Alternative to Patreon

Hey Libretro team,

It’s come to my attention in an email today from Patreon that they will be issuing a service fee with each Patreon pledge. I for one will not stand for this. The creators didn’t ask for this and the patrons certainly didn’t either. If Patreon genuinely cared about their creators getting more of the money that is pledged to them, then they would lower their percentage of their cut. Instead they’ve decided to literally grab cash directly out of the patron’s pockets to fund themselves and still have the gull to withhold 5% from their creators. I will not continue to send my support through Patreon. Is there an alternative to Patreon? I would still love to send my support to Libretro even if I don’t get the update posts from Patreon. Patreon should not be allowed to do this. There are projects and even livelihoods that Patreon has chosen to simply steam roll over in order to collect more profits for themselves and jeopardize the support of their creators. I’d much rather pay the difference in the service fees associated with Paypal so you guys get 100% of my donations and the difference doesn’t go to a bunch of crooks like Patreon. If there is not an alternative please consider making one.

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Unfortunately, Paypal froze our account a few years back, claiming we were “selling emulators,” which is ironic on several different levels.

I certainly agree with and understand your displeasure with Patreon. I don’t know of any other way to replace their service, and until we come up with an alternative, your best bet is probably to just hang onto your would-be donations or put them toward other worthy endeavors, like the MAME-adjacent Dumping Union fundraiser. You could also put your pledge money toward any bug/feature bounties you would like to see tackled.

On behalf of the whole libretro gang, we appreciate all of the support from you and the other patrons and we have no problem with anyone withdrawing their pledges over the new fees/policy. If you come across any similar services with better margins, please let us know.


Man that sucks!

I’ve checked around with all of the crowdfunding sites and they all seem to be comparable margin wise without the communication benefits of Patreon. Until I did some research I honestly had no idea what is out there so it was my knee jerk reaction to want to pull away from Patreon, not because of the amount of money, but because how they feel that they can just make major changes like this and not give the creators or patrons the choice of continuing to pay the old way or paying the service fee. I look at these kinds of abrupt and iron fist changes as a gateway for a company like Patreon to take their policy changes to new and more tyrannical heights as people just lie down and accept them. I did the math and they’re essentially charging the patrons the cost of the Paypal transaction plus making an extra 5 cents on the side per transaction as well as the usual 5% that they take from the creator. I understand that Patreon offers more than the distribution of funds and has to make money over and above what they need to cover their own costs because everyone has the right to eat. I think they should have implemented it better by giving a choice between the old and new way to give patrons a choice to give more and not jeopardize the creator’s income which has already started happening which I care more about over having to pay more so you get more. So with that being said I am more than happy to pay the service fee so Libretro can receive more of the money that I give. I hope either Patreon will rethink their logic or that you guys can find a better platform to receive money because like a said projects and livelihoods are directly effected by heavy handed decisions like these. The reason why Patreon even exists is because everyone wanted to get out from underneath the tyrannical rule of Google. Patreon should not have made this a new policy. They should have made it an alternative. I think Patreon should be liable for the damages that this policy will cause.

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Yeah, it always sucks when these companies pull the rug out from people with no warning. It’s even worse when money is involved.


You could look into Patreon alternatives, Patreon has its share of controversy and censorship. Maybe LiberaPay can be taken into consideration.

We have something set up with them, I think, but I recall there’s some complication related to getting actual money out of it or something… I forget what exactly.