo released any information about the financial or popular reception of 2nd edition?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, Pathfinder 1e has had about four times as many questions here as 2e in the past six months or so. Perhaps the most dedicated Pathfinder fans tend to ask their questions on the Paizo community forums. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 1:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm wondering about the popularity and player reception of the game. The title of my question was changed by someone with a lot more rep than me, so I didn't question it. I added the bit about "how is the company doing" as a measure of the game's popularity-- I don't frankly care about dollars in their pockets, but since there's no possible way to determine how many tables of a given game are being played on any given day, I figured sales would be the best measure. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 15:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can imagine player reception being based on positive reviews, but I don't know how else to get that data. However, there's data available from game-matching services and online gaming platforms that may provide some insight as to a game's popularity. That makes a question like How can I assess the popularity of an RPG system? a possibly reasonable ask, especially if you're considering running something one thinks may have few players… like Pathfinder 2. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 15:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah I would think online game patterns (Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Paizo forums, etc) would be a much better gauge of popularity than sales numbers. Sales don't account for material shared between groups, nor people who bought the material and have not gotten around to trying it yet. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 0:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I thought of another reason to consider when looking at the context of this question. The content amount compared to Pathfinder 1e (and even D&D 5e) is significantly less; there are far fewer opportunities for confusing writing and questionable interactions. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 22:21

3 Answers 3


It's not a sales statistic, but the Roll20 Orr Group Industry Report for the first quarter of 2020 lists that 1.23% of campaigns are Pathfinder 2e campaigns (compared to, say, 50.40% being 5e campaigns). For reference, here are the Q4 2019 (1.13% of campaigns) and Q3 2019 (0.57% of campaigns; Pathfinder 2e launched halfway through this quarter).

This ICv2 chart shows that Pathfinder (presumably both 1e and 2e) was the second most popular RPG in the summer of 2019 (beyond Dungeons and Dragons). Notably, though, it is based upon interviews with retailers, and not upon sales numbers. We may not have official sales tallies, but this does give us a decent picture of the state of Pathfinder.

An Update From Paizo in September 2022, Sorta

A Paizo Staff member, in a thank you post after winning the 2022 Best RPG of the Year award from Tabletop Gaming, posted in the PF2e subreddit. In this post, they mention that (brackets are things I've added):

The core line and design hardcovers [e.g. the rule-based books] have blown away past benchmarks for PF1 and Starfinder in both physical and digital sales. The Lost Omens line [e.g. the lore-based books] sells more copies than the old PF1 Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines combined.


Pathfinder 2e is the best-selling, most successful thing Paizo has ever made.

Again, not an official sales statistic, but this is the closest I've seen to official Paizo statistics. I'm actually a bit surprised, despite having been with PF2e since the beginning.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for data, but I think we'd want multiple reports of each type for it to really be meaningful (e.g. Orr Group Industry Report for last 5 quarters not just most recent one). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 17:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Roll20 is obsolete for pf2e players. Everyone uses FoundryVTT these days. Statistics for pf2e based on Roll20 are therefore completely uaeless \$\endgroup\$
    – Ghilteras
    Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 15:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ghilteras two years ago, when this answer was written, Foundry had just left closed beta (May 2020). While yes, I would be hesitant of anyone using modern Roll20 statistics, at the time these were not only some of the only statistics we had, but Foundry hadn't ascended to the near-universal popularity in PF2e it has now. I myself was on Roll20 at the time of this answer, and am now on Foundry. Overall, yes, it's not the best statistic, but it's about the only comparative one I was able to find two years ago. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 23:09

Paizo is a private company which is not obliged to publish their sales data, and they have never done so. Neither, for that matter, has Wizards of the Coast, though you can (and people have) dig through Hasbro’s reporting (Hasbro is a publicly-traded company and thus is obliged to publish some sales information) to try to suss out hints at how Wizards of the Coast is doing.

Anyway, Paizo hasn’t said how much they have made on PF2e, and they are very unlikely to ever do so.


TL/DR Unless we get a defector high up in the Paizo hierarchy all answers will lack hard numbers for sales.

+1 to what @KRyan says but also you can do some sleuthing on your own.

Besides comparing usage stats at places like RPG SE, GitP, Rolld20, FG and scraping data from Amazon and so forth you can look at credits given in the masthead of official Paizo publications and compare that to their website over time and count the number of employees listed.

This can be confusing at first since freelance authors are often involved but you can also compare to the total number of publications per unit time. A falloff in the rate of actual product publication will be delayed about 6 months from the time they decide to scale back, if they do, so you're looking into the past with this method.

You can ask a local RPG retailer what message they're getting from their distributors. Are Pathfinder 2e items moving or stagnant? This will be a local to regional answer as well since we know there are pockets of secondary game popularity which don't reflect the sales of an entire product line.

Finally remember that the COVID-19 situation scrambles any answer. At least short term.

My personal opinion is that Pathfinder 2e is doing at least as well as 1e though groups playing 1e are sticking with that system more so than did D&D 4e players when 5e came out. My read on Pathfinder 1e players not moving to 2e yet 2e still doing good is because D&D 5e has grown the space for all RPGs and Pathfinder 2e is moving into that space. That is 2e is growing without transitioning all 1e players over because of RPG popularity in general. Further if you look at the link of all Pathfinder book publications you can see a hundred years or more of playing material there and there may be little incentive to move from 1e to 2e when your GM is sitting on a backlog of four decades of adventure potential.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi DefaultOption, welcome to rpg.se! Take the tour and visit the help center for more information. Thanks for contributing and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 1:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Anecdotally, you’re right as far as this 1e player is concerned. 1e has all the content you’d ever need. 2e would have had to have vastly improved the game to make me drop my 1e investment and spend that money al over again. It was not vastly improved. Most of it was changing “puppy” to “young dog.” \$\endgroup\$
    – ruffdove
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 15:02

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