Strategic Alliance Will Improve Delivery of Digital Tabletop Gaming Titles

RPGNow today announced that its shareholders have approved a definitive agreement for RPGNow to merge with DriveThruRPG.

The agreement is a friendly transaction that will create a leading online marketplace in the tabletop gaming industry, outstanding in its ability to deliver ground-breaking products on a superior network while leveraging an international platform to create operating efficiencies and economies of scale.

    “The combination of RPGNow and DriveThruRPG creates an exciting opportunity,” said Stephen Wieck, Chief Executive Officer, DriveThruRPG. “In addition to joining our two world-class companies, this is a compelling strategic, accretive transaction for our shareholders. The RPGNow team have created a business that, when combined with DriveThruRPG, has the foundation for remarkable future growth, and it will yield many synergies and benefits. We are looking forward to bringing our teams together to deliver the most innovative products and services and a superior customer experience in the highly competitive and dynamic marketplace within which we operate.”

    “This merger delivers an unparalleled experience for our customers,” states Steve Wieck, CEO of RPGNow. “DriveThruRPG and RPGNow have been the leaders in the industry for the past 10 years. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of delivering all of the possibilities of the DriveThru services and infrastructure to more game publishers and customers world-wide. The DriveThru management team has built an industry-leading platform and innovative products and services.”

    The new company, DriveThruNow, led by CEO Stephan Wieck, will leverage numerous pro-consumer and pro-competitive advantages, including an improved deployment of existing and new products and services for hundreds of thousands of customers. DriveThruRPG’s customers today have access to a staggering range of tabletop gaming products, and DriveThru has grown at unprecedented levels year-over-year for the past 8 years across its entire footprint. RPGNow is also a leader in digital tabletop game sales and will combine its products and services with DriveThruRPG’s, including digital books in multiple formats, such as PDF and MOBI; print-on-demand game books and manuals; and a widely acclaimed level of customer service.

    “We strategized about how to brand the combined entities,” says Wieck, “wanting to preserve the brand equity in both RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. We broke each name apart, RPG + Now and DriveThru + RPG, and combined them to form ‘RPGRPG,’ but test groups reported that this name had too many syllables and was not easy to say quickly. We then opted for just ‘RPG,’ but focus groups indicated this name was too pithy. Verbalizing the acronym resulted in ‘Repugrepug,’ but we didn’t want to be confused with dog breeders. In the end, we chose to combine the names the other way to get DriveThruNow.”

    Through the merger, DriveThruRPG will acquire RPGNow’s approximately 2,000 loyal users. As such, through DriveThruRPG’s acquisition of RPGNow, DriveThruNow will reach an active customer base of approximately 302,000.

    About DriveThruRPG, founded in 2004, is part of a family of sites operated by OneBookShelf, Inc. From games to comics to fiction to cards, starting an account on any of the OneBookShelf sites gives you access to thousands of titles to satisfy the inner geek, grognard, or gamer in all of us. DriveThruRPG’s efforts made both out-of-print and in-print RPGs easily available in electronic format to fans around the world. DriveThruComics (the first online retailer to specialize in downloadable comics) and DriveThruFiction (specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and horror fiction) followed the success of DriveThruRPG shortly thereafter. In 2008, OneBookShelf took over operations of Mongoose Publishing’s Wargaming Online and relaunched it as Wargame Vault. In 2010, a book printing program was launched that allowed many of our publishers’ titles to be available once again in softcover and hardcover printed book formats. In 2012, OneBookShelf started DriveThruCards, a marketplace dedicated to stand-alone card games, custom poker decks, deck-building games, and other card products in both print-and-play and delivered high-quality printed formats.

    About RPGNow, founded in 2001 (the same year Apple launched iTunes), is part of a family of sites operated by OneBookShelf. It may be common today to download a book and read it on a computer, tablet, or other mobile device, but RPGNow and a handful of roleplaying game publishers pioneered downloadable PDFs in the gaming community.

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