Unity reveals plans to charge per game install, drawing criticism from development community

Unity has announced dramatic changes to its Unity Engine business model which will see its introduce a monthly fee per game install beginning on 1st January next year - a move that has already send shockwaves across the development community.

Unity - the engine behind countless acclaimed games including Tunic, Cuphead, Hollow Knight, Citizen Sleeper, RimWorld, Outer Wilds, Fall Guys, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Cities: Skylines - was previously licensed to developers using a royalty free model built around subscriptions tiers. Anyone whose revenue or funding was less than $100,000 over the course of the year (or who didn't want access to features such as the ability to remove the Unity splash screen) could stick to the free Unity Personal license, while a Unity Plus subscription was required up to $200,000 in revenue, and a Unity Pro or above subscription was needed for more.

nanoUFO,
@nanoUFO@sh.itjust.works avatar

I’m feeling better everyday about ditching unity and moving to godot.

derin,

It is a lovely engine, and getting better every day. The more competition we get for Unity, the better.

eldritch_lich,

Yeah my device struggled to run any major engines so Godot kinda saved my ass when I first got into gamedev many years ago. I was going to start learning the major engines now that I have slightly better hardware, but I guess I’m skipping Unity now.

simple,

On the exact same boat. I switched to Godot as soon as version 4 came out and have been really happy with it. I still use Unity professionally (at least until Godot 4 fixes some big issues), but most of my projects are now on Godot. God bless open source devs.

woelkchen,
@woelkchen@lemmy.world avatar

at least until Godot 4 fixes some big issues

With Godot being an open source project, you could scratch your own itch and help remedy the issues…

simple,

Sadly I’m really not good enough at C++ to contribute.

fsxylo,

Throws year long project in the trash

eldritch_lich,

I looked through the announcement post and all I can say is that this is beyond absurd. Can they even legally apply these changes retroactively? All these relatively large indie games used Unity. They can’t exactly tear everything down and use another engine. They didn’t even accept such terms at the time, so how can they suddenly be expected to pay for every download they get?

And I was so excited to finally start learning Unity too… damn. I probably should have seen something like this coming way back when they announced their IPO. I was going to learn Unreal at some point as well but I guess I’ll just uninstall Unity and skip right to UE5.

There’s definitely going to be huge action taken from every studio that used Unity in their games. I have a hard time believing that they’ll get away with the retroactive part at least.

Donjuanme,

It isn’t going into effect until January 2024, and it isn’t retroactive. And I don’t think you need to worry too much about breaking 200k paid installs if you haven’t even learned the language yet, but I admire your drive if you do.

hedgehog,

It isn’t retroactive in the sense that it applies to installs before that date, but rather in the sense that it applies to games made with Unity before the announcement.

Veraxus,
Veraxus avatar

UE5 is great. Honestly, it would have been the better choice even before Unity decided to curb-stomp their entire community and customer base.

But then, what did we expect after Unity merged with a company known for malware. Predatory practices are their whole business model.

brihuang95,
@brihuang95@sopuli.xyz avatar

wow literally every fucking product is undergoing enshittification to a service model.

BossPaint,

It’s surprising how slow the process has been in many instances

567PrimeMover,
567PrimeMover avatar

Time to end the failed experiment that is capitalism

turtlepower,

I said this would happen back when it was just the ISPs having data caps and cell phone companies charging for every text/data caps/ peak hours. Oh, but I was just a raving lunatic then. Fuck the human race. We get what we deserve.

AngrilyEatingMuffins,
AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

Speak for yourself. I don’t deserve this just because other people are morons.

ipkpjersi,

Nah, smart people don’t deserve to suffer just because most people are stupid and careless.

mustardman,

All of those things you listed have always been unpopular. Idk why anyone would think that makes you a lunatic.

superfes,

Annnd…

Uninstalled.

MentalEdge,
@MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz avatar

Ah. Yet another reason for game studios to turn away from commercial dev tools and turn to FOSS software like Blender and Godot.

And since game devs are, you know, developers, they can even contribute to these tools with heir dev time, improving them and accelerating the industry shift away from this commercial bullshit even more.

Cqrd,

Wasn’t there a massive amount of drama in the Godot community recently that nearly destroyed it?

snowfalldreamland, (edited )

The only “drama” I recall is that one guy, who ran an unofficial forum, went on a weird rant about how Godot is a scam because he thought development was too slow or something. He then shut down his unofficial forum. That’s a long shot from “being destroyed”.

But maybe I missed something?

(Edit: I had misspelled “forum” as “form”. Sorry if that confused anybody)

Cqrd,

Yep, that’s the one I was thinking about. Thanks for the clarification, I only vaguely remembered it

MentalEdge, (edited )
@MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz avatar

I’ve heard of no such thing.

But drama almost never kills FOSS software. It just causes it to fork. FOSS software can become like an olympic flame that just keeps getting passed from dev to dev. Once there are people actively using something, those same people are motivated to fix any issues they have with it, or add any features they are missing. That then drives improvement of the software, which in turn drives adoption, which drives more improvement…

There was huge drama around Emby going closed source, but FOSS Emby simply got forked, becoming Jellyfin.

There’s an example just within lemmy, the lemmur app apparently stopped development due to some drama, but it got forked and Liftoff picked up right where it left off.

Yes. There can be drama around FOSS projects, and there often is. Loosely organized groups of volunteers putting together serious software don’t work as efficiently as a paid team of devs led by a visionary with final say. But FOSS projects are capable of becoming self-perpetuating in a way proprietary software can never do. Once they reach a high enough level of adoption, they are very hard to kill.

And Godot is definitely up there.

wahming,

I guess Unity had a good run while it lasted. Time to see Godot splashscreens everywhere now

CaptDust,

Godot doesn’t charge a subscription fee to remove the splash screen :)

BudgieMania,

The fact that the same user reinstalling the game counts as 2 installs makes this doubly absurd. The decision is already baffling by itself but the idea that you could take a financial hit for an install that didn't net you any additional income is... Jesus.

Deconceptualist,

How could they even enforce this? Couldn’t devs just include a wrapper or small firewall (or settings for Windows firewall) with their games to block Unity’s analytics?

velovix,

You could technically get around most software license agreements, but companies don’t do that en masse because they’d risk legal action against them.

JasSmith,

Are they trying to lose to Unreal?

vrojak,
vrojak avatar

At this point you've got to wonder if they're trying to lose to Gamebryo.

Kolanaki,
@Kolanaki@yiffit.net avatar

GameBryo Execs: “Finally, we can deal with someone besides Todd Howard!”

MentalEdge,
@MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz avatar

The real threat is Godot. It’s getting better and better. Why pay for a commercial game engine, when you can use one that comes with a literally no strings attached FOSS license? And you have full access to the source code, so you can fiddle with any line of code, if need be.

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