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Official: How Can We Serve You Better?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bibbinator, May 14, 2014.

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  1. Agostino

    Agostino

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    * Student? Hobbyist?
    I'm a computer science student and I've used Unity free for a university project in a team together with 6 other people.
    We decided to use Unity because it seemed very user friendly, not because it was mandated. Here's a link, so you can see we really did stuff
    https://github.com/tronza/hy-sheep-defender/releases

    I also like to make games as a hobby, though I prefer to develop small things rather than full fledged games with a story.

    * Tell us what type of developer you are and what kinds of business model works best for you.
    I'm an experienced programmer and I have a Bachelor's degree in CS.

    I use Unity free, but I see that sometimes I really need stuff from the Asset Store (e.g. the pathfinding engine). I bought some stuff on the asset store for myself, but when I work in a team, I've found that plugins that require "one license per seat" are completely out of question, as they simply get too expensive.

    I'd just like to tell you that I've seen other students work with Unity, and buying it for a University project is something completely out of question, even if it made our work easier.

    * Now, Unity Pro is essentially free or close to free on almost all platforms including consoles.
    Is this interesting to you?

    I don't really care about consoles. Unity itself may be free, but publishing on a console is not cheap.

    * Most games today are 2D games by a wide margin.
    What kind of games are you making? Where are you located?
    3D games! I studied computer science in Italy but I'm an exchange student in Finland now.
    There are a lot of people making games here, and University have courses on it.

    * Are the technical blogs really helpful?
    Should devs reduce their workload and spend more time on these forums answering questions?

    Technical blogs are ok, but only if you listen to feedback from people reading the blog.
    Developers should check the forums, yes. Not once every hour, of course, but at least once a week.
    You could have the mods select the topics to be brought to your attention, but nothing beats the "come and see" approach, IMHO.

    * We used to sell software licenses only, now we also offer subscriptions
    I don't really know about subscriptions, but I may consider it if you make it possible to revert to free and keep working on a project.

    * Unity is currently closed source
    Big fan of open source here, and I'll tell you why. Because I've seen it work. If you make clear rules for accepting a pull request, like "always provide test cases", then reviewing them becomes pretty easy. It's something that should be handled in source version control and bug tracker not in the forums, so there's not much talk to be done.

    Still, I can see that, if open source is not part of your corporate culture, taking steps in that direction would take time.
    I guess you could only open source some of the parts you are not currently focused on, and let somebody propose patches for them. Right now, if there's a glitch that few people are experiencing, or in a component that's seldom used, it just never gets fixed.

    If you decide not to take any steps in the direction of open sourcing anything, you should consider providing some APIs to interact with your components. For example, Google Maps is closed source, but it provides APIs to do really interesting stuff with it.
    If your editor provided APIs for selecting GameObjects and changing their transforms by code, a plugin could save a lot of handwork. Tricks like "positioning all boxes in the scene to fit into a pattern" would become possible.

    * The biggest problem game developers have
    The biggest problem I have is that working in a big team with Unity was one of the most challenging experiences I had as a developer. I write code, I know how to do it, yet version control in Unity seems to be very difficult. We worked by branch and merge in GitHub, but fixing the merge conflicts was very difficult, thanks in part to the closed source, binary nature of the game scenes.

    What's making the conflict? What's this inexplicable series of symbols that's making a conflict in the scene?
    Those were though questions to answer. We spent so much time solving conflicts that actual coding took a hit.

    Moreover, some choices like the SendMessage stuff make the code very difficult to test and easy to break. A more event classic event system working as publish and subscribe would be far more intuitive for both Java and C# programmers alike.
    I'll link to this very concise blog post which I think better explains what's the matter.
    http://blog.sebaslab.com/whats-wrong-with-sendmessage-and-broadcastmessage-and-what-to-do-about-it/

    I read somewhere that there's some kind of event class coming in Unity 4.5, I sincerely hope it's supposed to solve this problem.
     
  2. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    You definitely cannot make the claim that most people dislike royalties. Most professionals dislike royalties, but most people are hobbyists and hobbyists love the idea of royalties. As a hobbyist, I signed up for UE4 for $19/month. The royalties do not impact me at all with UE4 until I sell more than $3,000 worth of a game during a quarter. So basically, UE4 lets me sell up to $1000 worth of a game per month before any of the royalties stuff kicks in. Since I am a hobbyist, there is a very good chance that I will never even hit that point. If I ever do get to that point, I will be happy to pay 5% royalties on that revenue. As a hobbyist, I absolutely love a low cost subscription plan with royalties, because it eliminates the up-front cost for me.

    The entire reason royalties work so well with the UE4 plan is because hobbyists love royalties and professionals dislike royalties. With UE4, big studios will still pay an up-front lump sump to get UE4 without any royalties. Royalties are part of the cheap $19/month plan because Epic knew that royalties would keep professionals on their existing up-front licenses. Epic does not want big studios to switch to paying $19/month. The $19/month + 5% plan is primarily for targeting hobbyists. As a hobbyist, I can say I absolutely love the price and terms. I would also love to be able to give Unity $19/month for a comparable subscription plan.
     
  3. GiusCo

    GiusCo

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    I can see your point and fundamentally agree: Unity is not the easiest and fastest tool to clonify the stores. Platforms like ChupaMobile selling really ready-made templates just do that at much lower time (and patience) waste.

    Nevertheless, I just think that UT is so forced to interact with the noise from free users that they are somewhat losing the plot (aka: the legitimate requests from their paying users to have a better product).

    If my business is being attacked by competitors, I need to make happy and retain my *paying* customers first, then think something to attract new ones. The free-for-all strategy was always going to be a limited time strategy.

    If they want to monetise from hobbyists like me (ChupaMobile native templates are my next-to-go place, if not the case), just introduce a small fee / subscription ($9.99/month is fair for deleting some noise), remove the splashscreen (hooray!!) and give us a basic profiler (ya-ha-hooo!!) into what today is called Free.
     
  4. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

    Unity Technologies

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    Which is exactly why the sustained engineering team got created.
     
  5. goat

    goat

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    What would be nice is that if we tagged assets like textures and things in the files themselves that could sort through and filter them. Also, I'd like imported assets to follow some defined structure like a user installing GNU software in their home directory.

    Each Asset Kiosk asset from the same publisher would go in Kiosk/AcmeAssetCompany/<Asset #1>/<Asset #1 Subdirectories>. A bit like it is when you go look into the folder where Unity downloads and stores the asset packages.
     
  6. minionnz

    minionnz

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    I'm pretty sure most of us do remember that. We don't know anything about UTs overheads/costs, so we can only offer suggestions that we think would encourage more sales - whether or not they are viable suggestions is another story.
    What UE4 has demonstrated is that $19+5% appears to be sustainable for a large AAA engine. We know that UE has some major AAA projects on board as well, but there's no reason Unity can't do something similar.

    My understanding of the general opinion
    1 - Users don't want a crippled version of the software with missing features. Some people are talking/thinking about switching to UE4 because Pro-only feature XYZ is available
    2 - Some users want to see a lower-priced version of Unity Pro.
    - Others are happy to pay 1500 if addons were included in the base price.
    3 - Some users are happy to pay royalties. Some aren't.
    4 - Add-on pricing seems to be hated by MOST users.

    Another note: There are many companies out there making millions of dollars per year from free open source software. I see absolutely no reason a company can't make money from the free/cheap users - the asset store is the first thing that comes to mind.

    Perhaps you should cripple deployment instead of crippling features? Or have: Unlimited Trial, Indie and Pro

    Or maybe the real solution is to simply provide a lot more functionality, performance and value than UE4 does :) You have a community of artists/programmers here, make use of them - create competitions for "best XYZ starter kit" etc.

    Oh and one more thing: Even if you want to keep it closed source, add more hooks to the editor. Add them everywhere. I want to detect Inspector changes as they happen, or use a custom Validator when assigning an object reference to an Object field.
    I really want to build some amazing tools for the Unity Editor, but I constantly run into walls.
     
  7. Hikiko66

    Hikiko66

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    Most users never release anything, so that's the problem with that. And out of those who do, how many are successful?

    I agree with you about not getting to keep the license, I disagree with your critique of the one year lock in. They still have incentive to improve the engine all the time, to entice new people to subscribe all the time, so that's not to blame for the infrequent updates. Internal procedures and licenses being tied to major point releases are the problems that cause infrequent updates.

    So unity takes all the risks and the users get to keep all the money by being able to switch as soon as it actually becomes profitable for unity?


    I'm a hobbyist, I don't like royalties. Can't be bothered to send them sht on a regular basis, I have a day job, I don't have the time or the energy for that. I'd rather release my stuff for free than deal with that, for maximum exposure, I'm not here to make money anyway.
    I also don't like subscriptions, I like to explicitly spend money that I already have, I don't like it just disappearing out of my bank account.

    That said, I didn't say people didn't like UE4's pricing model. They like it because it's cheap, not because of royalties and subscription.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  8. JasonBricco

    JasonBricco

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    Won't find something that pleases everyone.. need lots of options that cater to all the groups of people using the product. But that's pretty tricky, isn't it?
     
  9. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

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    Nor do I. But with around 400 employees, and a per-employee cost of $100k (not salary, but salary, taxes, pizzas, office space, computers, heating, lighting, whatever) that's $40m/year. So, assuming that's paid for by current Pro purchases, that would be 27k sales per year. That doesn't factor in add-ons, asset store, or team license. Or if we have 100k users, all with free, they each would need to spend $400/year on asset store.

    Really? Maybe the $330m purchase of 48.4% of Epic made by TenCent is what makes the $19/month sustainable? I have no insight into the number of people employed by Epic, nor the number of people spending $19/month, nor the revenue that Epic are making from rev-share. I'd be floored if Epic make enough money from subscription to pay their costs.
     
  10. sootie8

    sootie8

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    How about allow for a more modular pricing structure, which would allow for certain features or groups of features to be purchased rather than having to buy the whole licence to just get one feature you may need. Of course, I would expect that the price of buying all features individually would work out higher than purchasing the full licence to begin with, but this could reduce the barrier to entry even lower for indie developers(who need pro features). Though I suspect this may mean Unity changing its editor, to allow features to be added and removed seamlessly.
     
  11. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    Having previously whined a bit in this very thread, I think it's hard to find something that please everyone, because everyone can find something to be displeased about.

    I think the reason people are whining, though, is because Unity is a good game engine. I know my projects suck because no one ever talks about them (I have actually had one or two good talks with people about The Hero's Journey, so I know I did a couple of things right with that project...but only a couple.) If people stop talking about Unity, that's how you know that the sky has fallen.

    However, you also have people who come in and lambast UT because they're fanboys of another engine. I respect UE4's capabilities, and may or may not consider trying it one day. But I think jumping on another engine's forums and throwing hissy fits because that forums engine isn't the engine you are using, is rude and unprofessional. I may be a hobbyist, and I'm not always the most knowledgeable game developer out there, but I will damn well treat everyone else with the respect they deserve. You don't see me or other Unity users - I hope - going to the UE4 forums and gloating that our community is bigger, has more released works, dominates mobile, and make various other arrogant, but ultimately useless remarks.

    I think these people who are doing this say very bad things about the community around UE4; coming in and starting reasoned conversations like, 'hey I've used Unity and I've used Unreal 4, and right now Unreal 4 is better because [reasons]' is the right, productive, and most importantly professional way to do things. Were I to become successful enough to open a studio, users like bitcrusher and others who have engaged in this fanboy tomfoolery would have their resumes, portfolios, CVs, or whatever thrown out by me immediately, because I have material proof that they cannot be trusted to behave in a professional manner when having a difference of opinion over a tool. That's not good for software development. And, these people are the reason I have no interest in UE4 - I want to use a tool that is also used by people who it's possible to cooperate with, in pursuit of making something good.

    I wish some of these posters would keep thoughts like that on the back of their minds; how you act matters just as much as what you know, can do, and have done...sometimes, more. [/rant]
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  12. Corbal

    Corbal

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    That's one way to look at it. You could look at things from a different perspective :

    Pro user do release commercial products, and these users earn more than $1500 with their products. At least I hope that's the case for most pro licensee, if not why bother buying a license.
    These pro user would keep paying the needed price for their licenses, why wouldn't they ?

    Add a royalties model that can be canceled by paying the perpetual license once we have enough money for that : UT would basically increase their paying users base.
    That looks like an attractive model for a lot of free users, and that would enable everyone to use all those features that could speed-up and increase the quality of our end products.
     
  13. Deleted User

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    @ Asvarduil

    It works both ways, I see people jumping to Unity's defense with rose tinted glasses. At the end of the day both Unreal and Unity are development tools with pros and cons. Unity is my preference and I would like to see them continue and improve for mainly selfish reasons, I believe I would save a lot of money if my engineers didn't have to learn UE4's API and its general workflow.

    With that being said, I see Unity are making the effort and I'm looking forward to seeing where all this goes but it's not a matter of engines, it's a matter of getting your game out the door and anything that gets in the way of that needs removing from the scenario.

    If you're a hobbyist looking to make it or a large enterprise studio, we may have different needs out of our tools but the end goal remains the same.
     
  14. korinVR

    korinVR

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    Hi, I'm a programmer and hobbyist game developer. Thank you very much for your hard effort.

    My primary request for Unity (other than people here have already mentioned) is:

    - Oculus Rift support on Unity Free.

    Let me explain the background a bit. I'm in a Japanese Oculus Rift community. Our community creates VR contents (games and non-games) and hold VR events frequently. These events attract a lot of people. Here are the examples of the activities.

    - Ocufes and the state of the Oculus Rift in Japan | heistak
    - Super Ocufes: general information - Oculus Festival in Japan

    As for me, and maybe for other current VR developers, there is no problem. I'm happily using Unity Pro to create Oculus Rift applications.

    But when we try to bring new people to the VR development, it's very difficult to tell them "you have to buy Unity Pro first". Spending almost $2,000 (Oculus Rift + Unity Pro + alpha) at once to get into the VR world is a very high hurdle. I feel many potential VR developers are ordinary people. They just want to play with VR. They are not going to sell games and monetize. They get disappointed to hear the entry cost is such high (from their perspective). It is very sad for us, too.

    And recently I can see a lot of people are interested in Unreal Engine, which supports Oculus Rift as a standard feature.

    I feel Unity Free should have a built-in Oculus Rift support as well. It would keep Unity a popular VR engine and bring more enthusiasts, I think.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  15. Hikiko66

    Hikiko66

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    Then they might as well not have royalties at all. If as soon as it becomes profitable, people switch, then administration of royalties would probably cost more than it's worth, and having no royalties would attract even more users to the subscription model anyway.
     
  16. minionnz

    minionnz

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    Assuming that free users would be likely 1-2 person teams, I'd expect that they'd be more willing to purchase quality assets from the asset store. If asset store margin was increased to 50% (30% for successful authors - I believe it's currently at 30%), they'd only need to spend around $250 per year on average - which I think is certainly possible, especially if users believe they're buying quality assets (currently not always the case).
    And that's not taking into account that Unity has 600-700,000 users (from memory, that's according to David Helgason's interview - whether or not they are active users is another story though), or the number of users Unity would gain.

    I'm not disagreeing with you, but that's the shake-up that Epic has made. The perception is that it is sustainable (most people would assume that they'd not price it that low otherwise), time will tell whether or not it actually is. If Epic were the same size as Unity, based on your guesstimates, that point would be at around 160,000 active users.

    Ultimately, perceived value has changed and I'd expect that people were a lot more happy about Unity's pricing before the UE4 announcement. And customers will choose the product that offers better value.

    Is Unity worth $1,500? In my opinion, absolutely. I've thought about switching to UE4, but I really like the community here, I love the engine and editor, and I'm confident U5 will deliver. I don't necessarily need a price reduction myself - but I want to see Unity come out on top and considering the amount of noise there has been about pricing over the past few months, I'm worried about what the future holds for Unity and it's community if the pricing doesn't change.

    Note: I don't have a pro license, but I plan to buy one as soon as I have a solid project in the pipeline.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  17. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    You are in the same boat as me. I am a hobbyist. I make my living outside the gaming industry, and I am not interested in making money selling games. I am only interested in making and sharing games. So royalties affect me and you the same way. Zero dollars times 5%. The entire idea of 5% royalties is so me and you can have a cheap hobbyist subscription, and professionals won't choose to switch to the cheap hobbyist subscription. This is the entire reason I love royalties and you should, too.

    As for subscriptions, I personally like them. I view all software as a subscription anyway, since I realize that I am not going to use something really old and outdated forever. So I look at a Unity perpetual license as a two or three year subscription if bought right now, but only a one year subscription if bought next year,

    And most importantly, having an actual subscription gives the software vendors a revenue model that does not encourage them to hold features and fixes back until the next major release. There are professionals right now that cannot finish large projects because the Unity editor is only 32bit. Because of the current revenue model that is tied to sales of perpetual licenses, Unity is holding back the new 64bit editor until Unity 5 ships. If Unity's revenue model was primarily based on subscriptions, everybody would already have a 64bit editor already.

    I am not saying Unity should force everybody to switch to subscriptions overnight. I would like to an additional payment option added that included all of the Unity Pro features with the pricing and terms of UE4, and keep all of the existing other payment plans. Over time, I suspect that subscription plan would bring in so much money for Unity that Unity would eventually shift their focus toward quick fixes instead of major releases.
     
  18. Corbal

    Corbal

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    Yep you might be right about the royalties administrative cost.
    I'm just trying to think of an economic model that works better for both UT and myself as a free user without much funds... :)
     
  19. goat

    goat

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    Reminds me when I worked for a company that made a product the government had to have. Company employed 600 people, considered small in the US, and only made 6 million dollars per year. The parent company was always trying to unload us on another company but couldn't. Drove the parent company to distraction rather than making high quality products at the parent company that company's leadership had been reduced to playing financial shell games to entertain themselves. LOL, parent company shouldn't have taken those government bailouts to avoid bankruptcy.

    I've spend about $2500 (estimate: 83 assets at an average of $30 an asset) in the asset store since it's opening but that's going to wind down but I guess it will amount to $3000 in 3 years. so that's $1000 a year. Unity gets $900 of that, not even the cost of a Pro license. I imagine most spend much less than $1000 per year as I will unless some really good artists step up production of something besides zombies. So what I have now with Unity Free is a reasonable facsimile to UE4 with Blueprint. I want that type of workflow although I can code.

    I've heard of folk having unpaid for assets but that's where going to a faster release cycle can help break or at least curtail that type of thing. One's not likely do get income from most of those folk anyway.

    Excuse my fuzzy math but:

    To do the math you'd need 6 $20 / 5% subscribers for every Pro perpetual that Unity lost to UE4 or to Unity subscription just to almost pay for the Unity Pro license and none of the other $4500 add-ons.

    So of the active 650K Unity users we heard spoke of are 108K of them Unity Pro users? How many of these Pro users bought add-on licenses? Iff Unity sold 108K Pro licenses, not including the add-ons that's $162 million alone.

    Now divide 162,000,000 by $20 and lock them in for 1 year and you need more subscribers then there are Unity users! 675,000 subscribers for 1 year to make $162,000,000.

    The 5%? Well that's not guaranteed and can only subsidize anything less than 675,000 subscribers with a major blockbuster hit.

    To get a monthly subscription price that offsets lost Pro perpetual licenses well do the math and you'll find that works out to about $120 a month and that should tell you why the subscription is $75 + $75 + $75 ...

    And of course my math is on the outside using the only numbers I know about. I know nothing about actual licenses and add-ons sold or licensing to big institutions.

    UE4 is using a very big bank account and trying to create a 'Software As A Service' company that up until now only big businesses gave a hoot about.

    eh, I hope I didn't miscount zeroes.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  20. Zeblote

    Zeblote

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    Their plan is clearly to offer a redicously good deal until the competitors like unity die and then raise the price again.
     
  21. ShilohGames

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    Well, it is certainly a numbers game. Can Epic get thousands of people to pay $19/month? I suspect they easily can. There are frequent updates to the editor and engine. Plus there are frequent releases of very high quality sample content and demos. It is like if Unity bundled a couple new high quality assets from the asset store each month. It is easily worth $19/month for subscribers.

    At first, you probably laugh and joke about how $19/month is next to no money. However, remember that it will add up quickly. For example, 4,400 users paying $19/month is over a Million Dollars Per Year. 44,000 users is $10M. 440,000 users is $100M. And that is only taking the $19/month subscriptions into account. There is additional revenues from the 5% royalties if any of those users manages to have a hit.

    Look at it this way, Unity currently makes nothing off Unity Free users other than Asset Store sales. What if Unity could convince 50,000 of the existing 2 million Unity Free users to pay $19/month? That would generate an additional $11.4M in revenue per year! Would you still be floored about the thought of making money from subscriptions? You are hearing existing Unity Free users begging you to take $19/month from us in exchange for Pro features.
     
  22. goat

    goat

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    I think it's to encourage the development of China and it's a good thing. Imagine if all of their workers required reams of paper to do their work? The world can't sustain that type of use of resources. I hope it is very successful.
     
  23. Silly_Rollo

    Silly_Rollo

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    Yep that is why a reasonable per month is way more powerful than I think some are expecting. Someone who might have pirated Photoshop or used paint.net because they aren't a professional but like to screw around with it will get a single app subscription and not sweat the monthly. Adobe just gained a paying user they didn't have before.

    Similarly hobbyists who are on Unity Free might grab the $19 UE subscription just to piddle around with it after work on occasion. It's the vast difference between the $1 app and the $5 or $10. No one is going to pay for Unity's $75+$75+etc nonsense without absolutely needing it. For that extra $55 per user I think you are losing out on quite a few hobby users who can throw $20 on a credit card each month without pondering their budget.
     
  24. TheDMan

    TheDMan

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    Wiki/web searches (like the BBB) states Epic's staff numbers being around the 98 - 104 mark. So why is UT's staff numbers so high in comparison? With a staff of 400 Unity should be leaps and bounds better in every way than every other engine on the planet. Perhaps you guys need to trim the fat, and some of those people might be dead weight.

    And saying that Epics investors made the subscription sustainable should mean that then Unity's investors (the multiple multi-million-dollar injections) over the past few years should have also made Unity subscriptions sustainable too.
     
  25. Aabel

    Aabel

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    Really? So how will they counter CryEngine as a service at $9.99 a month with NO royalties?

    I do not think what you suggest will happen, what Epic and Crytek have realized is that there is little value in charging indies and hobbiest upfront, in some cases pricing them out of using your tool. Let them access the tool, if they do something great with it, they grow into something bigger where there is much more money to be made.
     
  26. goat

    goat

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    So apply then: http://epicgames.com/careers/

    55 jobs and bound to grow.
     
  27. goat

    goat

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    That's how they acquired their Poland office and offices elsewhere.
     
  28. tiggus

    tiggus

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    Yep this is why I would expect some big investor to swoop in and bankroll Unity the same way. They seem pretty friendly with Microsoft lately...

    It's all about marketshare and then reselling to that customerbase other products that tencent is likely to start offering. Large customer bases are a product in and of themselves and very valuable.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  29. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    It's funny you mention differing needs, actually. One of the reasons I haven't changed to something else in three years of using Unity is because I've actually got a fair Unity C# codebase now, and I feel it's starting to reach something like critical mass - I'm at the point where the more reusable things I've written in recent years can be dropped into a nascent project, and I can get started, right away. Maybe I'll be able to churn out games more rapidly and start to assert some real ground down here in one-man land. I certainly need to improve my game design skills, and create something that allows me to spend more time on my projects.

    I guess my needs are A) learning how to make a successful game, and B) creating the infrastructure to support doing so.

    Not being involved in a large-scale/A-AAA effort, I'm afraid I don't know much of the problems you and others like you are trying to address. What do you find that you need from your game engines, ShadowK?
     
  30. Deleted User

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    I'm in an awkward position and in the Indie scene but I'm not the only one, I have a big enough team and budget to make a good quality game with a lot of features which would compete with competitors if I use a pre-made engine and a small variety of common good quality assets as we need a lot of them. I don't have enough time and resources to build an engine from scratch. The more time I spend on tools, the more it drains on the quality of the game..

    Don't get me wrong we are perfectly capable of doing every portion of it, but we are always on a time crunch. Unreal as it stands right now has everything we need out of the box, 64-Bit editor, Cinematic tools, terrain tools, level streaming, decent post we don't have to R&D, decent lighting system we don't have to R&D, good looking particle system, material editor for our artists and level designers. Blueprints for our VFX / cut-scene / destruction specialists and an open framework for our coders to fix bugs and modify and expand as they see fit. There are no limitations, neither have we run into walls...

    If we have time at the end, lets say we don't like the GI system.. Not an issue, we will swap it out, we don't like X no issue we swap it out.

    Secondly, if we are successful which I hope dearly we are and get ready for a follow up.. Then we can retrofit the engine, upgrade some of the tech in areas and re-use a lot of the base code we made.
     
  31. QA-for-life

    QA-for-life

    Unity Technologies

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    Absolutely not. They have demonstrated they want to make a market disruption. There is absolutely no news about the sustainability yet.

    I whole-heartedly agree.
     
  32. minionnz

    minionnz

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    Fair enough - But there's no news that it's not sustainable yet either :) I wasn't suggesting that it was sustainable by the way, I was simply pointing out that the opinions people had around what appears to be sustainable have changed - giving the impression that Unity is over-charging it's users.
    Opinions have changed since the UE4 announcement - Unity needs to address those opinions/users - and the idea that people are happy with the price is not addressing it.

    I'd bet that if Unity makes an definitive statement that it's simply not viable to match UE4's pricing, people will stop complaining about it :)

    Anyway, that's enough from me about the pricing - I don't want to turn this into another UE4 vs Unity pricing thread.
     
  33. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Yes I know actually quite a bunch people who find that inappropriate, how the front-page features and sales campaigns in the AssetStore are handled. Not only in this specific case.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  34. arkon

    arkon

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    I think Unity is like chef who doesn't eat it's own food! If they used in anger their own tool, published a game on android and ios and then forced themselves to keep up monthly updates on it, they would very quickly discover all that's wrong and should be fixed with unity. Keep that game or set of games alive for at least 3 years which is the reality of the ios and android game development. Then even set up a separate bank account for it and actually see the reality for most of us indies using unity. Then let's see how quickly they find the current major release update cycle and crippling bugs.

    I'm now a few days in with unreal engine and the fact epic are a AAA games company just shines though their tool. Personally I can't see why any currently Free unity user doesnt switch immediately as UE is effectively free after the initial 20 bucks. You can program an entire game in blueprints or get your hands dirty with a proper games development language C++. Which if you as a hobbyist are really serious about getting a job in the games industry will stand you in a much greater stead.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  35. arkon

    arkon

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    I actually do disagree strongly here. You forget epic was already a viable business before they made this move to open up the engine to all for $ 20 subs.
    They already had the tools, engine, editor etc. they probably haven't needed to gain many new employees to support the new wave of users. So every $20 subs is money they never had before and mostly profit. Plus should 1 in 10000 subscriber strike it rich so do Epic share in that success. If I had shares in unity I'd be dumping them now and buying Epic shares! Unity needs to compete with epic now and if they don't adapt to the new reality quickly they will soon feel the pain from thinking epics deal is too cheap or unsustainable.

    If I had the chance I'd tell you about another company I once worked for with a self proclaimed superior product at a premium price with 430 staff and sales all over the world and dominating their industry. Then one day a couple of new companies entered our market and massively under cut us with an inferior product in our minds. It didn't matter to the customers, they just wanted to spend a thousand pounds less per product. Within 2 years we were down to 50 staff and now a decade on the company is bust and gone.

    So unity you are in the same boat only the competition doesn't have an inferior product, are you going to do like my old company and stick your fingers in your ears and deny the new market? Oh and this thread isn't going to be enough. I'll say it again if you don't want to go the way of the Dodo you need to financially match the epic price and royalty model immediately. Stem the flow before it becomes a torrent.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  36. goat

    goat

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    Epic was beginning to shed acquisitions when TenCent bought them. TenCent bought them to compete with Unity and to make games to supply their needs for their other holdings. I won't deny though what TenCent has done is very interesting to someone that hasn't invested in Unity licensing or the proper asset store assets.

    The big difference between Unity and TenCent with regards to their interest in games engines is that Unity is a game engine technology company and TenCent is primarily a communications and entertainment company wanting to entertain it's subscriber base.

    In my view TenCent bought and offers UE4 not to stir the pot or cause Unity problems but to stay competitive and compete with other communications and entertainment companies. So while Unity is frustrated by this I'm sure it's the likes of Google, Facebook, and especially other Chinese internet properties that need to watch it. Maybe they want a stream of native language games on Weibo and on their cell phones like Google Play and the Apple App Store. I have to admit I checked English translation on a Weibo Social App and I liked it much better than Facebook iOS App.
     
  37. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    If you wait until it is obvious that the $19/month plan is sustainable/profitable/interesting/etc, then it will already be too late for Unity. Unity only really has one chance and that is to immediately add a new subscription plan that matches Epic's price and terms. The most disruptive innovation is when a company takes existing technology and find a way to go after lower cost segments. Epic already had Unreal Engine written and was already selling it to large studios. They added another revenue stream for an existing product by offering $19/month + 5% subscriptions. Epic will add millions of dollars in revenue without adding significantly more expenses, and Unity could do exactly the same thing. Launching such a subscription plan in 6 to 12 months won't be nearly as effective as launching it today, though.
     
  38. Daydreamer66

    Daydreamer66

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    It's funny you mentioned this - on most weekly Epic Twitch streams, at some point the developers encourage qualified users to apply for work there. Just yesterday, a senior AI programmer said that he would love to find more AI programmers among the users (coders in general too, but AI is his thing). Their team is definitely looking to grow.

    I wholeheartedly agree. I know that many here won't agree with this sentiment, but taking the long view, I can easily see a future where a leaner, scaled down UT is forced to focus almost entirely on mobile and 2D (which is certainly a decent market!), while most desktop/console developers look to UE4. And if UE4 mobile tools reach a point where developers can easily create a small, performant game (this is another of their goals), then who knows. Launching a similar subscription plan before many indie/hobbyist users jump ship would be a smart move.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  39. goat

    goat

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    There is no doubt Epic will need to grow to handle this. 55 jobs for a company that was earlier stated only employed about 100 is like a startup that has just been funded by an angel investor.
     
  40. nipoco

    nipoco

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    That is what I see as well.

    Right now, UE4 might not be a threat for Unity. I mean UE4 is just two months on the market. That is not really enough to see huge movements. Most people in the middle of a Unity project won't switch immediately.
    Both engines operate in a market that rapidly changes. And if Epic keep that development pace, I see Unity in the fate of Torque and Shiva in a couple of years, if they refuse to acknowledge one thing or two.
    Unity was the king of hill for years, with no real opponent. UE4 could become the same for desktop and console, probably mobile games. I remember when Unity was derided and GarageGames was the place to be...

    This thread here is nice and all. However, I have to see more than just a sudden interest in our opinion and some warm words. Most issues mentioned here, are persistent for years. Not just since UE4 surfaced. And in the past UT gave almost a damn.
    So the actions matter. Nothing else.
     
  41. goat

    goat

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    I still have a Shiva license I bought when I bought Unity Basic then Unity iOS Basic licenses way back in 2009 I believe. The yearly license to Marmalade I let expire after the initial year. Shiva's still on 1.9.2! LOL, I've wasted some cash.
     
  42. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Oh yeah that's a bummer. Fortunately it's not overly expensive.

    I had never any faith in Shiva tbh. Nor did I in Torque. Both times I were kinda right, if you look at both engines now.
    Since last year I've been losing faith in Unity too. And with UE4 around the corner, it doesn't get any better.
    I hope I'm wrong tho. Because I still like and use Unity. But that's not for eternity, if thinks keep the way as they are now.
     
  43. goat

    goat

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    When I first started I was all for making a game and getting it published but as things progressed I was didn't get the game I was after so I didn't publish.

    So while I'm making all these false starts I teach myself Blender somewhat, buy the right Unity assets and a few ones that just took money and space on my HD, find out I'm still pretty good at coding especially when I don't run off to google 'help' at the first hassle and try to figure things out instead, and dink and dink until I'm at where I'm at now: finally being able to make the game I like I wanted using a workflow I imagined Unity could provide.

    And well wouldn't you know it, UE4 comes along and offers that out of the box. I'm still staying with Unity at least until UE4 shows better performance on mobile, not much purpose in changing now without mobile performance but I will try UE4 because I find the much of the negative take around Unity is folks overmatching their machine's specs in the load they put on Unity so I imagine a lot of the complainers are doing that with UE4.

    One good thing about Shiva though is they are going to have HTML5/WebGL soon which might make it more useful then I imagined. Certainly can't afford that with Unity, that be $3000.
     
  44. tswalk

    tswalk

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    Epic has a major shareholder with some deep pockets, whom I would suspect is going to try to win this war... at as much cost as it takes. I'm not so convinced this will end up being good for everyone. Look at my former employer (Nokia), whom welcomed Apple with open arms to it's market... how'd that work out for them?

    If UT adjusts their pricing to match UE4, I would place my bets on Epic reducing theirs to a bare minimum... or total free with just a royalty of some ridiculously low amount... just long enough to grab the majority of developers, and consequently, and large part of the incident market.

    I don't think UT needs to do much with regards to the pricing, but they do need to change something...

    * improve the quality of tools, API, documentation and speed of bug fix/releases
    * perhaps consider opening source for only parts that are related to Unity API (I don't know, trying to give a bone to those asking for it)
    * broaden the scope of Pro to include any/all platforms (it's a carrot, and a long stick)
    * make the "free" basically Pro for primary platform development (only standalone platform), but cripple the publishing to only playmode.

    With regards to free... you can hobby all day long and learn forever if you want, but if you want to make a product or sell an asset on the store... pull your big boy pants up and get a subscription or buy a license.
     
  45. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    You know, I think a lot of people forget that Epic doesn't make all of their money from UE4, and I doubt they even make most of their money from it.
    Remember, Epic is still a game development company. Look at all of the games they have released:

    Unreal
    Unreal Tournament
    Unreal Tournament 2004
    Unreal Tournament 3
    Gears of War
    Gears of War 2
    Gears of War 3

    Point is, they almost certainly make a sizable portion of their money from their games business. Unity has absolutely nothing like this, and therefore has to demand more money from the engine (because that's pretty much EXCLUSIVELY what makes them money)
     
  46. thedreamer

    thedreamer

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    Still. The price Model is the advantages of unity

    Do not worry about anything else.

    Quality First !! and Mobile..

    My concern is that UE 4.2 took two months from UE 4.0 And there are quite a lot of changes

    but Unity will not be any change in six months . This is the real problem

    uGUI show problem inside Unity.. UGUI remains a mystery to me

    I love Unity . I am a fan of Unity. I have never thought anything other than unity

    In my opinion, But now finally ..New and powerful competitor appeared. is just getting started

    In the past, there was no real place to go, even if complaints. Now is different

    That is all
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  47. goat

    goat

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    I can't speak for other that have declined to publish any personal games / apps using Unity but for me:

    You've got to be kidding. Pro would have gotten me nothing. Nothing.

    Nothing that I needed to make a game. I could have published all the detritus I wanted but declined to.

    Sometimes it's the more grown up thing to say no. That goes for Unity's pricing decisions too, just as I've declined to buy any Unity Pro licenses.
     
  48. goat

    goat

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    Looking up the release dates to those it's been a long train running for their follow ups. They must make a substantial amount, even comparable to those games, licensing their tech.

    Remember, id software used to release their game code free with each new game title because the tech was so quickly outdated.

    Whatever happened to id anyway? Have they gotten up to Wolfie or Doom XXX and have to change their numbering scheme yet to avoid misunderstanding?

    Every company I worked from 1991 to 1998 has been bought and merged out of existence, substantially shrunk, or in one case the seemingly impossible happened and they went bankrupt (Nortel).

    On the internet things come and go. Geocities, Myspace, ... Unity needs an income. TenCent already has an a built-in audience and an good income. They're not in the same boat.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  49. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    Another way to look at it is that UE4's license is per-seat. UE4 has large commercial customers, so for instance let's assume an average team size of 100 people (some teams take 200 people like in the case of Watch Dogs, or even a whopping 700 people in the case of Epic Mickey).
    Epic would make $2,000 off of that studio every month. Just that one studio. Now, after that studio releases their game and let's say it sells three million copies (Borderlands 2 sold 6 million copies in a year) at $30 each (relatively cheap for a new AAA game). Then that means Epic has made an additional $4,500,000 on that studio.

    If that sounds like I'm making an argument in favor of this model, I'm not - far from it.
    Epic has essentially guaranteed AAA customers who will produce massively successful games and in the meantime make Epic tons of money.
    Unity has no such thing at all.
     
  50. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

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    Large companies don't have the same arrangements with engine providers (or most software providers for that matter) that an individual would. And depending on the software and agreement, often times it isn't per-seat. (and certainly no royalties).
     
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