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Official Update to the Unity Editor Software Terms

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by LeonhardP, Nov 6, 2023.

  1. You're wrong here. Adobe very much owns the PSD format. It is a proprietary format and Adobe never attached any specific license to it as far as I know. They published it however, so I guess it's an implied license, but for that to determined they need to bring someone to court because they used the format. They probably will never do it, but regardless of this, PSD format is their format, they can close it any moment they choose to.

    But they don't own your content. That's true. But, creating a "viewer" for PSD and especially for Unity is highly gray area and potentially not legal. (In case of Adobe there is the implied license, true). Unity explicitly barred you to mock around in the runtime so you aren't really allowed to make a replacement run-time for your game. You can make a game engine which can uses your existing pile of assets on a different way though.
     
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  2. IllTemperedTunas

    IllTemperedTunas

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    Transcript of the earrings call if anyone is interested:
    https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-...-software-u-q3-2023-earnings-call-transcript/

    Protip: You can open these websites in Microsoft Edge and have documents read back to you audibly by using "immersive reading mode", click the book icon located here, voice can be customized:

    ====================================================================
    Quick Synopsis:
    Their focus is on downsizing so they can become profitable.

    They are too scattered, they need to focus on what it is they do best: The engine.

    Lots of corporate jargon essentially saying "We expanded too fast, and tried doing lots of things we weren't capable of"

    Profitability isn't complex, we have a leading product in a profitable industry, we need to cut the fluff and focus on that.

    They have spoken to developers who were burned by the TOS changes, and once they heard about upcoming features of the engine, they become much more amenable to the future of Unity and want to be involved with future versions.

    Key line here: "And so, next week, we'll have a number of product launches. And I think really kind of focusing on the value we're delivering, we'll kind of get that buzz replacing kind of noise around, well, what are they doing?"

    Looks like they're finally ready to reveal some cool new features to look forward to, and right on time for the Unite function. They have confidence these new features will be sufficiently cool as to wipe away the recent debacle.

    They're going to be radically changing, and they don't want to play any corporate games or fudge numbers to try to make things look good, they want to move and move fast getting back into shape producing quality product.

    They see their greatest profit growth opportunities in markets outside of gaming. Other industries are much more ripe for monetization with services that they could provide with their unity engine. (This is good and bad, it means they won't be nickle and diming us game makers as much, but it also means they won't be focusing soley on game development moving foreward as their key money make)

    AI tools seem to be something they are very excited about.

    On downsizing and how that might hurt moral: "Look, it's just a -- it's a different model to -- versus saying let's spend a lot and hope revenue ultimately passes, that you make money. It's a little bit more, let's get efficient and effective and optimize our business and then scale from there."

    They are not saying they are revising things, or changing course, they are calling their future a "reset", sounds like they want to reinvent their company culture to center on tangible gains to their products. (good sh*t!)

    Lots of corporate speak essentially amounting to "We have f*cked up, we won't have returns on our investments for some time as nothing we have done recently will return any value for the foreseeable future. We gotta figure out what we do, and how we do it, in a way that actually creates value to some customer out there."

    Some finacial guy essentially says, "thanks so much for coming in and stemming the bleeding so quickly, are you worried your financial pruning is going to lower your future income?" To which the new CEO says, "No, this sh*t is easy, I just cut the stuff that isn't making us money, and we're doing it now."

    Random thoughts:
    Some wishy washy thoughts about whether or not Jim Whitehurst will be the new CEO, but it seems pretty clear it's kind of a done deal, as he's getting deep into the company and becoming intimate with its future. He's also being very cordial with the board. Will the top brass experience a shakeup? Hard to say, but they don't seem to have much to say during this talk, so it doesn't look like a hard yes either, much of what they say is just "yes, what Jim said" and "yeah we don't have a good outlook right now". They're kind of squirming here to be relevant, but this Luis guy seems pretty involved so I doubt it's going to be a complete wipe of the board. If I had to bet, I'd imagine with all the talk of reset that things are going to shake up soon with some key restructuring, but this is pure speculation. If things ARE changing, we're going to see it soon, within the next month or two.

    This AI stuff could go either way, either they do have some cool stuff cooking and that's why they're talking it up, or it's going to be some really smoke and mirror hype type stuff to try to maintain investment as much as possible in the short term.

    Good to hear they plan to become efficient and seem to want to produce tools that actually do things, and not sit around on their laurels as the engine sits around collecting dust. They seem to have gotten the message that they have been dropping the ball, and if they don't figure out how to produce a product people actually want, their days are numbered.

    Highlight of the Financial talk for me: "This is a rip off the band aide reset" GOOD! Start making great stuff again!

    Let's take this with a grain of salt. Unity has already hemorrhaged their best workers, it's going to take a bit of time until they're in fighting shape again, unless they're able to somehow coax back old talent (which would be awesome).

    Sounds like they're wanting to reinvent themselves, they know their current trajectory isn't working, they know there is a toxic element that needs to be cleansed so their company can be purposeful and effective and ultimately profitable again. The great news here is that it appears they are forward thinking, and they want to get off on the right foot, and they want to focus on what they do best, their engine.

    Overall, feeling much better about the future of Unity after this earnings call! All this silence is all building towards a relaunch. Expect more energy, more announcements, and a sort of rebranding of what Unity is, and where they are going, and how they are getting there. Let's hope for the best. At the very least, the bleeding is being stemmed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2023
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  3. UhOhItsMoving

    UhOhItsMoving

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    Unity owns both the Unity Editor and the Unity Runtime. So, just like they can charge you to use the editor, they can charge you to use the runtime.

    You are correct that they don't own the output of the "tool." But they do own the "tool" itself. If the "tool," then, is part of your game, then you are using the "tool," and since you are using it, Unity can charge you for it.

    Logically think about what you're saying: that Unity (or anyone) cannot enforce a fee on their own software when someone else uses it in their project. In what world does that make sense?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2023
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  4. altepTest

    altepTest

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    well, I will end this "Tool" argument here because I'm obviously speaking with people that fail to understand the concept of laws.

    The "Tool" legal concept is there to prevent and protect anyone that uses software to create something getting hit with copyright claims down the road.

    Is not a favor software companies do to you as a developer or creator, is something that exist to protect yourself legally.

    IF you have licenses the "Tool" correctly, because it belongs to someone like you said it belongs to Unity, then even then they can't force a license that goes against this fundamental concept of using a "tool" and then have all the rights on that output.

    If any company, like unity did in September, decides to go rogue and ask for a part of the revenue from the money earned by a product created by the their "tool" then anyone can claim this is illegal because they don't have any rights to do so.

    Which the management at unity figured out when they got good lawyers advice.

    And dropped the plan.

    Because it was impossible. And illegal.
     
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  5. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    What they do best is tank the stock price, by far. It’s not even a contest.

    I somehow doubt they honestly think they are doing good with the engine. Although I guess this was said from people that have never opened the engine, so anything is possible.
     
  6. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Yeah, the combination of slimming down while raising revenue leads me to conclude that this company is preparing itself to be sold to a larger company. I'm hoping that it will be Microsoft since they're generally a hands off company these days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2023
  7. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    unfortunately its more likely to be something awful like applovin or some ad focused or mobile focused company, than one of the key big players we want to see a sale to...:(

    I hope its Microsoft too, but that in the longrun may also not be great given they are so focused on gamepass and gamepass doesnt really give longevity to developers financially, if anything its creating a new type of games industry that has the same problems things like spotify have

    Also MS may always pull a "you cant release on playstation and nintendo" type thing, as they are still very focused on exclusivity
     
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  8. Nest_g

    Nest_g

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    I said months ago that Microsoft would be a good owner for Unity, but now they have other option not to buy but for collaborate, Godot that is making a very good work implementing Microsoft NET in their engine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2023
  9. IllTemperedTunas

    IllTemperedTunas

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    Frankly, I just don't see how Unity is a good buy. If you want to get into game engine development, the big money is in controlling the marketplaces and getting a slice of the pie. Valve has shown it's far easier to get the money if you focus on the market over the engine.

    So you have to rethink the entire structure of why you are creating an engine. Unity is already realized, it already makes games. In order to monetize it, you need to reinvision the thing, which is possible, but often times it's easier to just start from scratch than to rebuild the entire thing.

    I don't see anyone buying Unity, because anyone with the vision and capacity to add to such an extensive engine, would simply be creating their own thing, and at that point, as monopoly gains in value, the only true value Unity would have would be in intentionally destroying it to force others onto your gatekept platform.

    Chances are Microsoft, and all the other big players already have multiple teams in motion attempting to make the next big thing.

    ...but who knows maybe they don't. Crazy world we live in these days full of degrading ambitions and competencies as the do nothings scratch each others' backs and we just accept "This is how things are now".
     
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  10. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I hope it's Autodesk or Adobe.
     
  11. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    It's currently the best for low end and performance critical devices like mobile and VR. Unity made a mistake when they created the HDRP. URP should have been the only pipeline out of the box with all of their resources focused on it.
     
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  12. IllTemperedTunas

    IllTemperedTunas

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    You're being too practical. This is an insane world where ventures that force or brainwash consumers to purchase inferior products are pursued over ventures that take the hard road of trying to produce something actually worth a darn.
     
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  13. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I think this is true, but it's constantly sabotaged by Unity being too late with platform requirements (most appear mere days before deadlines, sometimes even after the deadlines) and with random bugs that crop up in the newer versions.

    I released mobile games with multithreaded rendering for years, now in Unity 2021 and newer, it consistently makes iOS crash (on my projects). My custom post processing has been fine for years (since the 4.x days), now it no longer works on Mac / iOS in Unity 2022 or newer. I wanted to build with Android 34 SDK, just to be ahead of the curve (since 33 is a requirement already) and have more time before I need to upgrade and update again, but Unity doesn't support 34 yet (even though 34 has been in beta for quite a while and it has been more than a month since it was released).

    And every time we upgrade to a newer Unity version to comply with platform requirements, usually near or past the deadline, we go through a panicked phase of "what other Unity feature do we need to turn off for our games to be stable / not perform terribly", which isn't fun.

    So yeah, Unity is probably the best for low end mobile and VR, but it also sucks ass.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2023
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  14. Peter77

    Peter77

    QA Jesus

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    I guess that wouldn't even be a bad thing from a customer's point of view. Imagine if all the MS studios used Unity as their technology. This would probably lead to the implementation of many necessary features and fixes.
     
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  15. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Why would MS do that to their studios though?
     
  16. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    Godot is open source, nobody is buying it. It being open source is often more of a problem for a company like MS than owning something outright. I still believe they would prefer to purchase something and have control, than be at the whims of the open source community

    Also godot would require years of work to get to the level of being useful for most MS projects outside of very minor indie studios, and I say that as someone who is in love with Godot
     
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  17. Unifikation

    Unifikation

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    And the greater worry is that if Unity has a choice between updating and fixing 2022.LTS or only adding it to 2023.LTS they'll choose the later due to commercial interests and lockin to new terms.
     
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  18. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Unity should just return to the perpetual license approach now that they have revenue share.
     
  19. my_little_kafka

    my_little_kafka

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    I've been doing that for years, funny enough. I remember when Unity focused on Mobile/AR/XR/VR development and it was my main gripe with the engine. I look at those times and realise how good I had it back then. Now my current fear is Unity leaders potentially killing the engine for good in coming years.
     
  20. oninoshiko

    oninoshiko

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    It's not a grey area. It's well established as being perfectly fine. There's a lot of widely available software that does exactly this. It was done with PSD, PDF (before they published a spec to get everyone using it), MS Office's binary format. The closest thing you're going to find is the GIF situation, but that wasn't because of owning the format. It was an issue of a patent on the compression algorithm, but that doesn't seem to be at issue here.

    That's why I said a clean-room implementation. You own your files, you can give them to whoever you want under whatever terms you want. Who you give it to does not become bound by the Unity license by virtue of you providing the your files. If they then implement something that reads those files, that's free and clear. Unity's reverse engineering bar prevents the situation in Sony v. Connectix (where Connectix used Sony's BIOS for intermediate steps in developing their own, but it was decided that it was protected fair-use), but it can't apply to a full cleanroom implementation.

    Is it worth the effort to do this? Probably not, but reverse engineering is protected under US law, which is why 17 USC 1201 (f) exists to explicitly state that even bypassing copyright controls to enable interoperability is permissible.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2023
  21. oninoshiko

    oninoshiko

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    I think AppLovin as a suitor would raise anti-trust questions. It might be winnable, but would they want to spend the money to do it?

    I think you need someone Unity doesn't compete with.
     
  22. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Would it? Why weren't there antitrust issues raised with the IronSource merger then?
     
  23. Jingle-Fett

    Jingle-Fett

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    Maybe this is wishful thinking but does this mean you guys are exploring the possibility of moving away from the yearly release naming convention in favor of how Unity used to do it and how Unreal currently does it? Meaning instead of 2024.x you might switch it to Unity 7.x or something?

    Because if that's the case, I fully support that.

    It's weird and confusing having (for example) the 2023 LTS come out in 2024 and stuff like that. Whereas a hypothetical Unity 7.1, 7.2, etc. can be released whenever its ready and there's no confusion. And it makes more sense from a marketing perspective since when you move up to the next big release (Unity 8, Unity 9, etc.) it can be treated as a big event similar to how it was when Unreal 5 came out. Yearly release cycle and naming convention kind of kills the excitement...
     
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  24. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    An anti-trust lawsuit is for preventing monopolies but there is a ton of competition in the mobile ad market. I don't know how large most of these are since they're private companies but AppLovin and IronSource combined is only around $3B whereas I've seen reports that suggest Google AdMob is around $22B and Apple is $3B.

    upload_2023-11-10_18-17-11.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2023
  25. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    I somewhat agree regarding excitement etc. However that an LTS comes a year later than when its features are introduced DOES make sense.
     
  26. hopeful

    hopeful

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    Yeah. I think this is a key, but they appear to be overwhelmed by the idea of proving their product works, or something like that. I don't quite get it, to be honest.
     
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  27. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    Uhm, what about all the work that Unity put in to turn a language framework into a game engine?
    Or how is that different from someone developing a game with the free version of Unity. Are those game devs not allowed to sell their game either in your opinion?

    The >40k Unity games on Steam are anough proof of their product working.
     
  28. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    How is Unity wanting to profit from Game devs, different from game devs wanting to profit from gamers?
     
  29. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    And you’re just trolling, so there’s that.
    He probably had a flight to catch again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2023
  30. IllTemperedTunas

    IllTemperedTunas

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    Their workforce hit a critical mass of excuse makers and burn out from poor management. There comes a point in a decaying company where wanting to work hard and make cool sh*t puts a target on your back as the grifters lay siege.
     
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  31. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    It's not but then the problem was never with Unity wanting to profit from game developers. We were even willing to live with a revenue share model and in fact we had been recommending this for years. Instead they tried to go with a pay-to-win model that was going to milk many indie developers dry as if we're whales (aka high rollers).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_roller

    Furthermore they tried to retroactively change the license agreement with a statement that was nearly identical to a well-known meme.

    https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/i-am-altering-the-deal

    For everyone that is arguing that Unity did nothing wrong: they removed their CEO. You don't do that as a business unless there is something wrong as it costs many millions of dollars to do so (golden parachute).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_parachute

    Here's a quick result for reasons to remove a CEO. Every single one of them is a negative thing because it's in fact considered a "last resort" tactic.

    https://www.geekwire.com/2010/seven-reasons-to-remove-a-ceo/
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2023
  32. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I mean, at this point it should be clear that anyone who is stating, honestly or not, that the whole issue is just people not wanting to pay Unity for its tools—is acting in bad faith.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2023
  33. Shane_Michael

    Shane_Michael

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    Godot's monthly funding more than doubled these past couple months so I am clearly not the only one who moved my Unity Plus subscription over to Godot. Godot has its issues but could be promising with another engine revision or two.

    Dissecting the finer points of the ToS won't solve this. That people feel the need to is the entire problem.
     
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  34. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Maybe you should call them "beta" instead of "tech" then.
     
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  35. retired_unity_saga

    retired_unity_saga

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    What....

    I...

    I just realized Epic Games has made amazing products utilizing their own engine... since Unreal Tournament.

    Surely, Unity Technologies has one commercial game product behind their game engine that they have personally had a hand in?
     
  36. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Of course:
     
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  37. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    But then they wouldn't be able to apply double meaning to them as they do with most things these days:

    "Oh, is it super buggy? Well it's practically a beta, you shouldn't be using it!" and also "Oh, LTS has a showstopper? You should use the latest TECH release, they are the same as LTS, they are just not supported as long".

    It's the same as branding features legacy or whatever and then simultaneously refusing to improve them, but also point to them when people find their successors lacking.
     
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  38. retired_unity_saga

    retired_unity_saga

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    Well, the sad part is this game looks half decent, I understand this concept although it could be expanded on a bit more. Is there a place to find a Unity "Games" studio game catalogue? I'm having difficulties understanding what is going on here? The company has had multiple billions of dollars to reinvest into their own game engine.
     
  39. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I don't think they made another. They started the engine to make this but it was a financial failure (I think) so they ended up focusing on the engine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GooBall
     
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  40. Unity has hand in a buttload of different games, they have a whole business arm delegating people to projects helping solving problems. They aren't "The Developers", they are contractors.
     
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  41. retired_unity_saga

    retired_unity_saga

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    Now I am able to understand, the engine is a stepping stone to for-profit.

    It makes sense, I guess I jumped on the wrong band wagon.

    Thank you.
     
  42. retired_unity_saga

    retired_unity_saga

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    yes, I see that now, this makes sense as to why the need to direct users or push users to utilize Pro subscription is so important for revenue considerations.
     
  43. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    I've said it before but I'll say it here too: Unity making their own games would do more harm than good with how things function internally at the company right now. Everyone treats dogfooding as some sort of panacea for Unity's problems, but the problems aren't that they don't have access to this information, it's that they aren't acting upon this information. Unity Technologies' basically has the sum feedback of loads of developers across a multitude of games, but they don't give a S*** about this at a management level.

    We saw this to be the case when they shut down the feedback section of the site and told everyone to use the forums instead, despite the fact that there were things there with tens of thousands of votes that weren't at all implemented (an actual modern terrain system comes to mind). On top of that, we see this is how there's been loads of feedback given on shoring up editor UX, but that's never acted upon either. The fact that I have to use a deprecated hierarchy asset because it offers basic features that Unity simply doesn't despite people asking for those features for that is another example.

    All that making a game would do is cost Unity tens of millions of dollars while not actually generating any real improvements to the engine because they'd only be incentivized to do that if they found that the things that were plaguing the engine were costing them too much money to just engineer around in a game-specific context. We likely wouldn't see any of these things backported to the engine either because those are resources that they simply don't want to expend. On top of that, even if these improvements did somehow happen, they wouldn't make their way back to the engine for years.

    Unity has a management problem, that's what needs to be fixed.
     
  44. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I mean, combining the two we get this:

    Take the C Suite and the board and the managers and have them personally make a successful (like it should at least make enough to justify their salaries) premium multi-platform PC / console game with Unity within 2 years. If they can't make it they are fired. For bonus revenue, hire a crew to either make a documentary out of the process or even make a reality show?
     
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  45. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    And how do you plan on convincing the C Suite to do this at all, exactly? Because to them, what's happened to Unity's stock has nothing to do with the product.
     
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  46. retired_unity_saga

    retired_unity_saga

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    I will buy said game, and purchase it day one and also subscribe to watch this as a reality TV show series.
     
  47. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Unity might want to spin the tale that way but I think this article's title and contents show what's really happening which is that they don't need to lay people off but they're still going to do it.

    https://www.gamesindustry.biz/unity-announces-layoffs-despite-increased-revenue-and-reduced-losses
     
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  48. Amon

    Amon

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    Has anybody ever stopped to think that the reason Unity don't make commercial games is because unity isn't fully capable of making commercial AAA/AA games due to the fact that the features needed to make those games are either bugged, slow, or just don't work for purpose?

    Unity's rival is a battle tested AAA Gaming Engine used by corps and big game companies, NAMCO etc. Tekken 8 looks awesome.

    My point is, the latest gaming tech has been available to Unity and it's rival for a long time but you don't see big name studios picking Unity. Why?

    Well, I've read of studios dumping Unity after a few months due to features in Unity not working or not working as they should, some are slow, cumbersome and make your job worse.

    Here is another point. Most of us here know what these features are, the ones that need looking at. How long do we have to wait? Some features and tools have been bust for more than 5 years.
     
  49. I hate to do this, but: the existing commercial titles are living contradiction to this statement. Many great games made with Unity. This is not it, but obviously the fact that there are commercial games made with the engine doesn't mean there aren't any problems.
    Unity doesn't make games because they aren't game studio. They don't have the coherent team for it, it's expensive and risky. Unity shouldn't make games, they should implement the fricking feedbacks and spend money on the engine instead on mobile advertisement BS. But, oh well...
     
  50. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    10,408
    One of the biggest AAA games of its year was literally made with Unity.


    Hell, here's some other notable titles:
    Cities Skylines
    Metal: Hellsinger
    Subnautica
    Escape from Tarkov
    GTFO

    And the idea that big studios aren't picking up Unity is... also not true? They are, and in fact they use it a lot for things that need to scale to a wide range of hardware.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2023