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GameMaker Studio 2 now uses a subscription model, at least for consoles

Discussion in 'Community Chat' started by Mr. RPG, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Mr. RPG

    Mr. RPG Member

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  2. psyke

    psyke Member

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    Rest in Peace Indie Developers.

    Having to pay $800 USD for a TEMPORARY module is ridiculous indeed, also, if they're planning to do a subscription model, they should consider MONTHLY subscriptions instead of annual subscriptions.
    Really, we have to pay 800 dollars just to test our games on consoles?? Also, there are other costs like Dev Kits, Static IP Address services (Sony) and so on, this business model is just a no-no for indie devs.
     
  3. BaBiA Game Studio

    BaBiA Game Studio Member

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    Maybe we should wait to see all the information around what the licence entails rather than a brief blog post where we can all jump to assumptions over how terrible this will be for everyone. For all we know, it may be that the exports mean we would no longer have to fork out for the dev kits for PS4 and XBoxOne. There is not enough information in that one blog post for how this will be handled, what other outgoings will be required, or what else is needed beyond the export modules.
     
  4. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

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    I just have to wonder what made YoYo put the console exports up at a premium like that, while the benefits offered are not at a premium.
    • Unity has a workflow conducive to 3D. GMS 2 does not.
    • Unity has a field-tested codebase that has been out for years. GMS 2 does not.
    • Unity has a large professional community with full industry acceptance. GMS 2 does not.
    • Unity has support for a stable, object-oriented language with official access to edge API resources. GMS 2 does not.
    As it stands, the GMS 2 console exports are a hard sell to new clientele. It can't make much of a splash with existing GMS power users only.
     
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  5. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  6. Ethanicus

    Ethanicus Ethan L!

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    Agreed. Yoyo is basically putting on a suit and tie and calling itself professional even though it only worked at McDonalds one time.
    $1500 dollars on top of $500? If they're trying to look cool, that's not the way to do it. Stop acting professional and get there first.
     
  7. K3fka

    K3fka Member

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    Kind of an absurd price considering the demographic GM has of low-budget indie developers. If it wasn't a subscription fee, it wouldn't be nearly as bad.
     
  8. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    Hibba dibba da dibba do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2017
  9. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    In GameMaker Stduo 1.x the console exports were 100% free. It's ridiculous the leap they are taking, and the product hasn't even been improved or changed that drastically in 2.x...
     
  10. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    Hibba dibba da dibba do.
     
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  11. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    To reiterate what I posted on Facebook:
     
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  12. Wraithious

    Wraithious Member

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    For $1500 it should be a lifetime agreement, 1 year??? seriously??? no thanks, they can't even update the user manual properly to reflect important changes such as the broken gif add from file issue, or do they leave things like that in the manual so people deciding weather or not to buy gms2 go online and read over the manual and think, oh hey, I can import gif's from a file now in gms 2, etc etc etc... I'll stick with 1x even with all of it's little quirks, there's no way I'm paying 1500 dollars for something that expires in less time than it takes to make a game that is good enough to make money on
     
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  13. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

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    I like to share a statement from another thread in here since it is really relative

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I find this new change a "screw up", big time. I mean 1500 dollars for a module annually? I mean I would pay atleast 800 for the two modules (although I wont because I dont like my games to be on XBOX or any SSSSONY thing) but double that price AND annual is simply a huge NO for indie devs. I mean it mostly its because other engines are offering 5 times lower or even free to export with the modules. This one just went the bad road.

    Also Kenjiro, I dunno what kind of fantasy you live in but even for good performance (which Unity and UEW are way powerful on that) and flexible workflow, its still not worth it.
     
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  14. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Sorry, I'll cool it. lol
     
  15. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    Hibba dibba da dibba do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2017
  16. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    Hibba dibba da dibba do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2017
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  17. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

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    Actually I have seen them before I posted and as far as I see, you are only trying to seek the positive side on Game Maker Studio that are not potential reasons to pay $1500 for the console modules annually compared to other engines that are offering for free and open source.
     
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  18. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    Hibba dibba da dibba do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2017
  19. beli_mawrr

    beli_mawrr Member

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    I mean if they are really that into not making any money, I suppose they can make this decision. But I really think they overestimate the value of the product and the value of the companies which use it. This puts a huuuuuuge chunk of the userbase outside of the effective area. I'm considering adopting a different package now, too.
     
  20. Bingdom

    Bingdom Googledom

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    Ok, so the price has doubled and now you have to pay annually, for the "Master's Collection".

    Once GMS1.4 becomes irrelevant and the exporters on it no longer work, It's likely I will switch to a different engine.

    This new pricing is absurd for GMS' current condition.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  21. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

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    Fun Fact: They will discontinue GMS1.4 on 31 July 2018. It will still function but eventually things will become incompatible for some exports.
     
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  22. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    Hibba dibba da dibba do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2017
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  23. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

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    It was $799 at full price.

    Also, don't forget that you're comparing a one-off purchase against an annual subscription, so you must amortize the one-off across its lifetime. If you bought MC within the past few months without discounts, then the markup would be just under 100%. But if you've been using it for 5 years (the maximum possible if you bought MC at $799 in 2013), your annual cost for MC would be $799 / 5yr = $159.80/yr, making the markup ($1500/yr) / ($159.80/yr) * 100% - 100% = 838.67%.
     
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  24. Ethanicus

    Ethanicus Ethan L!

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    Eventually when?
     
  25. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

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    When the likes of Apple/Google/Microsoft change their app store policy, or when a systematic exploit like the recent libpng security bulletin strikes, or when the export's target platform drifts too far off like what Tizen did.
     
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  26. Ethanicus

    Ethanicus Ethan L!

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    Getting kinda tired of this whole "upgrade or die" thing they're pushing. What I find the most unforgivable is that they gave a discount to former owners, but only for a limited time, and throughout that entire period I heard nothing but major bug complaints and fatal errors.
    Basically they've tried to force us to buy a broken product at risk of losing access to what for some people is a livelihood.
     
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  27. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    Hibba dibba da dibba do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2017
  28. Bingdom

    Bingdom Googledom

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    US$799 to AUD is roughly $1000. I messed up with conversions :p
     
  29. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    Australian here too :)

    What about when you add the conversion rate to the $1500 US? Works out to be $2000 AUD. Either way it still ends up being a transaction that is 100% more. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2017
  30. Bingdom

    Bingdom Googledom

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    I was in a hurry. I couldn't remember the original price and US$1000 popped in my head. Obviously your point is true, no need for an explanation. I never disagreed. :)

    I'll edit the first post if it makes you happy. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  31. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    LOL - no need :p
     
  32. John Bailey

    John Bailey Member

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    Wow, really? That seems a little steep for what's essentially a rental. At least make it something I can purchase permanently.
     
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  33. slojanko

    slojanko Member

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    I'm just gonna say it: For what Unity offers, YYG should pay me to use GMS2.
     
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  34. hdarren

    hdarren Member

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    It's clearly aimed at publishers who lets face it is the only real way you're going to get your game on console anyway.
     
  35. Kenjiro

    Kenjiro Guest

    LOL - no... ;)
     
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  36. inkBot

    inkBot Member

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    I have to chime in in agreement that this is rather unsightly. If it was a one time purchase, like the other modules, then I could've somewhat reconciled it, but 800-1600 usd for 12 months? That's not a good deal. Especially if you do what others are doing and compare it to other solutions, like Unity. Unity's Plus subscription offers effectively the same benefits that GMS2 Ultimate does and is 35 usd monthly. That's less than a third of the cost of GMS2 Ultimate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  37. Ninja Dodo

    Ninja Dodo Member

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    I agree this is really not a good direction. Non-optional software subscriptions are a *terrible* idea in any scenario (designed to benefit shareholders, not customers) but they are an especially bad idea for indies on a budget. If you have limited funds the last thing you need are additional ongoing software license costs. I don't see how this model could be interesting to anyone who isn't funded by a publisher and as others have pointed out there are other less expensive alternatives. This is actually making me consider holding off on porting my GMS 1.4 projects to GMS2 in case I want to release my game on console later (assuming that existing console export options even continue to be available for 1.4) or to just avoid consoles altogether.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  38. As an indie dev who's currently working on console games using GMS 1.4, this news is extremely frustrating and feels like a slap in the face...

    I'm all for YoYo making money on their engine, but even as an indie developer with commercial projects on the market (both solo games and with a small studio), I'm NOWHERE near being able to afford $1500 a year for console export, much less $800 apiece per year for Xbox /PS4 export. And the prospect of starting a new console project that might take a few years to complete, that's digging a deep hole without guarantee of cash flow.

    So...great, I'll be able to hopefully get my current console project out before 1.4 support gets dropped next year, but THEN what? If that game doesn't wind up being a solid hit, it pretty much pushes me out of making consoles games using GMS. (BTW - if you thought developing PC or mobile games was tough and had a lot of hoops to jump through, 10X that if you're developing for console). The process has been so technically convoluted, that I've been tempted to say bag it and turn back to PC/Mobile development numerous times. It's almost not worth the insane hassle.

    As much as I value working with our console partners, NOTHING about the console development process is indie friendly. It's designed for AAA, so expect lots of specific regulations and arbitrary rules/hoops to jump through, lots of added time for approvals and QA/review, and all with no guarantee your game will sell. Honestly, you really need a FT team member who JUST handles paperwork, juggling all the red tape, and scheduling important timetable stuff.

    Anyhow, I work FT at a non-games day job, and my solo projects and 3-person studio Touchfight Games are ALL bootstrapping it project by project with zero budget and only a trickle of cash flow from our existing projects. Studio-wise, We run a super tight ship with low overhead to cut down on operating expenses, but until we get a few great selling games out, there's no way we can afford $1500 a year.

    This is really disheartening, and as much as I love GMS (despite its jankiness and frustrating bugs) I'm seriously considering Unity. I've been gradually learning Unity, and loving it, but had planned to stick with GMS long-term due to its ease of use for more simple 2D games. Unity's sub model makes a lot more sense...since you're not paying $1500 a year UNTIL you're earning over $200k a year, which means you've become successful enough to afford the expense.

    This console sub model was rolled out in a really inelegant, clunky way that blindsides both newer devs looking to use GMS for console export AND existing devs who are currently working on console projects (but don't have them out yet or don't have a "hit" and steady enough cash flow to afford another annual operating expense).

    The problem isn't that they're asking a bit more for the licenses -- it's that what they're asking is really unfeasible for a huge chunk of their core indie-focused audience, including developers who are beyond the hobbyist level and are already releasing commercial projects. Sure, you've got a handful of small studios that have used GMS and landed indie hits, but that's not the vast majority of us.

    Really sort of grossed out on GSM2 over this. I bought the desktop license (haven't switched over to it yet) and I pretty much don't have a choice but to grab the mobile export module if I want to be able to continue updated/supporting my existing iOS projects beyond next year, but it leaves a pretty sour taste in my mouth. I also feel bad for the newer folks who haven't even gotten started releasing commercial projects yet.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2017
  39. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

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    I for one, in my burtally honest opinion, if Yoyogames really need the budget to maintain and progressing their service and updates for Game Maker, they shouldn't risk or push themselves with home consoles (starting to admit this myself despite the hopes for a Nintendo Switch module). Right now, not lot of people export for home console with GM and having to push that price will make it less desirable (as you can notice through out all this thread on everyone's post). Home console support these days are provided as benefit for user to download the software itself but if Yoyogames cant afford the exports, then they shouldnt bother trying hard on to if it will jeopardize their reputation and budget. In other words, Yoyogames is still not ready to provide home console support in my opinion with the amount of budget they have to allow so (and Im talking about coverage on the requisites so we pay less for it). Their most potential side is mostly PC, Mac, and mobile. Those are doing an excellent job so far and its helped out a lot but right now, home console is something not potential enough to worth that much cost when other competitive engines are offering very less with complete tool sets and everything needed very stable. They should just remain improving the benefit for PC and mobile creation in GM. As many of us really want our games on home console (especially if its Nintendo Switch which deep down my heart, will always have my rep) GM is not gonna help us on that.
     
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  40. hippyman

    hippyman Member

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    What an epic fail YYG. What a seriously epic fail.
     
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  41. amusudan

    amusudan Lousiest of Potatoes

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    Well I guess I won't be getting GMS2.
     
  42. This is a good point. Why crank up the price for a small subset of users? I realize they're probably assuming that anyone who's made it to the point of console dev with GMS is probably a more serious, hardcore user (indeed), it's important to keep in mind that unless you're working through a publisher...even getting setup and approved to be a registered developer for Xbox and Sony in the first place is a pretty tough, convoluted process that requires you to create an actual company (we used an LLC model) which in and of itself can be costly and a huge pain in the backside just to get together. Running an LLC, paperwork and govt regulations aside, has ongoing annual expenses, too.

    In addition to state and fed registration fees (A few hundred a year, in our case, but more if you live in CA), I had to shell out to get a dedicated IP address and business internet/phone account ($25-$50 more per month) before I could even get login access to the dev backend to setup devkit software, etc.

    It's been a tough journey, and we still don't even have our console project out yet after 2+ years of development and pushing through this frustrating gauntlet (hopefully we'll be done later this year).

    So...yeah. All of this is compounded by the sudden "pay a steep price or get out" vibe of this sudden shift to a costly annual model (which was free, previously).
     
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  43. hdarren

    hdarren Member

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    LOL - come back when you have some experience of the situation kiddo... ;)
     
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  44. Tsa05

    Tsa05 Member

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    I assume that the pricing merely reflects the current state of usage?

    GMS2 is affordable, Desktop export is affordable. That seems to indicate that there's no shortage of indie devs using GMS to make desktop games.
    We've all got plans, hopes, and dreams about going big on every console, but it would seem that we're not actually buying those exports in any kind of reasonable bulk.

    The pricing for console suggests that usage is far less and limited to one-offs, hence the high cost of YYG keeping it up-to-date, and the 1-year terms.

    Comparing to other tools, etc, is all well and good from a customer value perspective, and certainly, we're all free to use whichever tool fits our development interests and wallet realities.

    To me, it simply looks as though YYG is doing the same thing we are, from the other side of the fence:
    While we're saying "how am I gonna afford adding console export to my successful game with these higher-than-industry costs?" YYG appears to be saying "how are we gonna afford adding console support to our successful desktop game maker with these lower-than-industry console dev user numbers?"
     
  45. I'm wondering how many actual current GMS console export users were consulted for feedback/input before this plan was implemented? While this probably has a very minimal impact on well-established indie devs who are sustainably making games full-time and can afford a steep annual fee, it really screws those of us who are making games commercially but still doing it on a very part time or struggling hard to get the momentum needed to afford FT development. If you're not already making console games with GMS right now, it's easy to just hunker down and stick with PC/mobile, but for those of us are in the thick of the process with unreleased games headed to consoles soon-- this upends the entire future of current and future console projects done with GMS.

    It raises a lot of questions too, about what happens when 1.4 is sunset...right in the middle of our console game's launch year. Being unable to provide long-term support, updates, and patches in this current fast-paced digital industry is basically dev suicide. Players break out the torches and pitchforks if you don't respond and fix issues or expand post-launch on a popular game. I can only imagine what kind of further frustrations and hell this is going to unleash for us over the next 12 months.

    I'm REALLY hoping YoYo soaks up feedback on this and considers some adjustments. This could have been handled in such a more reasonable way rather than alienating core customers and putting off future ones.
     
  46. ShaunJS

    ShaunJS Just Another Dev GMC Elder

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    The prices suck for smaller developers with console hopes, but the high prices make obvious business sense. The target audience where YoYo can make the most profit with these modules both 1. can afford the modules. 2. find the 200k revenue cap from unity extremely relevant and pressing when targeting multiple platforms.

    These two things are not true for smaller developers, but smaller developers are not the be all and end all of GameMaker despite what it may appear or what many in the community tend to presume. In fact they haven't been for quite some time. While GM 1.x Standard was free the hobby market actually did very little for YoYo because they were giving away the boat. Master Collection sales on the other hand...

    Don't get me wrong, I think it sucks that the privilege barriers to console dev which had been consistently moving lower over the last few years have now started to climb again, industry-wide.

    But that's capitalism, yo.
     
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  47. Ninja Dodo

    Ninja Dodo Member

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    One additional downside of annual fees for part-time indies is development just takes longer so you might end up having to shell out for multiple renewals just to keep working on it unless you save all the porting work for last and even then it might take longer than expected given all the TRC horror stories... not to mention having to maintain your subscription to continue supporting any console version with patches and updates. I *really* dislike the $99 Apple developer fee for this same reason. It's nice having my game available on Mac & iOS but it doesn't sell many copies exactly so I'm actually losing money just being on that platform at this point (and that's not even counting hardware expenses and the cost in time spent developing those ports). It's just not an affordable/profitable proposition for low budget indies. And that's at $99/year! Now extrapolate this to $800-$1500.

    If your game happens to be a big hit, that might be fine, but most games are not. Pricing like this puts console development out of the reach of non-established developers. So I guess the message is: make your game for PC and if it's successful consider going back and making a console version.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  48. Mike

    Mike nobody important GMC Elder

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    Not going to go into this too much, but I just want to point a few things out.

    1) The console exports have never been free. While developers have never paid for them, they were been paid for by platform holders. They are no longer doing this, so they have to be paid for by someone.
    2) By comparison to desktop users, there number of console developers is tiny. The work required for each console export is significant - more so than for the likes of windows. The SDKs are upgraded all the time (and the changes can be significant), and we will spend huge amounts of time maintaining and upgrading these runtimes.
    3) Console development is hard. While the games themselves usually "just export", that is a fraction of the work required for consoles. TRC requirements means users need significant hands on help from us. We spend a huge amount of time with console developers helping them with things like certification failures, performance issues, crashes and other issues that are usually time critical as they prepare for shows, demos and time slotted submissions. This extra level of support was again something previously paid for by platform holders, and again no longer do. However console developers need this level of support.
    Because of this, a single, small, payment for a game that could take years, no longer works. Support is not "free", someone has to pay for it.
    4) keeping all this in mind, not only are you paying for access to the module, but you're getting some extra support (beyond what desktop users get for example), especially through submission.
    5) We consulted with many of our current console developers when trying to judge a fair price for the work involved.
    6) If you are looking to start a console project soon, you should not even consider using 1.x as support for that will stop next year - as has been previously announced, and not only do console games tend to get updated a lot (so you need on going support), you will have to port and submit it long before this time.

    No one will ever get the module, click export and put it on the store and be done. Console development is hard, time consuming, and costs. TRCs alone complicate things beyond what an new indie dev has ever come up against.
     
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  49. Thanks for the input Mike. I def understand a lot of this from a business perspective RE: YoYo, and I get that for sure. And I did notice that platform holders stopped offering modules for "free" i.e. paying YoYo for that, so I get that too. Also appreciate the dev support, when we need it. I realize that costs time and energy.

    But the timing of this, especially without any kind of heads up or communication through any dev channels, really couldn't be crappier. Basically, this kills my current solo plans for console projects, but more importantly, my indie studio LLC's future is at stake...we're about to launch a GMS 1.4-made console project on PS4/Vita this winter (and we were planning to export to other consoles beyond that). We started the project over 2 years ago and are nearly done...only to discover that pretty much right after launch, we're not going to be able to update and support long-term?

    And our game really isn't setup to successfully import to GMS2.

    This impacts our business, and really raises the bar for us to sink or swim on the back of our first console launch. Beyond that, it brings up a ton of questions about how the heck are we supposed to support our game post-launch (as you pointed out is really critical). This decision might put us out of business, and that's terrifying.

    I'm not hating on GMS and YoYo...but as a core user, all of my comments and feedback truly come out of concern for the serious impact this is going to have on my businesses -- which is still in the process of gaining a financial foothold.

    But "thems the breaks," right? I really hope not.
     
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  50. Ninja Dodo

    Ninja Dodo Member

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    OK, those are good reasons. Did not know about platform holders sponsoring those modules, so that make sense. I understand active support is not free. I guess would've liked to see an option of foregoing additional support and getting just the export without a subscription but perhaps this is not realistic given the complexities of the process. I'll admit I have no direct experience developing for console (other than working on a larger console team as an artist and learning about the certification process indirectly from colleagues). That said, I do wonder how other tools are managing to balance their pricing and support.

    Either way, looks like unless publishers actively seek you out or you're already getting significant sales on other platforms console is no longer an option for lower budget indies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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