On EnWorld yesterday Ryan Dancey, a former D&D brand manager at WotC, said:
Pathfinder from Paizo couldn’t exist without the OGL and the D20 System Reference Document. And according to my industry sources, it’s outselling Dungeons & Dragons a feat (no pun intended) I would have considered almost impossible 10 years ago.
The hobby retailer site ICv2 reports:
As far as the publishing side, Paizo’s Pathfinder line appears to have taken a huge chunk of market share away from D&D, with many stores reporting it supplanting 4th edition as their number one seller.
As of January 18, 2011 the Amazon.com top 5 bestselling Fantasy Gaming items are (removing misplaced fiction books):
1. Pathfinder: Bestiary 2
2. Pathfinder: Core Rules
3. D&D Player's Handbook
4. Pathfinder: Advanced Player's Guide
5. Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
This is a remarkable achievement by Paizo. Pathfinder, a retroclone of D&D 3.5, is now outselling D&D 4e. I don't really play either of these games regularly, but I have to admit I'm extremely curious about why players are migrating (back) to Pathfinder in such a big way. This news should be very encouraging to old school gamers, because it shows that retrogaming products with grassroots support can sell big - at least in our relatively small world of roleplaying games.
Ironically - literally as I was writing this post my wife pulled my new copy of the Pathfinder Core Rules out of the mailbox and plopped it on the chair next to me! I've been curious to check this game out...