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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Nebulous

Legend
Oh also, there's this I just saw come over the wire (earlier today apparently)

oh, you saw that. Yeah, it looks quite good from what I've seen. Roll20 is really trying to up their game. I know a lot of people hate it, but I have personally had very few problems the past 4 years. If not for Roll20, the pandemic would have ended my gaming for years.
 

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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.
I can't believe how expensive Roll20 is. A 1 year subscription for R20 is now more expensive then a life time license for either Fantasy Grounds or Foundry. R20 is easy to get into, but once you have to pay for it, just not worth it unless you can't make one of the others work for you.
For any VTT, I don't expect that we will see the ability to move battlemaps with all the settings for walls, lighting, fog of war, etc from one system to another
Not so sure about that. With the .vtt file format, this is looking promising. I know both Foundry and FG can import them. And FG you can export the metadata via an xml file. So that should be easy to combine that back into a .vtt file.
 

Von Ether

Legend
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....
ROLE VTT is now integrating Owlbear Rodeo for its mapping features. I think we will see more of of these sort of team ups as the smaller VTTs find ways to fill the gaps.
 

Mournblade94

Adventurer
I'm a roll 20 member but I really don't use it that much. I'm a D&D and Traveller Whale so I fully intend to sign on to what ever WOTC has planned for their VTT and drop any other subscriptions I have.

Companies are going to have to do this to compete with WOTC. Its just like Miller and Coors joining, and Guiness and Heineken Joining to go up against Budweiser Inbev in brewing.
 

Anon Adderlan

Adventurer
Meanwhile #OneMoreMultiverse had to shut down despite having over 17 million in funding.

These consolidations are not a sign of a growing industry but one currently in contraction, and I have little faith in #Roll20 being able to integrate both #Demiplane and #DriveThruRPG when they can't even fix the existing problems with their platform. And Adam created #Demiplane with the express intent to eventually sell it to a larger company, which is fine, but doesn't suggest a commitment to maintaining a product or community.

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!
Why stop there? What about purchased content on #DriveThruRPG?

The most unhappy customers won't be the ones who bought content on one platform or the other, but the ones who bought content on more than one. And many are likely to stop making purchases until this is resolved. The only feasible solution I currently see is converting duplicate purchases into #Roll20 credit, but I'm not sure they can take the hit.
 


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