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Feedback [opinion] Unity should rethink its "MARS" AR strategy

Discussion in 'Unity MARS' started by Jelmer123, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. Jelmer123


    Feb 11, 2019
    TL;DR: Unity's AR strategy only benefits established corporations and neglects indie devs and hobbyists, and people trying to learn AR development.

    I started my "AR career" as a hobbyist in 2017 when ARKit was in beta for the first time. I worked in the daytime as UX designer in a bank, and learned Unity + ARKit at night.

    I gained some "fame" when I put a model 3 in AR, a demo that went viral and basically demoing the first AR car configurator of its kind. Unity invited me to attend Unite Berlin 2018 + the automotive event for free because of this demo. I also released AR Airplanes a little later which gained 400.000 downloads in a couple of months.
    Both Unity editor and the AR tools were freely available to me under the personal license. Indeed democratizing game development. Or AR development in my case.

    I now have my dream job, working with HoloLens 2, Magic Leap, Nreal and mobile AR daily, in a large company*, and I love Unity, most of the time.

    Back to 2017/2018, after the ARKit plugin, Unity came with AR Foundation. A great step forward at the time, but things also started to crumble from there. Unity promised AR remoting and a bunch of important other features coming to AR Foundation, but then moved most of these features into MARS which costs $600/year!

    This really surprised me, and seeing that pure creator features such as object scanning also are only available in Unity MARS shows to me that Unity is making a mistake with their current AR development strategy. This does not fit with "democratise game development" nor does it "empower creators". This is stuff that only established corporations can afford.
    I urge Unity to think how Unity started and what their current mission is, and hope that Unity will change its AR strategy. All AR tools should be part of AR Foundation in my opinion.

    I would also like to point out that the competition is not sitting still. Snap is bringing highly advanced AR tools to the market for free (imagine if they allowed native app development!), and Apple is pushing their own tools more and more (RealityKit, RealityComposer, Swift UI etc etc), also for for free.

    * frankly, we don't even have a single MARS subscription in our company.
  2. TreyK-47


    Unity Technologies

    Oct 22, 2019
    Moving this to the MARS forums.
    Jelmer123 likes this.
  3. Ricardotlpz


    May 17, 2021
    Hey there. In our company we do have a couple MARS subscriptions and it has helped us enormously on our work, but I agree that the MARS revenue model could improve. I'd say that using a model similar to Unreal Engine where they only ask for money once you earn X amount of money, would be awesome to attract new artists and further grow the MARS community.