Paizo Publishing recently announced the end of Dragon and Dungeon as print magazines. The image used on this post expresses exactly how Dragon readers probably reacted to the news. On Paizo's website is an informative message from Piazo CEO Lisa Stevens about the demise of Dragon and Dungeon and the future of Pathfinder.
Wizards, as the licensor of Dragon and Dungeon magazines, made the decision not to renew our license at the end of the current term. They generously gave us a ten-month notice that the magazines would be ending, even though they were only obligated to give us notice in a much shorter time frame. Once they let us know their decision, we both cooperated on a transition plan to take care of our customers. Wizards agreed to extend our original license so that we could complete the Savage Tide Adventure Path. They allowed us to time the announcement so that we could discuss it with distributors and retailers at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas in April. They have also graciously agreed to allow us to continue to sell our Dragon and Dungeon products until they are gone, rather than forcing us to blow them out or destroy them at the end of the license. In short, they have really bent over backwards to allow Paizo to give our customers the best service possible in this time of transition, and for that, I am very thankful.
Many people have asked why Paizo doesn't just create new print magazines that would be just like Dragon and Dungeon, but without the official D&D content. Well, if there were a viable way for us to transition to a new magazine format, we might have. However, you can't just create a new magazine and have it automatically appear in all of the places that carried Dragon and Dungeon. Hobby store managers and gamers might understand the value of a new magazine, but what about bookstore managers, military suppliers, major magazine distributors, or advertisers? You've basically got to start over from scratch with them, and in many cases that means you have to buy your way in. When we started Paizo five years ago, Dragon and Dungeon magazines had a combined 40 years of inertia behind them, but in today's marketplace, starting a new magazine on that scale would take more than a million dollars. I'm sure that some enterprising company will come out with a magazine to try to fill that niche, but I sincerely doubt that they will be able to afford to put in the same high-quality content that Dragon and Dungeon had each month and sell it for the low price that we were able to offer thanks to the size and dedication of the Dragon and Dungeon audience.
Instead, we decided to take the type of content that you have been telling us that you have been enjoying so much in the magazines, and we migrated it to Pathfinder. Pathfinder isn't a magazine; it's a monthly 96-page, full-color book. It will feature the same artists and authors that you love so much from Dragon and Dungeon magazines, but there is no advertising (except for a few house ads in the back). The $19.99 MSRP might initially seem high compared to the two magazines, but you're really getting a similar amount of content. Dragon and Dungeon average around 55 pages of content per issue for $7.99. That's 110 pages of content for $15.98 each month. Pathfinder will give you 96 pages for $19.99, but you're buying a book that's printed on higher-quality paper and that will survive extensive use at the gaming table much better than a magazine. In short, we think that we will continue to be giving you one of the best values in gaming.
The good news in the CEO's article for fantasy fans is that Paizo is trying to transition some of the content and artwork found in the two ceased publications into a magazine called Pathfinder.