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Question to Unity Industry changes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LeFx_Tom, Apr 4, 2023.

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  1. LeFx_Tom

    LeFx_Tom

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    I just found the announcment of the whole new "Unity Industry" thing - and if I read that correctly, it leaves me shocked:

    Are you seriously just casually announcing, that you are going to force your "non-entertainment"-customers - which are never fully specified and seemingly also include studios, that create serious games/VR applications for businesses and also do other stuff? So far it seems, that as soon as you work even partially with industry clients, you are forced into that new product.

    I find that highly problematic, as it is basically 300% more expensive than current Unity Pro subscriptions.
    Yes, you get access to more services and tools like PiXYZ - but what if you don't need or want any of those things? Then you are just forced to accept a steep price hike for basically nothing.

    Are you serious? Or am I gravely misunderstanding things here?
    We are currently below the financial threshold - but who knows for how long. Unity is only a small part of our revenue chain and honestly? If these conditions actually apply to us, then we would cut Unity completely from our portfolio.
     
  2. mgear

    mgear

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    sounds like a huge disaster, if the FAQ is what it sounds like:


    upload_2023-4-4_14-3-39.png
    upload_2023-4-4_14-6-19.png
    upload_2023-4-4_14-6-27.png
     
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  3. LeFx_Tom

    LeFx_Tom

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    That's my point exactly.
    It gets even worse when you look at the FAQ part where it states, that basically your most expensive licensing factor cuts out the others. So if you are business like mine, that has a huge share of it's revenue with other tools (like unreal) and only a small unity team...still industry license.

    @Unity Wtf were you thinking?
     
  4. andyz

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    This is pretty disgusting - I guess they think there is some huge source for money in this area but Industry plan is "contact us" ffs and finances depend on "third party" company if working for someone.
    If you do work for a big customer you will need to buy Industry not Pro (Plus is not mentioned, except indirectly in Industry faq where it says you must use Pro or Enterprise if "total finances" low enough)

    Why do games and "Industry" need separate licensing - games are massive money makers, though maybe Unity is mostly used by small companies...
     
  5. mgear

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    Even the current Pro license (with constant price increases) is getting too expensive for multiple people,
    if your company only uses it for small'ish projects. (when rest of the large company is totally different)
     
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  6. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    Industry software is always more expensive.
    At the automotive company I work for there are currently two licences running on my name alone with a total of 450€ cost per month. Almost everyone in the team has those or others.
    Naturally that's bound to support contracts. Response time of <12h are typical.
     
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  7. Probably I am the only moron, who can't figure out how this number came to be.
     
  8. neginfinity

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    Seems to only affect customers with total finances over $1 mil per month.

    Also, "Industry" pricing is "Contact Sales". So it is unclear where 300% came from.
     
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  9. andyz

    andyz

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    a year, not a month. But affects even individuals if working for a third party
    "If you are an individual using the Unity Software, then your Total Finances are: (a) if you are providing service(s) to a third party, your customer’s or client’s gross revenues" and/or funding (no matter what the source); or (b) if you are not providing service(s) to a third party, the amount generated in connection with your use of the Software."
     
  10. LeFx_Tom

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    They are a simple estimate after looking at the price of unity industrial collection, which this new unity industry offer succeeds.
    There is no reason to believe, that the new offer will be less expensive...probably even more than that.

    And yes - it's 1 million USD per year - that is not that much. If you are a small company with around 15 employees, you can crack that number and still not float in cash.
    The whole idea of forcing this whole package to somehow artificially increase your usage numbers for otherwise failed products like MARS is ridiculous. We don't need MARS or PiXYZ - yet we will have to pay for them?!
     
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  11. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Ah, yeah. I misread this.

    And yeah, I can see your concern now. That clause is the part that made unity extremely annoying to use if you freelance.

    Meaning this number of not specified anywhere, and you invented it.
     
  12. LeFx_Tom

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    I was given that number from an industry contact - but ok - let's go with more reasonable numbers, that we can find in public:

    The "Unity Industrial Collection" cost so far - around 3000 USD per year. Unity Pro was 1800 USD per Year - that alone is 1.6x the price.
    Now we assume, that if they would have stuck to that "old" industrial collection price, they would have just put it as a number on the website instead of contacting sales - and they are heavily trying to emphasize, that it offers MORE than the industral collection.
    This together with the inofficial numbers I was told about....

    Your choice if you want to trust me on that or not. But expect to pay at least 1.6x more than right now for software you might not even need/use
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2023
  13. CodeSmile

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    The biggest game publishers, namely EA and Activision-Blizzard, both made about 7 billion USD in revenue in 2022.*

    Compare that with Daimler, who made 51 billion. You'd think that is a big shot, right? Nope, Tesla made 81 billion. But wait ... Toyota laughs at that with their 267 billion. Even the possibly biggest car manufacturer supplier (ZF) made 44 billion. All numbers from 2022.

    Just to point out that yes, there is a significant revenue offset between industry and game companies. Likewise, these industry giants have been increasingly eager to embrace the new gaming tech and hardware since the new wave of AR and VR products came to market with the first Oculus headset, then the Quest, and the ubiquitous and increasingly powerful smartphones.

    If you are a contractor working for an Industry giant and feel forced to upgrade to Unity Industry licenses, the obvious thing to do is to relay those additional costs to the customers. After all, these costs only occur because of the customer (and Unity changing their license terms of course).


    * = Maybe Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Tencent, beat those numbers but for me taking a quick look it was just difficult to judge whether those revenues are company totals, or just the game software branch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2023
  14. mgear

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    I got extra info from our unity client contact,

    Unity Industry: 4554 EUR (so that would be around ~2.4x increase to current price)

    There is one nice bonus for some users, *personally wouldn't have time or budged to start fixing engine code:
    "Source code access is included in that base price"

    Other stuff that is included (but for our case, most of those are useless, and things like on demand training site content is pretty bad)
    • Unity Enterprise licenses
    • LTS for 3 years
    • Source Code Access
    • Build Server Licenses
    • Tools such as Havok Physics, MARS, & PiXYZ Plugin
    • Technical Support
    • Client Onboarding
    • On-Demand Training
     
  15. LeFx_Tom

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    If you want to see, that my 300% increase was not that far off - ask your contact about the price for floating licenses :-D
    Better sit down for those.

    To make my point here:
    The package itself is ok - source access, bundle of tools - all ok - no problem there.
    My problem is: It is forced upon us small businesses out of the blue. Why can't I stick with Pro licenses for our team? Why am I forced to "upgrade" to the industry package? That does not make any sense.

    @CodeSmile
    No offense - but you seemingly have never worked as a contractor/service provider - I can't just randomly up my costs because my clients are "big business" and my software vendor decided it's time to earn some cash.
    Prices have been established over the last years and sure, we increase them here and there, because inflation and cost adjustments are a thing everywhere...
    But again - the unity team in our company is not the major breadwinner and with sudden license changes like this one now, it becomes increasingly hard to justify the cost of that team over the profit it can generate.

    I have no problem, if you offer that package to actual Industry corporations like the ones you mentioned...sure, go ahead. For them, the content of the package actually makes sense. But why are they forgetting the small businesses?
     
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  16. neginfinity

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    Are you still "small" if your finances are 1 mil per year? Back of the napkin calculation implies that this sort of business could have up to 30 employees. And one of them would be paid more than what you'd need to spend on unity license.
     
  17. LeFx_Tom

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    Not in a country like germany or the U.S.
    If you are an IT company with comparatively ok salaries, you reach 1 million in revenue with around 16-17 employees. I would consider that small.

    And again - my biggest concern is this paragraph:
    "If you are an individual using the Unity Software, then your Total Finances are: (a) if you are providing service(s) to a third party, your customer’s or client’s gross revenues" and/or funding (no matter what the source); or (b) if you are not providing service(s) to a third party, the amount generated in connection with your use of the Software."

    That basically means, that even if you work freelance for a corporation, you need to have Industry plan - no matter your personal revenue.
     
  18. neginfinity

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    I included non-IT businesses into consideration. In IT, yes, it'll be 15-16 employees, but even in this case I'm unsure if this can be called "small".

    Regarding this part:
    That particular clause has always been a problem when you want to use unity for freelancing. One possible idea would be to ask your employer to provide a seat for you for the duration of your contract.
     
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  19. Ryiah

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    Sounds like it will work out for you if you decide to eliminate Unity, but if a company is focused entirely on Unity then that means training everyone for the new engine which will likely be more expensive than that 300%. Plus alternative engines almost always have the same requirement of custom licensing for serious applications.

    If I'm not mistaken the only choice if you want to completely avoid custom licensing is Unreal Engine, and that will come with its own set of downsides like being more demanding on target hardware. Telling a client that they will need more expensive devices might be just as bad as telling them it costs you more to do business with them.

    Just some random thoughts on my part. I don't work on "industry" apps but I do work with a company with finances around the million dollar threshold and I do know what would be involved in transitioning them away from Unity.

    Edit: Another thought just occurred to me. If a company at that threshold wants to continue supporting a client's app they're going to need to pick up the license regardless of whether they decide to move to a new engine for future projects so they'll be paying for it in addition to training for the new one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2023
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  20. angrypenguin

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    Maybe they're not, and this is why you have to ask about pricing? They can offer whatever they want to whomever they want, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to make life harder for startups.

    That aside, Unity's licensing really didn't need to get even more fiddly...
     
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  21. TheOtherMonarch

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    Does not effect me directly and indirectly it may befit me. I hope it brings in more money for Unity; get those corporate fat cats.
     
  22. spiney199

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    My regular day job is in a company of 8 people (5 in an office, 3 in a warehouse) and our turn around is about 15 million dollarydoos a year, yet we're definitely a small company.

    Mind you we pay dramatically more for our inventory management software than what Unity is asking.
     
  23. CodeSmile

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    Yes, I have been a contractor for 6 years and for another 6 years I worked with industry clients as employee in lead positions.

    I would say the problem you are facing is that your pricing model is based on flat fees that are determined in advance for "services provided" with little to no specifications what these services will be. That puts all of the risk of increasing costs on you. I've been working on both that side of the business, and it was no fun. Four out of five projects were in the red, based on what we intended to make as profit from each project before it started. Feature creep was rampant, as there was little contractual safeguarding when it came to discussing redesigns and new feature requests.

    The more healthy and also more cooperative side of doing business with industry clients is more costly up front, but pays off in the long term. You have actual sales people who network, visit fairs, get into talks, try to secure deals, offer quotes and one out of five new clients (at best) signs a deal for a short-lived project (typically 2-5 months) with us based on our quote. The baseline revenue comes from repeat client orders, unevenly split between software updates and new projects.

    In the latter part we were able to say, hey, we got increased costs and we're sorry but we have to add some of those costs onto the next quote. Typically those were costs that were related to extra work upgrading a 3+ year old Unity version which was required in order to publish to the requested platform. In the first part we had to bite the bullet and pay the costs ourselves, and it was just another nail in the coffin for team morale too. Often there was this weird thing programmers frequently asked if they could do, but were denied because it wouldn't get paid: refactoring.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2023
  24. zombiegorilla

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    In addition to the above, Unity seats can easily be changed and moved. The company contracting can simply provide you a seat at their license tier for the duration of the work. If they are at that level (some other custom agreement with Unity or any other software), they are already managing and dealing with it, and just provide you the keys you require. OTOH, if this is a problem for them, or they are unaware, or don't understand... move on. If they are not properly paying their vendors or unaware of those contractual obligations, how will they treat/pay you?
     
  25. AcidArrow

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    Big architecture firm wants a S***ty 3D interactive walkthrough of some hotel they build. They are cheapskates, because of course they are and they want it done for cheap.

    Do I use Unreal and make a competitive offer, or do I ask for more money to use Unity while keeping less money for myself?

    Unity is really overestimating the value they offer vs the complexity and prices of their licensing.

    Man, I really should finish my game, I don’t think Unity will be around for much longer.
     
  26. angrypenguin

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    Definitely a consideration. I think ZG was referring to cases where you're sub-contracting to someone already using Unity.

    If you're contracting to someone not already using it then cost is certainly a consideration. So is complication - as a startup I need to gather evidence of my clients' turnovers to know if Pro is an option or I need Industry? That's a pain, to say the least.

    I understand that Unity want more income from their richest clients, but this has side effects which could push smaller ones or new ventures away. Startup game dev studios often get income by doing contract work. I do wonder at the long term outcomes of this, particularly considering the competitive landscape.
     
  27. zombiegorilla

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    If using Unreal is going to cost you less, including any time savings you might incur using Unity then definitely use Unreal.
    You don't have to use Unity for anything, ever. I don't really know anything about Architecture walkthroughs and such, but I would guess they would be about the same amount of work in either engine. I would think distribution would be a factor.
     
  28. impheris

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    :rolleyes: that sounds familiar, don't you think? xD

    Sorry OT but, This sounds exactly like what i was doing when i was working as a graphic designer some years ago.

    The AcidArrow xD

    It is easy than you think, i like unity but i have to agree with AcidArrow, unreal can save you some time because is easy (you do not even need to code), also it will make that project looks a little bit better, but to be fair, the client will never notice and i am 100% sure about that.
     
  29. MadeFromPolygons

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    Then I will stop all unity contract work and only do work outside of games in unreal.

    What a stupid stupid move for unity to make, this makes it untenable to be in a contracting role for anyone bigger than you if you are a small fish starting out as you have to get license based on their size not yours.

    This effectively will kill small to mid sized contracting outside of games for many. The cost of unity was already too high Vs value for many in those segments, but now with the pricing asked it's basically impossible to take most work on Upwork, and same goes for anything outside games such as archvis work etc.

    For most starting out it would be impossible to negotiate an additional $5000 to cover the license cost, so we can no longer work with them.

    Unity seem really set on losing their current customer base instead of gaining additional customers.
     
  30. PanthenEye

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    They've run the numbers and it makes sense to them. I assume increasing costs for the big development houses still comes out on top revenue wise even if the small guys exit the Unity ecosystem. Unity megacorp can't be sustained by the little guy anymore, they've long since outgrown democratizing anything.
     
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  31. Murgilod

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    Licenses haven't been Unity's major revenue source for a while now. It's been pretty much entirely their ad services. Something tells me this would be less of a problem if they didn't also spend the last several years just constantly buying companies.
     
  32. neginfinity

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    I wonder if it would be possible for unity to split into Ad company and Engine company. Where Engine company would focus on the engine only, and Ad company would focus on whatever it is they've been trying to do all this time.

    Basically, this statement made me think what happened to Blender in the beginning. It was a proprietary program, someone bought it out and made opensource.
     
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  33. Murgilod

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    Much as I'd greatly prefer that, with Unity merging with Ironsource, I really don't see that happening.
     
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  34. neginfinity

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    Kinda wonder how much money would be necessary to make something like this occur.

    ...

    I suppose it might be a good time for me to start investing into other engines. Even godot. Even though I strongly disliked Godot in the past.

    The "services" clause has always been an unpleasant part of unity, like others said, with industrial/enterprise tier it'll cause more trouble. Also, the recent events demonstrated that it is kinda important to have an opensource alternative ready for situations when something fun happens to non-opensource software.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2023
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  35. neoshaman

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    Godot got better with 4, but wait a little so that 4 mature, and and it still has some weakness such as streaming, single threaded scene and some others, but hey code source access and plenty people are actively working on fixing those pro bono. Given the creator explicitly stated these in a public post, it surely in the front of every godot fan boy who wants it to succeed.
     
  36. Murgilod

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    Godot is a total non-starter even in v4 if you need any reasonably complex post-processing and the creator outright stated that that won't be changing.
     
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  37. neginfinity

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    ... did the creator provide a reason for that?
     
  38. impheris

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    godot is still a cute puppy and i feel this 4 version is something like Godot 3.7
     
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  39. MadeFromPolygons

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    For me the main thing is you cant just handle console yourself. You HAVE to port via a 3rd party as they say in their docs and that doesnt appear to be changing anytime soon
     
  40. Murgilod

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    I'd have to dig it up but I seem to recall it was something to do with not wanting to try and break into that specific area of gamedev.

    Sort of. The reasons Godot doesn't have built-in console build support is because they simply can't support that the way they're organized. You also don't have to use a third party service, but you would have to roll your own build process.
     
  41. neoshaman

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    Definitely.

    For anything industry related, performant and sophisticated. I was answering in the context of Neg, and for game related or simple task.

    But now I'm linux (because HD died, and win don't install on external drive) and that unity don't really support linux from hearsay (I'm dreading to install it now, I'm prioritized other task for now) I may shift to godot in the future and deal with it...

    Still it's a wild card, people use to tell the same about unity once.
     
  42. angrypenguin

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    Price increases always suck, and this will trigger a re-evaluation if I go back to doing this kind of contract dev. However...
    ...one thing to keep in mind is that typically you wouldn't need to cover the license cost with a single contract, it'd be covered over a year's worth of such contracts. It also only matters once you hit that new, $1 million threshold, which would imply that either you've got decently sized contracts, or lots of contracts. Either way, while it stings, it's still going to be a small line item when compared to things such as the salary of the person using the license, and the productivity hit of changing tools (and pipelines, processes, etc.) is likely to cost more than that in any given year (so even if it'd be cheaper long term it's a cost that's easy to defer, and again... etc.).

    With that in mind, when they crunched the numbers Unity probably came to the conclusion that they have enough licensing momentum that, while we wouldn't like it (why would we?), it's unlikely to lose them more than it gains. Plenty of people are already using Unity for this stuff. If we want to work with them then someone needs to get licenses. Even if you're working for clients who won't provide them for you, once you have your own for one thing it's much less of a barrier for the next.

    What am I missing here? Consoles = games / entertainment, which isn't impacted by this change.
     
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  43. angrypenguin

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    On a different note: Would I need to know what my clients are using my work for?

    Superficially it seems that I would need to know, because I need a different license based on whether they're using the thing I make for them in entertainment or industry stuff. It opens multiple cans of worms, because I might also have to think about such wonderful questions as "what if my customer starts using the thing I'm making for them for other stuff?"
     
  44. Andy-Touch

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    What complex post processing is it missing that you need? Have you tried Godot 4?
     
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  45. Murgilod

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    Yes, and it still suffers loads of issues. Skinned mesh motion vectors are still planned for "future release," and the whole viewport paradigm for render targets is frankly atrocious.
     
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  46. Andy-Touch

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    What do you need skinned mesh motion vectors for in terms of the game? Is it really a blocker not having it?
     
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  47. Murgilod

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    I do, actually. I use a lot of motion vector stuff to simulate animation smears.
     
  48. PanthenEye

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    That's changing this year, they reorganized under Godot Foundation and founded W4 Games that'll handle enterprise support, various cloud services and the distribution of console ported engine binaries so you'll be able to handle the ports yourself. It'll be a yearly sub similar to Unity for access to console specific binaries but it's likely to be cheaper than Unity Pro. They had Godot running on Switch and Xbox at GDC with these ports.

    I'm fairly sure the 1 mil customer threshold is a requirement for the actual customer, not the service provider. You could earn 30k a year from Unity contract work and still be required to get Industry license for clients who exceed 1 mil total finances. The size of your client's company determines which license you need, not your own income unless you're working on a personal project. This is why solo contractors and small development houses are not happy with the significant price hike.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2023
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  49. angrypenguin

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    Yes, that's my understanding, hence my mention of potentially needing to know client turnovers. In that section you quoted I was specifically thinking about someone having mentioned Upwork, i.e. likely to be small-ish contracts from small-ish clients.
     
  50. SmShadows

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    This move from Unity looks bad to me.

    For small service companies, profit margin are often around 0%-10%.

    Lets say your revenu is 1M$, you have 10 licenses, Unity Industry adds 30,000$ to your annual cost (3% of your total revenue) . This huge cost increase will eat a lot of small companies already tight margins, if not even make them unprofitable.

    Not only this, but unreal has ZERO cost for industry clients. So you compete with other companies with higher margins and potentially make you less competitive.

    Unity should not force small companies to buy expensive features they dont need.
     
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