Disclaimer: I really don’t want to be THAT guy and I appreciate Jon and team works - it always top notch and direction of work is correct, features in development are what Marketplace need now, but there are two problems which really bothers me and the situation is only getting worse on that matter.
Basically speed of replies from Marketplace is getting slower gradually due to rising size of Marketplace, yet team size is still the same.
I have 16 days old & 8 days old tickets which did not receive any reply so far. And judging from posts in feedback - I’m not the only one.
Imagine - there are more than 420 products that send their updates for 4.9 + hundreds of new submissions + hundreds of support requests(Like ones I mentioned). I think Marketplace team should be heavily expanded to match the growth of Marketplace I think its kinda funny that development of big project(1 month) could take less time than getting it into Marketplace(1 month+)
I understand that speed problem can’t be fixed immediately and it takes time(:D), but what could be fixed(and should be): lack of knowledge of your ticket/submissionstatus.
You get automated 24hr-48hr message, but it’s far from reality and I can’t remember when I got answer in this time span. Again - I know why it taking so long, but I just want to know if I get an answer and in what real time period I could get it so I can give clients some real ETA. Sometimes your ticket is marked as resolved and team won’t notice your new messages, but you don’t know if it closed or not and may wait for answer for months(Spoiler: you won’t get any).
I think these issues are very important and should not be overlooked
I think Epic should take notice on how unacceptable the marketplace approval process is. Without personal criticism to the people that are working on it (Jon Jones et all - I am guessing they are doing what they can) it is strange to see only around a dozen new products every week, no plugins, no variety.
As zeOrb already said, we all appreciate the work of the team; Though, it is just too small for handling the load, and the number of assets on the marketplace will increase. It could even increase way faster if there were more people at Epic working on the submissions. And more assets - more money for Epic - more budget for a bigger team (i know this is really a simplified view ).
It may get better when we can submit updates on our own to the marketplace, and Epic just has to approve the update with a button click (though i am not sure if that would really be neccessary; Existing sellers will want to have their product presented as good as possible). But that feature is still in development / testing and may take quite a while to go live.
I know this is a little frustrating but I do want you all to know that we have heard your complaints and are working to make things much faster and more efficient for you guys. We are starting that with how we do updates which we should hopefully have some news on very soon. We’re also working on things to make things more efficient from our view of things. As it stands right now, if you ever e-mail us and you don’t hear anything back within 3-5 business days please do reach out to us again either through the support e-mail or on here as well and we’ll get things sorted out.
As for the frequency of release, we are currently looking at slowly increasing the amount of submissions that we release each week as well. So while this will take a bit of time, this is also something we’re looking into improving. I do appreciate the patience and understanding you guys have shown and we are working to make things better and faster in the long run. As always if you have any questions please let me know.
I agree that we have a lot of improvement to do on the speed of bringing content to market. Right now the Marketplace is four people who are dedicated to the Marketplace fulltime, we’re hiring a fifth, and just last week we enlisted an engineer dedicated to code plugin review and publishing. That’ll take off quite a bit of pressure, but the main bottlenecks we have right now are our internal tools for processing submissions and preparing them for publishing. We have much better tools in development currently, but unfortunately they take time to develop and test, and we aren’t likely to see them until early next year.
One recent issue I’ve just discovered is that Zendesk, the system we use for tracking and managing all communication with Marketplace buyers and sellers, had an error where it simply misdirected quite a bit of Marketplace Support email instead of putting it into our queues for processing. I’ve spent the last four hours rapidly assigning and responding to everything I can to move it forward, but that combined with the major slowdown of 4.9 updates has really affected our speed lately. I sincerely apologize for how long things have been taking lately.
One bright spot is that as I type this, we’re testing automation tools that will dramatically speed up our ability to bring Marketplace content up to date with 4.10, and in a way that requires vastly less effort from sellers. More on this soon, but I can say now that 4.10 updates will go much more quickly and smoothly than 4.9. Trust me, we’re as frustrated with the rate of updates as all of you are.
Regarding the black box and not knowing the status, I’m going to talk to the team about a better way to handle this, and see what we can come up with soon, even if it’s temporary. We definitely need to work on communicating status more clearly and setting clearer expectations. We’re definitely open to the community’s suggestions on this.
Believe me, I’m a very squeaky wheel in all our Marketplace dev meetings. We have a lot of process improvements in the works right now that won’t be hitting until next year, but it’ll all contribute to increasing the rate of content releases. As it is right now, 12 to 15 releases every week is the most our team can responsibly maintain while still maintaining our current level of quality, on top of providing support to each of our 250+ sellers and all the buyers’ support requests.
With regards to code plugins, expect to see those start rolling out in the coming weeks! We’re in the final stages of testing and release prep for one majorly cool plugin, and there are 15+ more behind it that are in testing, and we have dozens more that I’m talking to and taking meetings with. I’ve been spending the bulk of my time on code plugin support since August, and we’re finally about to see the fruits of everyone’s labor. I’m as eager to see it come out as you are!
Thanks man! And I agree, we’re starting to hit the limits of our scalability. For what it’s worth, we’ve tripled our monthly revenue since the beginning of the year and we’ve been growing substantially and consistently every month. I’m preparing all these findings for executive review to justify more investment, more headcount, and more overall support so we can keep scaling and maintain the quality and reputation we’ve been slowly building over the past year.
I really appreciate the honest feedback I’m seeing here, and I respect that you guys take the time and care enough to give it. We want to build the Marketplace up to be even bigger and better, and having the support and input from the community here is critical to that. The new year will bring many exciting new things.
It’s a difficult position to be in right now since the community is thriving and there are unfortunate bottlenecks but whatever happens don’t comprimise on quality. It’s the thing I love most about the market place!
Thanks for the heads-up Jon. While the Marketplace has some growing pains now, I still think in the long run things will improve.
And I’m really excited to see what plugins are coming. I recently talked to some software developers that said that they are working on a plugin for UE4.