Selling Your Game On-Line

Digital media is the current big trend with tabletop role-playing games. What are your options, and what sort of cut is the platform taking?

DM’s Guild (DMG), managed by OneBookShelf, has a very opaque and difficult to read breakdown of how much of a cut from the product you have created that you will receive in royalties. Because when you post a D&D adventure/supplement on DMG, you are actually signing away ownership to Wizards of the Coast. How much should you expect: most sources say the creator will get around 50% of the overall sales, but exactly how much you pull in depends upon how many units are being sold. Sell more, get more, seems to be the structure.
Pros: if you are making D&D 5e content, DMG will hit your target audience.
Cons: community standards guidelines are not transparent (you may lose rights to your product even if DMG decides not to post it); royalty schedule is not transparent; you lose ownership of your product.

Drive Thru RPG (DTRPG), which is also managed by OneBookShelf, offers digital and print services for you to sell your product. Depending on exclusivity or non-exclusivity, the creator is getting 65% to 70% of the sales. Additionally, DTRPG doesn’t claim ownership of your work (although if you do the exclusive contact for bigger %, you may not ever be able to distribute your work elsewhere).
Pros: reasonable exposure level; option to retain full ownership of creation.
Cons: they still will take about 30% of your profits; community standards guidelines are also extremely subjective. (Itch), is a gaming marketplace platform for indie creators that has video games, board games, card games, TTRPGs, and basically anything that you can label as a game. Itch lets you keep ownership of your creation. They host an Open Revenue Sharing model where you can choose what percentage of your sales go to support Itch. Suggested percentage is 10%.
Pros: you get to keep the bulk of your sales; retain full ownership of creation.
Cons: the site is not very streamlined; may be difficult to locate your product.

Do It Yourself (DIY). Literally just build your own website. You will have to pay for the domain, as well as a fee to the hosting company. Basically, you pay rent. The hosting company doesn’t take any of your sales (although PayPal or other payment processing services will take their cut).
Pros: full sales into your pocket; retain absolute ownership of creation.
Cons: will cost you more up front to secure domain name and host fees; marketing is up to you; also will need to build the web-site.

You have options, and depending on whether this is a little labor of love you want to just put out there on a pay-what-you-want option, or if it is a massive endeavor involving multiple writers, artists, and editors, there is an option out there that is right for you.

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