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Unity's new pricing model

Only indirectly related to AC, but I believe Unity's new subscription-only pricing system announced a couple of days ago may have consequences for the engine's future, and those of us who are interested in releasing games commercially on a small budget.

I'm currently using the personal edition, but was planning to switch to pro later this year - but this new subscription system seems like a really bad deal if you're a small outfit only interested in desktop platforms and single-player games, so I'm again considering moving to Unreal Engine, especially after they opened their marketplace (read: asset store) to actual code assets and not just Blueprints.

My main project is currently at a stage where I've got all the technical components in place and integrated, so the next several months I'll be focusing almost exclusively on building assets and writing, which could quite easily be moved to a different engine. I would hate to throw out all the work I've done on the technical side, but I will definitely be following Unity's course over the coming months to see where they're going - and then decide if it's time to make the switch.

Well, just some thoughts over my first cup of coffee this morning - now off to work on the game! :(|)


  • For now I'm staying put with the Personal Edition, at least until I finish my current game (at least). Unity Pro doesn't seem to offer much of an incentive to me, and the Unreal Marketplace is nowhere near the asset store in terms of full game creation kits on Adventure Creator's level. I tried UE4 when it was released and spent (wasted) ages trying to get my head round blueprints, all in vain (in fact I had more luck with the Kismet and Matinee systems in Ue3). With Unity, and assets like AC (among others), I had the beginnings of my own playable game in under a hour.

    In the future that could all change of course, but for now that's my two cents.

  • edited June 2016
    Ummm, personally as a starter I'm actually grateful with the new model, because I'm aiming to make games for both PC and Mobile (and maybe consoles), and now all platforms will be available to all for free. Still, it does look like they're trying to create (or divide) their user base into new categories: starting indies, small teams, and professional groups or developers. 

    From a marketing stand point, their move actually makes sense, they're opening the way for "future" buyers. A bigger amount of successful developers, who manage to go past the 100k a year goal, will mean more money to them. I was a salesman for more than 15 years, and I can tell you, having an expensive product that you sell only a few times a month is most always less profitable than a reasonably priced (or cheap) product which you sell a lot. A more "open for all" software will attract more users, increasing their chances of making money in the long run. But, the way they are separating their clients does feel a little forced, and the new plan does hurt previous buyers. They will need to address that situation, somehow.

    I think, their move will, from now on, most likely make the majority of small or half serious teams to go and choose the plus version. Leaving the pro for more established, bigger or better funded groups. But to be honest, most Pro features are meant for marketing or testing, they're features that most really small teams or groups will rarely use or will rarely take proper advantage of... 

    Anyways, I'm sticking to unity. It's rare to see a software or company, where they care about the masses, because my success, means their success.
  • It's a bit of a mess right now I think. Including some really strong features in the personal edition that used to pro only may turn out to be a really bad decision for them in the long run.

    As things stand right now, the only incentive for me to send them any money for the engine itself would be to get rid of the "Made with Unity" splash screen, which has unfortunately come to mean "This game is crap!" in most people's minds.

    On the technical level, I think Unity 5 hasn't quite lived up to the expectations - and next to Unreal Engine they look dead in the water.

    It's going to be interesting to see some form of official reaction to the huge backlash to the announcement we've seen on their blog and forums ...
  • @Snebjorn: I think people only associate Unity with low quality due to all the overly-ambitious, derivative/unfinished, zombie survival mmo games a lot of people put on Steam Early Access, and quite often abandon them. 

    The engine itself is certainly not a sign of mediocrity, it's just that the Asset Store made things so easy to implement certain game mechanics, and then, sadly, people lazily abused that as a quick shortcut to game creation, rather than using it as a catalyst for them to finally unleash their creativity into something of genuine worth. A lot of stuff on Steam EA appear to be little more than playable prototypes.

    For the splash screen though, I think they should include that in the Plus Edition, then you could just pay for the month that you launch the game in, as with Plus there is no obligation to have a 12-month plan. 

  • edited June 2016
    I second Deckard, Unity has a ton of potential, but at the end of the day, it's people who build the games. Too many people nowadays don't worry about improving their game design, so too many end up dishing out these cookie cutter games with nothing special, fresh, or unique to them. 

    Besides, Unreal is Deferred rendering only, that's a no go for me at least, it's good if you're only building for more or less high-end PCs or recent consoles, but to me, it closes way too many audiences. Developers shouldn't forget that a ton of people in the world still use old or basic PCs and cellphones. and it's going to continue that way for a long time. (in the country where I live right now for example, people still widely use Pentium 4, people who do a little better use dual core, and only the reasonably well off ever touch an I5 or I7 computer...)
  • Finally some sort of official reaction:

    I'm still not convinced, though - and after a lot of pondering and discussions with friends, I started the move to Unreal yesterday. I'll obviously lose (and miss!) all of AC's flexibility, but I've simply lost faith in the future of Unity as a platform for the type of games I'm interested in developing.
  • edited June 2016


    Will you be keeping a blog or something? I was genuinely interested in your game.

  • Thanks - and yes, I'm planning to set up a development blog for the project, initially with concept art and some descriptions of tools and the asset pipeline.

    But will still keep using AC as a design tool for a couple of long term projects that are still in the low intensity idea phase, so not slamming the door behind me or anything. :-)
  • Well, finally Unity will make some changes in the new pricing model:

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