I think I have a good chunk of experience in this, we have about a dozen or so packages on the Marketplace. Ive always wanted to write one of these posts as when I was starting out, like you I couldnt find a lick of direct info on it. I made some leaps of judgement where I saw a trend of sellers make 1-3 packs in a short period of time. But then have a huge break between their next pack. This led me to believe they made their original content blind, waited for sales, got them, and decided to continue forward. Then for the people who made 1-3 and quit altogether, i noticed a distinct lack of quality. So I made the guess that I was able to reach that bench mark of quality, and become like the former, and be able to stick with it. In the end, it worked out.
So Ill try to share as much of my experience without divulging too much personal info, and hopefully you find it helpful. Id suggest most people to try their hand in it, if they are good enough. I personally dont like the idea of shooing away competition, I see this as we are all working together to create a healthy market. This type of industry is so new and fragile, that if we act cut throat early on, it will just hurt it all in the long run. I guess im an idealist at heart.
One of the biggest things to consider is this, whos buying your content and why are they doing it. Obviously buying ANYTHING on the marketplace is great value. To hire an average artist is $25 an hour, and most packs would cost between $1,000-$10,000 if you paid the artist directly. But you arent really dealing with customers who are thinking…hey should we spend $5000 on an artist, or $50 on this pack. Anyone who has the bank to spend $5000 most likely will spend that on custom art. You will be dealing with guys who maybe saved up $500 for their start up project, and you need to convince them why they should spend 10% of their budget on your stuff. The other part to consider is who is buying it. Its usually not artists. Its programmers and designers. Artists can well…make their own art. So just make sure you arent making art for artists, make it friendly, easy to use easy to understand easy to adjust content. Building blocks for designers, drag and drops for programmers.
Anyways, onto your questions.
What have been your experience selling on the marketplace?
Co founder of PolyPixel. So far ive really enjoyed doing this. I too was from a AAA background in games, and decided to do freelance to be my own boss. I knew the Marketplace was coming in 2014 so i took a month or so off and focused on a couple pieces to test it out. Eventually the packs got released, then eventually I got paid(on average its about 4-6 months from when you start your first asset till getting your first payment). And from there, I decided I liked the idea of taking that whole, be your boss thing, to another level.
How’s Epic feedback when you submit an asset?
For the most part pretty good. Only issues ive had is the time it takes to have a quick conversation as they are swamped beyond imagination. But they let you do your thing, as long as theres no glaring bugs or errors, most of its on your shoulders. If you think your quality matches the stuff on the store, they likely will do, and will throw up your stuff.
Did you get great (or not so great) sales and what did you sell?
Some things have sold great, others I would say Ive lost money if you consider my hourly rate, and the time spent on those packs. But the thing is, they still trickle in sales so I cant say for certain how much its made. But overall its been worth it monetarily speaking. The only thing I should add here is we have a small team with an extra handful of outside contractors. So our overhead cant really be compared to someone whos going to solo it part time.
What should be an average revenue for high-quality assets?
Honestly, this really depends. Im not privy to a lot of other content creators sales, and I know a lot of people want to hold their cards close to their chest in this regard, but Ill say that you should at least get a good return on just about anything with good quality. It should(no promises) give a return similar to what a freelance gig gives you at the least. But theres always a risk it bombs, or is a home run. Ive been on both spectrums, one month im day dreaming about how big my Yachts going to be, the next month im getting my resume ready to send back to EA.
What price should be an average package of assets?
ill let you know when we figure it out. We make some of the bigger environment packs out there, so we might not have the best insight for overall marketplace prices.
How is the customer/seller relationship in general?
Ill be honest, these forums have been really harsh to us over the years. A part of me has to put on my thick skin suit before I jump on here. Im usually very good with feedback, you have to be to be in this industry, but my egos been bruised a many times here. But for every mean spirited post we get here, there’s 5 direct emails or private messages where we get great feedback thats very constructive or compliments. We work with the customers a lot(almost goes back to selling fewer is better) and its always been a joy. Lots of customers realize we are in the same boat as them, and I love to think of us as their art team. Because for every great piece of feedback we tailor to their product, will translate to improved products for everyone next time. Its very rewarding to see emails with a link to a steam game with our assets in it, or a kickstarter with our maps.
I hope this helps, it was fun to write up.