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trjh2k2

Unity Does the unity store actively encourage asset flipping?

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I've never really been a "Unity guy", since all of my game-dev learning happened in C++, and in other engines, but I recently discovered the "complete projects" section in the asset store.  It's full up on projects you can buy that are billed as "ready to customize and release", with full ad integration.  Some of them claim to be for educational purposes, but why would you include a complete, polished, full featured game with ads as an educational example?

This leads me to the question of why this goes by unchallenged?  Does Unity and the environment of the Unity Store actively encourage this style of game development?  Is the problem of asset flipping our own fault?  I don't mean this as a "we should make Unity shut this down" kind of thread, but rather just to examine whether or not the environment of being able to just buy whole games or pieces of games is something that damages the industry.  I get why Unity would allow it, and I'm sure it's a working business model for some people- and maybe some people DO actually just use these to learn from, but I'm not that naive as to think that there aren't people who recognize this as one of the shortest paths to putting a game on the market so they can cash in.

Thoughts?

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For the most part, I think this was due to a Steam problem more than any issue of Unity.  I mean, who cares if someone buys a complete game that someone else willingly put up on the Unity Store, and then turns around and tries to sell it.  If the game is not actually good, it shouldn't sell, right?  Or if the buyer made some decent changes, it should feel distinctive and sell.  The market should discourage people releasing derivative clones.

Well, Steam fucked this up by letting cheap games grant Steam Trading Cards.  Suddenly everyone wants to buy and play these dumb games so they can get trading cards they can sell, and the developer gets a cut of every transaction on the cards!

Steam has recently done some work to try to curb this behavior, dunno how much of an impact it's made.

 

That said, I think having a full fledged, professionally made example can be really helpful to some people.  I find a lot of Unity's assets to be only vaguely useful and impractical.  Scripts/Assets that really only work for the small scene that they were included in.  Either they don't scale well, or they don't handle a majority of physics situations, etc.  

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I know steam definitely has a role in the asset flipping issue, but that part is well known and discussed all the time.  Nobody discusses unity's role in the issue though.  They created the environment where terrible games can be easily made by purchasing big chunks of work and slapping them together.  Legit question - Does any other engine do this?  (RPGMaker maybe?)

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8 minutes ago, trjh2k2 said:

They created the environment where terrible games can be easily made by purchasing big chunks of work and slapping them together. 

I don't think they're the cause of the issue.  Certainly they make it easier for people to sell their items and for people to buy the items, but that doesn't make them liable for how the items are used.  They do a good job of making it easy for buyers and sellers to come together, and that's a valuable service.

There have always been people out there who bring together the minimum parts they can, make a slapdash product, and attempt to profit from that.  The market happens to make it easier to get better components for the slapdash product, but they aren't the cause of the behavior. That behavior has been around for all recorded history.

It is literally among the oldest recorded actions of humanity. Given enough people there will always be some who attempt to make a quick buck this way.

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So we're just absolving Unity of any role in the practice....?  I get that they're not the cause, they didn't invent asset flips, but I still think it's worth discussing their role in it.

My question wasn't whether or not they caused it, but if their store environment encourages it.

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Putting those together:

Does {an online market that lets individuals buy and sell resources} encourage {people to sell mostly-complete products used for asset flipping}?  I get that they're not the cause, they didn't invent asset flips, but I still think it's worth discussing their role in it.

On the general level, the open-to-anybody marketplace will always have this type of thing. No matter who runs the market, no matter how strictly they attempt to regulate it, there are always people who will try to exploit. In that regard I do think the organizers deserve a pass.

 

On this market specifically, what would you have Unity or the market's community do differently?   What exact policy would you want to put in place that would solve the problem you see without incurring serious collateral damage?  Any wording or policies I think of cover not just the mildly-problematic flipping issues, but also a wide swath of useful materials. 

 

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Unreal does this as well, they have an asset marketplace, RPG Maker also stands out.  And I'm sure I could find thousands of nearly complete games/tutorials for phones and resell them.  Again I don't really see an issue.  Who are the resellers hurting?  Shitty marketplaces that don't do a good job of filtering or presenting products?  

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Fair enough.  I don't have a solution for it, but it surprises me that they get a pass so easily when so much about gaming gets torn to bits over every little misstep.  I mean, I'm sure they're well aware that Unity gets used this way.  That doesn't make them responsible at all, and I'm not suggesting that, but it surprises me that I've never seen it discussed before that Unity is in a position where they *could* impose something that would have an effect on the issue.  I was surprised that selling complete games on the asset store was allowed in the first place.

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I learned so much from my first industry job having access to an actual game from end to end, professionally done..  So I can see where the benefit comes from.  The fact that they can turn around and sell it and cause problems for a poorly implemented marketplace...is more about the marketplace being poorly implemented.  The same problem can happen with non-unity prebuilt games.

 

What would Unity impose upon their marketplace?  One could eliminate the complete game category...but that wouldn't stop it from being put on the store.   It would either show up in some other category, or be split out into easily recreated parts, or offline from the Unity store entirely.

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I don't actually see the problem here. The bottom line of any industry comes down to, "how can we make these products more cheaply?" The Unity engine itself does that, as does Unreal, Gamemaker, etc. AAA developers make use of exactly the same benefits when they use middleware or existing libraries.

This whole thread has worked under the assumption that this is bad, and should be stopped, and someone needs to be held accountable. But why is it bad? The only complaints I see from people about 'unworthy' games being on Steam are from other devs who are angry that being on Steam is no longer a guarantee to get eyeballs on your game, or from Gamergaters who demand that only the 'right' kind of games make it onto 'their' platforms. Having some shovelware buried on page 7 of a search on Steam has never impeded me from finding or buying what I want, and I doubt it really affects anyone.

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