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Revenue Split option

A topic by Ember and Ash created Aug 12, 2020 Views: 4,859 Replies: 38
Viewing posts 1 to 35
(+59)

As a creator and collaborator, being able to set on a per-project basis a revenue split to go between my own and other Itch accounts is a Really Important Thing. Particularly for Physical Games, a number of the other platforms used have this feature, and it makes it a challenge to split an audience to multiple platforms so that collab projects can have the split automatically applied. I want to support the growth of indie games and Itch has been important for that, but I think this is a requirement that we still need put into place.

(+30)

Yeah, I never want to deal with DrivethruRPG again, but the one thing they have over itchio is easy revenue sharing. And they've gotten some big projects from it! Uncaged, for instance. I'd love to see a big itchio-first RPG anthology.

(+30)

This option is critical for me to be able to move all of my projects to itch for sale; I typically work with and split revenue with a team of collaborators.

Handling the paperwork and payouts separately is a ton of extra labor and time that prevents me from using this platform for all but my smallest solo projects.

(+24)

I would LOVE it if there was an option to do this. I've wanted to start major projects over here instead of DMsGuild/DriveThruRPG but since I'm frequently working with multiple collaborators, I've been stuck places where I can split the revenue. 

(+24)

It is also a main motivator in where we direct people primarily, currently DTRPG is our main platform because of our business model, focusing on profit sharing. We put stuff up on itch, but that has been voted to go to a company warchest for future use, and not paying our creatives because have 6 and counting books each with different contributors functioning under a different % of profit splitting based on contribution.

The more we put out, will make it increasingly more and more impractical to manage the paperwork without expensive software (that we cant afford and would rather focus on continuing to put money into the pockets of our creators)

If Itch enabled profit sharing, we'd quickly and decisively make Itch our primary platform.

(+21)

This would make my life so much easier and I have friends that would appreciate it too. People really shouldn't have to do the bundle thing that the games Can Androids Pray? and Cellular Harvest have done as a workaround. Game development is usually a collaborative process.

I also really wish that bundles could be split on a more granular level than whole percentages. Once you have a number of games in there past 5, it gets really hard to divide the proceeds unless someone wants to Paypal the other devs the extra money they've received. I love Itch but both of these features would make my life easier.

(+20)

I currently only have one personal project up and in work on my platforms, that is a solo project. But i have a handful of projects currently in planning and currently in development that will require a profit splitting option, which means that a have to primarily focus on DTRPG, which is... not ideal. but it's where my options require me to be. I'd also go all in on itch if they added this. 

(+19)

I have a project I'm working on right now where a revenue split would be SO CONVENIENT. I want to publish this project on itch.io but currently am not able to because of there being no revenue splitting option. :( 

(+20)

revenue sharing would make it much easier for us to collaborate with other creators, especially those that work in the creation of digital games

(+20)

Revenue Sharing is sorely needed. Its going to help larger projects take place on itch. There is no real downside to it. I have people I am collabing with and we are hesitant to use Itch becouse the lack of revenue sharing.

(+22)

I would also love the ability to do revenue share with people I hire for work - artists, editors, etc. I have had not great experiences with DriveThru RPG; I also don't want to make more D&D related content if I can help it because I've not had a great user experience with OBS.

I want to focus on making more games, and less time trying to sort out pre-projects how I'm going to be able to pay everyone equally and equitably if the platform I use for releasing projects doesn't have revenue share.

(+16)

I've said before what a hugely important feature this is for me, but I want to say it again.


There is nothing that would make me more inclined to publish work than being able to fairly share revenue without relying on kickstarter.

(+16)

it's a long-awaited option that would be extremely useful

It seems to me that it should be one of the priorities for this cool and handy website

(+14)

A revenue split option for multiple creators across accounts would be incredible, and there'd be no reason not to have all my various projects here.

(+13)

Larger games w/ multiple creators on them would be much easier to manage with this option. Even just having a 2-3 account option and a slideable percentage distribution would be very helpful

(+18)

This is my most desired feature from itch.io. Collaboration is a source of creative energy, but I shy away from it because it's a wearying accounting commitment. I'm sure I'm not alone. Revenue apportionment functionality would unlock a lot of collaborative energy for people. 

(+12)

Like many folks here, I would happily port Hydra Coop products over to Itch. But with multiple authors and royalty splits under a single publishing umbrella, there's no point in us doing so until we can continue paying our creators based on our existing agreements.

(+12)

Also very interested in being able to do this.

(+11)

oh this would be incredible!! There’s so many talented people on here that I would love to collaborate with and revenue sharing would be great for that! It would also help with bringing contributing writers into projects, anthologies, and everything else everyone’s brought up upthread of me. 

(+12)

I would be able to bring so many sorts of different projects here and make sure pay between collaborators is done in a fair and equitable way. Currently if I want to do revenue sharing, it's a mess.

(+10)

Yes, please. Since this option exists for bundles already, I believe that itch.io can reasonably include this in products as well. Please do so and enable collaborative projects to properly and conveniently monetize on your platform.

(+12)

This is one of the most needed updates to itch.io. it would allow for more collaboration and collaborative game jams, the potential for higher quality products, and facilitates easy bookkeeping for co-ops, translators, and single-project teams with shares-as-pay agreements

(+10)

Definitively would find this awesome. And would open up the option of full collaboration with most folx from my country.

(+10)

Being able to split revenue would be incredibly helpful!

(+9)

Gotta agree with the above; I'd be bringing heftier projects onto itch.io if I could do revenue splits or effectively automate royalties for stuff like layout and art.

(+7)

i would also like this Feacher...not just because of collaborations, but for derivative works, like, a creator can say "you can hack my game but pls give me x%"

🌈ideally🌈 you'd be able to enter any payment-linked email address, not just itch accounts—so that revenue can be sent directly to a charity or wherever—but i know that's probably something that just cannot be legally/practically implemented

(1 edit) (+6)

itch.io needs this feature and the ability to donate directly to creators (one time or reoccurring) 

(+6)

This would be great.

(+6)

PLEASE add this as a feature. I would love to do a writing compilation, but I don't want to have to manually send people money whenever there's a sale, and it would be so much more enticing for people to join if there was revenue sharing.

(+4)

Hello! I revive this thread because I think it can be so easy to enable it, it already exist with Coop Bundle! And I this feature will be a killer feature for all indies who don’t want to create a big structure for this.

(+4)

found this topic while googling to see if this feature exists – would be super useful.

(+2)

Bumping to keep this towards the top. This would help with SO MANY projects.

Ok. Time for some dumb questions.

How does this work, if the project has direct payment active.

Who has control over the revenue split ratio.

What happens if one of the enthusiasts doing revenue split on their hobby project screws up tax information or gets legally, because their business partner did not uphold agreements in shared work.

Who can remove the project or change the price.

To my limited understanding a thing like revenue sharing is not possible at this point of the chain of distribution. You need to have a single entity having the rights to sell. A single entity responsible for all the legal stuff, including holding the rights of the project. After all, the project could be sold on a different platform and different distribution channels as well. If you "share" on itch and your partner sells it on their own website without sharing, how to deal with that.

If you do a limited colab to bundle sell things, that is different. There are two entities having each a concrete project and agree on a limited sale with a defined sharing option. The purchase gain is shared, but the projects are still separate and can be separatly be dealt with legally.

In reality of course those entities are small companies that are still often controlled by a single person, but the legalities how the company is controlled is the internal affair of said company. Trying to do revenue sharing on the distribution level of the sales platform is making those internal affairs external, actually making the company obsolete.

That is my two cents, and I know very little about all this stuff, but I believe there are loads and heaps of pitfalls, that people naively do not consider when idealistically thinking about revenue sharing of their hobby projects. Sure, it sounds fantastic, some strangers collabing on a project, making money along the way and sharing the revenue. But I fear itch has not the legal capacity to be such a place. 

(1 edit) (+2)

I've thought about this a lot, because money is a complicated thing, especially when people are involved.

I think it makes the most sense for revenue splits to work a lot like how bundles work. If you've never organized or been in a bundle, all of the people involved have to approve the percentages / split for the bundle to go live. Once everyone has approved a bundle it cannot be cancelled or modified, but obviously for a project it would make sense for it to be changeable.

So, for a project with a revenue split to go live, everyone involved would have to approve it. And if the split was ever going to change, or a new person is being added to the project, or someone wants to delist the project, everyone would have to approve a new form. In order to prevent angry people from spamming split changes, there would probably be a limit to how often changes can be suggested by individuals, maybe once a month.

There maybe would be a setting [that contributors have to approve / consent to] that would allow some contributors to be considered "core", and others to be considered minor contributors. The only difference would probably be that minor contributors wouldn't have a say in whether or not a project can be delisted.

I think what I'm imagining is basically as good as it gets; itch.io moderation doesn't have to get involved, and while people might regret things they approved later, ultimately nothing is perfect. For larger projects [6+ people], it maybe would make sense to have a voting system instead, because if a single person in a thirteen person team is always rejecting changes because they're trolling or pissy, that would be a huge issue. And the difference between core and minor contributors would probably be relevant here as well.

Not sure about the tax problems you're discussing. I've never been at risk while participating in a bundle because someone else in the bundle didn't do their taxes properly, and I imagine things would work the same here. I think the whole point of revenue sharing is that nobody wants to be an accountant responsible for paying other people, and that they want the money to be split before it even reaches them. But I'm not a legal expert.

Your comment about someone selling the item on another website; I already sell all of my albums on both itch.io and Bandcamp. There is nothing stopping me from selling my music for less money on Bandcamp, and vice versa. It might be against the ToS of itch.io or Bandcamp to do such a thing, I'm not sure, but the point I'm making is that this can basically already be done. I think it falls outside of the purview of itch.io's responsibility, and it ultimately would just be a massive dick move if an individual developer sold an exe on their own website to bypass a revnue split. That's something the devs would have to hash out between eachother.

And finally, your point about who owns a project; there would clearly have to be shared project pages or something. Regardless of who initiates the creation of the project page, when everyone approves said page it would probably not be "owned" by any individual member of the team, and people would have to go through the aforementioned approvals processes to make changes. Maybe, when the project is first being created, everyone can approve a single person owning the project, which would allow them to make a lot of changes unilaterally, which would make a lot of sense for projects where one person did 90% of the work and everyone else just contributed a few assets.

Obviously none of what I'm suggesting is perfect, and a lot of it would be really annoying, but that's just how money is, and even collaborative projects with shared ownership in general; they're the kinds of things that can destroy relationships.

It would be complicated for itch.io to sort out how it works, but if they can make bundles work legally, I'm sure it would only be marginally more complicated to have shared projects.

EDIT: I forgot to mention this earlier, but I recall hearing that DriveThruRPG has revenue sharing, so it has been done before.

I guess it would be easier to set up with two key ingredients.

First, finished projects. No risk in some of the collabs to drop from sight and leaving the project before it is done. You have a sellable item and can concentrate on selling it.

Second, take a third of the sale price. This will take care of lots of services that include dealing with additional requirements for revenue shared projects. Including being the merchant, instead of the individual collabs being the merchant. If all those pesky details are dealt with, it is only a matter of paying out to different accounts.

Maybe the thing with the merchant is the biggest hurdle for itch to implement such a thing. They have the option to not be the merchant for an item, sometimes they even require it. Bottom line, that status can change. But  it could not change for a revenue sharing project. How would that work, if a user wants to buy a thing from 10 different merchants at once? From user perspective it has to be a single merchant.

Deleted 105 days ago
(+1)

Given that I, and many others in this thread, use other platforms with this feature in place, I feel fairly confident in saying none of those problems represent a block to doing this. But, in short, most of the contractual relationship is governed by whatever agreements are in place between the creators and Itch need not be involved in those at all.

The only real issue would be that changes to the revenue split  and this could function like collaborative bundles do now — everyone has to agree. In that event, all Itch has to do is distribute the funds based on the agreed upon amount. Any other conflict is already remediable under existing contract law and mediation between the parties.

How do those other platforms handle the merchant situation? Who acts as merchant? Itch does not act as merchant for all projects.

While not a technical block to implement a feature, itch is low cost. That prohibits implementation of some features. If only because it would cost money to implement them. Just think about direct messages. Why are there no direct messages on itch? It is a thing most run of the mill out of the box message boards have. There is no technical barrier. My assumption is, it would cost money in terms of staff time for moderation and arbitration, spam removal and so on.

My best guess is, they shy away of implementing such a feature for a combination of reasons. Among those reasons, that for games mostly unfinished projects would try to set out like this and not already finished projects would try to start selling like this. And fledgling collab projects of amateur developers from around the world sound nice, but are bound to bring in a heap of work in support. Mostly unpaid support with the current pricing scheme.

Or let me ask differently, is there a way to do such a revenue sharing on Steam? Maybe on some other game platform? I got the impression with very few data points, that those revenue sharing things are more a thing of basically book publishers. Books are only a very small part of itch. 

(+3)

I am honestly completely floored that this hasn't been implemented yet. This would make so many things easier! I understand there might be some logistic difficulties, but if they can do it for bundles, they can do it for individual projects.

if you make a deal with someone, all they have to do is give you their email on itch and that's it, no boring additional banks or papers work. Once itch implements this feature, i have no doubt other giants like steam will have a new competitor, because no one likes to have more than 30% of their earnings cut, or pay 100 dollars before publishing.