I just copy my post from another thread.
Number of game owners according to Steam spy:
-> POE 1 is between 1-2 mln
-> POE 2 is between 500-1mln
-> Pathfinder is between 500-1mln
-> DoS2 is between 2-5mln !!!
The situation is worse if you look at other statistics.
Unfortunately, old school games are not popular.
Only PoE 1 sold over 1 million copies because it was one of the first classic RPGs in this decade. POE 2 sold much worse.
I think the issue here is more that Pillars of Eternity has an absolutely dreadful start and is a pretty bad game all the way through in my opinion. It took me multiple tries to just get through the awful, boring start. And I basically forced myself to play the entire game because people kept saying its good but it wasn't. PoE 2 was actually interesting but I basically completely ignored it because of how bad PoE1 was. So I'm not surprised it sold worse despite being a massive improvement.
Pathfinder has a ton of flaws itself. Its buggy, quests are frustratingly badly explained and sometimes not at all. The way it handles alignment is hilariously awful and nonsensical. The map movement is insanely slow and just annoying. It is an incredibly flawed game. I'm still looking forward to pathfinder war of the righteous to see how they will improve with the lessons they learned.
But really. The issue here isn't that old school games are not popular, its that the ones that are around had awful execution in some way to hold them back. PoE2 was actually interesting, but PoE1 blew out the series metaphorical kneecaps with how bad it is. Sure some people loved it but Im pretty sure it is universally agreed upon that the opening is absolutely dreadful. And most people dont have the patience for it. So people who bought it but didnt get through that, or did and still hated it, wouldnt even give a first look to PoE2. While Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a rollercoaster of frustration with some good ideas but by the gods does the bad outweigh the good.
I love classic RPGs and the only reason I even played these games was because there has been such a dry period with cRPGs. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't bother. Did I enjoy them? Kingmaker sure. It had a lot of good ideas despite the insanely flawed execution. PoE1? No. PoE2? Hell yes.