YoYo Under Fire for “Unfair Pricing”

on March 14, 2013 - 14374 Views

YoYo Games has been criticized for imbalanced pricing of the GameMaker: Studio Master Collection following the recent launch of the Ubuntu module.

GMC member Jobo, who owns a copy of GameMaker: Studio Professional and has been a member of the official community forum for five years, accused YoYo Games of not taking care of those who purchased the software early after its release. He argued that those in his situation would now have to buy each individual module released by the company, as opposed to owners of the Master Collection who receive every new module for free as they become available, despite having already spent $500 USD on modules (the cost of the Master Collection).

“I’m not asking to be magically given the Master Collection, I am asking for YoYo Games to make an offer for people – like me – who paid $500 for very few modules early on,” Jobo said, further commenting that he felt ‘stepped on’ as an early supporter of GameMaker: Studio.

Jobo said he had paid for GameMaker: Studio, including both the iOS and Android modules. He will now have to pay $400 more to obtain the three other current modules; Windows Phone 8, Ubuntu, and HTML5. At a total cost of $900 USD, Jobo will hypothetically have paid almost double the cost of the Master Collection for the same features, but will still miss out on future modules. If he wanted to also receive future updates for free, Jobo would have to purchase GameMaker: Studio again, this time opting for a Master Collection license, which would set him back $500 instead of $400, for a total cost of $1000 USD.

YoYo Games did in fact offer those who owned the Professional edition of GameMaker: Studio the chance to buy all modules to get a “no cost” license upgrade to Master in October 2012, but some GMC members have labelled the offer as having been poorly publicized and barely promoted. Jobo claims he had received no emails related to the upgrade and does not participate in social media, ultimately left unaware of the news.

In response to YoYo’s October offer, Jobo said the “offer to upgrade to Master Collection was still more expensive than the Master Collection itself.”

Mike Dailly, head of development at YoYo Games, slammed the comments, saying the argument was “just silly”. He denies that the company has been imbalanced with their pricing and says that releasing a Master Collection edition of GameMaker was a later decision (shooting down allegations the company intentionally burned early customers).

“Those who invest with us get a special discount, just like loads of shops do – buy this, this and this, and get all this free! At no point with a shop, do you go back four months later and go ‘well, I took four months to buy all these parts on their own, so I think I should get everything else free now’,” Dailly said.

Jobo says offering a $49-99 upgrade offer would be a reasonable solution to the apparent problem.

YoYo Games currently have no plans to offer any further discounts for those who purchased GameMaker: Studio early after its release.

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16 Responses to YoYo Under Fire for “Unfair Pricing”

  1. JackBumblebee says:

    I do find the other modules very expensive. Although it may be worth it if you make an Android or IOS game that makes you hundred on the App Store, it still is very annoying to have to buy them with such high prices. Why would you have to pay 59.99 dollars just to export the game for the Mac? I’ve never even heard of the special upgrade pro to master for free event. Me being slightly new to studio, only getting pro at around 2014 and the free version about 2 years before that, but never using it that often, I can see why I missed the event, but could the people that make Game Maker Studio do another one of those events, and promote it better than they did in 2012?

  2. Cyrad says:

    I’m honestly not surprised. Yoyo repeatedly gave me the shaft when licenses only cost $20-$40. Now they continue that tradition when they cost hundreds of dollars.

    I’ve had to constantly re-buy licenses due to shoddy license distribution systems and their tendency to release new updates for the software that render old licenses unusable. At one point, they charged my PayPal more than the amount stated on my receipt and their customer service ignored my support ticket.

    Now the head of YoyoGames himself responds by publicly ridiculing loyal and patient customers? This isn’t good PR, Yoyo.

  3. Joao says:

    You should be able to buy only the modules you REALLY NEED. For me, only Android and iOS would be okay.

  4. benjamin Sweetnam says:

    Yea our teacher had to point out the location of 8.1 to us as it’s not obvious. but at least 40 is cheap enough for a student to afford comparing with a single program from Adobe or other companies.

  5. Jason Swanson says:

    Jason Swanson :Adam, would love to buy that 8.1 & license off you…this $99-$499 B.S. is just ridiculous & greedy.

    Well I found via another forum user that I can get my own 8.1 for $40 from yoyogames’ site 😀 !!!

  6. Adam says:

    I not-fondly recall buying 8.1 and having be obsoleted nearly instantly afterwards. Thanks for that, I guess. And no, I’ve not purchased Studio, because I still feel I got burned. Somewhere along the way, it has all started feeling like a bit of a money grab. Oh well, so many other tools…

  7. Sam says:

    GMS is an absolute rip-off

  8. Tazi says:

    You will only think that Yoyo’s prices are high until you saw the prices of Unity 3D, or a DAW program plus some VSTs.

  9. gamedevdan says:

    “Ive alwayd thought it was overpriced anyway. Many of these dev’s who spend $500 won’t even make their money back in this flooded app market.”

    How is that YoYo Games problem? It’s not their job to make sure that everyone who buys the product makes their money back is it?

    GameMaker: Studio is priced well compared to other tools in the market, the license is permanent not annual which is obviously a huge bonus and YoYo do everything in their power to let people get it cheaper. They’re constantly publicising sales and offers.

  10. Cameron says:

    I remember when YoYo offered the Master collection upgrade. However, I do not think I received any emails about the promotion either. I remember checking the GMC one day and the promotion only had two weeks left and I did not have the money to upgrade because I had decided to buy some new hardware for my desktop a few weeks prior. However, if they again did an upgrade promotion I would definitely jump on board as I have a better source of income now as well.

  11. ChunkyApps says:

    “Just silly”?? Wow. That’s not how you should respond to your most loyal customers. Ive alwayd thought it was overpriced anyway. Many of these dev’s who spend $500 won’t even make their money back in this flooded app market.

  12. gamedevdan says:

    Exactly how early did you have to buy to miss the free upgrade??

    I bought studio with the iOS and Android modules when it first came out (and there was no such thing as pro and master).

    since then YoYoGames upgraded me to master when it came out (like they publicly stated they would) and I have received all further exports for free.

    I must be one of the earliest adopters there is and YYG look after me just fine. I think this story is all blown up for no reason other than Jobo can’t be bothered to pay for more modules.

  13. nujuat says:

    I thought we could upgrade if we bought all the modules… obviously not 🙁
    However, I only have the modules I need to do what I want, and I got HTML5 + professional for $80 and android for half price! I’m not going to complain 🙂

  14. Chris Sanyk says:

    The value of the Master Collection will continue to increase over time as YoYoGames releases additional modules. Back when Studio was first released, we really had no idea how quickly to expect these releases. Based on past history, I was not expecting them to deliver so much so rapidly. I’m very pleased that they have, but YYG needs to offer people who purchased Professional some upgrade path to the Master Collection.

    I think a fair deal would be to take the price of the Master Collection, subtract the cost of the Professional + Modules purchased so far, and the balance could purchase an upgrade to the Master Collection license, entitling the purchaser to the full suite for the cost of the full suite. If YYG doesn’t offer this, they’re likely to alienate a lot of developers. I’d jump on this tomorrow if they offered it. If they don’t, they need to explain why they won’t in a way that makes sense.

  15. Banov says:

    That’s unfortunate… I too was an early adopter with Professional, not Master, and each additional module I get has to be a special consideration since I’m quite poor. 🙂 I didn’t know about the apparently free upgrade to master until reading this, either. I wasn’t about to up and complain about it though, I guess because I hadn’t thought about it.

    I think if you have purchased modules totaling in value to Master, it would be nice if YoYo offered you a free upgrade. That would be nice. Till then I can’t really participate in any more platforms until one of my games takes off.

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