Unity3d to begin charging developers per-player install

I’m also wondering exactly how related this might be to the announcement…

So what this seems to be is a kind of “targeted” choice, going after large free-to-play games where the profits come from the cash shops instead of purchasing the game. Think like Genshin Impact or maybe candy crush kind of stuff. Games like that can kind of skip past the traditional model of having to share profits after making X amount of money. A lot of indies DO also make free android apps and such like this, but their payment model is often SO different than a gachapon (or skinnerbox townbuilder) that there’s no real way to recoup the amount you’d have to make to keep up, assuming you hit the install threshold. The only way to avoid these fees on the free tier is apparently to work with their in-game advertisement API?

This all is basically cementing the fact for me that Unity is no longer paying attention to or even accountable to indie teams - their sole focus is now on bigger free-to-play games. It’s worrying because if this works, it could become a standard other paid engines go for. I figure GameMaker also has a lot of free-to-play apps out there too…

Coupling this with the fact they are also getting rid of the unity plus subscription tier it seems like basically every indie team is rethinking their strategies right now. I feel pretty sad seeing posts like “good thing i switched to Godot last month” and such, because I think that’s a little blind to teams or individuals who have really tied their unity workflow into how they pay the bills. I think it’s one thing for an individual messing around as a hobby to jump around, but by the time you’re actually selling commercial projects you’ve committed magnitudes more than a hobbyist, you maybe even have custom tooling around your engine of choice. And if you work in a team, reorienting them around something new is easily 6-8 months or more of lost time.

So this is pretty bad! It’s getting a lot of harsh feedback, so I’m pretty hopeful that things will be clarified and adjusted by the time it rolls out, so I’ll try to keep this updated if I can.

Never been a better time to start working in Godot : - )

It is absolutely reprehensible and unacceptable, and totally kills my enthusiasm for my project. I am years into development. I can’t release under conditions like this, but switching to another technology is likely more painful and time-consuming than I care to endure.

This is the first big project that I am anywhere close to finishing. Starting over NOW, after all the struggles I’ve had in getting this far, would be an absolute morale killer.

And even if I do just finish this game as-is, I still have to look at recreating all of that functionality, which took years to develop in the first place, if I want to make another RPG. It isn’t as easy as “new game, new engine.”

I haven’t really touched unity since maybe late 2021 (?) - and at this point all the choices they make and deals they seem to do just dont focus on anything I work with (mostly 2d pixel stuff) so it hasn’t really been enticing anyways. I don’t think I’ve seen anything enticing featurewise since the URP/HDRP pipeline switch (which I didn’t care for in the first place). Basically the only thing that could bring me back is if they enabled this again:
image

Makes me wonder if a way around this will be to just return to classic versions like 5.4.3 (Unity’s “gilded age” IMHO) and hope they don’t backport the installation-counting telemetry to those versions. Obviously it would probably keep you from doing web or exporting to modern consoles, so depending on intent it’s not a choice for everyone.

This is unfortunately the position Unity has which makes the whole thing so awful. For anyone working in teams too, that transition time costs money for very little productivity, and its super unlikely that any publisher would fund your studio during so. Unity has spent so many years becoming the de-facto for indies, it’s become ingrained - at a certain point a developer has no choice, so they can push whatever model they care for.

The only thing I can really think to do is not update unity hub or the editor, firewall them if possible. From what I understand, this change is coming as an update to the redistributable runtime in general, so it may be possible to avoid getting it?

The only thing I can really think to do is not update unity hub or the editor, firewall them if possible. From what I understand, this change is coming as an update to the redistributable runtime in general, so it may be possible to avoid getting it?

Possibly, but end users are also going to be spooked by this. Nobody wants Unity’s creepy unexplained telemetry spying on them.

https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/16hnibp/unity_silently_removed_their_github_repo_to_track/

Based on this it is sounding like they are trying hard to get these terms to apply as retroactively as possible, so it may not work out to just keep using older versions.

I still don’t know what I am going to do about this. I suppose I can’t really make a decision until the dust settles, but I haven’t ruled out just walking away from this hobby.

I’m sad to abandon Unity, first engine my dad showed me when I was young and I’ve been using it casually ever since. Seeing others pick up Godot so easily is inspiring at least.