Starting from 2024, Unity introduces a new runtime fee. That means developers have to pay up to 0,20$ to Unity for each installation of their app after a certain threshold has been exceeded. There is already quite some anger in the community because certain marketing strategies (like free-to-play games) might not work anymore with the new pricing.
Do you think stuff like that will make Open-Source engines like three.js or Godot more attractive for developers?
Besides, if you are already working with Unity, how do you evaluate the new pricing model? Does it have any affect on your future plans with the engine?
Interesting stuff! I wonder if this has anything to do with Apple’s recent partnership with Unity (as apposed to UE’s refusal to work with apple)… It did seem like it was almost a “grooming” move by Apple…
I think so 100%, Unity will unquestionably suffer a loss of developer usage from something like this, that being said it does only apply to the following criteria, so maybe games making this much already won’t mind paying the fee…
I’d imagine a lot of Unity developers would consider migrating to UE which out performs Unity in many ways, if not, as you have mentioned, a sufficient web based open source alternative would be well worth the consideration also…
I’m fairly baffled by the move - though in my opinion Unity has been making bad decisions for a long time with trying to force monetization instead of proving and expanding the engine. It’s still hard to forget the CEO calling non-monetized developers “fucking idiots”. Tbh I think this may be a final straw in losing developer trust. Unity was the first engine I learned how to use and I’m having a hard time imagining choosing it for any personal project at this point. Small, indie, and academic development is what popularized the engine and seems clear that Unity has forgotten and doesn’t care about that user base anymore.
I have a small modicum of hope that John Riccitiello will be ousted as CEO and Unity can regain some footing. But at this point I’d have to choose Godot or a custom implementation for a project if I were aiming for native deployment.
This reminds me of Apple’s xcode fee. If Apple is involved in Unity, I wouldn’t be surprised about that. With WebGPU I see pretty much anything possible in 3js. I’ve only looked at electron superficially so far, but I think it’s great to generate native Linux, Windows, Android code with it and with 3js. Maybe by the beginning of 2024 I’ll be able to have my landscape and ocean generator to the point where I can make it available. The question of how to efficiently create larger landscapes comes up again and again. An ocean in 3js as I imagine it is only now possible thanks to WebGPU. I hope the developers will forgive me if I may have found a new issiue in compute shaders. But thanks to the compute shaders, which I’ve been eagerly waiting for, and thanks to the node system, I see 3js on the right way to becoming a fully-fledged universal graphics engine. I could imagine that it would now even be possible to simulate the space-time curvature of the Schwarzschild metric in 3js with computer shaders. This is on my ever-growing to-do list. This is only possible with GPU computing power. For me as a physicist, 3js offers fascinating possibilities. I worked with Xcode years ago but Apple’s passion to fees scared me away. And that’s a good thing because otherwise I might not have discovered 3js and I’m very happy with 3js.
You can’t talk to CEOs who strive to maximize profits. I don’t know how many times I told decision-makers in the german car industry that their ideas wouldn’t work. That the error is with physical certainty here and there in the construction or in the software. And I don’t argue about the correctness of physical laws, I insist that managers accept them no matter how much they dislike the consequences. The nice thing about physics is that no one can intimidate it. It doesn’t matter how much managers rage or ignore or try to intimidate. The nature of things doesn’t interest for such charakter weaknesses and the consequences are inevitable. But that’s why such idiots strive for power and influence so that they can pass on the consequences of their inability to others. I have no respect for those.
How are they going to verify this without a “phone-home” system?
What about pirated copies of your game? Are you (the developer) going to end up paying for pirated installs?
Imagine they using some kind of hardware-id based on components in your device… What happens if I upgrade my PC that would change this hardware ID? (similar to Windows license activations in the past)
If it is software based, does the developer have to pay again if a user completely reformats/reinstalls their device?
Most countries in the world (US & EU) have regulations/legislations against some of the practices they would need to implement in order to make this idea a reality. I’m curious to see how this will play out in various courts around the planet, if it comes to that.
On a personal note: I simply cannot fathom the idea that nobody inside Unity spoke against this idea before it was brought into the world. It honestly seems that the people at the top at Unity Corp have absolutely no idea what they’re doing.
All you’ve suggested in the list are good points, however, a “phone-home” system is likely the only way they’ll manage this, in the same way an apple id, adobe account, google play account works, they’ll probably extend Unity Hub in to a steam like interface that requires a login to interact with downloaded content, completely closed circuit and tedious…
Cracked games would of course be the most problematic in these scenarios even with a “phone-home” system, they would either have to be allowed to circumvent the system or not be registered as official downloads without a valid unity id… it’s completely counter productive across the board.
I’m going to say I’m 99% confident this has been a silly suggestion of Apple’s marketing and finance departments, it’d be interesting to see how that
There has been a web wide push to monetize formerly “free” stuff lately. It’s especially disgusting when these corporations rug pull an entire community that has invested years or decades improving their product.
I hope it backfires, but… the nature of the web is that there are always new customers that won’t know the history of a product, and how it was crowdsourced and built on the backs of volunteer labor.
The first things I saw in the threads about unity monetization were folks cheering about switching to Godot…
By Alfred Nobel “I have no business education and I hate it with all my heart”
He never donated a Nobel Prize for economics, but guess which clientele couldn’t stand the fact that there wasn’t a Nobel Prize for them and violated his last will. To this day, his heirs have fought in vain against the Nobel Prize in Economics.
I’m certainly biased, but I’ve never seen people who are only interested in money because they can’t anything else ever made good decisions about a product.
So we look forward to the increasing interest of disappointed Unity users in Godot and 3js
Turnkey insider legislation is A/B the juncture of ecosystem pollution and AAA+ commodities. Every year is a stop-gap for Apple and Fortnite, with a flood of creators in a pirate bay. There is an impact to enforcing standards (hardware, software, staff) that soon change (unenforced, automated). I think $0.20 to reproduce a product may prevent a more costly human misunderstanding.
Unity is an engine that is far to mature, even if it has introduced a runtime fee, I honestly don’t think that game dev companies would ridgidly change their structure and codebase. Unity technologies have a vast monopoly that cannot be abolished yet. It just has too many unique features that companies adore.
From Unity: “We apologize for the confusion and upset caused by the term fee policy announced on Tuesday,” it continued. “We are listening, talking to our team members, our community, our customers and partners and will change the policy.”
Apparently the broad mass of protests as well as the boycott calls are having an effect.
I think this will definitely hurt Unity and studios will work on changing the engine. Unfortunately in order to go against Unity, they will have to first hurt themselves and their users by wasting time on migrating instead of adding content.
Rust community has already been tweeting about making a tool that can continuously uninstall and install the games to invoke the $0.20 fee. However I dont expect Unity corp to care about this. It works for them and any exploit like this gives them more money. Judging based on their decision past few years, they will enjoy their extra money, even if it really hurts their users.
Among Us Dev got a phone call with Unity execs. They said they would do deals with specific devs, to mitigate the fee and the backlash but they would not cancel their decision.
He added that the execs seems to think if they can wait long enough, and if few enough have to pay, all devs will drop the matter and not care about those that are still affected. (because solidarity is not a concept that those money-hungry fucks understand)
Among Us Dev then said he was going to start looking into other engine options.