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Official Unity plan pricing and packaging updates

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by LeonhardP, Aug 22, 2023.

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  1. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

    Unity Technologies

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    09-2023_Blog_Hero-image_Penguin_Option-3 (1230x410).png

    Effective January 1, 2024, we will introduce a new Unity Runtime Fee that’s based on game installs. We will also add cloud-based asset storage, Unity DevOps tools, and AI at runtime at no extra cost to Unity subscription plans this November.

    Please read our blog post for the details and consult our FAQ for additional information. If you have any questions about these changes, please let us know here in this thread so we can address them.


    Edit:
    Update from September 22
    Update from September 17
    Update from September 13

    Highlighting some of the question/answer pairs from this thread below for visibility


    Q: How are you going to collect installs?
    A: We leverage our own proprietary data model. We believe it gives an accurate determination of the number of times the runtime is distributed for a given project.

    Q: Is software made in Unity going to be calling home to Unity whenever it's run, even for enterprise licenses?
    A: We use a composite model for counting runtime installs that collects data from numerous sources. The Unity Runtime Fee will use data in compliance with GDPR and CCPA. The data being requested is aggregated and is being used for billing purposes.

    Q: If a user reinstalls/redownloads a game, will that count as multiple installs?
    A: We are not going to charge a fee for reinstalls. The spirit of this program is and has always been to charge for the first install and we have no desire to charge for the same person doing ongoing installs.
    (Updated, Sep 14)

    Q: Do installs of the same game by the same user across multiple devices count as different installs?
    A: Yes - we treat different devices as different installs.
    (Updated, Sep 14)

    Q: If a game that's made enough money to be over the threshold has a demo of the same game, do installs of the demo also induce a charge?
    A: If it's early access, Beta, or a demo of the full game then yes. If you can get from the demo to a full game then yes. If it's not, like a single level that can't upgrade then no.

    Q: When in the lifecycle of a game does tracking of lifetime installs begin? Do beta versions count towards the threshold?
    A: If you can get from the demo to a full game (like via an in-game upgrade), then yes. If it's not (like just one level that can't upgrade), then no.
    (Updated, Sep 13)

    Q: Do Charity bundles qualify for the Runtime fee?
    A: Any installs driven by charities or installs driven by charity bundles are excluded from the Runtime Fee.
    (Updated, Sep 13)

    Q: How will we approach fraudulent or abusive behavior that impacts the install count (bombing, piracy)?
    A: We won’t count fraudulent installs or “install bombing” either. As part of our model, we are creating solutions to address the problem of double-counting reinstallations.
    (Updated, Sep 14)

    Q: Does this affect WebGL and streamed games?
    A: No, the Unity Runtime fee does not apply to WebGL games.
    (Updated, Sep 13)

    Q: Does the Unity Runtime Fee apply to gaming subscription services?
    A: For creators using gaming subscription services, the game dev isn't responsible for the runtime fee in this case.
    (Updated, Sep 14)

    Q: Are these fees going to apply to games that have been out for years already? If you met the threshold 2 years ago, you'll start owing for any installs monthly from January, no? (in theory). It says they'll use previous installs to determine threshold eligibility & then you'll start owing them for the new ones.
    A: Yes, assuming the game is eligible and distributing the Unity Runtime then runtime fees will apply. We look at a game's lifetime installs to determine eligibility for the runtime fee. Then we bill the runtime fee based on all new installs that occur after January 1, 2024.

    Q: Are these charges applied retroactively?
    A: No, the Runtime fees will not be applied retroactively. If, starting on Jan 1, 2024, you meet both the revenue and install threshold for a given game, you will only pay for net new installs happening after Jan 1, 2024. We'll look at your cumulative revenue and then installs from the past 12 months to see if you qualify for the thresholds of the new install fee but you won't pay for any installs or revenue that happened before Jan 1, 2024. Starting Jan 1, 2024, if you continue to meet the thresholds then you'll only pay for net new installs. Also, your qualifying for the install fee is measured every month on a rolling 12-month basis to ensure you're paying the correct amount.
    (Updated, Sep 13)

    Q: Isn't this a huge impact on indies?
    A: This price increase does not impact the majority of our customers. In fact, based on internal data, more than 90% of our customers will not be affected by this change
    (Updated, Sep 13)

    Q: Does changing your plan apply the revenue threshold immediately?
    A: Yes
    (Updated, Sep 13)

    Q: Is the revenue calculated before or after the platform fees?
    A: Revenue calculations applied to the threshold for the Runtime Fee are gross - before any platform or other fees.
    (Updated, Sep 14)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2023
  2. jacob_unity577

    jacob_unity577

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    EDIT:

    Unity, you have betrayed the trust of your customers completely. You removed the github repo to track licence changes, and sneakily updated the terms of service to remove the clause that users could stick to the licence of previous LTS versions.

    In 2019, after your previous controversial license changes, you put out the following statement:
    From the changes made then, the following clause was added to the licence:
    (the old licence can be found here: https://unity.com/legal/terms-of-service/software-legacy )


    You'll notice, if you click that github link, that the repo to track terms of service changes no longer exists. It was removed sometime after July 2022.

    You'll also notice, if you check the new licence, (here: https://unity.com/legal/editor-terms-of-service/software ) that on April 3rd, 2023, the licence was updated, to remove the above clause.

    You claimed in your terms that "if material modifications are made to these Terms, Unity will endeavor to notify you of the modification", and yet removed the repositiory to track these changes, along with removing the LTS clause without making that clear.

    How on earth do you expect your customers to trust you on these new changes, after you
    • Try to apply them RETROACTIVELY to already shipped games, despite the above
    • Removed the LTS license clause, as highlighted above
    • Go out of your way to hide you preparing to make these changes, as highlighted above
    • Won't disclose exactly how installs are being tracked, how reliable these numbers are
    • Offer no guarantees that you won't increase these prices in the future, or add more random retroactive fees
    • Offer no guarantees again abuse of install metrics, other than "trust us", and "we're working on it based off some tech we haven't made it based on tech used for ads"
    • Offer a pricing model that instantly makes many business unprofitable, and may even put otehrs in debt
    • Offer no opt-out of these new changes, or require any agreement to them for these new charges to start


    ------------------------------
    original post:


    How are you going to track installs? Is software made in unity going to be calling home to unity whenever it's ran, even for enterprice licenses? If a user reinstalls/redownloads a game / changes their hardware, will that count as multiple installs?

    How is this going to work for free, ad supported software, that makes enough money to be above the revenue threshold but the revenunue per install may be lower than the $0.20 install fee?

    When these take effect, will people be charged for users that have already downloaded their game historically? Or will they count as a new install when they next run the game? Or will existing installations not count? How're you possibly going to tell the difference?

    If a game that's made enough money to be over the threshold has a demo of the same game, do installs of the demo also induce a charge?

    What's going to stop us being charged for pirated copies of our games?

    What's stopping you increasing these prices in the future, considering you're adding another fee to games people have *already* shipped. Why should your customers ever trust you to not further increase these fees?

    I've been using unity for about 12 years now. I love working with unity, the engine, but ever since the IPO, every big annoucement have made me lose a little bit more faith in unity. The fact you're adding more fees/charges onto ALREADY SHIPPED games, that aren't even being updated anymore, makes me lose absolutely all remaining faith in Unity as a company. I don't know what's going up with upper management there, but they clearly don't care about goodwill, or how the company is viewed by it's customers. I've not considered making a serious project in anything other than unity for the past 10 years. I'm almost stuck using unity, with a combination of 12 years of experience using unity, memorized knowledge of most of unity's APIs, intricate knowledge of the editor, the various packages, unity's services, I've got thousands of pounds of assets bought on the unity store - but this move, is genuinely enough to make me go learn everything again from scratch. How do you make a move so bad it makes a customer for over 10 years not want to touch your company again?

    I don't want to stop using Unity. But if I can't trust you to not switch out the pricing beneath me suddenly, why on earth would I continue to use it? When you could not only suddenly make my game unprofitable, but even put me in debt?

    Sure, the actual pricing calcluations here, for what I work on, might barely even affect me. For something moderately successful, these fees are probably not huge. But there's a bunch of games out there that these fees will make completely unprofitable, especially in the mobile space. While I don't make those games, how do I know what decision you make next wont screw over my project??
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023
  3. sacb0y

    sacb0y

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    Does this include WebGL and Demos?

    I use WebGL for demos and marketing, and the scale of that is huge cause people can download the WebGL and host it.

    EDIT: Like easily millions of plays and downloads from god knows where. I'm not over the 200K threshold yet (I pay for plus anyway tho) but if that was factored, I don't think it would be viable?

    Maybe I'm understanding something wrong?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2023
  4. AwesomeX

    AwesomeX

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    Dumb, overly complicated pricing model.
     
  5. JoNax97

    JoNax97

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  6. GiantLightStudios

    GiantLightStudios

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    I'm also curious about how this affects webgl and demos. This seems like it punishes developers who are doing small or low-priced projects, which seems like the one market unity has cornered. Why a flat fee and not %? I get the need for price increases, but this seems really misguided.
     
  7. Doddler

    Doddler

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    The lack of revenue split and ongoing fee was the primary reason I went with unity in the first place, and one of the last good things worth sticking around for. Really unfortunate decision.
     
  8. mgear

    mgear

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    wow, another disaster : (
     
  9. Pitou22

    Pitou22

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    What are you going to do with the money? Pay talented engineers to fix all the bugs or just give it to shareholders?

    upload_2023-9-12_15-40-28.png
     
  10. SevenPointRed

    SevenPointRed

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    No unity plus anymore? Forced to pro, that's insane.
     
  11. Dennis_eA

    Dennis_eA

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    Question to the team: How are installs tracked on devices, I’m Not collecting any data from my players / clients and I don’t plan to do so in the future.

    no data packages going out - Unity can’t verify the numbers. Will the game be FORCED to do it? In that case I’ll probably look at Godot for future projects, that’s a big No for me.

    A reply to clear that would be highly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2023
  12. Qleenie

    Qleenie

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    So what's with returns / refunds? And will you work with Steam etc. to get the data of installed copies? Out of all possible pricing models, this seems to be the most complicated to track, there will be so many corner cases, and als it seems at least legally in grey zone whether you can apply those fees on titles which are already published using another pricing model before.
     
  13. saskenergy

    saskenergy

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    What about free games that live on ads? The blog post mentions that those who integrate ads will have a reduced fee. Wouldn't it be better to waive it entirely?

    There's also a concern about what constitutes an "install". Is it unique per user? For example, if a user downloads and deletes the game repeatedly, in this case 5 times, would I get charged 5 times?

    This is a massive concern on piracy too. Android has a ridiculously high amount of piracy. For example, Monument Valley has a piracy rate of 95% on Android! (60% on iOS) This is a case where piracy would actually hurt developers now.
     
  14. Onigiri

    Onigiri

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    Why not pay fee for every module like audio or render? When the user installs the game it has to be rendered by Unity Render so we should also pay for that. Heh atleast we can now embed AI trash into our games absolutly with NO COST wow rip unity.
     
  15. SpAM_CAN

    SpAM_CAN

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    This is utterly unfathomably insane. The level of abuse and derision Unity has for developers using their platform is completely beyond the pail, and you've gone off the deep-end.

    We will be taking our business elsewhere.
     
  16. unity_1D14A70C0043D4349DE7

    unity_1D14A70C0043D4349DE7

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    this feels greedy and a good way to get developers off to your competitors, great job guys
     
  17. JiRo_Dev

    JiRo_Dev

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    This is actually really good and really generous, for the people anxious about tracking, Unity already have events in our games that let them collect data, otherwise how would they figures like over 2 Billion installs per year and the metrics of each platform, they already know that data and we already gave consent by using their licenses, switching from a share based to a per install cost after a certain threshold is good, previously it was a share on $100k, now it's a per install cost once you make $200k in 12 months AND reach 200k installs. Meaning we'll get to keep more revenues than before and gradually pay when success is achieved. Some reductions based on how we're using Unity's other services like UGS is really good, this will encourage people to use Cloud save and other solutions at the very least. Overall, I like it, I don't think it's against us in any way, it's more dependent on our success than ever before so it should incentivize Unity to make a better product as well and should incentivize us to make better games with better services and features.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023
  18. PixHammer_

    PixHammer_

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    This seems absolutely ridiculous to me, It doesn't seem to factor in mobile free-to-play at all, to the extent that it seems obviously determined to stomp out it's existance entirely.
    Mobile developers will likely not use Unity after this, as they rely on scale to get their revenue, and most users make <$0.10 each, a sizable percentage don't even open the game, yet you will charge for them the same. This seems like a really naive decision, or one that is purposefully destructive.
     
  19. GiantLightStudios

    GiantLightStudios

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    Wait. It's a monthly fee? So for every install over the threshold I'll pay the cost every month!?
     
  20. Dennis_eA

    Dennis_eA

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    No, tracking user data is an absolute gray zone and a lot of devs/companies disabled data tracking entirely in the products.
    Verified that my apps to not send any data packages out. No plans to change that.

    Question to the team: What happens to games/and or updates released before January 2024? Can they just keep existing in the stores?
     
  21. joshuacwilde

    joshuacwilde

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    @LeonhardP please clarify this ASAP
     
  22. sacb0y

    sacb0y

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    Ok I think I understand one aspect that was confusing, the rate is based on monthly "installs".

    So monthly downloads, and if WebGL is factored monthly plays?

    upload_2023-9-12_9-51-12.png

    This is what my dashboard says, vast majority of this is demo plays not paid customers.

    Monthly installs is, better but still a problem if you have Demo's and WebGL. I may not make 200K yet, but when I do I would have to pay up to $12,000 a month just cause I have a very well accessible demo?

    What about piracy? How does that factor in? I'm someone who generally doesn't care to address piracy as it can be a net benefit but with this factor that would have to change...
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2023
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  23. JiRo_Dev

    JiRo_Dev

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    Which should prompt devs to make better game that can make money instead of cheapily copying a tutorial on YT and calling it your game, and the conditions are more generous than before ($200k in revenues compared to $100k) so it shouldn't affect people who aren't serious anyway
     
  24. Sir_Mac

    Sir_Mac

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    it seems the game must be opened, but yea for f2p it is a death sentence, for any pay to play you need to include piracy
    or a guy who reverse engineer unity's api call or create a bot to install the game, run game, delete/clear data, repeat...
    They can just destroy whole game studio using Unity to do so...
     
  25. joshuacwilde

    joshuacwilde

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    You have absolutely zero understanding of unit economics at scale for mobile apps.
     
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  26. wickedworx

    wickedworx

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    From the FAQ:
    ...so you're gonna apply this to games that have possibly been out for years now?!
     
  27. Kolyasisan

    Kolyasisan

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    And yet you don't offset the costs or make it any appealing by not reducing the Unity Pro pricing.

    I don't want Sentis or other stuff included with Pro now, I want a better ability to release on consoles as an indie developer (now that Pro is required for that).

    And here I thought this was a dabble at a revenue-share-like model like UE does... Oh, wait, this does sound kinda awful for F2P devs if it's on a per-install basis, on mobiles especially.

    This is a shockingly awful decision IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2023
  28. sacb0y

    sacb0y

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    Because it's monthly (after the base threshold) the charges likely wouldn't be back dated.

    The only real issue for me is how they factor demos.
     
    mowax74 and VincentPaquin like this.
  29. Qleenie

    Qleenie

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    And If it is a monthly fee as announced, when would it end? With the bankruptcy / closing of the developing company? This all does not seem to make sense, and seems really legally highly doubtful to me, especially in Europe.
     
  30. Baste

    Baste

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    This is kinda absurd and poorly thought out.

    The Epic/Unreal model where they take a percentage cut of all revenue over a certain threshold is very clean. It essentially means that Epic is successful when their customers are successful. It means that there's less risk for devs as a failed game with Unreal doesn't cost any money (on the Unreal side of things, at least). It also creates a very good incentive structure for Epic - they need to maximize their user's profit! Unity's current model, on the other hand, needs people to use Unity and the asset store to make games, and the success of those games doesn't really influence Unity's bottom line. The Plus subscription has been paid, the asset store assets has been paid for, and if you sell 13 copies on Steam in a year, Unity doesn't really care.

    This is a big reason why Unity has been doing so many unfinished, flashy things - Unity needs to attract more new users to make more money, but the success of those users are of a lesser importance, so features that look nice enough to attract people but leave them kind shafted after already having bought a license ends up being a big win for Unity's bottom line.
    Epic on the other hand doesn't have that problem - if a feature looks good enough to attract somebody to Unreal, but ends up not being good enough to ship with, Epic doesn't make any money. Good incentives!
    So a revenue share thing would be better for end users than subscription plans, as it'd make the engine cheaper, and incentivize Unity to do better.

    But Unity isn't doing a revenue share. It's doing a stupid per install thing that has very bad implications all over the place. So none of the bad incentives that Unity's been killing itself with will go away, but instead there's just a bunch of dumbness that tries to make Unity more money from the devs it's already taking the most from - mobile devs.

    Mobile companies operate with very, very low margins. They have to spend a ton of money on acquiring new users, and a lot of those users leave no money behind. Honestly, 0.01$ per install sounds like what a lot of those devs are operating with for revenue. 0.20$ per install just makes the engine useless - the second you hit success as a Personal dev, you stop making any money. So you're essentially murdering your main cash cows. Whoops!

    It also means that models like GamePass or HumbleBundle that base themselves around earning a lot by selling many copies very cheaply makes a lot less sense. Those have become a very important source of income for a lot of indies. Now they start looking fishy!


    This thread is probably going to fill up with people overreacting, and not counting the numbers. Due to the high thresholds for both installs and revenue, this change won't affect the vast majority of Unity's users. At least not to begin with. It will hit Unity's biggest cash cows the hardest, which might drive down Unity's revenue if those devs leave. That will be bad for everyone.
     
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  31. mbaker

    mbaker

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    If I understand correctly a fresh download of the game is equal to an install.
    - What happens if I go out of business, I no longer offer my game on Steam but players who own the game can continue to re-download the game?
    - Does this mean an internet connection is required in order to start or install a game the first time?
    - What protections has Unity put in place to prevent a malicious actor from setting up a script to repeatedly re-download the game?
    - Will players no longer be able to play if our game owes fees to Unity?

    How are traditional games (single purchase), supposed to continue bearing the runtime fee costs when they're no longer generating revenue off their players?
     
  32. Baste

    Baste

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    Also lol people need to read the FAQ properly before going crazy!

    upload_2023-9-12_16-15-29.png
     
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  33. Fangh

    Fangh

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    you pay only 0.20$ per installation OVER 200k
     
  34. JiRo_Dev

    JiRo_Dev

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    You need to reach both 100k installs AND $200k in revenues made within 12 months before this change concern you, and I'd say most devs aren't concerned with this change for obvious reasons, no need to word it and hurt people's feelings.
     
    PJMM, Jamisco, angiemon and 3 others like this.
  35. TFPolygon

    TFPolygon

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    What about game pass, free to play games, demos, multi installs (Home PC/Work PC/Laptop/ Steam Deck), and even piracy... really complicated structure right now. Should just change it to a simple revenue split.
     
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  36. Starfarer

    Starfarer

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    That is incredibly confusing and grey in terms of laws and ethics. Engine as a Telemetry and potentially DRM? That's the first update that makes me think of an alternative engines.

    Or maybe it's THAT abysmal so they could change it to "still more awful than it was" and say, "look, we made it better than we wanted to! Thanks for your feedback, community"...?
     
  37. Fangh

    Fangh

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    And what about games that are installed on offline devices ?
     
  38. blackbird

    blackbird

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    i will move to another engine , i wasted my time supporting this company
     
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  39. Dennis_eA

    Dennis_eA

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    Please, please answer all our questions.
    Please give examples to all edge cases.

    It’s September now and we need to plan ahead for the next year. No matter if we like or dislike the changes it’s very important to understand what’s going on and how this will affect every single project already out there or planned for release!

    This is not about if I like or dislike the changes. But we need to be able to come up with solutions here and a couple of months is already very little time.
     
    PJMM, grayjohn, amateurd and 36 others like this.
  40. Mike-Geig

    Mike-Geig

    Unity Technologies

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    No, it is a one time fee.
     
  41. BTStone

    BTStone

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    To be fair, Unity Pro was required for years for console releases, it's just that the platform holders provide special Unity Pro Keys.

    But except that I totally agree. When I read the blogpost I was so naive thinking: "Well at least they will reduce the prices for Unity Pro then right? Oh.."
     
  42. dzedrit

    dzedrit

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    AD revenue is equal to regular revenue?
     
    thquan2k3 likes this.
  43. wickedworx

    wickedworx

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    I mean, I'm not wrong, am I? they are gonna apply it to games which have been out for years already. If you met the threshold 2 years ago, you'll start owing for any installs monthly from January, no? (in theory). It says they'll use previous installs to determine threshold eligibility & then you'll start owing them for the new ones.

    If I've misunderstood, then I guess it's 'coz it's mad & difficult to understand how that'll actually work...

    It's not like they're only applying it to games released after January 2024, which was my point... or for games using Unity 2024+ etc...
     
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  44. DevDunk

    DevDunk

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    Pay per install? Why?
    A revenue share or a set fee would be way easier to do.
    This will kill many mobile games, which get a ton of players with only a small fraction actually paying.
    Also will place WebGL in a very awkward spot.
    And how will it be tracked? Isn't this basically an always online system that people hate?

    It seems like this benefits huge setups like professional training very well, since it has a low install base. Or am I misinterpreting it?
     
    mgsvevo, Sahriar, Bunny83 and 28 others like this.
  45. pillowfightio_conrad

    pillowfightio_conrad

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    Hi Mike-Geig, that doesn't seem to be in line with the FAQ found at https://unity.com/pricing-updates
    That seems to imply that install data is collected and billed per month, not as a one-time fee. Please clarify.
     
    angiemon, Dennisse_, Lahcene and 4 others like this.
  46. Mike-Geig

    Mike-Geig

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    Posts:
    258
    It only happens if you continue to make revenue above the threshold. There should be no situation where this costs you money if you aren't making money.

    Consider, if you make you game absolutely free, then you won't be above the revenue cap and won't be charged.
     
  47. BTStone

    BTStone

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Posts:
    1,426
    What? But...the blogpost says its a monthly rate though? Or is there a misunderstanding?

    Rate.png
     
    Santa, IOU_RAY, GermiyanBey and 27 others like this.
  48. x4000

    x4000

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Posts:
    353
    Wow, so many questions:

    I have sold over two million units of games made with unity on Steam and related PC platforms in the last 14 years, and have still been consistently struggling. Trying to have any staff of notable size eats money like crazy.
    1. How on earth are you going to track the installs? Most users won't consent to this, and many devs don't want to inflict it on users. Even I don't know how many installs my games have had.
    2. If you're tracking installs via some service that you have, how are you going to prevent malicious users from just spamming fake installs to cause bills for a game that they don't like?
    3. How are you planning on tracking revenue? Does a prologue or a demo count against the install count?
    4. How about games on GamePass or in Humble Bundles or whatever? Those all have way higher install counts compared to each unit of game sold.
    5. How about users that install, uninstall for a few years, and then reinstall? They may be on a different device. Why am I being billed for them multiple times?
    6. How about games that get installed on multiple devices? I'm being billed more for that also?
    7. How about pirated copies of the game? How will those installs count?
    I am already kind of irritated with the price hikes around unity, and the lack of notable feature improvements. This seems designed to just push lots of us to other engines. We can't even predict our costs with this, and the costs will often not correlate with revenue.

    Not to mention the fact that most of us have been developing games over years, with one expense model in mind, and nowhere in there did we plan for mysterious "oh now you owe us more all of a sudden because you passed a certain threshold" fees.

    I hope this gets retracted soon, this is a terrible idea.
     
  49. GiantLightStudios

    GiantLightStudios

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Posts:
    9
    That's good to know. Seems like this table is incorrectly labeled, or at least very unclear. Could maybe use an update? upload_2023-9-12_10-27-2.png
     
    PJMM, angiemon, soundeosdev and 11 others like this.
  50. Starburst999

    Starburst999

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Posts:
    59
    I don't get it, you guys have a huge market share on mobile, you know the margin are very tight how can you even think 0.20$ makes sense? Why not go for X% of revenue?
     
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