It’s been a busy year for Paizo, the Washington-based RPG publisher responsible for the Pathfinder and Starfinder franchises. Amid the finalisation of the Open RPG Creative (ORC) licence and a refocus on supplemental fiction, President Jim Butler outlined big changes for the company’s physical and digital presence.
Butler took to the official Paizo blogs on July 19th, explaining the company’s plans for the rest of the year. Unsurprisingly, he began by discussing the United Paizo Workers union and their recently approved union contract. One of the first major unions in the tabletop Space, UPW has served as both inspiration and spearheader for a broader labour-positive push from folks at Card Kingdom, TCGPlayer and Noble Knight Games.
“This wasn’t an easy task, and we didn’t always see eye-to-eye on all the issues, but we worked together for more than a year and found compromises to create an agreement that I believe works for both the company and its employees,” Butler wrote. “That’s not the end of the process, of course, as the leadership team continues to work with the union on many day-to-day matters that running a company requires.”
Paizo staff have apparently been hard at working preparing the Player Core and GM Core ORC Remastered, a pair of sourcebooks that will directly support the publisher’s D&D-free third-party licence. Butler claims that decision pushed the publishing schedule back such that several other planned books were forced to delay. ORC Remastered’s two book should land in November, but Abomination Vaults 5E, two Starfinder adventure paths - Scoured Stars and Mechageddon! - won’t be available until 2024, along with Lost Omens Tian Xia Character Guide and Howl of the Wild rulebook for Pathfinder.
Paizo’s workers have reportedly been working remotely since the onset of the COVID-19, and the company has decided to roll that policy into the normal day-to-day for the foreseeable future. The Redmond office and warehouse will be closed down as Pazo relocates shipping a bit further north. Meanwhile, non-warehouse workers will soon be eligible to remote work from a number of states - Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington.
The forums and webstore will experience an extended downtime period during this move, which Paizo is using to migrate servers to a new data centre along with rolling out updated forums and an online store. Comments from users online agree this is a much-needed change as the current layout does look a little long in the digital tooth.
Butler didn’t provide a specific timeline on when we can expect the shiny, new store. He did outline a few of the major goals Paizo wants the updated technology to address, including a wider span of payment options and a revitalised reward program that will ostensibly replace the current Paizo Advantage program. More information on changes to the webstore and forums will be detailed later. Dicebreaker has reached out for more information.
One interesting bit of news for us lore hounds discussed Paizo’s rededication to using novels as an avenue for telling original stories in Pathfinder and Starfinder’s respective worlds. Butler admitted that the “fiction industry has been struggling for years outside a handful of very successful authors,” so the publisher is reportedly creating more runway for an upcoming book set in the Pathfinder universe and currently slated for publication in 2024. Anything else - content, author, tone - remains locked beyond Butler and other execs’ tight lips.
The full post and details from Butler’s summary can be found on Paizo’s official website. The current CEO only stepped into the role in early 2021 and has overseen one of the publisher’s more tumultuous years. That said, we have yet to hear from the UPW union on how a new office, fully remote workforce and delayed publishing schedule will affect relations between workers and management.