Roll20 and OneBookShelf, the distribution platform for the massive online tabletop roleplaying game storefronts DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Master’s Guild, have announced that they are “leveling up” to form a joint venture. They aim to create a “seamless future of cross-platform PDF support” and hope to launch “synchronized content libraries” on Roll20.
Roll20 is the leading virtual tabletop and allows for a group of friends, or strangers, to enter into an online room and play any tabletop game they can finangle into the code. It’s highly adaptive, if slightly complicated to set up, and there are many games that have character sheets already created. What’s currently missing is what OneBookShelf is offering: the ability to easily and natively port in entire rulebooks for easy reference.
Currently, Roll20 has a massive user base of over 10 million players. This number was bolstered across the pandemic when gamers were searching for ways to continue playing their favorite RPGs without compromising their safety. OneBookShelf manages 11 ecommerce marketplaces—most notably for this merger, DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild.
The deal has some incredible implications for the TTRPG community as a whole, allowing a lot of great content to be shared easily and seamlessly. On the other hand, it also might pose a problem for smaller marketplaces like itch.io, where many independent designers post games that are niche or experimental, as well as other virtual tabletop companies like RoleApp and Alchemy, who are working on carving out their own niches within the TTRPG realm.
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