Updates like New Improvements to the Creator Marketplace are fantastic to see. They greatly improve asset discovery which is beneficial for new and experienced creators, and the security updates help significantly in tackling the malicious dupes/knock-offs we’ve seen in the past.
However, as expressed in similar topics, incentives to develop high-quality assets are still significantly lagging behind. It doesn’t take a lot of searching to see that many top marketplace developer are frustrated:
- @xSIXx and his struggles with financially sustaining MoonAnimate: https://twitter.com/Roblox_RTC/status/1478137235803414531
- @Elttob on the impossibility of sustaining an income from plugins on Roblox: https://twitter.com/Elttob_/status/1492169433430773761
- @Sleitnick on revenue potentials with his datastore plugin: https://twitter.com/sleitnick/status/1492176809705750544
- @TheNexusAvenger on the frustrations with the marketplace: https://twitter.com/TheNexusAvenger/status/1492174347057967106
- @TheNexusAvenger’s article on why he plans to split from the Roblox marketplace: https://thenexusavenger.io/article/16/splitting-from-the-roblox-plugin-marketplace
- @boatbomber on Roblox taking 90% of his revenue: https://twitter.com/BoatbomberRBLX/status/1492180476286709763
- My frustrations with the marketplace and Roblox removing my sole marketplace income: https://twitter.com/ForeverHD_/status/1501960701312704519
For me personally, I love creating tools for the marketplace. I was fortunate initially to receive an income from HD Admin. It enabled me to work fulltime on software and to level-up my skills. With this I was able to create additional applications like TopbarPlus and ZonePlus. Today these benefit thousands of Roblox creators and are used in hundreds of top experiences.
Applications like these take hundreds if not thousands of hours to create and maintain. This was fine until Roblox crippled our ability to earn an income with updates like the third-party-sales restrictions that brand all runtime applications as malicious. Multiple games are literally making 6-figure and 7-figure incomes directly off applications like HD Admin. Instead of investing into additional team members and improving these applications, we’re forced to make side-games to sustain an income.
1. Customisable shares
- This feature alone could revolutionise the marketplace with its insane potential
- It would be the ability to customise a UGC/gamepass/developer-product/subscriptions share when sold within an experience.
- For example, after configuring a products share to 50%, game owners receive the remaining 50% share when that product is sold within their experience.
- Currently game owners receive 10% for third-party gamepasses and 40% for UGC by default which is often not the desirable share.
- This could dramatically increase the up-take of third party assets by game developers who in turn benefit (especially less experienced or newer developers) from their increased sales share. It would also potentially enable third-party assets and UGC to scale up their revenues.
- An update like this would greatly compliment the ability to use developer products from outside games (explained in greater detail below under ‘more forms of monetisation’).
2. Improve channels of communications
- Have dedicated marketplace channels. Sure there’s a Plugin Marketplace private server, although this has been lackluster according to its members and is limited to very few creators. There needs to be more broader channels for marketplace creators, such as runtime applications (Adonis, HD Admin, etc) which are equally if not more widely used.
- Consider the needs of marketplace developers before introducing ground breaking changes. This can be as simple as creating a thread/poll within #developer-programs.
3. Recognising the achievements of Marketplace creators
- Take the Bloxy’s for example. It’s great to see the most-downloaded plugin being rewarded, although there could absolutely be more. It doesn’t account for the many other types of marketplace assets, or even those you might typically find outside such as from the open-source community. It’s also worth noting the amount of sales/downloads an asset has does not equate to it’s quality (as recognised by multiple Bloxy Categories for games).
4. Re-enable AllowThirdPartySales by default
- Since the disabling of third-party-sales we have seen many awesome updates to tackle security in the marketplace, such as PSA: Marketplace Asset Removals, New Require Introspection Feature, Creator Marketplace: Improving Model Safety and Improving Trust & Safety in the Creator Marketplace. Malicious assets are now the minority. Re-enabling this toggle by default will enable runtime applications like HD Admin/Nanoblox and Adonis to generate revenue to invest into their own team, security and improvements.
1. A reduced tax for plugins and sellable-assets
- I acknowledge this is a complex issue and not straightforward however its important to recognise that plugins consume a fraction of the cost of games. In effect, plugins/assets are funding other games by paying the same 80% tax for services they don’t use, such as datastores, servers, etc.
2. Sellable assets
- These are assets sold for a given price which grant permission to users when bought and cannot be redistributed by other creators.
- This will be challenging for multiple reasons (preventing re-selling, Roblox’s requirements for open-source non-obfuscated code, etc) however I believe can be achieved as demonstrated by other platforms.
- This will likely only be viable once accompanied by a reduced tax
3. Sandboxing / application-specific permissions
This is currently limited to plugins, and only for HttpRequests. A greater permission-set and extending this to assets which execute at runtime would enable the creation of even more useful tools and applications while keeping the marketplace safer.
The ability to sandbox applications alongside the re-introduction of private source could also provide a massive incentive for developers/companies to invest resources into the marketplace without their application being stolen. @berezaa explains this in more details here.
4. More forms of monetisation
Allowing features like developer products and soon-to-be subscriptions to be accessible to third-party applications in other games (such as for HD Admin and Adonis). This would benefit the game owners (with their commission % cut) and the teams behind the applications. We could for example introduce a subscription for premium perks with Nanoblox/HD Admin to generate a more reliable income.
A subscription service for plugins. This could provide a reliable source of income for plugin developers and incentivise regular and reliable updates.
Immutable Packages to limit the stealing and modifications of applications explained in more detail here.
There’s a large rhetoric in the community that ‘you should make it yourself’ (take admin commands for example). This logic should be totally wrong. Why invent the wheel when these features can be outsourced to highly skilled and specialised teams? Developers could collectively save hundreds-of-thousands of hours in a well-developed marketplace. Instead of spending a week on a new weapons system they could invest that time into other areas of their game. It isn’t though, because even after a decade the marketplace continues to remain a place for ‘low-quality assets’.
There are many of us who want to be pour effort, time and money into developing high-quality resources for the marketplace. We can’t though because to this day Roblox continue to completely ignore us and the potential of the marketplace.