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Since its inception in 2010, the Unity Asset Store has endeavored to empower game developers with the tools and resources they need, so they can focus on the creative process of making great games as effectively and efficiently as possible.  It’s part of our mission to democratize game development.  With over 1.5 million Asset Store users, we can attest that the community finds it an indispensable resource!  We frequently hear from grateful customers, pleased that they have finished their product on time, on budget, made possible by resources obtained on the Unity Asset Store.

At its core, the store is an extension of behavior that we observed evolving organically in the community.  On our forums and wiki, Unity developers were sharing and exchanging code, art and other assets informally.  We saw an opportunity to create a marketplace which would serve the interests of our developers as well as  provide an income to the talented people who create and sell content.   While perhaps the metaphor of an ecosystem is overused, it’s really an accurate representation of the Asset Store– we’ve made a kind of coral reef where game developers and content creators serve the needs of one another.  It’s very much alive!  We have content creators now who are blessed with enough success on the Asset Store to make content creation their primary livelihood, not bound by geography or chained down to a studio.  Asset Store has empowered artists and programmers to become self-made entrepreneurs.  And in a few cases, millionaires.

In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, game development was a pretty expensive and complicated endeavor, and producers were reluctant to take a risk investing in projects which deviated from the mainstream.  Although there were some exceptions,  it was not a good time for the indie or creative developer.  This is exactly the problem we set out to solve at Unity with both our engine and our Asset Store.  Unity takes care of the complex heavy lifting involved in making a game, so you can focus on what’s important: making meaningful games and interactive experiences.  It’s one of the things that keeps us passionate about what we do here at Unity Technologies. By providing the largest commercial repository of game code, content, art and learning materials, the Unity Asset Store can provide a developer with the resources needed to make great games, to work faster and to reach higher with the help of content creators who love what they do.  There’s 3D models by some of the best artists out there, top-notch code libraries, Hollywood sound effects and music, and starter kits which you can take apart and use as the basis for building new projects.

Alas, there’s always going to be folks who exploit a good thing for personal gain without giving something back.  I’m referring to the handful of Asset Store users out there who have taken Unity demo products and Asset Store starter products, slapped their name on it without contributing or creating anything original, and uploading it for sale on popular online game marketplaces. This flies in the face of our heartfelt mission to serve the creative individual and catalyze a whole new generation of great games!  Some people have referred to the process as “Asset Flipping”.  Whatever you call it, the amount of attention this practice has received is hugely disproportionate to the many positive ways the majority of our customers use the Asset Store.

The point of this little missive is to underscore that the Asset Store is here to serve the greater good.  If you spot someone from the Dark Side misusing Asset Store content, or if you spot an example project “flipped” and uploaded as a game on an online marketplace, call them out & let the vendor know.   In many ways, the Asset Store is like a particle accelerator for ideas.  It represents the genius and inspiration of some of the most talented programmers and artists from around the world.   In that sense, Asset Store gives game developers something great.   Use it wisely to become great yourself!

17 replies on “Asset Store: A force for creative goodness.”

Can asset flipping via Steam REALLY be blamed on Unity3D? I’d say no. After all, you can always use FPSmaker or UE4 to flip stock assets, and Steam will accept it without a problem.

I just can’t believe people are STILL acting like this is UnityTech’s fault.

[…] The Guardian suggested that Unity may have an image problem, so the team behind the engine has spoken out on these concerns in a new blog post titled: ‘Asset Store: A force for creative goodness’. The blog explains that the Unity […]

It’s good that Unity has acknowledged this bad practice in the industry but let’s all acknowledge now the fact that Unity has done a terrible job at managing the asset store. One of the most important foundation to a long and prosperous ecosystem is the ability to control who lives and who dies. In Unity’s case they haven’t dedicated an ounce of their time at addressing asset store issues or evolving it beyond the stage it has been in the past 5 years:

List of concerns:
– Search feature is the worst I have seen for any store front
– Lack of result filters based on price, vendor, version etc…
– Quality control is nonexistent as others have mentioned
– No recognition for asset creators for “Serving the Greater Good” as unity says
– Sales/discounts have to go in a queue and asset store owner have to wait for weeks/months
– Lack of bug reporting features/list
– Lack of multi-version downloads (I see v3.x v4.x and v5.x assets all the time)

I would agree. the asset store has been due for a overhaul for a good while now, and with so many things getting added and redone especially in areas surrounding the main game engine, it’s a mystery why the most essential part of the non-engine unity services is left in such a poor state.

I’ve bought many assets and seen assets from the Asset Store plunked down unaltered too and I don’t even frequent the app stores but once or twice a year but so what? I’m interested in whether I find what I create using asset store products altered enough to be interesting and fun. However, I know from playing them there are a small number of assets that are fun playing direct from the asset store.

The Unity Asset Store and the Asset Store Owners shouldn’t be selling assets full well knowing people buy them to use in their games. This complaining about the Asset Store assets being reused is really uncompetitive people complaining about the lack of their product visibility and blaming it on a bunch of powerless scapegoats.

They’re not talking about people using unaltered Asset Store assets in their games. That’s what they’re there for. They’re talking about people taking example projects, adding nothing to them, and selling them as games or asset packs on other sites.

I honestly don’t think it’s worth Unity responding to youtube videos or anything like that. Nor is it Unity’s responsibility to govern what happens to assets beyond – or judge.

It is better in this case to take a professional stance – the asset store, is indeed a store, and when people leave with their purchase, that is their business.

TLDR: it’s not unity’s fault… unless unity wants to become involved and be held accountable.

Sure, if you don’t have any integrity and don’t care about how your engine or business is perceived by end-users, then by all means, sit on your thumbs. Go for it. Hold your head high while letting the morally bankrupt make a quick buck while dragging the Unity name through the mud, letting gamers equate it with trash.

The last paragraph is interesting. There are probably 40 ´survival´ games on Steam right now that did nothing except follow a fan-made Unity video series on youtube and then substitute free artwork from the Asset store. There was a ´MMORPG´ that did a Kickstarter and raised $100,000 using nothing but images of stuff they bought from the asset store. They didn´t even add the assets to ´their game´ they just used the exact same images the artist used to sell the assets on the store and put them on their own website and kickstarter page. They got their $100k, and have now deleted their website.

But, in my opinion, the bigger issue for Unity is stuff that is on the store that does not work, or is as close to false advertising as you can get. Not going to name and shame, but stuff like a ´MMORPG kit´ that is missing half the stuff necessary to make a mmorpg, but has them on a ´roadmap´ that may or may not be done years from now. It is like you are buying early access to something, despite the fact that the Asset store makes it sound like you are getting everything you need.

Along with this goes assets that do not keep up, or intend to keep up with Unity version. Again an example without naming and shaming. One of the most popular artists, amazing reviews on every asset, amazing rating.. but has dozens of completely broken assets since 5.0. A shopper on the asset store sees nothing but rave reviews and top rankings, and has no idea that everyone who bought these assets for the last 6 months now has nothing but broken stuff. You shouldn´t have to wait for someone else to say ´hey, this is broken do not buy it´. At least for the really popular stuff, there should be some Unity person who curates at least a little bit after major Unity upgrades.

If as you said, they used just the images, then that’s less of an issue with the Asset Store, and more of an issue with Kickstarter and crowdfunding as a whole. If the asset store didn’t exist, they still could’ve got those images elsewhere.

You cannot blame that one on the asset store. Heck, even if they bought the pack, and use the assets to set up a fake scene, I still don’t see how you can blame the store for that one.

Kickstarter needs some serious quality control, the whole idea of crowdfunding is dumb.

Sorry if I came off the wrong way. With the ´survival games´ and the MMORPG that used renders from the asset store, it is definitely a problem with Kickstarter and Steam. I was just pointing out how widespread the ´evil´ is.

The other issues are about the asset store with broken stuff being allowed to be sold, and even retain it´s rating and popularity for so long after a Unity update.

Another issue which I find amusing, and this is only semi-evil.. is that there are popular tutors on Youtube, and even with live training here, as soon as some technique gets taught by these kind people, there are 5 copies of nearly identical code put up on the asset store. You ever wonder why there are suddenly 5 nearly identical scripts added to the store at the same time… well, it is because someone just did a lesson on it on youtube. I have no doubt that within a few weeks, we will have a bunch of new ´create procedural caves´ scripts on the asset store..

I hope to see that the Asset Store support resume download cause it is not acceptable that we should re-download 4 GB of data every time a connection is lost !

I agree. After three tries to download the Blacksmith demo project I gave up. Not to mention the several hacks which prove the “download engine” theoretically already has that feature!

Is it possible to keep the previous version of the asset on the asset store ( Unity 4 compatible version), even when the asset is upgraded to Unity 5. Some assets can work on both unity 4 and 5, like 3d models, scripts, etc…
Well I know that some features may be added like PBR or scripts’ functionality, but I’m a proud Unity 4 Pro user and I do not need Unity 5 features upgrades, for now at least.
Please consider this…

I am agree with A*,

Even every game don’t need complexcity (like shading, lighitinn, reflaction probes etc..) of Unity 5.x, so There should be both version of assets which published for 4.x in past and now they provide update for 5.x.

The Asset Store Team already gave devs the ability to do this. Multiple versions of the Asset. So if the dev has a Unity 4.6 version and then added a Unity 5.1 version of the asset then those using Unity 4.6 can still download the 4.6 version. It is a really great tool for devs and customers.

In most cases though if a dev makes a asset now (5.1) then it would be difficult and not economically feasible to completely re-do it for Unity 4. Though that depends on the Asset. How big is it? How many scripts will have to be redone? Is it even possible with the many changes?

Yes, this is possible right now. For example, one of the assets I sell (my most popular), has two versions uploaded – one for Unity3D 4.x and one for Unity3D 5.x. When users purchase or download the asset, they get the version to match their Unity3D editor version.

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