Prepayment: Finally Gone Too Far?


Archive: April 8, 2013

[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.

-Mark Hrycenko