Some users have expressed concern that RPG Maker MV is “over-priced”, given that it is currently being retailed for US$80 (10% off if you pre-order it!)
One way to gauge whether something is over-priced is to look at other, similar products and see how much they are sold for. This is not an accurate way to judge the “actual” value of something, but it gives you an idea how the market looks if you’re shopping for some game development tools.
In this article, I take a look at a selection of 2D game engines that can be used to develop 2D RPG. I will not consider game programming libraries. The criteria I am interested in is based on the pricing models along with one feature that MV brings to the table: multi-platform export.
RPG Maker MV
RPG Maker MV can be purchased for US$80.
This comes with the ability to export to Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and HTML.
Here are some prices
And some features
They do have a free license, but you cannot develop commercial games. The free license also comes with a number of limitations on your project.
For $165, you can get a personal license, which already comes with a lot of features. Among other things, you can publish to Windows and HTML5.
However, they have a $5000 total revenue limitation for personal licenses, so if you are making more than $5000 you’ll need to buy their $540 business license.
But really, if you’re already making $5000+ paying for a license probably isn’t a big deal.
Game Maker: Studio
This game engine has been brought up a few times as an alternative to RPG Maker. Here is their feature comparison for their three licensing options. Take a look at what they offer:
We can see that Game Maker offers a free license which allows you to build Windows games. So if that’s all you need…well, it’s free.
If you need more than that, the pro license starts at $150 and offers basic Windows, Windows App, Mac, and Linux export.
If you want to publish to other platforms, you’ll have to pay additional fees: $200 for web, and $300 for each mobile platform.
While Unity 3D is known for developing 3D games, it also has a lot of support for 2D games.
Unity is basically free if you’re making less than $100 000 a year. You have to include their splash screen, but that’s a pretty small price to pay for being able to export to all platforms for free.
There’s more things down here, but unless you’re making $100 000 it is not that important. And if you’re making $100 000, you can probably afford to pay those licenses.
Another popular game engine. It is also free. You pay 5% in royalties after the first $3000 per calendar quarter.
This is another game engine that is popular for creating 2D games. I am having a hard time figuring out how to navigate their website, but it looks like you’re paying $99 for the “basic” engine and $399 for a “developer” edition. Not sure what that means.
I haven’t taken a look at this, but here are the prices.
You have a number of alternatives to RPG Maker MV if you’re looking for a suitable game engine that allows you to build games without having to worry too much about programming and being able to export to multiple platforms.
With the exception of Unity and Unreal, a lot of the other 2D game engines aren’t that much cheaper either compared to MV. They may or may not be easier to use, and may or may not come with all of the features that you need to fully meet all of your requirements, but we can see that the market for game engines can be fairly expensive.
If you have what it takes to build your game in Unity or Unreal (or any other engine that you can use for free), then by all means go for it. Otherwise, it would be difficult to argue that RPG Maker MV is over-priced when some of the popular alternatives aren’t that much different.