Friday, February 02, 2007

May you live in interesting times...

As some of you are probably aware, RPGNow and Drivethrurpg, the two biggest PDF sales sites have recently merged. Many of the folks I've interviewed as part of my 10 Questions segments have chimed in on the merger and what they feel like it means for one of the fastest growing segments of the RPG industry.

Well today two of the leading PDF vendors, Ronin Arts and Expeditious Retreat Press announced that they were leaving RPGNow. It looks like both companies will be concentrating on the other, much smaller PDF vendors out there, Paizo, e23 and YourGamesNow.

You can check out my interviews with Phil of Ronin Arts here and Joe of Expeditious Retreat here. You can read their press releases about the move here and here.

I'm not sure what to say about these moves except that it seemed somewhat inevitable. RPGNow isn't a bunch of employees working for James (the site owner) and it isn't a bunch of partners in a shared business, it's a mall. The mall provides a shared space for a bunch of different customers.

Consulting your vendors *after* you decide to move the mall to a new location is not always the best thing to do.

What this means for the overall industry I'm not sure. I do think the way James and Steve handled the merger into OBS was a bit heavy handed. And of course all the vendors at RPGNow are scrappy, independent-minded small businesses with their "damn the man" pride in full effect.

So as I said earlier... good for the industry or not, this move was almost inevitable.

Almost.

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