Unity Engine Enshittification: developers will be charged on a per-install basis

Yes, this is very good.

The self reporting takes away most of tu time fee associated issues, and the 2,5% cap solves the edge cases (I would be surprised if it’s used more than 1% of the time, for users over $1M revenue per game per year -the cap-).

Keeping terms tied to versions also provides needed stability.

But the trust it’s going to take a long time to recover, if it ever does.

This is the big problem now. Those changes were a good thing, but trust is easily lost but not easily rebuilt.

My prediction? Unity will go fine for a while, in great part due to inertia, but if any viable alternative presents itself, it will very quickly be left behind.

I wouldn’t hold your breath.

One lesson from all this is how extremely unprofitable professional game engines are (both Unity and Unreal) even with pretty high fees, so in many, many cases a viable alternative to either is going to have a very steep buy-in. I maaaaybe could see entities Apple or Nintendo going there in an alternative, happier timeline (basically entities so big that profit is secondary to vertical integration).

If suddenly the number of platforms to deploy sinks dramatically, things will be different and the barriers of entry lower significantly, but that’s a different problem.

My guess is studios already in deep development with Unity will stick with it for that game, and look elsewhere for the next one.

Exactly. I think devs may complain about trust for years to come, but if they are facing 2.5% max at Unity (for a major success by indie standards), 5% at Unreal, they will grumble but stick with Unity.

Those that find Godot sufficient for their needs should have switched to it before trust was an issue, as it’s terms are a no brainier if the technology is sufficient.

Unity will also have to really push features in it’s next LTS to draw people to that and the new terms. That’s a good thing for most devs that fall below the minimum revenue threshold - Unity will be in a beauty contest to attract highly profitable devs, and all others enjoy the benefits for free.

Yep. There’s a reason only Unity was left in the mid-range. The margins are basically nonexistent. And the barrier to entry is so high now… the moat is huge. That’s why Unity are raising prices.

What’s amusing about this is that this announcement made me think of the initial Xbox One launch, which was the last time I saw a company lose this much goodwill this quickly. And then I realized Marc Whitten was still with Xbox when that happened. :)

(That said, Marc is a smart guy, and is responsible for much of the innovation that happened in the second half of the 360’s prime. Worked with him on a couple of projects and he’s a passionate gamer.)

Maybe this whole thing was a New Coke conspiracy. “Let’s announce some outrageous and egregious changes to the TOS! Then we can release an updated TOS that we can make more money on and we’ll look like good guys!” **

** I do not believe this is the case. But someone will.

This felt just like Hasbro/Wizards trying to roll back the OGL for D&D, getting massive push back, then publicly stepping back and capitulating.

Mine would be that absolutely nothing of real significance will change. People will grumble for a year and then it gets forgotten until next time they try something underhanded.

Thought folks might be interested to see this chart of engine use on Steam:
image

A little surprised by how much Unreal lags, but they also have the most positive recent trajectory.

Hopefully Unity can resist the urge to shit the bed any more, because I’d hate to see most of the industry tied to Unreal for the mid+ range of games.

Since its founding in 2010, the Boston Unity Group (BUG) has attracted thousands of members to regular gatherings, talks, and networking events, including many technical lectures archived on YouTube. But the group says it will be hosting its last meeting Wednesday evening via Zoom because the Unity of today is very different from the Dave Helgason-led company that BUG says “enthusiastically sanctioned and supported” the group at its founding.

I always heard is more complex than Unity, requiring also knowledge of c++, while devs in Unity work with the more mainstream c#. That’s why Unreal is usually used by AA-AAA games, and only a few indie games.

If the graph measured total revenue from game sales, or even just total sales, I assume it would look very different.

I’m sure that’s true because it would be measuring totally different things, but what are you saying? That Unity games don’t sell as well as Unreal ones??

That Unreal Engine may lag behind Unity in terms of total games on available on Steam, but that seems like a less relevant metric for most purposes. It’s my understanding (and I may be wrong) the number for Unity includes a large proportions of games that are essentially hobby projects, with little impact on the commercial viability of the engine, other than maybe as training grounds for future professional developers.

Yeah, but the list of Unity projects also includes Hearthstone, Subnautica, Hollow Knight, Among Us, Kerbal Space Program, Cuphead, Cities: Skylines, Genshin Impact, etc. etc.

I didn’t mean to call you out on your statement–there’s just a tenacious misconception in gamer circles that Unity games are lower quality games by definition, or can only be so big in scope or sales and that’s totally not true.

A higher proportion of Unreal games will be “serious” projects. High end 3d graphics games (so many AAA games) may use Unreal but almost certainly won’t use Unity.

Still lots of great unity games of course - personally I don’t even play much AAA stuff.

Yeah, I just wouldn’t use “serious” as the label there. One of Unreal’s strengths over Unity is in high performance 3D graphical fidelity. Games that rely on that will probably use Unreal.