RPGNow Is Being Retired
  • RPGNow Is Being Retired


    As you may know, RPGNow and DriveThruRPG (and, indeed, all the community content sites like DM's Guild) are the exact same website owned by One Bookshelf (OBS), simply viewed through a different skin. The front page of each highlights different products, but the stores are the same store. Now, the "RPGNow" version of the store is being retired.




    OBS sent out the following email earlier today:

    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.


    RPGNow always presented the more "indie" face of the industry, with DTRPG highlighting the larger releases. It will be interesting to see what the front page algorithms will look like on the combined site!
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. imagineGod's Avatar
      imagineGod -
      Ha ha ha, when I first read the headline, I almost had a heart attack thinking both RPGNow and DriveThruRPG were being retired with all PDF game files lost to us all.

      Maybe a less sensational headline would help like "RPGNow brand & assets subsumed into DriveThruRPG"
    1. Greatwyrm's Avatar
      Greatwyrm -
      I never realized RPGNow was the "indie" focused site. Now I wonder what I've been missing.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Greatwyrm View Post
      I never realized RPGNow was the "indie" focused site. Now I wonder what I've been missing.
      The same products are on both. They're literally the same store.
    1. ajevans's Avatar
      ajevans -
      Glad they're closing the site that is blocked by my works' DNS and not Drivethrurpg which works for some reason.
    1. Henry's Avatar
      Henry -
      To be honest, I found the reason they kept the RPGNow brand kind of flimsy even to begin with, but then I wasn't a vendor, so I have no idea if the "indie" thing ever served a useful purpose or not.
    1. Alzrius's Avatar
      Alzrius -
      I always preferred RPGNow to DriveThruRPG, but so long as the content remains the same I can live with this.
    1. 77IM's Avatar
      77IM -
      I wonder why it took them this long. I guess there wasn't much cost to maintaining the RPGNow "skin" so it was cheaper to keep it?
    1. Ghost2020 -
      Quote Originally Posted by 77IM View Post
      I wonder why it took them this long. I guess there wasn't much cost to maintaining the RPGNow "skin" so it was cheaper to keep it?
      My thoughts exactly, why did it take so long? I always wondered 'why bother'?

      Glad that DriveThruRPG is still around. I freakin' love that thing.
    1. Koloth's Avatar
      Koloth -
      Seems like a good call. The cost of maintaining each site was probably about the same. One has 90% of sales, the other has 10%. As long as the re-directors work, lost sales from dropping rpgnow should be minimal.
    1. Xanthys's Avatar
      Xanthys -
      Oh nooooooo RPGNow is the only OBS site that my company’s filters allow to come through, what the heck am I gonna do at the office now?!?!
    1. Matrix Sorcica's Avatar
      Matrix Sorcica -
      When I search for the publisher Four Dollar Dungeons on DriveThruRPG, I get one adventure. Same search on rpg.now yields their entire catalog.

      Really hope issues like this gets fixed before they shut down rpg.now.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Matrix Sorcica View Post
      When I search for the publisher Four Dollar Dungeons on DriveThruRPG, I get one adventure. Same search on rpg.now yields their entire catalog.

      Really hope issues like this gets fixed before they shut down rpg.now.
      I get 10 items. However, 9 of them say "You have reached a page with Adult Content filtered from view. If you wish to view this content, you must log in and modify your account information"
    1. Matrix Sorcica's Avatar
      Matrix Sorcica -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      I get 10 items. However, 9 of them say "You have reached a page with Adult Content filtered from view. If you wish to view this content, you must log in and modify your account information"
      Weird. I don't get this notice at all, though I do remember seeing it before with this publisher.
    1. jmucchiello's Avatar
      jmucchiello -
      The cost of maintaining RPGNow in raw dollars is minimal. It's a couple entries in the web server's URL list and a domain registration. The cost in terms of programming is maintaining the different algorithms for finding "indie" stuff versus "mainstream" stuff. So the real savings is being able to dump the programming customizations that are no longer seen as valuable. But it's not like they were burning thousands of dollars maintaining two websites. There was just one database used by two nearly identical code bases.
    1. EonTrinity's Avatar
      EonTrinity -
      Wow. This really saddens me. I went primarily to RPGnow as I enjoyed the Indy focus, while still showing some of the more popular products. My fear would be that these products will get lost underfoot of the big dogs in the industry. I hope that Drivethru maintains a Indy feed on the store front. I worry about the smaller publishers.

      Either way, I have been very happy with RPGnow/Drivethrough through the years. They haven't lost a customer. They are a good business to purchase from.

      ET
    1. Greatwyrm's Avatar
      Greatwyrm -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      The same products are on both. They're literally the same store.
      That's what I thought. I was confused by the line: "RPGNow always presented the more "indie" face of the industry, with DTRPG highlighting the larger releases."
    1. EonTrinity's Avatar
      EonTrinity -
      Same store, different storefront, different focus...
    1. Ratskinner's Avatar
      Ratskinner -
      hmm...I have two distinct accounts, one on each. I wonder if/how they will merge, or if I will have to keep track of two logins for the same site.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Greatwyrm View Post
      That's what I thought. I was confused by the line: "RPGNow always presented the more "indie" face of the industry, with DTRPG highlighting the larger releases."
      It’s just how they brand/market the two skins. Same store though.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
      hmm...I have two distinct accounts, one on each. I wonder if/how they will merge, or if I will have to keep track of two logins for the same site.
      In that case you currently have two accounts on each store, as there’s actually only one store. Both logins will work, whichever you go to.
    Comments Leave Comment