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Is this legal - Assetstore issues again

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by imtrobin, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. imtrobin

    imtrobin

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    So I updated the asset store package, Characters Creatures (Pack), and found that there used to be 7 characters in there. In the latest update, the author removed them to only 5.

    Is this allowed?


     
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  2. JamesArndt

    JamesArndt

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    Uh are you serious? It's his package, he can do with it what he likes. He's not taking away the original (7) you purchased. You own what you bought and you have those. He isn't forcing you to upgrade to this package nor is he forcing you to buy the new package. That is entirely your choice as a consumer. Also I think it's important to note, that he's actually giving more product for the money with the new package!

    (7) creatures for $50 before the sale. Now you get (5) for $30. That means they used to cost $7 per creature and now they are only $6 per creature. More creature for your money.

    $30 bucks for (5) rigged and animated creatures with all specular, diffuse and normal maps included is a STEAL deal. Do you know the time and effort it takes to do the modeling, UVs, texturing, rigging, and animation for each character model? The cost to do these is most likely around $500 per character.

    About 15 hours of modeling and texturing - $25 x 15 hours = $375
    About 8 hours of rigging/setup and cleaning up motion capture - $25 x 8 hours = $200
    This is assuming not much hand animation has to happen and it's all applied motion capture with key cleanup.

    $575.00 USD per character.
    $2,875.00 USD for all (5) characters' production.

    Assume we give an indie discount as it's freelance work and not in-studio production.
    $2,000.00 USD production cost for these characters.

    Why complain about getting less for $30 USD? That covers about 1 hour of labor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  3. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    I think the problem may be that I don't believe you can download previous versions of a package. If you bought it before, and either didn't download it at the time, or no longer have a copy of that uintypackage you no longer have access to the items you originally bought.

    There is some feedback on the page from another customer and a reply, but it isn't clear if it was resolved or what the issue was.
     
  4. Ostwind

    Ostwind

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    I think the point was that features disappeared since the original purchase. People don't always know about the changes/downgrade when they hit the update button in the asset list since the change logs can be very vague or don't list these type things. I've seen threads about this in the past and it's an issue if someone does not have backup and they update to latest. People have requested the Asset store to have multiple versions available due these things.

    I don't think the rant about the cost has anything to do with the issue.
     
  5. JamesArndt

    JamesArndt

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    Ah okay I took it to mean something about less value for cost or something along those lines. I wasn't aware there were such issues like this on the Asset Store. When I purchase something from the Asset Store I have a workflow for the package file, which involves storing in a repository for later, uploading to a cloud service (in my case Dropbox), and then copying it and storing it in a redundant backup drive in the same PC. This way I have it accessible from anywhere via the cloud and I have two physical backups of it. This is just from my experience of "losing" files, packages and entire game projects to drive failure. I have to say if people aren't backing up stuff, especially their purchases, then I don't know what can help them. That's software development 101 stuff.

    * Very surprised to learn the Asset Store doesn't have archived downloads for previous purchases.
     
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  6. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Granted I'm no character artists and some of the tasks like motion capture or manual animation I just can't do, but I often wonder how people can really quote/offer/estimate that stuff so insanely cheap around here. I'd have guessed more like 2-5k$ per character, especially if they anatomically don't fit a default human baserig. 500$ per character seems more like a low-wage-outsourcing-country-price to me. Also in your calculation I see an estimate for mocap cleanup, but not for the recording. Where's that data coming from? How do you mocap that weird spider-crap thingy?
     
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  7. JamesArndt

    JamesArndt

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    Yes this is basically based around a student/new grad wage of around $25 per hour in the US. Like you said it's really low end and comparable to having work done in Vietnam or India. It's really an issue of estimating based on what the market will bear. Good catch on the motion capture. This is assuming you find good mocap elsewhere on the web (the university stuff, the Asset Store has some nice mocap sets, etc). Things like the spider you most definitely couldn't readily find mocap for. Shoot, I can't even find any dog or cat motion capture, let alone a spider.

    Also you have to estimate based on the resolution of these assets. I would never charge the same estimate for a mobile resolution character that I would one that would be used on an PS4 or the like. Mobile art content you're going to get these lower estimates at a lower rate and for next gen art content your going to get a higher rate and time estimate. These characters seem to be around 5,000 or 4,000 triangles so most definitely lower resolution than say a typical 40,000 triangle next gen character. Lower rate, quicker production times equals much lower quotes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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  8. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    Why would the author remove content from the asset, though? Were the characters faulty in some way?

    It's not just bad for previous owners, but for the author as well. He lowered the value of his asset, making it harder to sell, and he had to lower the price to adjust for the downgrade.
     
  9. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Although mocap of this nature can not be (should not be) provided in any asset to be sold on the asset store. Usually it is spelled out in the mocap license (which isn't even read by most who use them) or eula. It's just safe to keep free and for purchase content totally separate.
    If the character pack with animations is to be sold for profit - it should contain new mocap captured created by the artist or hand keyed animations, not free mocap libraries (not to be sold for profit) readily available.
     
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  10. JamesArndt

    JamesArndt

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    Unity's Asset Store mocap can be used in an asset sold on their store. I do know that much. They have a pretty extensive Unity package file of bipedal animation. They've always said you can use their freely provided assets in commercial products for sale.
     
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  11. JamesArndt

    JamesArndt

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    Not necessarily true. In fact removing some of the fluff characters and reworking materials or textures for a smaller set of assets could be an improvement in value. Especially so if they were converted to PBR materials and textures. Basically improving quality over quantity. Maybe you take those other two characters and break them out into their own pack because they don't fit the theme of this pack. Maybe they fit the theme of another pack better. I see all kinds of realistic motivations for doing this. I can't say why this developer specifically went this route.
     
  12. dogzerx2

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    That's true, and we don't know if the changes are temporary and the missing characters are just in queue for improvement.
    In any case, changes like this should still keep the old files in a folder somewhere, even if the store page screenshots do not display the old files.
    From user side, it's always good to promptly download all the content and back it up.
     
  13. imtrobin

    imtrobin

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    From your reply, I can be certain (and of my opinion) that you

    1. Did not bought the package.
    2. Did not buy a lot of things from assetstore so you don't know there is no download of older versions.
    3. Like to reply without thinking.

    If I have bought the package at $50 for 7 characters, and now it becomes $30 with 5 characters, how is that a good deal for me? If you are an asset seller, please let me know your id so I will avoid your products.
     
  14. JamesArndt

    JamesArndt

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    You're correct I haven't bought this package. I have purchased quite a few things from the Asset Store, but I wouldn't say often. I usually give replies a decent amount of thought. I admitted in my post I didn't interpret what was being said because the posting was worded oddly, vague and not specific in intent. I initially thought this was about cost and quality of assets, not about the accessibility of older package versions. I also explained how the value could be improved even though the amount of characters are lessened. Not to mention you get more value with the (5) characters for $30 over the (7) for $50 directly due to the fact that cost per character goes down. At (7) characters they run about $7 per, at (5) characters they are about $6 per. You might also be getting value in upgraded materials and textures, i.e. new PBR setups for each. They visually look nicer in the screenshots. You might get value in removing some of the fluff characters and reworking materials or textures for a smaller set of assets. Especially so if they were converted to PBR materials and textures. Basically improving quality over quantity. Maybe you take those other two characters and break them out into their own pack because they don't fit the theme of this pack. Maybe they fit the theme of another pack better. I see all kinds of realistic motivations for doing this. I am an asset store seller, and you can find that information very easily (big clue is to simply look at my post and signature). You can avoid my products as much and as long as you like, makes no difference to me, it's hobby income and I have a very good day job. :)

    Let me add: Please read above about backing up and saving your purchased assets. I would suggest saving them in the cloud in private repositories as well. If the asset is "lost" on your hard drive there is only one person to blame for that.
     
  15. Ostwind

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    Backups or not, the issue was are such noticeable downgrades legal.

    It's impossible to backup every possible update just in case of drastic or unwanted changes. I checked my store notification window and over 30 package update notification for the past 7 days. Asset Store should provide snapshots of past versions or major updates.
     
  16. Schneider21

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    I'm totally on board with recommending backing up your projects. It's one of those things that once it happens to you and you lose a lot of work, you learn to protect yourself in the future.

    However, the question remains: Is it against the Asset Store's TOS to modify a package in a way that removes content previously provided? Let's say I'm using this asset for each of the 7 bosses in my game. Everything's coming along well, and then I update the package and have suddenly lost the art for 2 of my bosses. As a customer who paid for the full package, I'm not benefiting from any increased value that might have been managed by lowering the price and included models...

    @imtrobin, I would recommend you contact the asset author directly. In all likelihood, he or she would be willing to give you the missing art files that were removed from the package, as well as explain exactly why the removal happened. If not, the best thing you could do would be to write a fair review of the asset to keep others informed of the author's practices, just in case. People respond to things pretty quickly when it's their public reputation on the line.
     
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  17. dogzerx2

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    Well, it is never desired that the value of your purchase goes down. But the most important thing is that you at least have what you agreed to pay for initially.

    If you get extra characters after purchase, without extra charge, then you can consider those an extra (forgive the redundancy). But the ORIGINAL agreement should not be broken ... I mean at least I thought that's the basics of buying something.

    Even in the case that the price of your purchase goes down, right after you purchase, which is sucky, but it can happen, the important thing is that as an adult you make the commitment to purchase something at that given time, but should not risk not getting what he or she payed for ... unless it's very clearly specified.
     
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  18. Schneider21

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    But isn't what happened in this case that the value did go down. The OP (presumably) purchased the asset at full price (even if it was at "full" sale price) for the included 7 models. Then an update removed 2 of those models.

    Let's say I purchased a new car that had Hyundai's Best In the Business warranty policy, which includes regularly scheduled oil changes and service. I take my car in for an oil change, and when I go to pick it up, find out the navigation system has been removed, because new Hyundais are no longer including navigation systems at that price. That would be cause for outrage, I imagine.
     
  19. Pengocat

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    In the Asset Store Terms there is only a reference to "Upgrades". I believe the automatic updates could inadvertently "Downgrade/Upgrade" an asset if the publisher decided to remove an existing item so it is a bit weird if it is allowed by Unity to remove things that are not broken in an "Upgrade".

    Leaving the "deprecated" assets in the "Upgrade" would be a better choice in my opinion.
    If the Publisher don't want to support the old assets I suppose they could "Deprecate" the entire asset and allow the existing customers a free purchase of the new asset, then the existing customers could both download the old and new asset.
     
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  20. BornGodsGame

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    I think he created new packages... so the 2 characters got moved over to one of his newer packages or something like that. He does good work so I watch for his new stuff, but recently he has just been cranking out new packs that are mostly just mismatching of his other packs into groups.
     
  21. dogzerx2

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    Definitely, I think the same.

    His work is freaking amazing. That's why I was wondering why would he do the character removal, doesn't seem beneficial to anyone.

    But the easy fix would be to back it up after buying. And don't rule out contacting him, and ask him for the missing characters, might get a much better result than in the forums.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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  22. steelersfan252

    steelersfan252

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    Your question was " is this legal" and yeah I think it is legal for him to take away when creating a new version.

    Edit: I think I might be miss understanding it. But if he gave the version and people bought it and got the 7 characters , hes not taking away from anyone who purchased it because they still have all the original pieces. It would be different if you bought it, and then were unable to use the 7 characters that you originally bought.
     
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  23. TonyLi

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    Is there a Feedback item for this that I've missed? If so, I'll put some votes behind it. I also lost Asset Store access to those 2 characters that were removed from the pack. Fortunately I had already downloaded an older version, but imagine the poor customer who bought the pack on the morning of January 13 when it advertised 7 characters and then downloaded it in the afternoon after the new version came online, only to find he only got 5 characters.

    Edit: Unless someone can point to a better one, everyone please put some votes behind this feedback idea.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  24. theANMATOR2b

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    Welp there went my last two votes. I wish we could earn more somehow.

    Unfortunately @JamesArndt workflow is best for people who use assets - at this current stage.

    An oil change isn't an upgrade...
    I'd expect to be given this information upon arriving at the car dealership. This information should be relayed by the asset provider on the asset store page.
    Update notes should be included in the asset listing - this pack has been updated to remove 2 characters and improve the textures, animations and other improvements.
    Since the update notes (there aren't any) on the asset store don't include this - hopefully the asset provider will improve his communication with customers so they can be assured the update is actually an update.
     
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  25. TonyLi

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    I just wanted to add that according to the current wording of the Asset Store Terms of Service I think Maksim Bugrimov is within his legal rights to remove content. Personally I'm not sure it's the best business move, but I don't know all the details behind the decision. That said, he does great work, so I won't rule out buying more of his products.
     
  26. BornGodsGame

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    If you bought it when it had 7 creatures but did not download it right away, then you would be losing the 2 creatures

    if you bought it and downloaded it but never added it to a project, then saw the pack was ´updated´ and downloaded it again, you would be losing the 2 creatures.

    I buy stuff all the time and never add it to any projects right away. I also almost always ´update´ any packs that show they need updating.

    I don´t think he did anything shady, I think he just got caught up in re-organizing his packs and didn´t realize what the ramifications were. If you contact him, I would imagine he would work something out.
     
  27. Pengocat

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    I agree. I would keep the pitchfork in the closet and firstly ask the publisher for the missing parts.
     
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  28. zombiegorilla

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    I agree, and do the same. (Though locally, not online). While excellent advice, I don't think this is a common or obvious practice. It's not explained or recommended by the asset store as part of usage. To me it seems like a perfectly understandable expectation that since assets are stored and presented the way they are, that one could reasonably expect they would be available permanently after purchase. The only reason I do backups now, is because a long time ago a publisher messed up an update with another of their packages and i lost access to it for a month while the corrected it. Ideally folks shouldn't have to learn about a flaw in the system through experience. If nothing eles there should be a FAQ on backups and future access.
     
  29. theANMATOR2b

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    Agreed - Some negative reviews have already posted on the asset listing, and the publisher has responded asking to send him an email for the other models. A better approach to customer support is to inform everyone by updating the package information to include what has changed.
     
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  30. Billy4184

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    I'm not sure why this thread would be posted before contacting him (if that's the case). A publisher needs to have full control of assets they sell, how they are priced and with what contents, and modifying a package contents is hardly illegal and perfectly normal (and as someone pointed out, the models are actually cheaper per model now - looking at the two pictures at the top I imagine he realized that some of the models just don't go well together).

    And I think it's always a good idea to begin by assuming that the publisher wants to help, which seems to be the case here, especially when the issue clearly comes from Unity's own asset store design structure. It can be difficult to deal with problems in online business when either party reacts straight away as if the other has questionable intentions. Often a short email can quickly smooth things out.
     
  31. Kiwasi

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    Actually now that I think about it, this is illegal, and anyone that had purchased the original asset would be entitled to a refund. Under my countries laws anyway.

    Changing the contents of an asset pack after sale would count as 'different to a sample shown to you'. And would entitle you to a full refund.

    This would apply to anyone who brought the asset before the update, and doesn't have access to the full seven models.
     
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  32. Billy4184

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    By that logic, any kind of update is illegal as well.

    The asset store simply needs to hold onto the previous versions and make them available. In the meantime, contacting the publisher is probably a good idea.
     
  33. TonyLi

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    BTW, he did reply to email right away and provided a download link for the 2 characters. (Include your invoice number so he can confirm the purchase.) Like @Carve_Online wrote, it looks like this was just an unfortunate side effect of reorganizing his packs. Keep in mind that the vast majority of publishers on the Asset Store are lone, hard-working individuals without huge QA and legal departments. Mistakes will happen. While we should hold them accountable to their obligations, let's also give these fellow indies the opportunity to make things right like he's doing.
     
  34. BornGodsGame

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    Yeah, and this is something we talked about in another thread regarding how the backend of the asset store functions. For guys that do character models and then do packs that are groups of character models, and then do bigger packs that are groups of groups of character models... it is a freakin nightmare when they update one model because then they have to update and upload each pack individually... and then you throw in the appx 2 week review process and it is easy to see how mistakes happen.
     
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  35. Billy4184

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    I agree, that's why I'm saying that a publisher should be the first point of contact for any issue. He's obviously just rearranging stuff to make it fit together better, if you look at the two images, and it's clearly not his responsibility that Unity don't let you access previous versions.
     
  36. Ryiah

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    Well this is Australia we're talking about. :p

    I'd be surprised if the law prevented updates in general because there is no way that would fly.
     
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  37. Kiwasi

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    That's certainly been argued successfully a couple of times on court. If an update takes away key functionality that the user was originally promised, then that user is typically entitled to a refund.

    Providing access to download old versions of the asset would solve this problem.
     
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  38. zombiegorilla

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    Updates are covered in the Eula, but with minimal description. (It doesn't define what constitutes an update)
     
  39. zombiegorilla

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    And others (like using an older version of unity or having different requirements , etc. ). This would be a solid solution.
     
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  40. dogzerx2

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    Would it be costly to store every single update for every asset?

    Maybe do it similar to Steam, where every update only uploads the files that changed since the last version.
     
  41. TonyLi

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    Storage is cheap. Backend cloud storage is often deduplicated, too, so duplicate copies of files don't really take up any extra space.

    That would also be handy for customers, too, since it would be less to download. But I imagine it would also take more time and effort to implement. I'd be quite happy to be able to simply access older versions even if I had to download the entire package. Maybe incremental updates could be a future enhancement.
     
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  42. Billy4184

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    To be perfectly honest though, I think it makes more sense for a user to have like 24 hours to download something after they buy it, and then have the responsibility of backing it up themselves. If you think about it, it seems strange to require the place where you buy software from to hold onto a clone for the rest of eternity just in case you happen to need it - for physical objects this is obviously not the case.

    But practically it does make sense for Unity just to keep copies, and yeah storage is cheap ^.
     
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  43. Kiwasi

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    That's another valid option.

    But since Unity currently does allow you to download a purchase at any point from now until eternity, they are obligated to meet consumer law on the purchase.

    It's a weird one, but consumer law is like that. If you are going to provide a service, you must do it properly. But you typically aren't required to provide the service in the first place.
     
  44. Billy4184

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    Well you could argue that this is so that users have the ability to access updates, not simply to make the same thing available for download at any time.

    I think the problem is that it's so easy to lose software, and for it to be modified, compared to physical objects - but that said, it also makes it easy to back it up.

    For practical reasons though it doesn't make sense to obligate people to be maintaining multiple backups of hundreds of different assets they download from the store, if only to smooth out the process of buying and using stuff from there.
     
  45. neginfinity

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    Actually, no it doesn't and it makes owners of any site who does that look like assholes. I had a "pleasure" of buying a software that is worth a few hundred bucks off a store that only gives you 7 days to download it, and after that just pretends that you never bought anything.... unless you pay extra for a 2 year "download guarantee"! This kind of business practice stinks. I mean if I already paid few hundreds for the product, digital goods don't exactly expire, and their piece of S*** store still holds the the file in storage anyway, along with my account data.
     
  46. Billy4184

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    Hehe, well what I meant was that for legal purposes the user would have 24 hours to download - from then on only the latest release would be available. It doesn't make sense not to have the latest release available for people who have bought something, and to pay for a `download guarantee' is just bs.

    But practically it's definitely not worth bothering with any of this, since storage is cheap - why make it easy for customers to get annoyed with you? I wouldn't even consider it, just keep all the versions available.
     
  47. zombiegorilla

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    Most digital software purchases are kept available after purchase. App Store, google play, amazon, steam, etc. if I'm not purchasing a physical product, I would expect it to be available on demand.
     
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  48. Billy4184

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    Yeah just to be clear, that's not what I meant - I was talking about older versions, and the legality of updates and modifications after purchase. But anyway, the important thing is what people expect - and they expect to be able to download whatever whenever, so there's not really any point not making versions available.
     
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  49. imtrobin

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    The issue is not about me backing up older versions, or having ability to download existing versions. I have few hundred purchases, and every month there are more than a hundred updates, some items are updated several times a month so its pointless for me to keep track (or backup).

    The issue here is, the asset has penalized early buyers by not only dropping price, but reducing functionality as well. Now is that supposed to be how assetstore work?
     
    Ryiah, angrypenguin, Kemonono and 3 others like this.
  50. Noyart

    Noyart

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Posts:
    7
    Isnt the issue that the people that paid $50 for 7 characters now has 5 characters? They still payed $50? So they lost content but still payed full price. While it make sense that someone that pays $30 get 5 characters. Its a good price.

    It dont quite sit right for me. Also if you bought the pack for one of the characters that was taken away, how would that effect me as a costumer?

    I haven't bought any assets from the store like 3D models, so I dont know how that works, but I have bought some scripts and stuff. Tools mostly.

    It was nice to read that it got solved tho, that the artist email the 2 missing characters :)