I’m reflecting upon sales of the assets in the Unity store.
When I first got the idea to sell some assets in the store it was quite some time ago. At that time there didn’t seem to be much in the way of competition. There were some high quality assets packs of the sci fi persuasion out there, most notably from the excellent Manufactura K4, but even his pack was of the classic dirty, industrial sci fi look. So in choosing the clean look I thought my assets could stand out.
It’s my own fault. Too much time has passed and now there are plenty of other assets competing for screen space in the store pages. It’s tougher to stand out. Like any on-line store, assets are sorted by attribute chosen by the user: by date; by rating; by name; by popularity. When you click through to the category you are interested in (3D Models/Environments/Sci-Fi in this case) the default attribute for the page sort is by ‘Popularity’. So naturally this makes it the most important ‘sort’. If you are on page one for this sort then your asset will be seen first. First in the queue is always best. It takes more work to click through and sift out what you want so naturally the assets near the top get more clicks. Its not because people are lazy, it’s just that we are all restricted by time. Many customers of the store are keen hobbyists so they are doing this in their spare time – time which might not be plentiful.
So, from the publisher’s perspective, how do you get more clicks and thus more sales? Because if you don’t get more clicks and sales then soon your asset sinks down to the bottom of the pile. That is very dispiriting, especially if you have sunk a lot of time into an asset like I have. What to do?
Well, I can’t do anything about sort by ‘Name’. That’s not a criteria which matters much to buyers. It’s important to give your assets a descriptive and memorable name but simply choosing something like ‘Aardvark Acme Sci Fi Pack’ just to get to the top of the list is silly.
Sort by ‘Date’ is really out of my hands. If I update frequently then it keeps the asset ‘young’ which is a good thing, and something I intend to do. I’m working on version 1.1 now.
‘Popularity’ is plainly based upon a mysterious algorithm used by Unity based upon (I’m guessing) sales, ratings, review count and even clicks. So its easy to see how people with assets near the top of this list are likely to stay there, unless they let their asset stagnate and do not provide updates regularly. A young asset like mine is going to have a hard time climbing this ladder, which is depressing as it is the most important.
Lastly sort by ‘Rating’ is something that I can hope to improve upon. I’ve made a good quality asset (I think) so I think it deserves high ratings. (I hope that doesn’t come across as arrogant. I just think I do need to believe strongly in my product and project that to potential customers, and I have the experience in game art production to back that up.)
I’ve been lucky so far, in as much that two users agree with me and are kind enough to give me reviews with 5 stars. Thanks guys!
If I can get more users to give me 5 star ratings then my asset pack will climb the sort by ‘Rating’ ladder. Looking at the asset store, by my calculations, I think I need another 2-3 five star ratings to really make a difference.
Of course I cannot contact my customers directly. For obvious reasons buyers details remain anonymous. But I can at least appeal here to anybody reading this who has bought my Clean Sci Fi asset pack to take the trouble to post a rating/review (however short). Please make it a 5 star rating!
That’s very cheeky isn’t it? There’s a good reason why I’m asking this, besides the obvious. Looking at the sort by ‘Rating’ ladders it is obvious that if your average review rating dips below 5 then you cannot possibly make page one. No chance. If I have just one four star review then my rating prohibits me being on that crucial page. Everyone on page one has five stars.
Now, I don’t want anyone to be dishonest. If you are loving the assets and think it deserves five then your conscience is clear. For those of you who want to help but cannot, in all honesty, give it five stars then please do contact me (either by commenting here or emailing me at email@example.com) and tell me what would make it five stars for you. If I can I will respond to that feedback and try and make it worthy in your eyes.
20th May: Just a quick addendum. If anyone out there really likes the asset pack but just doesn’t want to have to compose a review, it turns out you don’t have to write anything after all. At least, not if you don’t want to. In the Asset Store/Downloads page where you have the entry for my asset pack and the option to download/import into Unity there is also a row of 5 stars. Simply click on the stars to set your rating.