Unreal Engine maker Epic announced this morning that it’s increasing the rate paid to creators who make and sell reusable art, sound, engines, animations, and effects to other developers on the company’s Unreal Marketplace. The increase, from 70 percent of the sales price to a new 88 percent pay rate, will also apply retroactively, with additional payments doled out for all sales since the Unreal Marketplace’s 2014 launch.
The move seems designed to attract more attention to the Unreal Marketplace and away from competing asset clearinghouses like the Unity Asset Store, Game Dev Market, TurboSquid, and others that offer creators an industry-standard 70 percent (or less) of the total sale price to creators. Major game platforms such as Steam, the iTunes App Store, and all three major console-makers also offer developers 70 percent of revenue from game sales.
Epic says the number of sellers on the Unreal Marketplace has grown by 30 percent in the first half of 2018, now representing 1,500 creators and more than 5,000 “curated products.” But it’s still quite a bit smaller than the Unity Asset Store, which launched in 2010 and has grown to include over 36,000 assets as of last year and over 3,600 creators back in 2014. And while Epic says 8 million assets have been downloaded from the Unreal Marketplace since 2014, Unity says it was generating 7.2 million asset downloads per year as of 2014.
“Thanks to both the Marketplace’s growth and the success of Fortnite, Epic now conducts a huge volume of digital commerce,” Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said in a statement. “The resulting economies of scale enable us to pass the savings along to the Unreal Engine Marketplace community, while also making a healthy profit for Epic.”
The pay increase for creators comes months after Epic publicly released the assets for defunct “action-MOBA” Paragon for free use via the Marketplace. Those assets have been downloaded more than a million times, Epic says, representing $300 billion in “value” by the company’s estimation.
Unreal Marketplace assets have appeared in popular games including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and ARK: Survival Evolved.
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