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New Dynamic Rating System for the Unity Asset Store

Asset Store Publisher



Since the current Customer Review and Star Rating System of Assets in the store are insufficient in helping customers determine not just the quality of the product but the active support being provided, I am proposing an addition to it. A Dynamic Rating System that is powered by the existing Customers of an Asset and the site activities of the Asset Publisher which are related to providing support. I'm unsure if the current Asset Rating System has dynamic features but I noticed since the "Stars" don't get reduced even after some time, it can show inaccuracies.

To make this new system work, it might be required for the Asset Store to have an integrated Support Ticketing System that must be used by the Asset Publisher to provide help and assistance to their Customers. Like ordinary Online Ticketing Systems, the Customer is then required to post a Star Rating of their experience and maybe also an optional brief public note. An API can also be provided if needed to enable Asset Publishers to embed this Unity Asset Ticketing System into their own websites if they want.

The data gathered from this Asset Ticketing System can then be used by the Unity Asset Store to dynamically control the online exposure and presence of an Asset within the Unity Asset Store. For example, if the Asset Publisher's provided support for a particular Asset has garnered a high rating, it can appear more prominently and frequently in the front page of the Unity Asset Store and E-newsletters, can assist in determining if Asset can be a valid candidate for "absorption" into Unity's system, etc.

To further expand the usefulness of this new rating system, it might also be good to consider having sort of an "Asset Ease of Use Checklist" by flagging the Assets that have updated Documentation, and Tutorials... which will affect the Asset's overall rating.

With this approach, not only will Unity be building more confidence for Asset buyers but this will also help in the automation process in "cleaning up" Assets that are not up to par with Unity's high standards? :-)

Comments (10)

  1. B06878ddcc898c4827ca965fc9a10df1?d=mm


    Oct 12, 2018 09:22

    Another idea I have is to simply have an official UNITY ASSET CURATOR that will post detailed review for selected proven Assets in the Store to endorse the product. Important information to include in the review is the quality of available documentation & tutorials (if applicable), type of support being offered by the Asset Publisher, and the required skill of the target Customer.

    I suggest these official asset reviews be made more on Assets belonging to complex categories like tools, frameworks, systems, etc.

  2. B06878ddcc898c4827ca965fc9a10df1?d=mm


    Oct 08, 2018 00:44

    If having a more transparent and accurate information on available Assets in the Store is very challenging to do. Maybe just having a good system to enable the Customers to make easy refunds will be a much better option to take. Right now, refunding in the Unity Asset Store is quite a hassle because:

    [1] The Unity Asset Store has no system that I know of which will allow the customer to quickly get their money back. This can mean, if a customer has a strict budget schedule, they will not be able to quickly buy another Asset in replacement of the previous wrong purchase. Unlike in Steam wherein they have a Credits system that a Customer can choose to quickly get the returned payment.

    [2] There is no grace period (like in Steam) to allow returning an Asset with no questions asked. A customer has to go through the Asset Publisher even if they don't want to which can waste more precious time.

    [3] Working contact information of a Publisher are missing from selected Assets. I found some Assets having broken website link, bouncing e-mail address, no official Unity forum thread, etc.

    [4] A customer has no way of knowing how long will it take for an Asset Publisher to reply to their inquiries. This can make the Customer feel stranded if they have a strict budget and project schedule and therefore cannot just simply and quickly replace/refund the Asset they've bought.

  3. B06878ddcc898c4827ca965fc9a10df1?d=mm


    Oct 07, 2018 02:53

    I found that some Asset Publishers are seemingly using the Asset Store to sell difficult to use products to get additional freelance work from their customers. Without some ways of separately rating the ease-of-use or even the available documentation and/or tutorials for applicable Assets, this abuse of the system will just continue to happen. After buying an Asset, the customer will spend some time using it. If they discover their required features doesn't really work as advertised, it will usually just be treated as a bug or lack of information and Asset Publishers will say it will be included in the next version or ask you to wait for an updated documentation... which sometimes takes a long time to be released. If you are a customer with a looming deadline, all you can do is offer to pay extra to the Asset Publisher to prioritize in fixing the "bug" / assist you in using the Asset or just consider what you paid for the Asset as a loss and look for other solutions.

  4. B06878ddcc898c4827ca965fc9a10df1?d=mm


    Sep 26, 2018 06:05

    I'm not sure what is the restriction for updating the Store Description of an Asset. Is there an archive system that saves historical information in the Store with regards to its description which can be viewed anytime? I think there may be a loophole if it does not have that.

    For example, if a Customer buys an Asset last month then in the current month it's description gets updated and changed to leave out some past details. An Asset Publisher can just claim a particular feature or aspect of the Asset (that was previously claimed to have) is now NOT covered because its not indicated in the current asset's description in the store. Therefore, this can be used by the Publisher to avoid responsibilities and not deliver what was previously promised.

    There are times that a Customer has to study an Asset more closely especially if its a complex system, framework, etc. by getting more involved in examining the code. This takes time and the more the Customer studies the Asset, sometimes they find inconsistencies and missing things. What can Customers do if an available Asset in the store was not really what it has been claimed to be before but just discovered it after a month or so and the Asset description has already been changed?

  5. B06878ddcc898c4827ca965fc9a10df1?d=mm


    Sep 13, 2018 00:00

    Reasons why an Asset's DOCUMENTATION and/or TUTORIALS must be included in a checklist or even must have their own Rating: [1] I found Assets that has included Documentation(s) but its content has not been updated for a while. [2] I found some Asset Publishers having updated Documentation but the version of Asset that is downloadable from the Asset Store has an older version while the included working Example Asset file uses a newer version (which is strange really...). [3] There are thick comprehensive Documentations but is quite difficult to understand and there are short ones having only a few pages which can easily be understood (and vice-versa). Also, some prefer Video Tutorials over written Documentations and some Assets are easier to grasp/understood by using either one. I think this largely depend on the kind of Asset and also the skill of the target Customer.

  6. B06878ddcc898c4827ca965fc9a10df1?d=mm


    Sep 12, 2018 23:23

    Some reasons to separate the rating for the Product SUPPORT from QUALITY: [1] Some Asset Publishers replies fast to inquiries and request for support but still couldn't deliver a solution afterwards due to limitations of their product which were just difficult to determine before purchase without a more detailed investigation. [2] Some Customers are willing to forego/sacrifice receiving support from Publishers as long as the Product is working and can possibly fit their requirements even if they need to exert additional effort . These Customers usually have advanced skills, has enough free time, and are open to getting their hands dirty in fixing the Asset themselves.

  7. B06878ddcc898c4827ca965fc9a10df1?d=mm


    Sep 10, 2018 02:40

    This system will hold Asset Publishers accountable for their products that they are selling in the Store and establish the idea that doing that should NOT just be a part time gig if you want to grow your business. If you have an important Asset and it sells well, you'll need to support it to be able to continue selling it.

    This new system will promote competition among Asset Publishers to have more variety of quality products and outstanding support rather than hide who are deserving or not. There are already some great Asset Publishers who have managed to provide both quality product and outstanding support and the current system is totally unfair to them as I believe it is holding them back from achieving much greater things faster. This is also hurting the Customers especially those new to Unity as they are the ones in the bottom of the list and the least protected from abuse. As more and more people discover this they will probably refrain buying from the Asset Store, move on to using another Game Engine, or might just totally abandon creating games.

    Unity already has their own Ticketing System and they believe in using that for their own purposes. I hope they extend it to be able to be used by Asset Store Publishers and their Customers too then utilize garnered data to improve the Asset Store.

    Quote from someone who sells games on Steam and in Unity Asset Store:
    "Too many asset developers jump on the bandwagon thinking its going to be easy money, an easy gig without having to put too much time into it. Once they discover there is work beyond the fun part (creating the asset), in the form of support, they bail. This would be a great way to hold asset developers accountable, and establish the idea that no, this won't be a part time gig. If you have an important asset an it sells well, you'll need to support it in order to grow it and keep it selling. Those of us selling on Steam have had to deal with a level of accountability like this for a long time - its about time the asset store starts adapting some of the methods other asset/software selling outlets are using. Right now, as it stands, the Unity asset store is mostly set up to benefit Unity first, then the seller, than the buyer. Personally I feel like this is the opposite of how a store should work - Buyer, Seller than Unity as far as priority is concerned."

    Thanks for reading! If you have some thoughts about this idea, please feel free to post here. :-)

  8. B06878ddcc898c4827ca965fc9a10df1?d=mm


    Sep 09, 2018 10:36

    That is a great feature suggestion FIRLEFANZ73! Thank you! :-)

    Also, I just want to clarify that this suggested system DOES NOT AIM to break Unity's business model by reducing the Assets available in the Store. It will augment it by SORTING THE ASSETS MORE EFFECTIVELY I hope. Enabling those Highly Rated Publishers to have more customers and therefore receive more funds to grow their business to allow them to build more effective products... maybe even run a bigger development studio which they can properly manage, etc.

    More and more people are discovering Unity and the user base is growing. Those people have varied behaviors and conditions which I think must be handled properly. Expectations must be made clear at the onset whether someone is buying an asset or about to publish theirs. That is why I think the Asset Store's Review System must be further improved to assist both Asset Publishers and Customers in doing their business... not just being one sided.

  9. 5115f141cb4a2005159d400011ed80a5?d=mm


    Sep 09, 2018 07:15

    And if an asset will be depricated in near future, a user sould be able to see this before it does.
    So I am not buying something that already has no support anymore and is depricated after a month…

    Thanks :-)

  10. B06878ddcc898c4827ca965fc9a10df1?d=mm


    Sep 09, 2018 06:06

    In addition, I suggest also requiring each Asset available in the Store to have it's own Forum Thread or something similar to contain general posts, inquiries, reports, and important announcements from the Asset Publisher.

    To further elaborate how the new ratings received by an Asset using this new Dynamic Rating System works, the Total Score / Total Stars changes over time and adapts to new ratings submitted by a Customer. For example, a Time Limit can be placed in which a particular Support Question must be answered by the Asset Publisher. When that time expires, the Rating System will activate and will be ready to receive a submission from the specific Customer. But to provide some leeway to the Asset Publisher, they can indicate the Response Time that they are comfortable when they initially post the Asset details with which will be clearly displayed on that Asset's Store Page. They can then be allowed to edit the Support Response Time information maybe 2 times a year or something (with limitations on max. hours) just in case of vacation leaves or emergencies. But they cannot totally abandon support for a long time. This can be made to have some measure of control and fairness still present for both parties.

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