Due to a number of incidents caused 24-48 hours, of which I'm not feeling inclined to explain in full detail other than it feels like a massive betrayal, I've taken some time to reevaluate the pieces in play and review the actions made before hand within the community.
This is what I came up with:
- Plugins past the ones that came with the RPG Maker MV package will be paywalled. This can be anywhere between $1 and $5 USD. I haven't decided yet.
- Patrons after a certain tier (undecided yet), will be able to access the full library of plugins.
- Naturally, this means that the Patreon tiers will be changed, too.
Now, before everybody panics, please read the following:
- The plugins that are publicly uploaded are taken down only temporarily. They'll be back up once their costs have been reevaluated. I'll be taking in the advice of level headed members of the community like Archeia and other RPG Maker Web staff members on this matter.
- Yes, you can keep the plugins you already own. I'm not going to demand that you pay twice for them.
- The plugins can still be downloaded by patrons for the time being. You can find them on their respective pages based on their tiers: $5 page, $10 page, and $20 page.
- In regards to the changes to the Terms of Service, game devs, fret not. The YEP library will still remain usable for both free and commercial with no royalty or liberty demand. If you own the plugins prior to this, you're able to keep them without having to pay. If you are soley a dev and not a content creator, the changes to the Terms of Service will not affect you, but I do suggest you update yourself of their new changes once they come.
- The changes to the Terms of Service, instead, will be directed at redistribution of the plugins outside of the website, announce my stance on the borrowing/taking of code, and the terms needed for those who intend to profit from my work outside the scope of games.
The reason behind all of this is because after much evaluation and discussion, a conclusion has been made that free things, while nice, can hurt a community more than help it. How can something free possibly hurt a community? Well, let's take a look:
- Free devalues the quality work that others put in. It's something that has hit me a while ago. When Galv, Victor, Hime, and other talented individuals have decided to leave the community, this was a massive blow to the community in general. All I can really conclude out of this is that they were doing too much work for too little payback. I have the fortune of having a solid Patreon to back me up during the past years, but had I not, I'd probably have gone up and left and pursued something else more fruitful instead. I imagine it's the same for the aforementioned plugin developers. Galv, Victor, Hime all have very solid plugin bases, but their earnings from it would easily suggest to them that their work isn't worth it. Especially when it is later discovered that their work is stolen and sold off by a third party.
- Free encourages entitlement for more freebies. Entitlement happens in just about any community, but in the RPG Maker community, it's hard to deny it's not rampant in a few areas. The amount of support and work that people are expected to do for their freely distributed work is unbelievable. It's enough to drive some people to quit the community or change models completely. Remember how Fallen Angel Olivia used to have her OctoPack Battler plugins all free (with only the sample project to buy?), it was changed to a paid model due to entitlement driving her into a corner. These kinds of things should not ever have to happen, but they do and still happen. While changing to a paid model will not remove entitlement for more freebies, it will help reduce it.
- Free is also partly responsible for the lack of investment in working projects. It's no surprise that people make new projects and drop them all the time. The lack of investment in a project tends to be the cause of this. When a new project is consisted of freely provided assets and code, there's little monetary investment in it to deploy the feeling of sunk cost if the project is ever to be abandoned. This is why it's always came off strange to me that there's so many plugins out there that can complete entire games, but very few games have actually been completed with them.
I know that changing the model to a paid one will not necessarily fix it all, and could admittedly turn things worse. It's particularly strange that I'd consider a switch to such a model when I'm only 4 plugins away from retiring on the creation bit, too. However, that's why I want you, my users, to provide your opinions on where to go from here. I was considering putting a poll, but decided against it since it gives too much power to just wants and not thoughts.