I usually steer clear of reporting gaming news here on TT (there are other sites that are much better for news, like Gaming Report and EN World), but this item has the potential to have an impact on the GMing community.

As you may have heard RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, the two largest PDF retailers on the web, have merged to form OneBookShelf. How will this impact GMs?

One byproduct of this merger is that the new commission rate (the slice OneBookShelf takes out of every sale) is, for many publishers, higher than it was before. At the time of this writing, at least one major PDF publisher, Expeditious Retreat Press, has raised the issue that OneBookShelf doesn’t seem to be offering anything new in exchange for taking a bigger piece of the pie.

On the flipside, PDF buyers may benefit from having one large catalog (as the old sites merged their product catalogs) in one place, rather than having to sign up at two sites. And, of course, it remains to be seen what will actually happen — will OBS create additional sales for publishers? Will the majority of PDF publisher raise their prices (low prices being one of the principle benefits of PDFs for many gamers) to compensate for the higher commissions? (RPG Blog just posted about a petition to OBS to reduce their commission, which currently has 212 signatures.)

What I’m curious about is how you think this merger will affect you as a GM. Do you buy a lot of PDFs? Are you dead set against the merger, or do you like the prospect of having one uber-retailer for PDFs? I welcome your thoughts, opinions and feedback.