My Learning Experience with the Unity Asset Store

Friday, April 22, 2016

Going into something that is new to me like publishing assets on the Unity store, there are a lot of unknowns. I don't know many/any people who have published assets there, online discussions of the subject are hard to identify with, and really everyone's experiences are going to be different due to the differences in assets. Some assets would be more or less in demand based on the skills needed to produce them and how many alternatives there are to a particular asset.

I read up on advice for "Making Money on the Asset Store", and good key points jump out like how you want to think up an asset to make that's as widely usable/desirable as possible balanced with it being as unique as possible. Its easier said then done.

In my case, VR related assets made sense due to my interests. I liked working on the subject, and my experience helped try to clue me into what might be desired for others wanting to develop VR content. VR is a niche market at the moment though. The good of that is that there's not very much for competing products. The bad is, there's less potential buyers.

How my first published asset would do is a huge mystery for me. Would it sell like hotcakes right off the bat due to lots of indie/hobby devs figuring out they want something like it? Would I rarely see a single copy sell at all? Obviously I'd hope for one, but try to expect the other.

In trying to predict its sales, I figured I'd see most of its sales in the first day or two. Figuring mostly from fellow community devs wanting to support me, and it showing up on "new asset" pages, tweets, or whatever. And after that it would decline over time to maybe a couple sales a week. I felt that was a modest guess.

Boy was I wrong!

My first week of sales has netted a whopping ZERO purchases. My fellow devs cared little, and it neglected to make any "new asset" promotion. Why? That's hard to say for certain, but I can try guessing on that too.

First, I'm modest. I didn't go around pimping my new asset to Skype groups, reddit, forums or whatever. To do so would seem like I was being greedy/annoying/lame. I let some people know, and if that word carried from there, awesome. But I wasn't going to bombard people with it. I'd have hope that word about it would spread while out of my hands, and several devs would buy it as word spreads, but I couldn't expect it.

Next. I knew nothing specific about Unitys own new asset promotion. They have pages/ads, and post to twitter. But I now realize that they are probably very picky about what new assets they promote. They probably only promote the ones they feel would appeal to the most people. Sadly, that's one of those "rich get richer" situations. The things to get promoted the most, need it the least. The things that need the most exposure are least likely to get it. It sucks, but I understand in this case.

My own tweet reached only a handful. And even then was quickly buried away in anyone's twitter feed. My blog is in no way popular, so it wouldn't reach many people.

Finally, even for a niche market like VR, my asset isn't going to be useful for everyone. I wish everyone would want it to include 3D wall art, or development screenshot gallery's or whatever. I feel almost any project "could" find a use for it. But can't expect everyone TO find a use for it.

Maybe it's presentation or features also needs work. I'm not 100% happy with the screenshots or description I used. I feel I could have done better with more time. But I'm out of my element with such things, and at the time I just wanted to get through all that prep work asap. I found it was a PITA, and like I was on a treadmill taking step after step forward, but being no closer to being able to submit the asset. There are a couple features I could maybe work on. But I felt they were best saved for later if ever. They're of less importance to people I think, and require a lot more dev time. My projects tend to get stuck in development hell. Always adding features, fixing issues, and never getting close to a finished state.

It's a bummer that its not selling as well as I could dream. Or even what I'd feel would be a modest expectation. But I guess I'd even be happy if it sold even just once a month. It would be better then nothing.

VR 3D Image Viewer

Use SBS, Cross-eyed, and Top/Bottom 3d images in your VR scenes!

For sale now on the Unity Asset Store!


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