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Epic/UE4 shifting from 70/30 payout for Marketplace publishers to 88/12. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by alexanderameye, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. alexanderameye

    alexanderameye

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    So Epic Games, the creator of Unreal Engine 4 announced that they will be paying 88% to their Marketplace publishers on every sale instead of 70%. And they will do this retroactively for the past 4 years!

    I'm interested in thoughts on this.

    Source https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/12/...se-and-backpay/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    Epic says they are able to do this because of the massive succes of Fortnite. I don't think Unity quite has that Fortnite money (who knows) so the 70/30 system will probably stay for a while.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  2. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    We've been told why they were able to do it, but they haven't told us the reason why they choose to do so. If I had to guess it would be that their market has nowhere near the same number of assets as Unity's Asset Store and they want to encourage more developers to support UE4.
     
    landon912, chingwa, Martin_H and 8 others like this.
  3. alexanderameye

    alexanderameye

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    Yes could be it! Feeding back more money into their Marketplace has several great effects. More people will create assets and better assets, more people will buy those assets, more people will make games, so more royalties paid to Epic. I think it's a smart move.
     
    LIVENDA_LABS and Mintonne like this.
  4. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    It will probably buy some goodwill from developers, especially people who are already committed to the UE4 ecosystem. I don't think it will suddenly cause Unity devs to switch to UE4, though.
     
    Kiwasi likes this.
  5. gilley033

    gilley033

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    I don't know, that's a pretty significant chunk of change that may draw in some people. If you're doing low sales obviously it won't have a huge impact, but if you're a developer that has done $100,000+ in sales, you're talking about a $18,000+ difference. If you're a major asset developer, how does this not at least make you consider sending some (if not all) resources over to Unreal development?

    Of course, if there aren't as many people in the Unreal eco system to purchase your product than obviously the gains won't be as alluring. Perhaps someone who has sold the same product on both stores can shed some light on how they've done on each store.

    In any case, damn would it be nice if Unity followed suit!
     
    rubble1, S4G4N and LIVENDA_LABS like this.
  6. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    :eek::eek:
     
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  7. thomalex89

    thomalex89

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    It's retroactive too all the way back to 2014.
     
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  8. Stardog

    Stardog

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    It's epic.
     
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  9. verybinary

    verybinary

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    I don't make assets so I have no idea.
    Is there any reason developers can't or don't submit to both asset stores anyways? Code is one thing, but stuff like models and sprites and whatnot?
     
  10. gilley033

    gilley033

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    On the Unity side of things, no, there is no restriction saying you can only sell on the Unity Asset Store. It's probably the same for the Unreal engine, though I couldn't say for sure. Like you say, some asset types are easier to port than others, and some things geared towards Unity wouldn't make sense in Unreal. I'm pretty sure there are at least a few Asset Store publishers who also publish on the Unreal marketplace.
     
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  11. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Well, 88% of not many sales isn't much of a benefit over 70% of lots of sales.

    I don't know numbers, but from casual observation around 6 months ago the Unreal store ecosystem didn't seem as active as the Unity one.

    To be honest, the thing that would be more likely to attract me there if I were an asset developer was sustained higher prices, if they achieve such a thing. My gut feel is that this would make sustainable asset development more realistic, and in turn support development of higher quality assets.
     
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  12. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Looks like they are scrambling to try and catch up with Unity.

    Wouldn't surprise me if they start offering cash incentives up front in the future.
     
  13. stormwiz

    stormwiz

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    I don't understand why Unity chooses not to be more proactive like Epic when it comes to creating in house games which could potentially create huge revenues for the company. Also by stress testing the game engine, much could be learned which then gets transferred back to the engine. Btw Fortnite is grossing $320M per month.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  14. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    If you don't understand it it's because you haven't look at it from a business perspective. Unity's approach is basically the same as and for the same reasons as Intel's approach before AMD released Ryzen. They are dominating the market.

    Their closest competitor has less than half of the market share that they do.

    marketshare.png

    https://thenextweb.com/gaming/2016/03/24/engine-dominating-gaming-industry-right-now/
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  15. stormwiz

    stormwiz

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    I don't think they are trying to catch up with Unity. The reason you see less content in the UE Marketplace is because Unreal Engine is a swiss army knife and does not need much help in terms of plugins, etc.
     
    Meltdown likes this.
  16. QFSW

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    That's really not why... If any engine did absolutely everything that plug-ins were useless it'd likely be an unusable mess
     
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  17. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    General background chatter:

    I've moaned about 30% before. It's an accepted norm, made up number the entire industry chooses to hide behind.
    • it's often great value for the seller if the market you enter is closed and healthy
    • it's often bad value for the seller if the market you enter is polluted (steam)
    • it's still a made-up number! everyone uses 30% because they believe there will be little resistence
    • for the platform holder this balances out over time even if it's an initial loss
    • for the asset or game seller, this is always a 30% hit even if the returns suck

    So 30% depends on what you get in return. For epic's marketplace, likely sellers weren't really getting much back from it. epic changing this attracts attention to their platform and store. It also sets an interesting precedent, it says "let's talk about 30%" which pretty much every platform owner or store owner or publisher really didn't want to do.

    And especially with steam, I'd like everyone to start questioning that 30%. For publishers though I would not be quick to judge because 30% can be a hugely good deal.

    I give away more than 30% and the moment and I'm happy to do so! As I said, it's all about the deal.

    Unity asset store:

    With Unity's asset store, I don't think 30% is bad! You get access to a huge amount of customers. It's a walled garden, so 30% for Unity assets is a good deal. You can't access those customers outside easily!

    But only if Unity can ensure that those customers can easily search for your asset. That is called keeping their side of the bargain. If you are charged 30% for a theoretical million customers, you want to be able to access some of them. But if only 100 of those see your product, then 30% is a bad joke.

    So it's still about the effective audience you gain access to, not the theoretical audience you gain access to. So IMHO 30% should be flexible or you should demand a better store, not one that funnels max profits to Unity at your own cost.

    Examples:

    Pay 15% for no store promotion - you will do your own promotion.
    Pay 30% for what you have now.
    pay 50% for an initial feature plus another feature every 3 months, lasting a week.

    Things like this are still going to bias in favour of the platform/store/publisher (as it should really) but it gives you control. For example you might start on 50% then over time change your agreement to 15% because you become known and popular. Or perhaps you start at 30% and need a helping hand? You lock into 50% for 3 months.

    That kind of dealing is real business, and quite fun really. You get some control over the process and the store/publisher/platform enjoys your increased attention.


    Thanks for reading my ramble, I'm off back to work!
     
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  18. QFSW

    QFSW

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    This
    This. I'd be much more happy giving x% to Microsoft for Xbox One than the same x% to Valve for Steam
     
  19. GoGoGadget

    GoGoGadget

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    There's no reason something like Fortnite couldn't have been made in Unity, by Unity! Imagine the multiplayer improvements, LOD improvements (octohedral impostors) and more that would be in Unity by now, instead of Unity implementing theoretical features that have the real-world usability of an essay on release. Instead Unity burn money on making a graphics demo that runs at 30fps on a MacBook :/

    On the main topic, obviously Epic can only do this because Fortnite is making them so much money that they can throw it anywhere and still not see it decrease. I doubt a change like this would be sustainable to Unity's Asset Store, in reality there are better ways to improve the asset store so publishers can actually depend on real income for >12months for each asset.
     
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  20. stormwiz

    stormwiz

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    These are two great engines and I'm taking anything from neither. I only wish Unity could move quicker implementing game engine features. Such as visual scripting, AI, etc. These days almost all game engines have some sort of node based system which is faster for prototyping or building games than traditional scripting can do. I know there are some of you that could script very fast and don't see a need for visual node editor. For the rest of us artist/coders we would like more freedom for creating games. The asset store is really great and should be our number one goto for many turn key solutions, but having built in engine features like the new UI system will always be more preferable over third party plugins.
     
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  21. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I would have thought showing that their game engine can run even on terrible platforms would be a good thing. :p
     
  22. LaneFox

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    I see what you're trying to suggest, but hat 50% for paid feature doesn't make sense for anybody.

    We've talked a lot about what the AS provides and they're working on having more to offer and better tooling for publishers in the future, it's just a slow process. There's absolutely no shortage of good and constructive feedback, we've absolutely beat every stick into the mud on the topic and they're just filtering that into whats most important and feasible.
     
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  23. elbows

    elbows

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    Epic have a long history of making games, and teams of people to do the job. Unity dont, and if they decided to it would take considerable time to get setup for such a mission.

    Personally, I can see why some people would want this but it doesnt bother me.
     
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  24. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Why? it's not unusual in some stores back channels, albeit for games not assets, and I was broadly mixing the kinds of stores so apologies for confusion.

    But when you have something that typically has a long tail, activities to drive user acquisition are worth money. Within a particular store, even the asset store, there is quite a bit of competition, especially now upgrades are a thing.
     
  25. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    Sure but there's zero incentive to not sign up for this as a pub, which throws a lot of work on approvals and filtering internally and they really don't have man-power for that. They're working on other promotional solutions anyway.
     
  26. stormwiz

    stormwiz

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    All I’m saying here is Unity could potentially improve the game engine by field testing it in a real project and not a rendering demo. Which is what is doing here. Is like building a battle cruiser that sits on a harbor instead of taking it to battle with 60 foot waves.
    Unity have over 800 employees I’m sure they could spare a few for such project.
    You guys remember that guy that made Nottorus visual scripting tool. That was one malnourished, underpaid individual, but with a lot of heart. Why pack an ak47 and look like combat warrior if you afraid to use it. No excuses Unity, maybe bad management.
     
  27. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    The field test is the eight hundred bajillion games people have made with Unity.
     
  28. LurkingNinjaDev

    LurkingNinjaDev

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    Stop right there and just think about two things:
    - they have 800 people and they are working hard on things as of now, we can see it and still we have to wait for features a long time (humanly long, in terms of development, it's not), now imaging, if 200 people laid off from feature development and assigned on a game (no, it's not 2 dozen people who makes a Fortnite)
    - also take into consideration the cost of the Book of the Dead and the Fortnite
    - also Unity have very little experience to make games, so the mentioned cost would be considerably higher due to first timer status and inevitable non-optimized development, and still, the success would be a lottery
     
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  29. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

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    Exactly this.

    Plus, we do work very closely with particular customers in a lot of situations - in some cases, going so far as to virtually embed engineers with the customer, having them build "whatever this game needs from the engine." I believe the texture mipmap streaming that we just shipped in 2018.2 came directly from such a project.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  30. IgnisIncendio

    IgnisIncendio

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    Doesn't Unity have over 2000 employees now? (Source is the public relations page)
     
  31. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Heh... I can personally attest to this. Though in our case the outcome was... sub-optimal. ;) . (not because of Unity or their devs, or our devs for that matter).
     
  32. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Well, if I'm going to sell any models, I know where I'm going to go first.
     
  33. QFSW

    QFSW

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    Yeah

    To both stores
     
  34. syntystudios

    syntystudios

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    With thousands of assets on the store and hundreds of (at least) publishers where are these magical features coming from? There is on a very small finite amount of promotion opportunity, 1-2 Facebook posts/Tweets a day max. The store front page only has enough room for a few assets. I think all promotion needs to be equal and included in whatever cut a store is taking, fairness here needs to be priority. I would feel our extra 20% is worth more to Unity than little joes single asset 20% so does that mean we get more promotion? why should joe have any? Its a super slippery road, with the big guys out bidding the little guys just like we see on IOS/Andriod and the big publishers.
     
  35. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    The promotion I refer to is entirely automated shuffling of the asset store. On that day, the computer decides what needs showing, and you get a slot where your asset is on the front page. I have no idea where people are getting this idea I meant humans would even be involved.

    And yes, that alone can be worth 50% if the store is particularly big.
     
  36. syntystudios

    syntystudios

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    Why? Why should we be even talking about having to pay potentially more to survive on the Unity store when Unreal literally just cut its ratio to 88/12 all promotion and features included. Artists/coders should get paid fairly for there work and the store should continue to focus on promoting "good" content.
     
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  37. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    Based on what I've seen (10+ front page features across several assets) in the specific case of the asset store I don't think this is anywhere near worth it. If you are selling a few copies a day you might double or triple that that for a front page feature, and maybe get a few extra sales the next day too.

    Even if we assume you get 10x sales day of features and 5x sales the next day, this still loses you around 15% of your revenue for the month.

    I can imagine it being worth it if your asset doesn't sell at all. But this doesn't really work for Unity, there's only so much real estate available, there are tens of thousands of assets, but only a few hundred slots per month (I mean you can add more but at some level of saturation the feature slot stops being a feature slot).

    Sales, at least when sales were somewhat more rare, had a vastly different effect. I think one 24 hour sale gave me 200x daily average, even accounting for the reduced price it was pretty significant.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  38. superjayman

    superjayman

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    UNITY's 30% is simply outrageous.. It should be 90/10 split immediately, and even consider backdating the payments at least A year back. Unreal are backdating all the way to 2014!!!..

    Also, Unity does not help or support the developers in any way after the asset is released we have to do all the support, If you contact their team they take at least 3-5 days to Reply!.. wtf. How about instant communication?

    Also WHY ARE THERE ONLY 2 FREAKING PAYMENT OPTIONS??? Paypal, or money transfer once every 3 months??? There are tons and tons of other payment options available these days, at least provide one more option other than Paypal. Also, MAKE MONEY TRANSFERS MONTHLY, why the 3 month wait?

    E.G.
    $20,000 => 30% to unity equals $6000 for not doing anything.
    => 10% to unity equals $2000..THANT'S A DIFFERENCE OF $4000,

    $4000 is a lot of money for asset developers. They could use that extra $4000 to provide proper service for their product.

    When will Unity start appreciating the developers?
     
    LIVENDA_LABS likes this.
  39. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    You're not forced to use the Unity Asset Store. If you don't like it, and you have an asset that has enough demand to attract attention on its own, you can simply sell it directly.
     
  40. superjayman

    superjayman

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    You're completely missing the point! I'm talking about using the Asset Store but paying less than 30%. Obviously you don't have to use it!!. What you're saying is if you don't like the 30% you can f__ off.. Is that what Unreal People are doing to their developers, NO.

    So, you'd rather pay $4000 extra(Look Above)? That's why unity asset store is full of Old, degraded assets with no support for most.

    Unity has not made a change in their 30/70 share for many many years, It's about time they change it to help developers, how about 15/85? They can easily do 15% rather than 30%, just to be fair and competitive. How about backdating? How about monthly Money Transfers? How About Improving developer communication? The list goes on...
     
  41. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I won't deny that they could very easily do 15%. I won't deny that Epic Games is doing it to be competitive. Being "fair" though has nothing to do with it. Epic Games didn't make this decision to be "fair" to their market place publishers.

    Because let's be completely honest here. If you seriously believe that Epic Games did this as a favor to their developers and not because they are far behind (they have less than half the market share of Unity) the competition then you clearly do not understand how businesses function.

    I have no doubts whatsoever if the tables were flipped and Unity was the one making this decision that Epic Games would make no attempt to copy them. After all Humble Bundle's 75/25 split, Humble Widget's 95/5 split, and Itch.io's configurable split has had no effect on any other stores in spite of their success. Why would Epic Games affect Unity or vice versa?
     
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  42. superjayman

    superjayman

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    Ok, since you say so. Lets do a deal at 15% , are you Unity? No point convincing a skeptic.
     
  43. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    What's the percentage we have to pay to see them abandon the current beta of the Asset Store? :p
     
  44. elbows

    elbows

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    I expect the timing and the decision also has something to do with them having scored a giant, massive hit with a game and the effect this has had on their revenue streams. Their marketplace revenue is probably dwarfed by this so its a much easier decision to sacrifice a greater chunk of that stream and spend some of their cash reserves backdating it.
     
  45. elbows

    elbows

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    As a user of assets rather than a creator of them (so far at least) I think I'd be happy to see asset store developers have the option of greater revenue percentage in exchange for a commitment to support their assets for a greater length of time than some manage. If a higher percentage of the assets I had purchased were made by developers who recognised the amount of work they would have to continue to put into their offerings on an ongoing basis, rather than moaning when new Unity versions caused them to have to rework some of their code, I would probably have bought as many assets in the last 3 years as I did in the first years of the store.

    But I also recognise that the above is hard to make workable, and peoples lives and circumstances change, and some users are really rude and draining when seeking and demanding various degrees of support.

    Usually when I think of all these issues, I end up wishing their were more companies who were prepared to set themselves up as highly responsible and pro-active unity asset companies, with established mechanisms for them to take on otherwise abandoned assets and support and evolve them.
     
  46. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I'm of the opinion that the Unity Asset Store revenue is dwarfed by their licensing revenue and that they could very easily reduce the percentage if they wanted to even to the point of having a loss just because the Asset Store is a form of marketing for bringing in new users.

    Just look at the following thread. It's a developer who has only had an account for a few days (though it's always possible he's been around for longer) yet he's already looking into the assets he wants to use. Unity's Asset Store brings people in to the engine.

    https://forum.unity.com/threads/does-megasplat-do-anything-more-than-cts-does.540503/
     
    Kiwasi and elbows like this.
  47. superjayman

    superjayman

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    You either, like talking too much, a bot, a troll, just plain stupid, or an over complicator. Make a point dude
     
  48. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Alternatively you're just bad at following a conversation. My point was already made. I'm expanding upon why I think they could do it if they wanted to but I've already covered why I feel like they won't.
     
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  49. Player7

    Player7

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    Well I can see it maybe having an effect on Unity for art assets.. if you're an artist selling 3d models etc then you'd probably want to maximize what you get, and having the same 3d models on both stores at same price one of which will make less back per sale, well you'd probably be more inclined to just sell those assets exclusively on the store that makes you the most back.

    Epic already seem to have attract 'artists' to their engine, so now those are more likely to just sell on Epic's store. It's also a nice gesture to be back dating it. Ironically with UE being an engine used alot by 'artists' I can imagine most of them don't really use the Epic store for buying 3d models though, so maybe some will still sell assets on Unity's store aswel.

    Of course Unity still have far more useful scripting tools/editor extensions that are made with C#, if Epic ever supports a better language like C#/Java (ie not some custom homebrew garbage language or some millennial rot like javascrap/python) etc then they should be worried, but for now I think it's really not going to have much effect on Unity, aside from making asset developers wonder why Unity can't offer a more competitive percentage.

    And how the hell did fortnight become so popular? It's total garbage like the looney toons of fps games, they still have awful controls/ux for inventory management on pc..I mean the updates literately just consist of skins, zero improvement to anything else.. oh well I guess it's perfect for todays audiences.

    Still I'd hoped that Unreal Tournament would have been given more resources to improve but they didn't really take much risk with it, Quake Champions is just more fun.
     
  50. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Well OP asked thoughts, so I gave thoughts. My thoughts weren't limited to asset stores but stores in general in relation to 30%

    And nobody can change my view that 30% should be negotiable but automated. There is no reason left why it cannot be. You should be able to define if you want to spend more or less. You spend less? you get less back. You spend more, you get more back. Where the business, or skill comes in, is WHEN you choose to give more or less. In all of these situations, the store should never come out worse off, otherwise they have no incentive to budge from 30%.
     
    HeadClot88 likes this.