Is Selling on Game Asset Stores Profitable? [Updated 2021]

Posted at 06:15 on 12th February 2018 by WOW Sound in Business Insights

Which game asset store we think is great, the pros and cons, and revenue of each store.

Is selling music and SFX on the game asset store a profitable business?

Updated 5th August 2021

Hi everyone, we would like to share our experience in selling our audio asset on game asset stores since Feb 2016. Unity Asset Store was the first game asset store we started, followed by GameDev Market, Scirra, and lastly Unreal Engine Marketplace in May 2016. Right now we have more than sixty assets in the game asset stores!

We tried selling our game audio assets on other game asset stores as well, but the revenue wasn’t significant., Game Asset Market, GamePro Market made no sales at all in a year. GameGorillaz and Corona Marketplace had two to three sales each in one and a half years. We already removed our assets from all these game asset stores since the start of 2018 as we decided to focus on the four leading game asset stores.

In this blog, we are going to cover 5 main game asset stores:

1. Unity Asset Store (UAS)
2. GameDev Market (GDM)
3. Unreal Engine Marketplace (UEM)
4. Scirra (SCI) 
5. (ITCH)
6. Additional Tips

For each of the game asset store, we will go into detail:

– How easy it is to upload your files on the asset stores
– How much maintenance is needed for your assets
– How much exposure your assets get
– Payment details: the minimum amount to withdraw, whether there are additional fees for submission

We hope to answer the question that many are wondering: Is Selling Music and Sound Effects On The Game Asset Stores Profitable?

In this blog post, we hope to give you some insight to know if this business is for you.


List According To Revenue: Highest to Lowest

1. Unity Asset Store (Highest Revenue)

Payment details:

– Free to create an account to upload your assets
– No additional PayPal fees when UAS sends you the payment
– No minimum amount to withdraw, withdraws monthly
– UAS takes 30% commission

UAS wins hands down in terms of revenue, and they are great in other aspects as well – No additional fees, easy to upload your assets, easy to make changes to your asset, has excellent search function and exposure.

From February 2016 to date (Jan 2018), our revenue managed to hit a five-figure sum which is more than twice the amount of UEM’s revenue. Sales have been steadily increasing month after month by just adding new assets to the store every 1 – 2 months. We did not do any marketing nor did we conduct any giveaways on any forum or advertise our assets on any social media platform. We hardly run any personal sale on UAS, maybe just 1 – 3 times yearly on 20-30% discount. We prefer to participate in Unity’s Sale as they work the best for us.

Sale Events on UAS helps boost revenue considerably! The first sale we participated in was in Apr 2017 – The first Mega Sale that took place over two weeks in 2 waves. It was the first sale where all publisher gets to participate. In the past, only a selected few get to participate in the sale. But now, the mega sale is open to all publishers, giving your assets good exposure.

The mega sale on UAS only gives you a maximum discount of 30% off your assets which I think is great because it forces you to not go off the wall with your deductions, unlike in UEM, which I will touch on later. Personally, I feel that giving too much discount on your assets is not favorable – your work may appear to be of lower value if it sold at a low price. The highest discount we go for is 50% unless the particular pack is not selling well, then we may go up to a 70% discount. Update: Now you can choose the discount percentage of up to 80% discount for each asset.

One of the biggest revenue boosters on UAS is getting featured on ‘On Sale This Week’ where seven selected assets are on 50% off for a week. We were very blessed to have our ‘RPG Magic SFX Pack’ featured on ‘On Sale This Week’ in Oct 2017. It had the best revenue within a short period than any other mega sale event we ever participated.

[ ’24 hour sale’ was replaced by ‘On Sale This Week’ ]
Update: There’s no more ‘On Sale This Week as well' but they are always coming up with interesting sales!

I like how UAS has the option to add tags to your asset. Search is easy, fast and compact (old game asset store) where you can quickly browse through many assets at a time. UAS also constantly updates their asset store front and takes in feedback from publishers to make the store efficient and better for both publishers and buyers!

Another thing to note, you need to use the Unity Game Engine to upload your assets. Thankfully if you are selling audio assets and there’s no programming or scripting in your assets, there is no need to continually check to see if your asset work with the newest Unity version. We haven’t updated our unity engine since we started in February 2016 and we haven’t received complains regarding our asset having problems with the newer versions of unity. The only issue we have are problems with importing our assets into their unity projects. [ But in march 2019, my computer died and I had to get a new computer so I downloaded the latest version of Unity Game engine and have been using that version until now. ]

*Note* Customer needs Unity to download the files – many customers who purchased our assets didn’t know that! We had to refund some customers as they could not use unity to download the files. UAS’s invoice number allows the seller to check the customer’s purchase and if the customer has downloaded the asset.

UAS now takes 2 - 3 weeks (*as of Aug 2021) for new assets to be accepted/reviewed. Waiting time is likely to dependent on how much assets are uploading assets at the time. However, if making small changes to an asset like changing the art or description is usually fast, it should take less than two days.

Once a customer made a purchase, it reflects immediately on the ‘Sales’ tab. 🙂


2. GameDev Market

Payment details:

– Free to create an account to upload your assets
– PayPal additional charges when GDM transfers your earnings to your PayPal account (4-5% of your total revenues! The smaller the amount, the higher the percentage)
– Minimum USD$50 to withdraw ($25 after COVID-19 in April 2020)
– GDM takes 30% commission

Assets do get featured in the email from time to time in emails. GDM doesn’t run as much sale events as UEM, but sales have been pretty well. The highest revenue so far in a month on GDM was $200+ during a sale event last year November.

Assets are easy to upload and gets accepted quickly, usually within days Changing your asset details is easy. Newly released assets do get the spotlight on the front page of GDM. You can add tags to your asset, and the search function is good. Great for customers who only need the audio files. They don’t need to use any game engine to download the files. GDM is still great even though they have less traffic as compared to UAS and UEM.

And if you get selected to participate in a Humble Bundle with GDM, that’s where you will get most of your revenue from. GDM was No.3 in terms of revenue till Nov 2019 but after participating in two of GDM’s market Humble Bundle sale, one in Nov 2018 and another in 2019, the revenue of GDM beat UEM! The Humble Bundle sales makes up 75% of revenue from GDM. 

Create an account on GameDev Market now! (With our alliance link!)

3. Unreal Engine Marketplace

Payment details:

– Free to create an account to upload your assets
–  No additional PayPal fees when UEM sends you the payment
– Minimum of USD$100 minimum to withdraw – money gets transferred to your PayPal automatically if the amount exceeds $100
– As of 12 July 2018, UEM takes only 12% commission instead of 30%, and that applies to ALL previous transaction dating back to the store’s 2014 launch! Read it more here]

When we first started in May 2016, sales were doing great. Every time we released a new asset, there would be at least a few sales within the first few days. The sales exceeded that of UAS in the first six months when UEM still curated the release date of new assets. 
New asset releases were featured in groups every two weeks or so. At the end of the month, UEM provides a page that summarises all the newly released assets. The waiting time of approximately one month once you submit your asset.

Now, all publishers can release their new assets within 3 – 4 days after submitting. That makes new asset releases not that special anymore. Every day you can see up to ten new assets on UEM! New asset quickly gets drowned and gets less exposure.

It is not easy to search through the marketplace at the moment. There are no options to add tags to your asset. (Update: You can add tags to your asset now!) Take time to think about the title name as it is the key to get customers to find your asset.

On the bright side, it is effortless to make changes to your assets’ description, art and project file now. From 2016 to early 2017, you had to email UAS to even make changes to the description of your asset and the changes may take up to 2 weeks! Now you can easily edit your asset’s detail in your seller portal and make changes immediately!

We get fewer sales from UEM now, but we still make some sales every month. It does not increase steadily like in UAS. However, sale events run by UEM are usually awesome, especially Cyber Monday Sale

We feel that their sale percentage is way too high; it’s between 20-90%. Many publishers put their asset on sale at 80-90%! We don’t believe in giving too much discount. It may give the customer the tendency only to purchase your asset during sale period since it can get cheap. Offering too much discount might harm your sales in the long run. The highest percentage we go for is 50%, only for Cyber Monday. Other than that, a 30% discount is the maximum for us.

We do run some small sales (10-20% off) from time to time to give our assets exposure on the marketplace under ‘On Sale’. It helps to boost a bit of sale but not much, to be honest, and sometimes there is no sale at all. Sales number are updated by UEM once a day at 8 am (GMT+8) so check it once a day. 🙂

On UEM, we can’t verify invoices like in UAS. There is nowhere to review details of the purchase or if the customer has downloaded the assets. Usually, we have to ask for a screenshot of the invoice to confirm purchase when customers have trouble importing our assets into their project and have requested for our audio files.

[ CGM3 Unreal Engine Project File]

Submitting your audio assets on Unreal Engine can be troublesome because you need to provide your assets as an unreal engine project file. You are required to follow their folder structure, naming conventions and instructions carefully.

You have to rename your audio files in Unreal Engine with WAV_FILENAME for the original files and create Cues of the files and rename CUE_FILENAME for the cues. That takes time as we haven’t figure out a way to quickly rename the cues; we are no experts using the unreal engine. It will be a nightmare to rename the Cues one by one if you are selling lots of SFX.

Unreal engine releases a new version of their engine at a fast pace. UEM recommends that you update your asset project files to the latest version. You have to download the latest engine, load your project file with the assets with the most recent version and submit them again. If you are selling audio assets, there is no need to update your assets so often, but we received requests to update our assets to the latest version as it makes importing audio assets into Unreal Engine easier.

Also, the new requirement on the Unreal game asset store requires you to upload three screenshots, on top of the essential art – even though you are just selling music. We often get ‘refunds’ as well because of some fraud issue so don’t count your sales too quickly, wait a day or two before counting them.


4. Scirra

Payment details:
– USD$25 to create a seller account
– SCI takes 30% commission
– On top of 30%, there are additional fees from credit card payments
– Minimum of £25 to withdraw your earnings and you need to wait up to 60 days for payment to be cleared by SCI before withdrawing
– PayPal additional charges when SCI transfers your profits to your PayPal account (4-5% of your total revenues! The smaller the amount, the larger the percentage)

We do have some sales here, and we feel that it is worth it to pay the $25 fee if you are going to upload a lot of assets. To date, our total revenue from the store is about USD$700 which isn’t a lot, but to us, it is still something.

Uploading your assets, similar to GDM is straightforward. Submission takes less than 12 hours. However, SCI requires a lot of art for your assets, about five images in their various banner or logo sizes for one asset. At SCI, you can set your personal sale and create your own asset bundle which is pretty cool. We realized the sale we set on our asset does not increase sale at all, so we stopped setting sale. Bundles are useful, and we had a few bundle sales on SCI where it was about 40% off ten assets. Since mid 2018, we stopped uploading assets on the store and may remove them altogether in 2019.

But in early 2021, they revamped their whole store and we uploaded 10 packs and we got some sales! The new store require ONE art asset which is great and the store looks so much nicer now!



Payment details:
– Free to create an account to upload your assets
– Stripe & PayPal fees are automatically deducted from each sale transaction
– Claim payment 7 days after sales is completed, payout takes 2-3 weeks to process
– You set your own commission: 0-100%
– 30% US withholding tax (if you are not a US citizen/business)

We started uploading some on in Apr 2021, and the thing that stood out to us the most is the commission part. You can choose between 0-100%, which is crazy! I can imagine some creators abusing the system and thought it was so bold of to let the creators set the commission. At first, we put it at 10%, which is's default but decided to go with 25% as 30% is the industry standard. We know storage space and data activities (uploading/downloading of files) are costly!

It's super easy and fast to upload assets here, and you can have fun with the colour theme and the font of each asset's page! You can even add images as banners and background. You can also design your storefront, arrange the order of your assets.

[ Vaporwave Music Pack and Anime Horror Music Page ]

The exciting thing about Itch, is that it provides you with a lot of analytics from the page view, collection, downloads, and even the source URL traffic for your assets. You can even add your own Google Analytics if you feel their analytics is not detailed enough, but we find that their analytics is already excellent.

[ Analytics for Cute Romantic 2 Music ]

But one thing to note, it seems like the popular game genre on Itch is Visual Novels, Horror, and RPG. At least these are the assets that are getting sold on for us. The tags for the assets aren't optimised for audio as Itch is mainly known as a place to get indie games. I'm not sure how much exposure our assets get, but I find that they get the most exposure when you first upload them. Maybe a trick you could do is space out your asset upload interval so you can get consistent exposure.

And lastly, the most important thing you should know about Itch is a 30% US withholding tax on payment from US buyers unless you are a US citizen or a US business. Different countries may have a different tax rate, but as we are from Singapore, it's 30%. I only noticed the withholding tax when the payout amount is significantly lesser than the revenue stated. The exported CSV report does not reflect the US withholding tax fees. 

However, even with the withholding tax, we could get a USD500+ payout within 4 months, which is not too bad! There is definitely traffic on the site, and we didn't do much to promote our assets, although we tried launching 2 bundles sales which didn't get much sales. 

Overall, we feel that is a place where you should be uploading your assets!

So Is Selling on the Game Asset Store a Profitable Business?

We would say YES, but it takes time and patience. It took two months to see the first sale on UAS and GDM. We see it as a viable business! If being able to create game music is what you love, that’s a big bonus! For close to two years, we were working on this business part-time, but now we are working on it full-time.

We do see a lot of potential in this although it has only been two years since we started it. The revenue has been increasing every year and doing better than imagined. 

This business is a marathon and not a sprint. If you want to earn money fast, this business is not for you. As of now, our revenue per month is at least four figure from all the different stores. You should consider focusing on getting custom work if that amount is not enough for you.

Additional Tips

If you are just getting started, we highly recommend Unity Asset Store, GameDev Market and

  • *Important* to have good art assets for your music even though you are just selling music! Many game asset stores emphasise this point as well, and we strongly agree! Using stock art is your best friend! You can purchase them from as low as $5, and it’s a good investment to use instead of spending time making your art. We tried it, and it’s way faster to use stock art, and they do look better. We often purchase stock art from Creative MarketShutterstock, and Adobestock. Though we mainly license from Adobestock now because they pay the contributers a higher royalty as compared to Shutterstock and doesn’t sneakily auto-renew (we hate this) your credit pack purchases. Creative Market is great but they have less options.

  • Focus on creating a useful game asset and your asset will promote itself. We did nothing for marketing, but sales have been increasing month after month. Focus on creating music/SFX that is lacking in the game asset store instead of re-creating the same genre of music that is already popular in the stores. It is hard to compete with publishers that are currently already popular in the stores.

  • Work on a music genre that you personally like as well; it gives you the motivation to work on them! We work on assets that we believe are in demand on the game asset store as well as music genres we like. Have a balance between the two.

  • Put a reasonable price on your asset and don’t set it too low, especially if you want to make a living out of it! Set competitive prices and do your research to compare with other publishers’ prices. Experiment on the prices, see what works best for you! Be confident in your assets; customers will be willing to buy what they need!

  • Be patient! It takes time for customers to find and discover your assets. It took us close to five months to start seeing more sales.

  • On a side note, SFX seems to sell better than music. Our RPG magic is our best seller on all the game asset stores although we only released it in March 2017. If you are selling SFX, consider selling them on AsoundEffects (30% commission) too!

  • We have big game companies purchasing our royalty-free music/SFX for their games which was quite surprising to us as we thought bigger game companies would get custom music and sound effects. So actually royalty-free assets are useful in both small and big scale games! (On a side note, do check out our guide 'How to get your music into a video game' if you prefer to write custom music for video games!)

If you have another great game library out there to recommend or there are more questions you would like to ask us, send us an email at [email protected]! We collated questions about our business regarding selling on the asset stores, custom work, licenses and copyright we have been asked over the years into one post!


If you liked this post and find it useful, and you want to support us in some ways, here’s one way you can help us! 🙂

If you are creating a 
GameDev Market account for the first time, create via our alliance link so we can get some commission from GameDev Market! (More details about the alliance here) Thank you!

More About WOW Sound

A pair of twins from Singapore, who loves video game and anime music runs WOW Sound with a bunch of awesome music composers and sound designers! Right now we are also selling our game audio assets on our E-commerce website to cater to licenses outside of games. We hope this blog post has given you some insight and we wish you all the best!

After reading all these and you find it a hassle to do everything yourself, you could also license your music under WOW Sound! We are looking for anime-inspired and video game music tracks and sound effects, so if you would like to submit your tracks or create new tracks for us, drop us an email at [email protected].

WOW Sound


Useful Links:
Unity Asset Store
Unreal Engine Marketplace
GameDev Market

How to Upload Audio Assets via Unity and Unreal Game Engine

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