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Unity Imploding, What happened?


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Intelligence Officer

Intelligence Officer


We may enter a cool 'dark ages' of games becoming free or removed from shelves and in deadstock. Most of any online games may be disabled connecting to Unity but the "retro" or emulator market might flourish. 

https://unity.com/pricing-updates ] 

Unity is in the hot seat for a horrible decision to charge video game developers per install of the games they create. That is; PER INSTALL in what's called an Runtime Fee, directly from teir site. 

Runtime Fee policy, we used the term “installs” which the community found to be unclear so we’re using the term "initial engagement" as the unit of measure. We define an "initial engagement" to mean: the moment that a distinct end user successfully and legitimately acquires, downloads or engages with a game powered by the Unity Runtime, for the first time in a distribution channel.

To explain the definition in a little more detail:

  • We use the word ‘distinct’ because we do not want you to worry about situations where it is impossible to tell players apart, such as a game deployed in a public space (such as a trade show floor). You can count such a situation as if it was 1 player.
  • We use the word ‘legitimate’ because we do not want to bill you for activity from piracy, or from people obtaining the game fraudulently.
  • We use the term ‘end user’ because we do not want to bill you for activity from your development team, from automated processes, or other people who are not the actual players of your game.
  • We use the term ‘for the first time’ because we do not want to charge you for players playing your game multiple times, reinstalling your game, or installing your game on extra devices.
  • By ‘in a distribution channel’, we mean that for a given end user, the Runtime Fee will be charged once for each method that they obtained the game. For example, if they buy your game from two different app stores, then you would count and report the initial engagement once per store; but if they buy your game from one app store and deploy it to two different devices, you would count and report the initial engagement once.

This is horrible, and at scale will destroy, the revenue of many game developers using Unity. BUT I am not a game developer or all that knowledgeable in the topic to discuss it. From what I understand about money and this new concept introduced it is Unity trying to reach and find a new source of income by charging developers not only on what they use to create games but the games itself. I can imagine this is the atypical Harvard Business School grad approach to an otherwise monotonous market.

A real fear of this price hike on the developer side is that the prices of games may actually rise, as Xbox and Sony push the base price through the years from $50 to $60 and again to $70 for the base game with another $100+ in DLC, Season Pass with other miscellaneous. We may see indie game developers and prices rise all throughout the gaming world. But this is only suggesting that these policy updates stay. 

If Adobe tried to do this in their creative suite, collecting money on any content created using the tools they made it would surely make for a grim timeline. An eerie extreme to all of this is how we view the Cyberpunk world and the economies sci-fi writers predict taking shape. Dark days ahead of us, but in optimism not everything is too bad for the consumer. 

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Special Agent

Special Agent


Unreal actually asks for money too when making games. When your game makes over $1 million you have to pay 5% of your revenue from then on. So really your game has to be really bad or just be mediocre to not take a hit from this system. Because you think it may not seem bad but they still take a big chunk of money. Because for example 5% of 1 million is still 50,000. And really performing better will hurt you more and more. (Now Unreal isn't gonna run you dry and it is still a great way to make money. Unreal may even be your best bet but seeing how epic is handling their other products they may make Unreal more expensive too.)

With big companies buying up all the engines companies buying up or monetizing all the engines, indie games or medium sized companies will either have to make their own engine which will make a game take way longer to make and more likely to have bugs or give in to the cash grabs and lose huge chunks of their revenue. 

Now I don't see gaming dyeing but I can see it maybe starting to fall. They are driving out indie games and leaving us with these huge companies with half finished games, rushed out to the consumer. And if you have read my lost post you would see that even they are falling because their uncontrollable spending put into the "future" is making companies lay off huge amounts of people and raising prices.  

Really I think the biggest problem is the gaming market is becoming too competitive. Instead of just the simple Xbox Vs Playstation debate back then, now we have every single game and company fighting tooth and. nail to be the best. And they feel like weeding out indie games is their best bet. I mean what games in the last 20 years where most popular. You have Minecraft, (Which really isn't indie any more but) Among Us, Fall guys, Rocket League, Outer Wilds, Outer Worlds,  and all these other unique and fun games by "nobodies" making tons of money because their content is fresh, fun, and functional. And Big compainies are getting scared so monetizing their engines and making even bigger games is their solution and it just may be the end of gaming. 

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