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The Prosumer model in full effect: Roblox opens up marketplace to more creators, requires premium subscription and publishing advance fee for 3D items

ggx2ac

Member
Expert
(They publish Dark Souls)
I saw the news first posted by game developer: https://www.gamedeveloper.com/busin...dvance-fee-as-it-opens-up-creator-marketplace

I won't be referencing anything from the article above because the information comes from the Roblox developer forum: https://devforum.roblox.com/t/opening-up-marketplace-to-more-creators/2931299

Here is the Roblox Marketplace if you haven't seen it before: https://www.roblox.com/catalog

Here is their announcement:
Hi Creators,

Today, millions of people visit Marketplace every day to discover unique items and personalize their avatars on Roblox. Nearly everything they discover is made by our global community of creators who publish items to help people express themselves. The vision we shared today shows how we are going to continue to make Marketplace even better and more vibrant for buyers and sellers alike.

A key part of our vision to make Marketplace more accessible, personal, and vibrant is expanding who can create and sell items in Marketplace. That’s why we’re excited to announce that, starting later today, we are rolling out the ability to publish 3D avatar items to more people.

Previously, you created and sold 3D items on Roblox by application:
New avatars and items are added to Marketplace every day. Until now, the ability to create and sell 3D items on Roblox was by application only. Over the last year, we’ve seen a growing increase in interest to create and sell avatar items in Marketplace from 3D artists and developers of experiences. In that time, we’ve also enhanced our policies and enforcement capabilities to ensure the community stays safe, civil, and vibrant as it grows. Allowing more people to create and sell items on Roblox will give our community more ways to express themselves and give creators more ways to earn and grow their businesses.

Read our docs or check out our videos below to start creating on Roblox.

Here is the part that is relevant to the prosumer model which I'll go into more detail later, eligibility for creating and selling 3D items on Roblox requires a subscription:

Who is Eligible?​

We are moving from an application-only process to providing transparent eligibility requirements for creating and selling 3D items on Roblox.

Now, creators who are ID-verified, have Roblox Premium 1000 or 2200, and consistently follow our Community Standards and Marketplace Policies can upload, publish, and sell in Marketplace. These eligibility requirements allow us to more effectively enforce our Marketplace policies and prevent violators from circumventing moderation.


You can learn more about the requirements to upload and publish as an individual or a group here.

There's more from the announcement if you go to the link because I'm skipping parts of it. Here's the part regarding the publishing advance fee:

Raising the Bar on Publishing​

Over the past year, we’ve seen a 3x increase in the volume of avatar items created on Roblox. When the volume of items rapidly increases, it can make it harder for creators to have their items discovered and sold in Marketplace. With creation opening up, we are making changes to how people publish items and are introducing a publishing advance, a rebateable upfront fee that you pay at the time of publishing an item. Instead of Roblox taking the platform commission, the commission will go towards rebating the platform advance to the creator until it’s fully paid back. This advance is meant to raise the bar of what is created in Marketplace and incentivize original and unique creations.

Skipping to the FAQ on the page, here are relevant questions:
What types of items can I create?

  • Creators can create 3D avatar items which include clothing, accessories, bodies, and heads. Creators can choose to make items that are non-Limited (unlimited quantity) or Limited (3D items with a fixed quantity).
Why does Roblox have a publishing advance?

  • When the number of items in a single category goes up faster than community interest in that category, it can make it harder for people to discover unique items and for creators to earn. We are introducing a Publishing Advance to raise the bar on selling in Marketplace with a goal of incentivizing more original and unique creations. You can learn more about the Publishing Advance here.
Will the publishing advance ever change?

  • Yes. As our market evolves, we will reevaluate our publishing advance from time to time. We expect this advance to change 2 - 3 times per quarter at most.
Is there a cap on the number of items we can upload and publish?

  • There is no cap on the number of 3D accessories, clothing, bodies, or heads that you can upload from Studio. Once your items are uploaded, you can publish any number of non-Limited items and only 1 Limited item per day.
Why is Premium a requirement?

  • We care about creating a marketplace with items that people love and where creativity is protected. We also care about ensuring Marketplace remains a safe and civil space for all. Requiring that creators have Premium and be ID verified brings more accountability to the ecosystem and motivates creators who want to sell in Marketplace to publish items they believe will sell.
Will the price floors ever change?

  • Yes. Our new system can help support smarter pricing to better reflect market conditions by automatically setting the lowest price in an item category based on demand. We also give creators controls that let them set rules for how much to charge for their items relative to these dynamic prices. We’re confident this will help make sure creators can earn while giving consumers more access to items at fair market prices.
Can creators still make free items? How much does it cost to publish free items?

  • Yes, creators can make free Limited items only and these will be charged for each unit created (per-unit fee). As of today, the per-unit fee for free Limited items is 100 Robux. These per-unit fees will continue to be dynamic and can be changed in the future.
How much can I earn from selling my items in Marketplace?

  • Creators will earn at least 30% of the gross of any item sales. The remainder is shared between the platform and, if your item is sold in an experience, the developer who created that experience (who could be you). You can learn about earnings from creating, selling, and reselling avatar items here.
Does this mean you are sunsetting the UGC Program?

  • Yes, we will be sunsetting the legacy application process to join the UGC Program. Creators who were part of the UGC Program who consistently meet our eligibility requirements mentioned above can continue to create, publish, and sell items in Marketplace.

How this relates to the Prosumer model

Now to go over the details. If you don't know what the prosumer model is, go to my thread linked here: https://www.installbaseforum.com/fo...e-industry-part-4-rise-of-the-prosumers.2393/

How is the prosumer model in effect in the Roblox marketplace? To be able to create and sell 3D items on the marketplace which used to require an application now requires paying for a subscription. The subscriptions mentioned are Premium 1000 and Premium 2200. If you read my previous Roblox thread, I detailed the costs there, you'll also want to reference it because the fees you have to pay are in Robux and there's no flat conversion rate for buying Robux: https://www.installbaseforum.com/fo...-exploitation-of-child-labor.2554/post-244329

The subscription is a monthly subscription, the Premium 1000 subscription costs $9.99 per month while the Premium 2200 costs $19.99 per month. Here is their page where they tell you what you get from the subscription: https://www.roblox.com/premium/membership

What do you get from the subscription?
Access Premium benefits within experiences

Access exclusive Avatar Shop items and discounts

Get 10% more Robux when you buy Robux

Unlock the ability to trade items

It's a consumer subscription that gives you the above and either 1000 Robux from the Premium 1000 or, 2200 Robux from the Premium 2200. That's how you are a prosumer in this, it went from filling out an application to create and sell 3D items to making you pay for a consumer subscription of which all you can do with the Robux is spend it on the Roblox platform. You are both the worker and consumer in this (although that was already the case before since I detailed it in my prosumer model thread).

In case you are wondering if you read my other Roblox thread about the Developer Exchange Program, no, you cannot use the Robux from the subscription you are paying to exchange for real money. It's right here in the Developer Exchange Terms of Use at Article 4 "Earned Robux": https://en.help.roblox.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005718246-Developer-Exchange-Terms-of-Use

“Earned Robux” only include Robux you have earned in complete compliance with the Roblox Terms of Use, which include the Roblox Community Standards, through the Services from the direct sale or other monetization (e.g., EBP) of Virtual Content or other UGC that they create (either alone or with a Group) on the Services. Robux acquired in other ways (such as Robux obtained from a membership plan or referral bonus, a purchase of Robux or gift card, or trading/selling virtual goods that you did not create) are not Earned Robux.

The Publishing Advance fee

Here is the source for the publishing advance: https://create.roblox.com/docs/art/marketplace/marketplace-fees-and-commissions#publishing-advance

A publishing advance is a refundable upfront fee that you pay at the time of publishing an item. The publishing advance does not apply for free Limited items which require a per-unit fee. Items taken off-sale and put back on-sale do not require another publishing advance.

This publishing advance is dependent on the type of Marketplace item being sold:

They give you this table below, I edited the header to make it clear that these prices are in Robux:

Asset TypeNon-Limited Publishing Advance (In Robux)Paid Limited Publishing Advance (In Robux)
Hat150020000
Face150020000
Hair170020000
Neck100015000
Shoulder100015000
Front100015000
Back100015000
Waist100015000
Jacket100013000
T-Shirt100013000
Shirt100013000
Sweater100013000
Pants150016000
Dress/Skirt150016000
Shorts150016000
Body4000Not available as Limiteds.
Head1500Not available as Limiteds.

They give an example on that page for how the publishing advance fee is paid off. You, the creator receives a commission of 30% for every unit sold, Roblox takes a 30% cut of every unit sold as the Platform fee, and then Roblox takes the remaining 40% as the Affiliate fee. Here is the source: https://create.roblox.com/docs/prod...x#creating-selling-and-reselling-avatar-items

You will see two purchases mentioned:

In-Experience Purchase​

  • Creator receives 30%
  • Affiliate (experience owner) receives 40%
  • Platform receives 30%

Marketplace Purchase​

  • Creator of the virtual item receives 30%
  • Affiliate (Roblox) receives 40%
  • Platform receives 30%

    These commissions also apply to the original sale of Limiteds. When setting assets on sale, you can configure your creation as a Limited item to set an available quantity for that asset. Limiteds require a per-unit fee and can be resold by Roblox Premium members. At this time, only Roblox-created Limiteds are tradeable.

Ignore the In-Experience Purchase (Experience means the games inside Roblox), this thread's news is about selling 3D Avatar Assets on the Roblox Marketplace, that means Roblox takes a 70% cut on every unit sold of the assets you create.

So, now onto their example they gave. You create a 3D item of asset type shirt for example which has a publishing advance fee of 1000 Robux. Remember! This is a refundable upfront fee that you have to pay in Robux. Let's say you use up the 1000 Robux from your Premium 1000 subscription to pay for it.

They say in the example that they choose the price of 400 Robux for the 3D item and selling it in an experience (but as I mentioned before, you are selling the assets in the Marketplace, not in an experience).

If you sell 1 unit of that shirt at 400 Robux, you get 120 Robux as your 30% creator commission, the 30% platform commission which is 120 Robux goes to paying off your Publishing Advance Fee and then the remaining 40% goes to Roblox as the Affiliate fee because they own the Marketplace.

By the 9th unit sold, the last 40 Robux pays off the Publishing Advance fee of 1000 Robux for that example. Now the rest of that 80 Robux goes to Roblox for the Platform Commission. The rest of the commissions are the same.

Then from the 10th unit sold onwards, you get 120 Robux per unit sold as per the 30% creator commission while Roblox receives 280 Robux per unit sold which is platform commission and the affiliate commission which is 70% in total.

Important note regarding commissions: https://create.roblox.com/docs/art/marketplace/marketplace-fees-and-commissions#commissions
There is a 30 day escrow hold for each purchase. Roblox holds the commission from the sale of your items for 30 days starting from the date of sale and your Robux share of the sale.

Note: The 30 day escrow does not apply for rebates (this is regarding the publishing advance fee).

Even though you are making sales, Roblox does a 30 day escrow on your earnings! You have to wait before being able to cash out your earnings.

Here are the details if you want to sell limited items (you can skip reading this if you want): https://create.roblox.com/docs/art/marketplace/marketplace-fees-and-commissions#limiteds

Limiteds​

When setting assets on sale, you can configure your creation as a Limited item to set an available quantity for that asset.

At this time, only Roblox-created Limiteds are tradeable, and bodies and heads are not eligible as Limiteds.

Per-unit Fee​

When publishing free Limiteds, you must provide a per-unit fee depending on the quantity being published and other factors like the type of asset being uploaded. This payment depends on a range of market-based factors and may change over time.

As a hypothetical case where limited hat items are 100 Robux per-unit, if 200 limited hats are listed at a 0 Robux price, the creator pays 20,000 Robux to list this free limited item. For free Limiteds, Roblox keeps the entire per-unit fee.

Reselling​

If reselling is enabled by the original creator, Premium members can resell purchased Limited items. Every time a creator's item is resold, the creator benefits from a 10% original creator commission. After purchasing a Limited, there is up to a 30 day holding period when the item cannot be resold.

Selling Limiteds: As a reminder, when selling anything on Roblox, the item creator, the seller, and Roblox receive a split of every transaction as follows:

  • 30% to creator
  • 40% to seller/affiliate
  • 30% to Roblox
Reselling community-created Limiteds: The following is the breakdown of the earning percentages for community-created Limited resales:

  • 50% to reseller
  • 10% to creator
  • 10% to seller/affiliate
  • 30% to Roblox
Similar to other commission and payment breakdowns, a single party can receive one or more commissions for a single transaction, such as the case where the original creator is also the reseller.

Remember that thread I made titled, "How "antidumping" provisions resulted in the "artificial scarcity" label that Nintendo was associated with since 1988.": https://www.installbaseforum.com/fo...nintendo-was-associated-with-since-1988.2571/

You would have learned about price floors in that thread and why it was implemented. It turns out the Roblox Marketplace implements price floors as well: https://create.roblox.com/docs/art/marketplace/marketplace-fees-and-commissions#price-ranges

Price Ranges​

Depending on the 3D asset type, you must set the price of the item within the marketplace price range. If you are selling a Limited item, you can set your item price as 0, or any value after the Limiteds Price Floor.

View Current Marketplace Ranges

They say this clearly from the FAQ I posted earlier:
Will the price floors ever change?

  • Yes. Our new system can help support smarter pricing to better reflect market conditions by automatically setting the lowest price in an item category based on demand. We also give creators controls that let them set rules for how much to charge for their items relative to these dynamic prices. We’re confident this will help make sure creators can earn while giving consumers more access to items at fair market prices.

You would think I was done referencing everything from the Marketplace Fees And Commissions page but I'm not done yet. Did you know that besides the Publishing Advance Fee, there is also an Upload Fee? https://create.roblox.com/docs/art/marketplace/marketplace-fees-and-commissions#upload-fees

Upload Fees​

When uploading, accessories, clothing, bodies, and heads require an upload fee of 750 Robux per submission. In general, fees are not refunded if an item is rejected through moderation. If your asset clears the uploading process, your asset is ready to publish to the Marketplace.

Every 3D item you upload will incur a fee of 750 Robux on top of the Publishing Advance fee that depends on what type of 3D Avatar Asset you are selling. Then you have Roblox taking a 70% cut on the sales of your 3D items on the Roblox Marketplace. Don't forget about the 30 day escrow period for receiving your 30% cut of the sale while you have to pay for a monthly premium subscription.

Now we pretend you made a bit of Robux, how do you cash it out for real money? It's good that I already went into detail about this in my last thread titled, "Eurogamer interviews Roblox Studio head about the exploitation of child labor." Here is the thread: https://www.installbaseforum.com/fo...d-about-the-exploitation-of-child-labor.2554/

In there I detail the developer exchange program. Read the OP regarding details of how many creators have joined the developer exchange program (Hint: 11,000 developers joined the program as of December 2022). The program requires that you need to be holding 30,000 Robux to exchange it for real-world currency.

Here is my post on the conversion rate of Robux to USD: https://www.installbaseforum.com/fo...-exploitation-of-child-labor.2554/post-244318

Here is my other post showing how less than 2% of creators have actually exchanged their Robux for real-world currency: https://www.installbaseforum.com/fo...-exploitation-of-child-labor.2554/post-244139


That should be all of it. While Roblox Corp is "opening up" their Marketplace to more creators, you can tell that this is so that they can make more money, not you. Remember that you are not an employee of Roblox Corp, you are a "creator" and receive no wages.

You are the prosumer.
 
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Important information about the Marketplace Policy
Imagine the following:

"I gave ID Verification to Roblox and, I subscribed to the Premium 1000 (or Premium 2200) Roblox consumer subscription to fulfill the requirements to put 3D assets on their marketplace.

I made a 3D Shirt and paid the 1000 Robux publishing advance fee for that asset type and, I paid 750 Robux for the upload fee for that asset.

After the publishing advance fee is paid off, Roblox Corp gets a 70% sales cut for every unit sold after which consists of the 30% platform commission and the 40% affiliate (Roblox owns the marketplace) commission.

That leaves me with a 30% cut of each sale and it's in Robux of which I need to accumulate at least 30,000 Robux to convert it into $105 but, there's a 30 day escrow period on each unit sold which means I have to wait before the Robux is given to me."

Let's pretend the shirt is an evergreen seller, it's the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe of shirts, it sells a significant amount everyday for the foreseeable future. Surely I don't need to keep paying for this Premium subscription that's just a consumer product to continue selling that one shirt that is already uploaded onto the marketplace right, right?

Here is the link to the Roblox Marketplace Policy: https://create.roblox.com/docs/art/marketplace/marketplace-policy#creator-and-group-requirements

Creator Requirements​

To upload, publish, and maintain existing content on-sale, Roblox requires users and groups to have ID verification and Premium membership.

See the following breakdown of the user and group requirements:
And they provide the following table which I edited the first column:
User typeCreator is able to...
ID/Premium Requirements
IndividuallyUpload content from Studio
— ID Verification
Individually
Publish content to the Marketplace

— ID Verification
— Premium 1000/2200
Individually
Keep existing content on-sale

— ID Verification
— Premium 1000/2200
As a GroupUpload content from StudioUploading user needs:

— ID Verification
— Premium 1000/2200
As a GroupPublish content to the MarketplacePublishing user needs:

— ID Verification

— Premium 1000/2200

Group owner needs:

— Premium 1000/2200
As a GroupKeep existing content on-saleGroup owner needs:

— Premium 1000/2200


If you want to "Keep existing content on-sale", you have to keep paying at least $9.99 per month for the Premium 1000 consumer subscription (The Premium 2200 is $19.99 per month).

That is the answer to the question I was wondering about. "Can I no longer pay for a subscription while I live off my evergreen selling shirt on the Roblox Marketplace?" No.

What has also caught my attention is the Group user type. Let's say you have a group of five people publishing content to the Marketplace. The group owner has to pay a Premium 1000/2200 subscription and, each publishing user has to also pay for a Premium 1000/2200 subscription to publish the content.

I don't know why uploading content from Roblox Studio doesn't require a subscription for an individual but, for a group the "uploading user" needs a Premium 1000/2200 subscription and, can the uploading user and the publishing user be the same user? Or is that going to require another subscription?

I answer one question and then more appear.
 
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