Monetization, “Greed”, and an offer.
I’ve recently undertaken some new initiatives in regards to improving the monetization of the project, namely:
Combating piracy more by paying an agency to DMCA unofficial downloads.
Non-intrusive toy affiliate links in-game to go with the Toy update.
Messaging ex-supporters with update news.
More may be coming.
This write-up will explain the monetization structure of VS, and why I may come across as more money-focused as a dev compared to some peers.
I also have an offer to make, for those interested after reading this.
I do only ask that you read it before taking me up on the offer. There is no TL;DR.
Here are some facts about my plans:
I do not plan to release old versions for free.
I do not plan on making the game free.
My approach to development for the first 2 years was heavily focused on marketable features and growth.
I will be selling the game for a one-time price… once I feel like it’s the appropriate time to.
I will seek to continue providing content and earning support in ways other than this one-time sale. My patreon will not suddenly disappear, obviously.
I am the sole developer, and while I do incur expenses developing this game, I make far far more than that ever costs. My earnings are public, and they are higher than what you can see on Patreon.
I’ve received some criticism about these facts over the years, which is understandable considering the prevailing culture around creation. I would like a chance to explain myself and why I don’t subscribe to the starving artist mentality prevalent across most passion industries.
While I strongly believe in my project’s value, I can’t deny how lucky I am for it to have succeeded. Before VS, I was merely a jaded newbie developer looking at severely depressing graphs of how indie games usually perform on steam and wondering how I’d ever make it my own way.
I am confident in my ability to produce interesting content, but I am not so confident I’ll ever be this lucky again and find a niche that allows me to thrive in an industry filled with underpaid passion workers.
Industry Instability, Lack of Security & Diversification.
Even if I were to continue producing adult content people like, sadly adult developers are plagued with a constant fear: the disdain of the SFW world.
Banks do not like us. Governments do not like us. Platforms do not like us. Payment processors do not like us.
Everything is at risk, always. One day, you could be wildly successful on a platform, and the next you might be losing 80% of your revenue to an outsourced guidelines team deciding your content is not appropriate. I’ve almost lost my primary platform twice already; both times, it was absolute nonsense.
Countries have outright banned adult games on Steam, while Patreon is wildly inconsistent. Other platforms just cannot get any significant growth right now, and could easily be at risk as well.
This is a reality all adult game developers deal with, and it’s one I’m choosing to stay ahead of.
This one is pretty simple, rather selfish, but I hope it's also understandable.
I don’t want to be beheld to creating things that are financially viable forever. My true passion lies in unusual things that are not necessarily marketable.
While I thoroughly enjoy developing VS...
Pardon the honesty, but I expect developing adult games is not what I'll want to do forever as a creator. I think I've proven my consistency in working on VS, and I still enjoy it, and I will continue to work on it, but I have a responsibility to my future creative freedom to set myself up as well as I can.
I do not come from a privileged background. Before VS, I was in debt. My family was in debt, with very little to their name. VS, in fact, was partly a result of me fearing for my family when COVID began.
Nobody around me has the agency I have to work towards a better future for us.
One marketable feature, one minor change to how I approach monetization can have a severe effect upon me and my surroundings life and future.
I do not seek your money if it negatively affects your life. This much, hopefully you’ll see through my offer at the bottom of this post
In return, I ask you to understand my responsibility to be “greedy”.
I’ll be totally frank; I absolutely fucking loathe the people who force so many artists to feel as if they’re forced to suffer earning a pittance “because that’s just how these things are and you shouldn’t be greedy”.
While I’m financially rewarded for being focused on financial returns, a lot of it is a matter of principle to me. I think all forms of content creators should be able to strive to earn the most they can; countless people provide far less while earning far more than any individual artist can earn.
I have consistently pushed acquaintances and friends towards my “greedy” attitude over the last few years, and I will continue to do so. You can’t eat good-will.
I’ve made this offer before, but it was buried in a Patreon post and did not get much attention.
I’d also like to upgrade it now that I’m combating piracy more heavily.
I’m aware not everyone can afford the way the game is structured. Sometimes, the most passionate and interested people are the ones who can afford it the least.
You could be in a country where it’s totally unreasonable to purchase the game as well, that much I fully understand.
My offer is as follows:
If you feel like you fit in these criteria, if you feel as if my monetization is something you can’t afford, DM me on Discord.
I’ll provide you access to a discord server which will forever get the latest updates.
It’s a gamble on my part that most people are willing to support what they want to see more of, but it’s a pragmatic gamble that also knows most people are not invested enough to go through the effort of asking me.
Note: While I've appreciated your stories and knowing why it is you're taking me up on this offer, please do not feel forced to explain yourself. I don't seek to make you beg for my project, it's ok, whatever the reason may be.
I am not around 24/7 to reply (and if I somehow forget, remind me), but if you care about the game to the point of asking me for it, you can get it. Simple as that.
If you've in some form changed your mind on piracy as a result of this read, you can find the links to purchase the game on the home page.
Thanks for the support, whatever form it may take.