From OneBookShelf (the owners of both RPGNow and DriveThruRPG):
Starting in February 2019, all elements of the RPGNow tool pages and storefront will redirect to similar pages on DriveThruRPG.
You most likely know this, but since RPGNow and DriveThruRPG first merged as businesses back in 2006, they have shared all the same tools and digital inventory. On the front end, they looked and behaved like two separate sites, but essentially they have just been two faces of the same site for many years. The only real differences were the color schemes and logos.
You might have some questions about the coming change, so we’ve done our best to anticipate and answer them below.
How will this affect me?
In most ways, you’ll be unaffected. Your entire catalog of titles from RPGNow is already listed on DriveThruRPG (as it always has been), and you can log in to DriveThruRPG using the same account(s) you’ve always used on RPGNow, just as you could before.
Even your old bookmarks to pages on RPGNow.com will still work: They’ll automatically be redirected to the same page on DriveThruRPG.
What about sales reporting? Will my past sales be combined?
Yes, as far as sales records and your titles’ metal rankings, we will be merging those together.
Starting in February, your sales records will show combined sales of each title across both the deprecated RPGNow site and DriveThruRPG, together. The number of unit sales will also be combined, so if you had metal rankings for titles on one or both sites, there’s a good chance you’ll find that your rankings on some titles will have increased on DriveThruRPG.
What about my Publisher Promotion Points and marketing impressions?
No worries. Your Publisher Promotion Points (PPP) are already shared across sister sites. They are compiled by publisher, not by site.
If you have used your PPP to purchase site impressions for banners or featured product messages on RPGNow, you will also be reimbursed, commensurately, for those expenditures on DriveThruRPG.
Why is this happening?
Here’s the big picture: In the 12 years since RPGNow and DriveThruRPG merged, the growth of RPGNow has tapered off constantly, while DriveThruRPG has continued to grow strongly, year over year, since it launched in 2004. We’ve reached the point where RPGNow rarely draws new customers or publishers and sells less than one-tenth the volume of titles purchased on DriveThruRPG.
To be honest, we have known this moment would come for years now. We’ve just finally decided it’s time to put the RPGNow brand out to pasture.
Although BRW Games has routinely done most of its work through the RPGNow branded site, our operations will be uninterrupted by this change. You might see complimentary PDF and our very rare marketing and sales emails coming from the other domain now, but that’s about it.
The first is from TechCrunch, and focuses on Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler. Of particular interest in the gaming realm is this:
Strickler pointed to board games as one of the community-driven enthusiast areas that the platform has been able to support — noting that as of this week Kickstarter will pass $100 million having been cumulatively pledged to board games.
“Last year there was actually more money pledged to board games than video games,” added Strickler. “It’s like $55 million in board games. It’s kind of counterintuitive to the way that we think the world is moving but I think the board game market on Kickstarter is very illustrative of what it is that we actually do.
“I remember meeting someone is 2009 or 2010 — really early for us — who said that Kickstarter was the first thing to change the board game industry since the early 70s. Basically it’s this huge fan community… They weren’t in a scale to where the Parker Brothers or Milton Bradley would drop a huge chunk of change on it. So we ended up stepping in and being this perfect conduit for these communities to exist.”
There’s more at the link, of course, including a reiteration of Kickstarter’s intention not to get into the company-equity business. That decision probably has a lot to do with the legal implications; there are all sorts of Federal regulations around such activity, and Kickstarter probably feels it’s just too much trouble and risk.
The second is from the New York Times, which has a very nice article on board games in relation to video games:
New tools now power the creation of tabletop games — many in the strategy or fantasy genres — from idea to delivery. Crowdfunding sites provide the seed money and offer an early gauge of demand. Machines like 3-D printers can rapidly create figurines, dice and other prototype game pieces. And Amazon, the online retail giant, can handle shipping and distribution, cutting out the need for middlemen.
Sales have followed. While the video game business long ago eclipsed its low-tech cousin, sales of tabletop games have continued to grow. … Amazon says board game sales increased by a double-digit percentage from 2012 to 2013.
All in all, it’s a great time to be a gamer. And a game publisher.
(h/t to Global Toy News)