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Price Discrimination

It should also be noted that there is no downside to this change for content creators because if they perceive that they would not benefit from the change then they could just set the “casual” and “publisher” prices to the same price and you are back where you started.

I understood, so the control would be part of the Marketplace intrinsic operation… so a new feature to be added. Sounds interesting, hopefully @Unreal_Josh and @WellActually keep an eye on this feature. So the competitor has it, why not us?

What do you mean with the competitor has it? I was obviously referring to Unity as the main 3D Engine competitor there. And as far as I can see on their asset store they don’t have an higher price for who ends up publishing a game and who doesn’t. Actually I was referring to the fact that any monthly subscriber gets a further discount on the assets price. What you and others are thinking here that Epic Games should do is quite the opposite instead. You are asking Epic Games to let you double, triple or even put a ten times higher price for “publishers” which means what exactly? So anyone that ends up publishing any game on Steam or Apple App Store or Google Play Store and so on made with UE4 should pay everything more on the UE4 Marketplace? Sorry but that is far from a good thing. Prices on the UE4 Marketplace are already higher than on the Unity Asset Store on average because there are less creators obviously and so a real price war hasn’t started yet. With Epic Games now releasing Unreal Studio with some premium direct support and a monthly subscription the worst thing it could do is allowing people on the marketplace to increase prices. Although Epic Games claims its highest profit and success with big software houses for AAA titles it still wouldn’t be a good thing marketing wise to allow marketplace prices to increase all of a sudden. And any indie developer that manages to publish a game online still has to pay a 5% to Epic Games either with standard free UE4 or with the paid Unreal Studio. Good marketing is giving loyal customers discounts and not increase prices so they pay more.

Related idea… Offer a discounted price to anyone whose not currently subject to the 5% royalty.
Those who are, pay a little more for all the packs they already own when filing along with the 5%.
Presumably this whole process could be automated which would appeal to both Devs and Epic?

@DarkS474 What you want to achieve is equilibrium price which neither biases in favor of buyers (publishers) or sellers (content creators) leading to maximum value overall. Yes I expect this change would lead to higher “publisher” price but it would lead to more available (and higher quality) content which gives value to publishers as they have more options to choose from making each purchase more valuable and making the use of UE4 more valuable overall. Unreal needs content creators the same way YouTube does. This is just a way to allow creators to extract compensation from the value they create which in general is good for the market.

Also, while creating the game a publisher only pays the “casual price” and only is required for pay the “publisher price” on publishing the game. This allows for lower upfront cost and more experimentation. If a publisher decides an asset is not worth the publisher price perhaps he/she can find something better/cheaper on the market place to replace the asset with before publishing. Particularly as the time between initial “casual” purchase and publishing is likely large and therefore many similar or event better assets may have been added to the store in the interval.

The only ones that don’t have to give a 5% fee to Epic Games are big software houses that can pay a premium 24/7 support license for their games which means $500,000+ either yearly or per title as it was with UDK and before the whole Steam and App Store revolution and professional 3D Engines becoming cheap to use. What makes you think that big software houses would want to buy many assets on the marketplace? Unless they do some fake indie production and that happens indeed and so they wouldn’t use their own assets and employees for obvious reasons… But for their main titles they already have their own programmers and 3D modelers and so on. They rarely buy anything on developers assets stores.

What you and others here are asking is Epic Games committing a suicide marketing wise in a really competitive market to let a few assets creators on the UE4 Marketplace to earn more quicker with less effort. THAT IS BAD. Just plain bad. That is not how the market works. That could be an option if Unreal Engine 4 was the only 3D Engine on the market or at least the only one with with a marketplace and so on. BUT although Epic Games main target is AAA games and big software house customers still having the Marketplace is to support indie and small software houses production and compete against other 3D engines with obviously Unity as the main competitor.

So if that would happen and let’s say that Unity would change its policy and do the same… what would it happen then? Any single freelancer developer like me at his first game, any indie developer, any small software house would ask Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play Store to enforce a policy to discriminate between “real gamers” and “casual gamers” ? So a “real gamer” that buys a lot of games should have to pay maybe 3 or 5 times more while a “casual gamer” buying few games would get the cheaper price instead?

Anyone making less than ‘3k in any given quarter’, does not pay the 5%!!!

Those are who I’m referring to, including students, or anyone just learning!
In short I hinted at a discount that would be paid back if you go over the 3k.

It could work like an all-year round season sale but just for that select group…
As regards assets / prices for Software Houses, I never mentioned them!!!

Anyone making less than ‘3k in any given quarter’, does not pay the 5%!!!

Those are who I’m referring to, including students, or anyone just learning!
In short I hinted at a discount that would be paid back if you go over the 3k.

It could work like an all-year round season sale but just for that select group…
As regards assets / prices for Software Houses, I never mentioned them!!!

Guys, take if easy… the OP just talked about a balance, meaning lowering prices for who can’t afford and scaling it up for those who clearly can. Balance is the key word. Also, we just need to hear what Epic has to say instead of guessing what is their position and maybe some better idea will come up.

Comparing UE4 Marketplace, Unity Asset Store and so on to YouTube just doesn’t make any sense.
And the real market doesn’t work like you and others here would want.
Do you think that indie developers selling games on Steam or App Store or Play Store at cheap prices due to heavy competition and the fact that being unknown or very small ones with tiny marketing resources if any are all happy to sell at very cheap prices ? BUT that is how the market works. You have to lower the price of your products and earn on quantity still delivering the highest possible quality. So an indie developer has to sell even a very complex game at prices ranging from $0.99 to $14.99 and higher the prices more difficult is to sell many copies to earn a good amount of money when taxes are paid.
Big software houses can initially sell their games at high and very high prices anything from $19.99 to $69.99 and would manage selling millions of copies easily thanks to expensive massive marketing campaigns everywhere. But then after a few months prices drop for those AAA games too and many can be bought at indie prices… the big software houses are still making a lot of money after the first wave thanks to the fact that they could add some other millions of copies sold to their profits and even with a 70% discount that could be worth millions.

Obviously anyone getting less than $3,000 per quarter is either selling games that failed and don’t sell enough copies or they made some bad games really not worth buying.
So any indie developer earning more than that would be rich enough to pay 2 times , 3 times or 10 times more the same asset on the marketplace? Seriously? Do you know what would happen if such a policy would be enforced? Many developers would quit using UE4 and switch to Unity even if they thought it was worse for various reasons before. And if it would happen that Unity management would then enforce the same policy on its developers/customers then indie developers would be forced to ask Steam, App Store, Play Store and so on to enforce something like that on end users in order to raise games prices. Chances of anything like that happening? With the fierce competitive market right now I would say near zero so if Epic Games would do that they would commit a suicide marketing wise with its competitors enjoying that so much.

@DarkS474

For some reason you’re reading into things that aren’t there in anything I’ve said.
We’re not talking about the same things here at all… So I’m done and outta here.

Price differences are usually adopted by companies that offer software/products in the upper hundred, if not early thousand range to offer affordable alternatives with minimal feature changes/restrictions to hobbyists/freelancers. I don’t think that’d be really necessary with the marketplace given the prices are nowhere near that high, can’t say I’ve seen much if anything over $150 to be honest.

As a further note: the publisher price must be frozen to the publisher price at time of initial casual purchase (or lower) so that if the creator later raises the publisher price the purchaser only pays the publisher price he/she was initially quoted (when they paid they casual price). If the creator/seller later decides to lower the price this will incentivize the publisher to use their asset in the final product and incentivize more aspiring publishers to buy their asset. Publisher price will have no impact on casual developer purchasing decisions.

Another note: the lower casual price cannot be used as a way to preview and copy content. If a publisher is able to purchase an asset at the casual price then inspect/copy then delete it and use an imitation in their published product then the content creator is being ripped off. I don’t have a perfect way of solving this but it seems solvable.

Another note: the real balance between buyer and seller is maintained by copyright. In this case, the strength of copyright is determined by how willing Epic is to allow a seller with a similar product on the marketplace. I would argue their current “willingness” is too low giving sellers too much monopoly power particularly if a creator/seller is the first to market with an asset. If these restrictions were loosened the prices would drop.

@SE_JonF I would argue that price discrimination is a useful tactic at any price range. It only requires two populations of buyers that have different needs and get different value out of the product.

It all depends on the populations. I would posit that there are three populations: 1) large companies, 2) indie developers, 3) casual hobbyists. Large companies are generally going to generate assets in house and therefore are irrelevant (to the extent they are not irrelevant they act as indie developers). Casual hobbyists will impulse buy at $20 an asset they wouldnt buy at $70. Indie developers get way more value out of an asset than current prices (obviously a debatable point). The point is not to price gouge indie developers (and i dont think this would be the effect). The point is to allow large volume sales to casual hobbyists where at current prices only a handful of units are sold.

Heh… Some AAA company bough plugins from me for $20.
( and I had to provide support xD )

Was funniest mixed feelings I’ve had in a while lol

[USER=“434”]BrUnO XaVIeR[/USER] This is exactly what I’m talking about. You probably created way more value than $20 and should be fairly compensated. If creators feel cheated they will stop creating which helps nobody. If publishers believe the prices are too high they will stop buying forcing creators to lower prices. Currently creators are forced to price their content simultaneously for two disparate populations.

Hey guys,

I’ve been reading through this thread, and I wanted to chime in here. What the original poster is recommending is a unique idea, but sadly it is something that, from our end, logistically would be a major challenge. Personally, I believe it would also breed a new hobby of trying to get items at the cheaper price. The other side of this is the license that comes with purchasing an item, a whole new set of terms would have to be drafted up and agreed upon.

We also run into the realm of, what happens if a user swaps over from casual/hobby developer to someone actually trying to release a finished product. Technically speaking this would be impossible to determine ‘casual’ assets that made it into a final published product. That said, as we are able, Epic will continue to release free assets on the Marketplace for people to use.