Roll20 Purchases Demiplane

More industry consolidation as VTT combines with tools platform!

demiplane-rpg-digital-toolkit-screenshot-panorama.png.webp

Following on from the news that Demiplane's Adam Bradford had been hired by Fantasy Grounds, it turns out that Demiplane itself has been purchased by Roll20! Demiplane is an online TTRPG tools suite and character builder which seeks to do for some game systems what D&D Beyond does for Dungeons & Dragons.

Roll20 is the most popular of the many virtual tabletops (VTTs), and merged with DriveThruRPG last year.

Ankit Lal, Roll20's CEO spoke to ComicBook.com about the deal, describing how the goal was to make a use experience where people both purchase games and then play them--mich like WotC's goals with D&D Beyond. Notably, Adam Bradford was also one of the founders of D&D Beyond, and left when it was purchased by Wizards of the Coast. Building tabletop gaming platforms and then selling them seems to be a lucrative business! Of course, Fantasy Grounds is a major competitor to Roll20.

Roll20, along with DTRPG and now Demiplane will have a marketplace, a virtual tabletop, and an online rules/tools suite for some games. Demiplane's Peter Romensko particularly called out Pathfinder and Daggerheart.

You can read more of what Ankit Lal said at ComicBook.com.
 

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darjr

I crit!
From MrLou in Discord

Demiplane Q&A: I already bought sourcebooks for [insert game] on Demiplane/Roll20. Does this mean I’ll have to repurchase on the other platform now?
We are currently in discussions with publishers to seek permission to offer free unlocks of purchased content across Roll20 and Demiplane. We have already received permission from several publishers and are waiting on responses from a few more. As an example, if you own the Pathfinder Player Core on Roll20, you will unlock it for free on Demiplane – and vice versa!
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
From MrLou in Discord

Demiplane Q&A: I already bought sourcebooks for [insert game] on Demiplane/Roll20. Does this mean I’ll have to repurchase on the other platform now?
We are currently in discussions with publishers to seek permission to offer free unlocks of purchased content across Roll20 and Demiplane. We have already received permission from several publishers and are waiting on responses from a few more. As an example, if you own the Pathfinder Player Core on Roll20, you will unlock it for free on Demiplane – and vice versa!
Big.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
These moves by the established VTTs are also raising the bar for all but the best funded (WotC, in other words) future competitors.

All the tiny VTTs that get funded through Kickstarter every year -- more than you'd imagine -- will need to not just be better than Roll 20 and Fantasy Grounds were five years ago, which is the bar they mostly seem to be focused on clearing, but where they will be by the time the campaigns fulfill.

It's a smart move for the established VTTs, but it does probably mean we'll likely never see a lot of fully featured VTT choices, as the definition for "fully featured" becomes harder and harder to measure up to.

That said, if I were a Roll20 user, I would be pretty excited.
 
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Retreater

Legend
I've kept my paid membership to Roll20 for a couple years, even though I haven't used it since switching to Foundry. I got a reminder last week it auto-renewed for the year. Just for the fun of it, I signed on this afternoon.
Man, it's primitive. I can't believe I'm paying for it.
Time to cancel that membership. I can't believe that a tech business can stay around with almost no innovation in years as competition closes in around them.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I've kept my paid membership to Roll20 for a couple years, even though I haven't used it since switching to Foundry. I got a reminder last week it auto-renewed for the year. Just for the fun of it, I signed on this afternoon.
Man, it's primitive. I can't believe I'm paying for it.
Time to cancel that membership. I can't believe that a tech business can stay around with almost no innovation in years as competition closes in around them.
It has some real advantages over its competition, despite is technical flaws. They are finally investing in real change, as far as I can tell, so we'll see. I personally moved to Foundry and it works well for us, but that has a different set of issues for most people.
 



SlyFlourish

SlyFlourish.com
Supporter
These moves by the established VTTs are also raising the bar for all but the best funded (WotC, in other words) future competitors.

All the tiny VTTs that get funded through Kickstarter every year -- more than you'd imagine -- will need to not just be better than Roll 20 and Fantasy Grounds were five years ago, which is the bar they mostly seem to be focused on clearing, but where they will be by the time the campaigns fulfill.

It's a smart move for the established VTTs, but it does probably mean we'll likely never see a lot of fully featured VTT choices, as the definition for "fully featured" becomes harder and harder to measure up to.

That said, if I were a Roll20 user, I would be pretty excited.
I do wonder how much lock-in they'll really have. Obviously we're all very aware of tech lockin and see it everywhere but seeing Owlbear Rodeo come out with such an outstanding VTT made by two people during lockdown is pretty great.

There's a lot of content lock-in with these systems – once you buy a lot of stuff in them you probably want to stay with them – but I don't even think that is that bad. You might be willing to play another system or adventure or campaign on another platform once you're done with the one on the first platform.

So I don't know. My initial instinct is that consolidation of this type probably doesn't inhibit smaller companies or groups from also growing in this space.

Also, Demiplane and Roll20 are very different things. Demiplane spent a lot of time and energy on very slick character builders. Roll20 has spent decades on the VTT side. It isn't like Roll20 bought Fantasy Grounds or Foundry....
 

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