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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. hurleybird

    hurleybird

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    Also other than the legally dubious retroactive nature of it all, of course.
     
  2. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    20 cents per purchase of what?
    A premium game that costs $29.99, or an IAP in a mobile game that costs $0.99?

    The majority of Unity's install base is f2p mobile games.
    20 cents per purchase of anything doesn't make any sense and hurts certain games while favouring others.
     
    imminentab likes this.
  3. eizenhorn

    eizenhorn

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    Incorrect. If you earn 200k installs AND 200k$ (lets cover simple Personal license fees case and Steam game) you'll pay fo every new install above 200k in this year. Like in jan 2024 you sold 200k copies and earned 200k$, then in February new players installed game 5 times - you'll pay Unity 1$ (0.2$ per install), then in March another 10 users (or same users who already installed game will install it to their another device) you'll pay Unity 2$ for March.
     
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  4. bitlaslt

    bitlaslt

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    So how it will count on webgl games ?
    (I saw reply on redit , webgl == streamed content == 1 install).
    This is insane if true.
    As some webgl games can be popular and placed in multiple sites. But gets paid very little.
    if 1 browser open == 1 install.
    So some dev with popular browser game could end up with milions in dept with unity.
    Some games can get 100mil plays easily in multiple sites, earn 200k treshold, and ove untiy 20mil$ :D
     
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  5. levelappstudios

    levelappstudios

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    You don't know how mobile F2P games work, do you?
     
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  6. milox777

    milox777

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    Complexity and invasiveness of the model is what the fuss is all about. For years Unity was good enough for indies and had no royalty fee bs, it was very simple - you hate the splash screen you pay to remove it and/or if you find success you also pay. No problem. Now they're telling they will track all your installs to end users. And it opens Pandora's box for further abuses in the future, what's stopping them for altering the terms in the future again.

    Instead of getting better, things just get worse. First they raised the prices and that wasn't enough, now this.
     
  7. takishibe

    takishibe

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    Also, being able to make big changes to your pricing policy like this sets a really bad standard for future practices. Imagine what they will do 3 years from now.
     
  8. screenname_taken

    screenname_taken

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    Why "aggregate" the installs and have a "model" to guess basically the installs, and recount installs of the SAME buy, instead of letting the devs submit the sales data from the stores? Also, a person buys the game, installs it, and then returns it as they didn't like it for any reason. Now i'm paying for an install, for a game i didn't sell.
     
    Dan4x8 likes this.
  9. MoonbladeStudios

    MoonbladeStudios

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    yeah... that too :)
     
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  10. impheris

    impheris

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    man, people are crazy right now xD
     
  11. nehvaleem

    nehvaleem

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    The suicide award goes to the Unity. Great work.
     
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  12. BBO_Lagoon

    BBO_Lagoon

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    Hi Unity guys,
    It would be great to have a way to see total installs / monthly installs in the Unity Dashboard, so we could prepare for January ;)
     
    fendercodes and MoonbladeStudios like this.
  13. Tom_Timothy

    Tom_Timothy

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    Well after hours looking into reports it gets worse from Axios Gaming who got some things clarified tonight.

    • As for Game Pass and other subscription services, Whitten said that developers like Aggro Crab would not be on the hook, as the fees are charged to distributors, which in the Game Pass example would be Microsoft.
    So forget any distributors holding your game if made on unity.
     
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  14. manutoo

    manutoo

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    No, it's liftetime.

    From the FAQ, Unity Personal -> Does the Unity Runtime Fee apply to Unity Personal users? :
     
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  15. MoonbladeStudios

    MoonbladeStudios

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    true. And it's not the first time they have done this...
     
  16. ScionOfDesign

    ScionOfDesign

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    Unity already deals with the nuances of this issue such as GDPR compliance with Unity analytics. I'm not sure what they'd do if you never linked your project to a unity ID, however.
    They can almost certainly get an accurate, but not precise, estimate of real installs with statistical analysis based on real users to pirates ratios.
    I'm not crying for Diablo Infinite-like games.
     

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  17. milox777

    milox777

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    That's what I HATE about it the most, it just complicates things that were simple and predictable.
     
    petey likes this.
  18. levkleshchenko

    levkleshchenko

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    Wtf, Scheisse. How u will do this?! Will you track every install? Even on the same device? It's not good Unity, OK if you want more money, but don't take fee on reinstall, it's will destroy indidev
     
  19. SomethingElse12

    SomethingElse12

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    Another reason to switch to a different engine, why am I still here.
     
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  20. ScionOfDesign

    ScionOfDesign

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    I do, and I stand by my statement. You are doing something wrong.
     
  21. JimMakesGames

    JimMakesGames

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    I have a question for a somewhat unusual use case.

    I make educational mini games in Unity, on commission for a non profit company. They host the games on their website and they are run in schools all over the country.

    Whose revenue are Unity going to look at when calculating if they are over the threshold? Mine or the company that paid me to make those games? Do I need to warn them that they're going to have to start paying Unity soon?
     
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  22. TheRaider

    TheRaider

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    My understanding is distributor pays, if unity can't get payment from them they move to the maker.
     
  23. MoonbladeStudios

    MoonbladeStudios

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    i don't play on mobile also, but Unity big market is on mobile, and they might just killed it.
     
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  24. ScionOfDesign

    ScionOfDesign

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    Neither, they look at the game's revenue.
    If the game is free-to-play and has no microtransactions, then it costs nothing.
     
  25. ScionOfDesign

    ScionOfDesign

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    I would say they are "harvesting" it.
    They helped turn mobile freemium & gacha games into the monsters they are, I have no problem with them reaping the rewards from it while also reducing the number of such games.
     
  26. GlitchedPolygons

    GlitchedPolygons

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    That's it. That's the last straw. I was on Unity since 2012.

    If this really goes into effect, I will now have to spend surely more than a year to migrate my Unity projects away onto other engines. Luckily for me, I am in a position where I have the resources to do so (nobody is putting time or money pressure on me as a hobbyist). But how many devs cannot say the same? How many devs who are now essentially F***ed?

    I will even consider removing every Unity Asset Store item from the market. I do not support these things, and I do not want to make money off of these business practices. I'm disgusted.

    No doubts that we will see a lot of games going to be pulled from Steam and the other markets in the future.

    And just like that, Unity made indie game dev more inaccessible than ever: the exact opposite from their original company's "democratization of video game development" roadmap.
     
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  27. Tom_Timothy

    Tom_Timothy

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    wow developers are already talking about deleting games




    Cult of the Lamb
    @cultofthelamb

    Buy Cult of the Lamb now, cause we're deleting it on Jan 1st.
     
    Astha666, Spasmoth, petey and 5 others like this.
  28. anon8008135

    anon8008135

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    Why on Earth would you believe Unity to accurately remove those false positives from the install count that increase their revenue? Not to mention they can not technically feasibly do so… They literally created this “runtime fee” as a way to raise revenue.

    Freemium games exist where ARPU is <= 0.02 and are the majority of Unity games whether you like them or not. And no you with 200k in revenue, hell even 1M in revenue will not have the resources to fight them in court after all the other costs of running a game studio. Just cause the change doesn’t affect hobbyists and solo devs right now, does not mean that it won’t in future. Unity is demonstrating their stance as pray I don’t change the terms of the deal further so who in their right mind would trust their word.
     
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  29. Siwone

    Siwone

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    Turns out it was all a masterplan to make us accept rev share because it's less bad than this garbage fire.
     
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  30. incredulous

    incredulous

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    Current Unity employee here. I feel compelled to post something because I'm completely appalled at some of the initial choices for this new pricing model and most importantly at the poor and confusing communications around it.

    I and many, many of my colleagues have had a very bad last 12+ hours. We work hard to give you the tools to create amazing games all the way from indie to large studios. We love celebrating your successes with the Unity engine and many of us are up in arms internally about all this.

    Let's explain what the changes are about in plain English:
    1. Unity needs to generate more revenue to eventually be a profitable company so we can sustain developing Unity for many years to come. Employees need to be paid or there's no engine, as simple as that.
    2. Many very profitable game studios pay very little to Unity compared to their other costs of business, despite the Unity engine being an essential part of their game/product. The price changes are aimed at this ~10% of customers as a way to scale their costs with success via revenue+installs.
    3. Yes, there's also a will to bring more users on Unity pro when they use Unity to build a product for a business with meaningful revenue. Sadly, good news of the extended availability of Unity free to larger funding thresholds and some extra features were buried in everything else.

    To focus on a few key points that have somewhat changed since the initial announcements... Sadly the OP and FAQs haven't been fully updated yet with some of these changes.
    1. Installs
      1. Installs are meant to be per unique user.
      2. CI, tests, and other automations will not be charged
      3. We don't want to charge for fraudulent installs (install bombs, piracy, etc.)
      4. There will not be an embedded "phone home" mechanism
      5. Unity hasn't actually completely figured out how to count installs yet. Whatever the solution is, it will be conservative. It will potentially/probably undercount installs, but definitely not overcount.
    2. We will not charge for charities
    3. For subscription services, Unity will talk with the subscription service's distributor, not the game creator
    4. There will be an online calculator very soon (TM) to model your potential costs
    5. Yes, in this current form, it's possible for successful games with very high install counts and low enough per-install revenue to lose money when more people install their game.
      1. When this is raised internally, the answer is "we would fix this with the customer to not bankrupt them". It would be great to prevent this upstream in the actual policy.
    Know also that all of the concerns that are understandably blowing up at the moment have been raised internally by many weeks before this announcement. Why it was decided to rush this out anyway in this way I can only speculate about.

    Personal hopes for further corrections to this pricing model:
    1. Address point 5 above so we don't punish success
    2. Reverse course to charge per-install fees to already published games (that still generate sizable revenue)
      1. And change the terms to guarantee that a similar retroactive price change can never happen again!
    3. Get our act together in terms of comms and marketing to avoid generating so much needless panic and anxiety both from you all and internally.
    Take care of each other, and take a break from all this for your mental health if you need it.
    And don't stop respectfully yelling at crazy ideas so they can be corrected.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023
  31. Elhimp

    Elhimp

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    Imagine thinking game-like-mechanics-containing-(5%)-product being made in some sweatshop sticking to unity, instead of switching engine in a blink of an eye.
     
  32. Thygrrr

    Thygrrr

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    Questions - how do you address these scenarios:

    Because the Revenue and Lifetime Download Thresholds are separate from each other (they both just need to be crossed, but it is not defined where the either is in relation to the other once the second threshold is crossed)...

    Here are some critical scenarios I see that need answers:
    • high install, low ARPU (revenue per user) games are taxed proportionally more. I ran a game with over 150 Million installs and 4-7 cents ARPU once. This would have 25%-50% of its revenue stolen by Unity now.

    • when one of these figures changes quickly, e.g. you have spikes in either revenue (for example bundle deals) or installs (you pay for some sort of user acquisition), there are timing issues in reporting that can mean the difference between paying $0.15/300% per install and $0.05/100% per install.

    • when you sell your free/low revenue game to another company, if they pay you 200k for it, since the rules say revenue and install counts are never reset across the lifetime of a project, even if the identifiers changes (wtf?), that they will have to start paying for installs even if they operate the game for free. (e.g. developing a promotional game for a brand, or selling your IPs, etc. have become much more dangerous and less viable)

    • same when you buy an IP from another company? when publishers are switched? when an advance is paid on development of an expansion/dlc?

    • when that kickstarter comes through and a demo was playable / early access has a bunch of downloads?

    • how does Unity determine a game is a spin-off, a sequel, a remake, a remaster, or a new product?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023
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  33. Micz84

    Micz84

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    Is it per install or per buy? If I sell a game on Steam and my user will install it on 3 different computers I would have to pay for each install. And if my user reinstalls a game several times will I also have to pay for each of these installs?
     
  34. WhyDoINeedAnAccountForThiss

    WhyDoINeedAnAccountForThiss

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    this is absolute insanity. I don't mind the spirit of the revenue share model, but the implementation is horrible. What's to stop bad actors from using virtual machines to "install" hundreds or thousands of "games", targeting a specific developer? Seriously, why can't we just have a scaling revenue share model? What is with this installation insanity? I can think of so many ways that bad actors can exploit it to harm people.

    Please rethink this. The intentions were good, but the idea itself is truly awful.
     
  35. milox777

    milox777

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  36. eizenhorn

    eizenhorn

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    Per install. Yes you would.
     
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  37. enpel

    enpel

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    I feel I must now prepare to fly away from Unity.
    Back in the Unity3 days I was asking myself Unity, UnrealEngine, or Cocos2d? I was working to find out.
    Unity was chosen because of its superiority over UnrealEngine in having no royalties.
    And now the day is coming when I will have to make that choice again.
    Unity or UnrealEngine?

    This decision is reason enough as to why we should not use Unity.
    Why was Unity chosen over UnrealEngine more than 10 years ago? It continues to this day.

    Downloading by nature is a joyous thing.
    But people who use Unity have to be afraid of downloads.
    No matter how good a game engine you are, no matter how good a community you have, that fear is reason enough to abandon you.

    It is difficult for you to regain the trust of your users.

    Translated with DeepL
     
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  38. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    I think on behalf of everyone else, we appreciate you posting here.

    What about for server builds?

    If my multiplayer racing game spins up 1000 game server instances per day, they will be each on different edge servers, will I be charged an install each time my game server instance starts up?

    And what about for developer/test installs?
     
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  39. anon8008135

    anon8008135

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    Just say you hate f2p games and move on. This will not have the effect of reducing the amount of them btw. It will only increase the amount as studios pumping out these games will try to workaround it by making a game about to reach the revenue threshold just enough different to avoid paying install fees. You think that will annoy you less?
     
    JellyBay likes this.
  40. Kubold

    Kubold

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    Wait, wait.

    What about Steam refunds? My Early Access, despite high sales, has quite a high refund rate, let's round up to 20%.

    If 60 000 people buy it, install, play for 15 minutes and refund...

    1. I earn $0 from those sales (refunded).
    2. Steam gets billed $12 000 by Unity (platform owner gets billed)

    So, to sum up, there was no sale, but there was an install (or 50). No goods were traded, but I have to pay up? I don't think this is legal, not in Europe or anywhere.
     
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  41. WhyDoINeedAnAccountForThiss

    WhyDoINeedAnAccountForThiss

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    the idea that I could buy someone's game, and then sit there all day and night installing and uninstalling it, basically undoing all the money I paid the dev for the game, is just freaking crazy. And before you say there's safeguards in place, no there really isn't, bad actors will use VPNs, they'll use virtual machines, they'll hack the installer to find out if there's some kind of fingerprinting going on. This is just so so so bad.
     
  42. xucian

    xucian

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    10y of unity dev here.

    What Unity does resembles the Decoy Effect. Bookmark my message.

    Unity knows the current version of this won't work, and that's the plan.
    This prepares us for a smaller evil that'll eventually come out as "our response to your feedback", where "thus we're lowering the cost per install from 0.2 to 0.02 and COMPLETELY removing it for pro users", or something like that.
    That being the initial plan all along.


    Unity greatly underestimates the network effect

    “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000.”
    -- Jeff Bezos
     
  43. AFrisby

    AFrisby

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    Add a new tier. Make us upgrade to Enterprise once we cross over $10M in revenue, or whatever. Raise your prices by 20-30-50% if you have to. We'd grumble, but pay.

    But don't inject new fees into existing built and deployed projects. Retroactive changes to existing agreements are chancy at best.
     
    newlife, Xaron, hurleybird and 3 others like this.
  44. Danistmein

    Danistmein

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    It is bad, the decision will make a lot of developers fly away from Unity.
     
    nykalily likes this.
  45. milox777

    milox777

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    Sure but how much revenue do you need? Unity is already multi billion dollar company... and ad revenue is huge and booming. Is this nickel and diming really necessary?
     
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  46. Thygrrr

    Thygrrr

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    Omg that would be even worse, so every month, my 200k-th to 250k-th install costs me 10K on top of all user acquisition costs?

    No, it's lifetime, and that is already terrible enough as it is.

    It's more 5,000 dollaring and 10,000 dollaring for a lot of our businesses.
    or 50,000 dollaring and 100,000 dollaring for more successful ones.
    or 500,000 dollaring and 1,000,000 dollaring for the super successful outliers.
     
  47. manutoo

    manutoo

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    This is incredible it's not in the FAQ in the 1st post, but anyway, you cannot guarantee this in all cases, because it relies on letting a trace on the device.

    If you're a dev, you should know it's not possible. There's no difference between a pirate installing the game and a legit customer doing the same.
     
  48. TheRaider

    TheRaider

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    I guess they just have a deal with microsoft. I don't see Valve paying it for steam or epic paying it for their store. They are both distributors.
     
    Spasmoth likes this.
  49. TheNullReference

    TheNullReference

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    https://reddit.com/r/Unity3D/s/OHkwACqjBT
    Yes.

    This user claims they'll be spending over $20,000 a month, which is currently 66% of his operating cost. He'll have to fire 2 out of every 3 employees.
     
  50. unormal

    unormal

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    You have no way of validating an install, or even getting a marginally accurate count of installs, outside of platforms that provide the report (i.e. only Android and iOS). It's a complete fiction.
     
  51. Micz84

    Micz84

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    This is also ridiculous. Let's look 5 years from now you have a game that sells one copy from time to time and you have to track all of this to pay Unity like 1$ per month, and the older the game becomes the more percentage of the price this fee is.

    If it stays like that it would be best for the company to release the game. Establish a new company transfer all IP rights to a new company, close the old one and pull the game from the market.
     
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