Monday, April 8, 2013

Prepayment Finally Gone too Far?


Editorial/Rant. Very few things truly bother me…but very recently, a question posed by an unnamed major developer did just that. The question, as posted on the developer’s Facebook page is as follows: “Would you pre-pay for a software before the development starts just to make sure it will happen?”. Are you flipping kidding me? See my editorial/rant inside...

Now those of you who follow AirDailyX on a regular basis may have read one of my previous editorials/rants titled “To Release With or Without Bugs?”. In essence, the piece addressed my concerns over developers releasing unfinished products with known bugs, often with a promise to fix at a later date. Although I was not thrilled by this prospect I did accept the general concept contingent on certain guidelines. I am beginning to regret my position as it appears certain developers are trying to take this idea to the next level.

Again, the question as posed on the developers Facebook page: “Would you pre-pay for a software before the development starts just to make sure it will happen?”. I should note that the unnamed developer has not yet implemented this strategy - however, they appear to be testing the waters. So if I am to understand this correctly, we are supposed to pay money upfront for a promise from a third party developer to develop a specific product in the near(ish) future. Really, are you serious? Basically, the developer will pocket a significant portion of the potential revenue from the eventual release before even starting development. Talk about killing the motivation to produce a worthwhile add-on…

Do we actually expect any developer to input 100% after being paid before even going to work? How invested would you be in your output if your employer paid your annual wages in advance? This whole concept is absolutely ridiculous and absurd. Product sales should be based on a combination of merit and value only, nothing else. I’ll give up flight simulation before I pay a developer for a future promise to develop a certain product. If the community accepts this type of ridiculousness, we’ve got a massive can of worms on our hands.

Going along with this mentality, developers might as well offer to produce anything, wait to see what gets the most predevelopment payments, and then cancel everything else. Heck, I might as well start collecting predevelopment payments myself. If I eventually receive enough money for a particular product I’m sure I could find someone to make it. Oh yeah, and if it’s lousy, sorry, but thanks for your money.

Right now developers are forced to produce quality products if they expect strong sales. People base their purchase on reviews, finished product specifications and screen captures, as well as word of mouth. Please don’t let certain unnamed developers take this away from us… They must work for our hard earned money; there should be no other way.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

If they want to play that way, leave them be. But i will not pay a damn penny to request a product or make sure product will be released, this aint kickstarter, and they aint sons of Al Capone. I've had enough with unfinished crap products already.

Sometimes i understand why people is pirating stuff.

Anonymous said...

Thats a surprising post ! Why would you talk about the guys...??? Maybe you could have talked about aerosoft and orbx crappy support service. ( one answer every 24 hours)

Anonymous said...

Thats really childish ! If some people are tupid enough to pay before the development cycle, than so be it ! Honestly , there are much more topics

Anonymous said...

In its formative years ORBX offered prepayment options to its customer base several months before product release. The incentive was early delivery before release to the general public and/or a modest discount.

This assisted cash flow at a time when ORBX, like most start-ups, was doing it tough. Clearly though this is quite different to the technique proposed leading to this article.

Mark Hrycenko said...

Absolutely, once a product is in development I have no problem with early payment incentives.

This proposal however is a different ball game.

Mark Hrycenko said...

Childish how? I appreciate that if select people are "stupid" enough to go along with this type of agreement it is inevitably their problem. My concern is more related to this becoming a standard business practice if embraced by a large number of users. I still believe this would be a detrimental shift in flight simulation add-on development.

Anonymous said...

Pay before and i'll give you my answer... It's stupid ... as the pre payed software, and i won't buy that... even if the developper is famous.
I like the "try it before you buy" (like FSDREAM TEAM) for example and i give my preference to this kind of product. This formule shall (must) be the good one.

Anonymous said...

personally...i'm all for it! crowdfunding works if done correctly

also in a case like that you are DONATING to a developer not INVESTING! you are NOT an investor there is no contract no nothing..its a donation of goodwill so why the heck not? if it helps the product along?


hell if a developer is unsure how large the potential market for an addon is that he/they plan to make they should go all for it

but yeah bottomline is i like the idea of crowdfunding if it helps a developer and done through the right channels(!)

Anonymous said...

Well you didn't mention developer names but only one developer comes to mind when it concerns pre-pay.

I want a hit from whatever they're smoking.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Customers get what they wants. A system where you pay 50% and also get to become a beta tester and the other 50% of price on delivery of final product could work. And the stake holders vote on release would also give the developers an incentive to finish the job properly. I also think this may be a good way to offset the losses from piracy.

Anonymous said...

And which facebook page is this? without saying who this post is pointless

CAT3Dual said...

"fühle da" in German Language. ;)

DAndre Newman said...

If we said the name of this developer you would be even more pissed as this is a developer known for getting things wrong...

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