Why can't we sell plugins?

As of this moment, there are some pretty amazing existing plugins in the plugin store. As we’ve seen with DevEx, offering users compensation for their work greatly increases the quality the things they make. So, why not allow developers to make plugins for the plugin store and charge for them?

I remember the argument from a long time ago, claiming that this would not happen due to the fact that one user could take another’s plugin and sell it for less. However, while this is true, the same stands for many other ROBLOX assets such as shirts, pants, t-shirts and even games, in some cases. So, it doesn’t seem that this would be a problem that should prevent the creation of this feature, simply because some developers are willing to take the risk and earn money. In most cases, copies of any kind never reach the same amount of popularity as the original.

Another solution would perhaps be to load the plugins sold from the catalog from the web. I’m not quite an expert on what can be done here, so correct me where I’m wrong:

  • Catalog plugins are ROBLOX models

  • InsertService:LoadAsset() loads ROBLOX models from the website

So, unless there’s some roadblock such as a restriction on studio that wouldn’t allow a slight delay in plugin loading, it doesn’t seem like there’s any reason plugins couldn’t be loaded from the website; thus preventing theft and allowing for much better plugins in the catalog.


I understand that, and I understand that it’s not possible to completely secure your code. However, one of the points I tried to make in this thread was that we should have the option to take the risk.

If we make and sell a plugin that gets stolen, we’re still getting more compensation than we are currently.

Similarly, if there were a “price floor” for plugins, similar to that of catalog items and paid access games, the original would almost certainly dominate the sales even if the plugin were stolen. The only problem would be the chance of someone uploading the plugin and giving it away for free as a model, however, in most cases I believe users would rather pay a small fee to avoid the trouble of all that. Not to mention that doing so would prevent receiving updates in the future from the plugin creator without repeating all of the same trouble.


I know a number of clothing designers, and I can tell you that clothing copying is currently a serious, widespread problem that deprives many legit designers of profit and allows copiers to make lots of easy DevEx-able money (that’s what I’ve heard - the DevEx screeners can’t easily detect this sort of copying).
And I mean, you can just look at the catalog - the vast majority of clothing you’ll see is copied, and it’s extremely hard to tell who’s the original creator anymore.

It’s surprisingly easy to get a copy more popular than the original, especially if the original designer is a little guy and the copier has a huge audience & influence to get their stuff to more people. If a copier steals a new item and quickly runs bigger & better ads for that copy, it’ll almost certainly get more popular than the original, and it’s quite likely that people will be convinced that the copier originally created it.

Things would be even higher stakes with plugins. Clothing is just 100 tix each - plugins would probably go for tens or hundreds of Robux, and you can bet that thieves would go to great lengths to snatch a piece of that profit.

I don’t think ROBLOX is ready to implement something like this yet. It’s pathetically easy to make money/gain influence on here simply by stealing other people’s content; ROBLOX needs to address this copying epidemic before they can possibly allow users to sell any other asset types on the marketplace.

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I actually had a word with David about this while at RDC Europe, the issue was the same with selling models and other assets that users create. How do you stop somebody from re-uploading it free?

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Loleris actually obfuscated his WAC3 plugin.
You had to enter a key, that would check with a webserver and return the encryption key to decrypt the plugin.
It used that “pad encryption” which is in theory uncrackable.

Nice idea, except a few issues:

  • Someone who bought it, can steal it
  • I actually decrypted his stuff
  • Someone else did the same later

From my experiences, if you don’t want something to be copied:
Make sure it doesn’t end up in hands of others.
(Which makes it VERY annoying to protect a plugin)

The best you can hope for is that users use multiplayer studio and that:

  • You have a plugin that instructs the server to run require(123)
  • That module would contain most of the code for the plugin
  • The actual plugin just contains (part of) the GUI stuff (which can be done serverside actually)
  • You can just use your plugin as a bridge for user input > server and server output > user

That would mean every plugin ever would have to be sold and couldn’t be free. No thank you.

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Maybe a minimum price unless it’s free?
If you want to sell it for money, you have to ask at least X.
If you want to go lower, your only option left is free.

That would combine @Emporerj’s idea without hurting free plugins:
If you sell your plugin at the minimum price, let’s say 10R$ and someone copies it.
The lowest price the copier can ask is 10R$, thus the original is still better of.
(Why would you buy a copy if the original costs the same and probably gets updated more?)
If he asks more, well you know… stupid.
He can’t ask less, he can only sell it for free.
He won’t earn money that way, so that won’t happen much.
(Well, it will happen probably, but the copier wouldn’t earn much money)

On the other hand: Copying a plugin for personal use would be easy (and free).
This is just a more forceful way to say “Donate to me if you like the plugin.”

A good thing would be a donation button on the plugin page (or any other asset page).
Anyone can press it and donate the amount they want, completely optional.
Your plugin doesn’t lose players because it’s payed, yet you still get money.
(Assuming people think your plugin is worth a donation)

The concern of selling plugins isn’t losing revenue to people who’d steal it and resell it – it’s people who’d release your plugin for free. A price floor on sold plugins wouldn’t be very helpful in stopping that.

If you want donations then request ROBLOX put a donate button on model/plugin pages, or prompt the user to buy a donation gamepass after they’ve used your plugin for a while.

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I’m reviving this thread because I think it’s still possible.

Copying plugins are much harder than copying a piece of cloth. I can see huge amounts of profit that can be made from this. This would also improve the quality and amount of plugins that are made since there would be profit included in this.


It is extremely easy to copy a plugin. When you install a plugin, the whole thing is saved locally on your computer:


You can drag the .rbxm into Studio to see all of the source code, and all you have to do is re-upload that .rbxm under your own name to copy it. Once one person re-uploads your plugin for free, your profits would go bye-bye.

I don’t believe there’s any feasible solution to the problem of theft with the way that Roblox works right now. (And I stand by my post earlier in the thread)

Change the file format so drag and drop don’t work? No one would notice.

If it’s downloaded locally it can be stolen, regardless of any attempts that are made to prevent it. E.g. geometry stealing, local script stealing, CSG injection, etc. Unstealable plugins are not possible.

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