Search Unity

Asset store percentage 15%?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jjxtra, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. jjxtra

    jjxtra

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Posts:
    1,309
    The technology industry is rapidly moving to a 15% cut for people selling digital goods. Does Unity have plans in the near future to also move towards this? I think this would be extremely motivating for existing and new asset publishers.
     
  2. gilley033

    gilley033

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Posts:
    1,000
    It would be fantastic but I doubt it will happen.
     
  3. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    17,276
    Thanks largely to competition. Meanwhile Unity's Asset Store has no competition.
     
  4. Antypodish

    Antypodish

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Posts:
    9,038
    Where is that?
    Which companies?
    Any links?
     
  5. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    14,040
    Of most relevance to us are Google, followed by Apple:
    https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2021/03/boosting-dev-success.html
    https://www.apple.com/au/newsroom/2020/11/apple-announces-app-store-small-business-program/

    Microsoft have changed their PC game sales to use 12%. Note that despite being the Xbox blog, the relevant statement here is that "Microsoft Store PC games sales net revenue will increase to 88%".
    https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2021/04/29/continuing-our-pc-gaming-journey-in-2021-and-beyond/

    There is of course Epic also using a 12% figure.

    Even Valve / Steam drops below 30%, but you have to earn over $10 million (from memory) for the numbers to budge.
     
  6. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Posts:
    8,225
    25% over 10 million, 20% over 50 million.
     
    Antypodish likes this.
  7. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    14,040
    To follow up on my last post, and to further what @Ryiah already said, the revenue split when selling video games isn't really relevant to the Unity Asset Store, because they're selling different stuff to different people in a different market.
     
  8. Antypodish

    Antypodish

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Posts:
    9,038
    Steam does ring the bell for me.
    But did Epic touch the heart of other stores, to make them for such move?
    Still, it looks like is non relevant for average Joe, selling few copies on average.

    What about icho 30% commission? Is. That affected too?

    And yeah, I don't see why would asset store be affected by that.
     
  9. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    17,276
    Unless you manually adjust it itch.io's commission is only 10%.

    https://itch.io/updates/introducing-open-revenue-sharing

    What's left are payment processing fees and taxes. These are normally hidden and paid for by store commissions but since itch.io allows you to set a revenue share of 0% they have to be passed on to the developer or else the store would be responsible for what could very easily be a lot of money. Full explanation linked below.

    https://itch.io/post/831709
     
    Antypodish likes this.
  10. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Posts:
    8,225
    You mean other than the pending lawsuits they have against Apple and Google?
    Because if I remember correctly, when Unity announced the Asset Store, they mentioned they would be taking the "industry standard" 30%, so if 15% becomes the new industry standard (and it seems we are slowly headed that way), you would expect them to begrudgingly follow suit.

    The percentage stores take is arbitrary anyway, it's more or less "hey other stores are getting away with 30%, so we can take that too".
     
    jjxtra likes this.
  11. Antypodish

    Antypodish

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Posts:
    9,038
    Nah. Exactly that ;)
     
    AcidArrow likes this.
  12. Billy4184

    Billy4184

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
    5,814
    Is it really different? Every market is different in certain ways, but really it's the question of how much a store should take for selling digital goods created by other people. 30% seems to have been the norm for a long time for all kinds of things, game engine marketplaces, game stores, 2D/3D art stores and pretty much every store selling digital creative goods, even places like Fiverr. It seems like it just sort of arrived as a baseline and never budged until now.

    Unless the asset store sales are low relative to other similar markets, it doesn't seem any different to me. If the cost of running the store vs the profit made by Unity requires them taking 30% I'd be happy to accept this reality, but it seems worth questioning to me.
     
    jjxtra likes this.
  13. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    14,040
    First up, since when are prices ever based on costs? They're based on generated value and a market's willingness to pay.

    But more importantly, no, it's not a question of "how much a store should take for selling digital goods created by other people". It's a question of how much the vendors are willing to share in order to get customers. On the technical side of things, anyone with the right internet knowhow can set up a website with some e-commerce stuff and start selling digital goods at least as well as Unity are doing it. Anyone selling on the Asset Store could be selling their stuff inside a week without splitting it with anyone. But very few of them do, because getting people to go there is hard.

    How many Unity developers look outside of the Asset Store to get assets and libraries for their games? With the exception of music and SFX, my gut-feel guess is that it's >90% for career professionals and <10% for hobbyists. Mostly that comes from the career people having plenty of opportunity to get exposed to different stuff, where hobbyists are mostly exposed to 3rd party stuff directly via Unity themselves... and the Asset Store.
     
  14. Billy4184

    Billy4184

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
    5,814
    Of course, there is no such thing as an absolute monetary value, so therefore every price is questionable.

    I don't think there is any alternative to the asset store. I believe some larger vendors have tried selling on their own website and it's really not worth it, I haven't tried it myself. So the question is, how does the current 30% cut affect the desirability for quality vendors to sell on the store?

    I know for myself, the asset store has not paid me a minimum wage where I live for the hours I've put into it. But I enjoy it, I like being able to monetize my Unity knowledge in a product form, but most of all I enjoy providing stuff that people find useful. I believe I can eventually make it work as a decent month to month income - but will it ever pay off the huge capital cost of developing and iterating on the products to get them to where they are now? Probably not for a long time.

    I know a couple of the larger vendors there, people who could easily make a very high salary, look at it as a sort of hobby rather than anything they depend on. How many of these people, I wonder, would like to sell on the store but cannot see it being a viable alternative to a normal dev job?

    I realize that the market might be too small, and the costs of running the store too high compared to what Unity makes from it - that's fair enough. And I know the asset store staff are trying a ton of stuff to make it work, I've seen loads of improvements and updates and testing happening, especially recently, so I'm very happy about that. I'm optimistic that things are on the up. But I do think it's worth considering what else can be done to make the store more of a viable business for creators whose knowledge can easily be monetized in other ways.
     
  15. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    28,012
    Frankly I don't care about %. I want to be able to negotiate less or more in any deals I do. So maybe I give 50% and get 100% more customers.
     
    GliderGuy and angrypenguin like this.
  16. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    14,040
    I think there is, but that it's entirely dependent on your audience. Hence Unity not having competition for their 30% cut despite online stores being easy to set up.

    Go check out the pricing for something like Audiokinetic's WWISE. They're making fists full of cash from people at the high end of the market, and they do that with direct sales - not through a third party who takes a cut. The irony here is that they give their stuff away to small indies for free, because they can and it's win-win. And they're far from the only ones with a similar model.

    But their audience is very different from that of the Unity Asset Store, and they've got the budget to reach them. For the average hobbyist developer making stuff for other hobbyist developers that's not going to be the case, where is where Unity gets their 30% from.
     
  17. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    10,304
    Yes.
    Gamer crowd is different from game developer crowd.
    Asset store sells tools, while steam sells entertainment.

    It is like a difference between a guy shopping for a chair, and a guy shopping for carpentry tools.
     
    GliderGuy, angrypenguin and Ryiah like this.
  18. Billy4184

    Billy4184

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
    5,814
    Nobody said tools and entertainment were the same thing.

    If you think there's a good reason for the current %, I'd be glad to hear it. I didn't say I know for sure what the right amount is.
     
  19. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Posts:
    8,225
    Unless you're a AAA mega publisher, that seems less plausible than ~15% becoming the new standard everywhere.

    Also, if baseline is 15% you have more room to negotiate, if somehow you find yourself in that situation.
     
    angrypenguin likes this.
  20. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    10,304
    Unity owns the store and they charge whatever they prefer. That's the reason. They have no obligation to match any specific cut percent.

    If they end up charging too much, people will leave and create a competitor. So far that hasn't happened.
     
  21. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    28,012
    Well giving up half the profit for twice the customers breaks even initially, but then those people start talking about it and maybe buy your DLC/next game too so it's always - even for an indie - preferable to have more customers so long as your initial profit is not affected. It doesn't make sense ever for indies to loss lead.
     
  22. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Posts:
    8,225
    That's not the part that seems implausible to me, it's the being able to negotiate with a platform holder (say, Steam) for more visibility for a bigger percentage.

    Or are you imagining some sort of automated system? If it's automated, then it will quickly turn into a race to the top kind of deal and since most people will be doing it, it will quickly have diminishing returns.
     
  23. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    28,012
    I'm not imagining anything although I have done deals like this and I have suggested automated tiers one could change with cooldown periods - no real different to energy bills.

    But this is a space in it's infancy. Nobody's doing it yet cos up until recently, there just wasn't a large amount of people needing contracts. The future is being made.
     
  24. Billy4184

    Billy4184

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
    5,814
    Have any of my posts even hinted that this wasn't the case?
     
  25. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    10,304
    You asked if there was a reason. That's the reason.

    They also don't have a realy reason to reduce cut to match steam/epic/whatever, because asset store isn't selling games and is in a different market.
     
  26. Billy4184

    Billy4184

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
    5,814
    Well I said exactly as much in my previous post, and then went on to explain why I thought there might be a reason in Unity's interests.
     
  27. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    17,276
    Low sales volume. Unity has nowhere near the accounts of these stores and they don't have anywhere near the sales that they have either for the discounts that they have to drive purchases. We haven't been told how many people run the asset store but Steam only has around 70 employees.

    Unity might have as low as one-tenth employees but they likely don't have even one-tenth the sales of Steam.
     
  28. Billy4184

    Billy4184

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
    5,814
    This is a likely possibility, and I mentioned it previously. But it doesn't solve the problem of how to make the store attractive for highly capable devs who can easily get paid a ton more in a typical job.

    It might even be worth the store losing money if sufficient perceived value is added to Unity as a result.
     
  29. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    17,276
    In my opinion there is nothing you can do to make it attractive because the core problem with the asset store is having to support your assets.
     
    Billy4184 likes this.
  30. Billy4184

    Billy4184

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
    5,814
    This is 100% true.

    Still, I wonder what effect changing the cut might have on the store as a whole. There are pros and cons to selling there - one of the big pros being that you get to pour all your knowledge into something that means a lot to you, that you own from the ground up. A lot of devs including myself are willing to throw away money because of that, and surely there's a line somewhere.

    Like I said though, the asset store team are moving very fast these days, they are testing things like no tomorrow and I gotta say I'm very happy about it.
     
  31. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    10,304
    Increased amount of low-quality content, perhaps?
     
  32. Billy4184

    Billy4184

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
    5,814
    According to my observations on freelance platforms, meager rewards tend to attract low quality work, because for certain low qualified people there really aren't a lot of other opportunities, whereas qualified people have many options offering large rewards.

    In any case, there are better ways to screen for quality.
     
  33. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    10,304
    In my opinion, the problem is that asset store inherently is not very attractive, and folks that make truly great stuff likely would be able to live without it.

    While switch to 15% vs 30% would mean 21% increase in revenue - that's BEFORE taxes, mind you - it is not something earth-shattering. And reducing the cut does nothing address the problem of asset store not being great.
     
  34. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    14,040
    I don't know about the "for a bigger percentage", but one of the benefits of working with a publisher is that they have exactly the kind of leverage required to help negotiating for improved visibility. An indie asking to get a spotlight on their one game is unlikely to even be heard. A publisher with a catalogue of games, on the other hand... well, Steam has featured "publisher sales" and that kind of thing on a somewhat regular basis.

    You're conflating what you choose to make with where you choose to sell it.

    You can absolutely pour all your knowledge into something that means a lot to you and sell it elsewhere. That is how game dev assets were sold before Unity's Asset Store came along, and it's how the bigger and more successful stuff still works.

    I suspect that this is a market / ecosystem issue. I mentioned WWISE before... if someone is paying them a starting price of $750+ per platform then they can afford to provide a few hours of support per customer and still be profitable. And because they're selling to large studios those numbers are perfectly acceptable.

    On the Asset Store prices seem to be in the vicinity of one tenth of that. Spend an hour providing support to a customer and you're probably in the negatives (having also considered other costs before that). But if you charge more than that there then you'll get few sales, if any.
     
  35. GoGoGadget

    GoGoGadget

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Posts:
    775
    Very few Asset Store devs actually make enough to warrant doing it full-time; that will always make it hard for the quality of assets to increase. For us graphics/shader authors, the SRP nightmare has basically tripled support platforms while not increasing revenue, so small things like a 10% smaller cut to Unity wouldn't go unnoticed.

    In my opinion, this is purely a PR/goodwill decision for Unity to make. Let's all be honest - Unity don't have to reduce the cut whatsoever, people will still keep making and selling assets. For all we know, they might lose money on the asset store which would make that decision even harder (I recall David Helgason a long time back saying that they didn't make much on there).

    I would much rather Unity just continue improving usability for Asset Store customers, the disaster that was package manager assets showed that things can very easily get a lot worse. Just last week I had a support case where somehow, Unity had let a customer download an asset on a version that I have not marked as supported, they imported it and it broke their project due to some dependencies that Unity imported with it. If Unity still take 30% but fix stuff like that, I'll be satisfied.
     
    Billy4184 likes this.
  36. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Posts:
    8,225
    I don’t think the two are related.
     
  37. GoGoGadget

    GoGoGadget

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Posts:
    775
    In an ideal world they're not, but at the end of the day, if Unity lose 15% of their Asset Store revenue, there will be finance types who look at the numbers and have bright ideas like "We can cut 50% of our development budget to offset the loss in revenue here". This is Unity we're talking about, who unfortunately don't have Epic's mountain of infinite Fortnite gold.
     
  38. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    28,012
    I think the industry will be more keen to adopt my suggestion of tiered % than anyone realises yet. Because adopting that allows them to keep 30%, raise it and have an entry level 15% that basically - in effect - shuts people up.

    So do you all really know what you're asking for, because if it's "sit on a store with no exposure for 15%" then that'd totally occur.
     
    GoGoGadget likes this.
  39. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    10,304
    It might make sense to do the opposite. Keep entry level payment at 30% or raise it, and lower it for more successful sellers to 15%.
     
  40. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    28,012
    Steam does similar to this for anyone grossing huge sums. This of course is one of the negatives people bring up about steam.

    As time goes by, all of this is going to change due to public outcry, public awareness. It's big business for businesses to avoid the SENSE of inequality.

    On paper, little will change.
     
  41. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    17,276
    Aren't we already getting that on Steam?
     
  42. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    28,012
    And what if 30% earned you more?

    Specifically, you'd earn less with 15% because for 30% the store would be able to bias much more exposure toward it than currently, and do so with transparency without fear of reprisal.
     
  43. LaneFox

    LaneFox

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Posts:
    6,933
    There's not really any real motivation for unity to reduce it's cut.
     
    hippocoder and neginfinity like this.
unityunity