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Feedback 600$ a year?

Discussion in 'Unity MARS' started by JelmerV, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. JelmerV

    JelmerV

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    Nov 29, 2012
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    Why does MARS cost 600$/year? This is a complete departure from unity’s business model and very unexpected. What is the reason for this? There are so many great technologies available for free as plugins, packages (HDRP, cinemachine, ML agents etc etc) and now suddenly this costs a lot, no matter your revenue?
     
  2. fherbst

    fherbst

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    I'm also surprised by this. It has neither been mentioned before (e.g. at Unite or the many other occasions), nor disclosed to the MARS Alpha testers.

    The latter is especially confusing given that we testers spent time and effort improving something that we thought would be part of Unity in the sense of "democratizing development" and not costing (600$ x number of seats) per year.

    Please note that my critique is not necessarily about the price (albeit it seems pretty high compared to the prices in the AssetStore for other solutions and frameworks) but about the miscommunication.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  3. Shizola

    Shizola

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    Yeah this is a nasty surprise. No free tier at all? I don't understand the strategy of charging the same price to a large company and a single developer who just wants to experiment.

    Unity needs some "wins" right now, but instead they just seem to be coming up with new subscriptions.
     
    mandloipsm and Tanner555 like this.
  4. timoni

    timoni

    Unity Technologies

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    Hey folks, thanks for reaching out about the pricing. We have mentioned that we'll be charging for MARS in talks and meetings with users, but it sounds like we didn't do it as well as we should have. I'd like to personally apologize for that.

    MARS is categorized in the same tier as Reflect—high end, professional-grade workflows and systems that solve a huge pain point for AR devs. You can still use Unity to make great AR for free without MARS, but we noticed there was often a huge difference between what people wanted to build (flexible layout systems, for example, or automatic layout) vs what they could actually build with the time & budget they had.

    I understand that $600 can be onerous for some budgets, but for most of the folks we talked to who were making projects where MARS would slice entire months off the dev cycle, it was worth the price.

    In any case, you have a 45 day free trial to see if MARS is really worth the cost. If it turns out it isn't that valuable to you and your project, but you have other AR-related workflows or systems that are more important, please let us know—our roadmap is largely dictated by you, the users.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
  5. genlog3

    genlog3

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    I relate MARS as a tool/plugin/utility not a stand alone product and as an artist paying for countless fees at the moment Adobe sub/ Maya sub / Substance sub/ and a few other plugin subs on top of the $100 a month unity fees I can't afford to use this tool or even think about using the trial to see if it's useful.

    If there was an indie tier(like autodesk has, like substance has, like adobe has) then I would definitely consider using it. Also considering this is targeted to be an artist friendly tool then I think the prices should reflect accordingly and I wouldn't pay more than $20 a month for a utility.

    Thanks All, amazing tool, unfortunately not so affordable for indie artists.
     
  6. James_Initus

    James_Initus

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    I think if you needed to charge for MARS you should have a similar pricing strategy you have with Unity free vs pro.

    For smaller Indie studios or even hobbyists I was hoping it would be a lower investment.

    If it works out for these lower tier organizations then it would eventually result in longer subscriptions due to developing successful products on MARS.

    Hoping Unity may still consider this route.

    Thank you
    Thank you
     
    mandloipsm and Tanner555 like this.
  7. francois85

    francois85

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    Yea this is very steep. Im a paid subscriber to Unity, when they raised their subscription prices I supported them. I felt like it was very reasonable. I have to be honest and say MARS feels like an engine feature and should not me an addition cost.
     
    Shizola likes this.
  8. Hypertectonic

    Hypertectonic

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    High end professional-grade quality is what the *whole* of Unity should be.

    I was disappointed when I learned that Reflect would be paid add-on. Now I'm equally disappointed MARS will also be a paid add-on.

    It's almost impossible to become a developer when on every corner someone wants to charge you a per-seat monthly subscription for everything.

    Some of the most incredible asset store tools cost $150 or less, single payment. $50 per month? What the hell. That's even more expensive than Unity Plus itself...
     
  9. francois85

    francois85

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    You hit the nail on the head.
     
  10. GKiernozek

    GKiernozek

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    Did you think it through internally? Single entities will be using this, there are not so many creating AR experiences. Why not provide this tool the same way as Unity is so people see how helpful it is and get used to it.

    Why not do it the Unity pricing way (yearly income based) plus the trial, so indie devs could push AR experienced forward, along with the industry companies who will pay the price.

    With current strategy you just cut off all indie devs and focus only on industry segment which is not so big yet. Let us propagate AR through fun games, then business customers will come too.

    Please respond @timoni, don't you thinkt it would make more sense this way to make free tier for indies and small companies?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
    Shizola likes this.
  11. Cicaeda

    Cicaeda

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    This pricing model makes sense for Enterprise, but consumer AR is right around the corner. Charging money for this is a depressingly short-sighted move. It's just another drop in the bucket eroding my faith in Unity.
     
    GKiernozek and IgnisIncendio like this.
  12. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    As someone who has been working in enterprise AR and VR for about 5 years now in London UK and around the UK, I can tell you this is the most stupid move unity could have made.

    The majority of developers doing AR and VR are small 1-8 man teams, and the big companies still only have very small internal teams with low budgets doing this. This is just making it harder to push AR to go mainstream for consumers and hurting the industry, by not enabling majority of talent to gain access and actually use this.

    Also stupid given that unity REALLY need a leg up over unreal right now with all their constant free and actually working + integrated tech they keep releasing.

    Seems like another decision dictated by people in the company that dont really understand or care about how people actually use unity today. And all this thinking about who might use it tomorrow tomorrow, what tomorrow will there be once you drive AR market towards competition? You dont think unreal wont try and capitalise on this and do something similar albeit - free?

    Silly idea and hinders not helps the industry. The unity push for democratisation seems dead - shame as that pillar of design is what set it apart from the other potentially more stable engines out there.
     
  13. Shizola

    Shizola

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    I really hope Unity reconsiders this. Why not bundle it with Unity Pro if it's genuinely targeted at enterprise? Pro itself does not scream great value. Are the people that make these decisions aware of how this looks to the average user? Look at these comments
     
    ZenUnity and Cascho01 like this.
  14. amadden1990

    amadden1990

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    Seems like it'll be fun to play with the trail and then just rebuild the tools ourselves and sell them cheaper to the asset store.
     
  15. Cascho01

    Cascho01

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    Paywalled - that´s why I don´t use both of them although me and my company really would like to.
    @timoni I also recommend to read the unfiltered youtube comments on the video above....
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  16. Galandil

    Galandil

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    Basically, what a Pro license should offer.
     
  17. watercat

    watercat

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    nooo that is very bad i use unity all this time now i heart that news this very bad if unity continues that strategy thing i started godot instead personally i don't care that much for that specific feature but i don't want puy wall no matter what tool Thea area this very bad news i use unity all this yesrs now heard this seriously the want to lost most for the community meny people use unity because i have free version if mess up the stop to follow this the sad truth

    1. i have free version
    2. is easy to use and to understand
    3. i have a lot useful tools for free
    4. i spent a lot times using unity and i dont want too learn everything for the starting
     
  18. Thimo_

    Thimo_

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    I believe that developing for Augmented reality takes a lot more time for every startup/studio. Every organisation could save a tremendous amount of time with Unity MARS. I think it could be (should be) the AR developing tool and that a basic version should be included in Unity like Unity itself. I understand that you want a paywall for the high end professional grade services that Unity MARS has to offer.

    Have you considered a Unity MARS version that has some limitations (like Unity free) so that every hobbyists and startup can proudly use this tool?

    I get it that for 600$/year a big company is willing to get all the advantages of Unity MARS, just like Unity plus/pro, but a scaled down/lower support version should be an option to consider because this tool forms a developer foundation like Unity itself. The advantages of a free version would be the wider adoption among the developing community and the support that you get back to improve the quality of the tool.

    @timoni Has the Unity MARS team been thinking about releasing a free version or a beginner version for the community that cant afford the current price of Unity MARS?
     
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  19. timoni

    timoni

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi Thimo! Yes, we have discussed (and are continuing to discuss) many, many options. We have nothing to update now, but please know we are listening to and reading everything our users are telling us, and taking this feedback back to the group to help inform our future plans.
     
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  20. Thimo_

    Thimo_

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    Thank you, I really hope something can be arranged for the whole AR development community!

    I'd like to add that it feels a bit contradictory that something like Bolt is bought by Unity and made free to the community (compared to Unity MARS).

    A free Unity MARS version could also be a very strong move towards Unreal when such a tool as Unity MARS is made free for the community. I believe that many more AR developers would choose to develop in Unity compared to other AR development solutions with this tool.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  21. LucasRizzotto

    LucasRizzotto

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    At the very least have different prices for Unity Plus/Free users and Unity Pro. $600/year is worth the investment in enterprise and larger studios, not indie developers (which is the majority of people making AR right now).

    Right now if you have a Unity Pro license, MARS represents an increase of 25% in cost. But if you have a Plus license it's 200%. It's absurdly disproportionate.
     
    Shizola and Thimo_ like this.
  22. little_fat

    little_fat

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    I would also like to voice support for a free option. At this point in my Unity journey, I am only occasionally able to come back to Unity to pick up where I left off. I am still learning and not really able to tell if MARS is a good fit or not. As such, I will most likely discontinue the subscription soon and try other options.
     
    Thimo_ likes this.
  23. Thimo_

    Thimo_

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    Aug 26, 2019
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    @timoni

    I was wondering if the Unity MARS team has an update for us about a special version of MARS for individual/startups which has a lower cost than the current professional complete MARS product?
     
  24. kartoonist435

    kartoonist435

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    What's happening with AR foundation? Foundation was supposed to get similar features to MARS and now we have to pay for them? Just confused what MARS is doing except "soft authoring" compared to the free AR Foundation.
     
  25. yarboroughd

    yarboroughd

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    Nov 7, 2016
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    I see similar posts about MARS that I am finding difficult to understand regarding Unity's AR roadmap. I am a paying MARS customer (which I also find the terms and conditions atrocious to be quite honest), but I'd really like to know if there are plans for helping indie developers conserve costs compared to Enterprise or teams based pricing in the future? I've also been really impressed with what Unreal Engine's toolset. I am considering developing on their platform, does anyone have experience with Unreal?
     
  26. ntvd1207

    ntvd1207

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    Doesn't help that allot of advertised features and the companion app are nothing but promises.

    It seems you're just buying a month subscription to a pre build script helper for AR anchors they call proxies, and a simulation view atm.

    Its great, but dang
     
  27. Gareth-Tech

    Gareth-Tech

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    I'm going to be honest here. When I first saw the price tag, my initial reaction was what does MARS offer that AR Foundation can't do. While testing I can see the benefits and it's true I can save development time which equates to a real cost. With one project the cost could easily be covered for a years license.

    Yes, it's not ideal for hobbyists and small indies but it's an investment that looks quite compelling. I almost have 10 years of AR under my belt, I can see a straight path from development to release with little obstacle.

    Don't get me wrong, being free or cheaper is great but there's usually a reason why there is a charge. Would the MARS toolset even exist without a fee?

    Personally the toolset looks great, there's something in it that has value and I don't mind paying the license fee.
     
  28. Emiles

    Emiles

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    Jan 22, 2014
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    I'd love to try out Mars but.
    1. I don't agree with the continue to pay after trial has finished tatic used for the trial period.
    2. Being able to run an AR project in the IDE should come as standard.
    3. Unlikely i can justify the license fee even for prototypes and POC's that might win project work.

    I will forever be stuck testing on device, less I role my own testing solution or win a project beforhand that can pay for the license.
     
  29. svenneve

    svenneve

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    Yeah, I'm not happy with the scummy behaviour as well.
    I tried the demo, couldn't find a way to prematurely end the demo subscription and forgot about it, and now I'm saddled with a 600 euro bill during a financially ruining pandemic for a piece of software that is barely working (even the features that where promised as Foundation features that got silently shoveled into MARS barely seem to work.)
     
  30. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    I see a lot of posts angry about MARS and other Unity services but a few things to note:
    • Unity doesn't have a % royalty fee so charging for things has become necessary
    • You can achieve all what MARS achieves with Unity, there's no black boxing here
    So basically you can still do it but the tooling here, is what people are paying for with MARS. You pay for engineers to make something that is guaranteed to work with support.

    Now, I'm not really a fan of the business model, but nobody is a fan of paying money, so there's that. The light at the end of the tunnel here is realising that there isn't anything in MARS you can't do in stock Unity. You can just go ahead and build your own version of it. Be it open source, free or collaborative.

    If you are a busy studio or company you will want to pay for Unity's engineers to develop MARS instead. The price very much reflects the intended audience.
     
  31. svenneve

    svenneve

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    May 14, 2013
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    I don't mind paying for a service.
    But it needs to be on my terms, not because a demo autorenews into a yearly paid plan that is almost impossible to disable when you start said demo.
    And more importantly, if it actually works, but half of the time it doesn't.

    Trying to get a MARS project to build on any Unity version is a complete and utter clusterf*ck. Getting it to work on anything newer than 2019.4? Good luck, hope you didn't need those bug fixes and improvements in 2020/2021 you are paying Unity every month those license fees for.

    The current 2019.4 LTS MARS building experience?
    Import Mars
    Build, oh wait nope, AR Core is out of date with AR Foundations.
    Build, nope error, AR Core does not support Vulkan, alright, remove that.
    Build again, nope again, Gradle is out of date, needs 5.6.4.
    Install other Gradle version.
    Build once again, ha ha ha, nope, Manifest merger failed, see cryptic logs for details.
    Create custom manifests.
    Build again, yay, it builds!
    Oh wait nope, you're using URP, black screen...
    Etc...

    And solving all this isn't as easy as it sounds, as most of the info to fix these issues are buried in reddit posts, unity blogs posts, comments in their forum or blog posts comment.

    This is a paid service for a paid license, this whole thing should not have the user experience of a dumpster fire.

    Not sure what my point was...kinda lost track while ranting...
     
    hippocoder likes this.
  32. timoni

    timoni

    Unity Technologies

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    Mar 23, 2015
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    Hi, I'm sorry to hear about the problems canceling MARS. I'll escalate internally. Can I get more detail on which features aren't working, and which features you expected to find in AR Foundation?
     
    Thimo_ and mtschoen like this.
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