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

There’s no question there are some great games made with Unity, I played quite a few of them. But at least by reputation it’s more suitable than Unreal for lower end games, whether by scope or budget or developer skill, and that skews the number.

I don’t think it’s a negative that indie developers have a lower end option, many of the games you mentioned probably wouldn’t have gotten made otherwise.

It’s not that I think Unity is less suitable for “serious” projects (outside super high end 3d stuff) but rather that it is more suitable for more hobbyist projects.

Wouldn’t have gotten made, and wouldn’t have made hundreds of millions, almost certainly billions, of dollars. Again: Hearthstone, Genshin Impact, Cities Skylines, Subnautica…

I’m sure I’m being oversensitive about this, but Unity games are just games. They’re not hobbyist games or indie games. Unreal, among other things, is a good choice for making graphics intensive 3D indie games. Unity, among other things, is a good choice for making professional quality games that play on the widest possible number of platforms, particularly mobile.

You guys are right that the numbers reflect that one of Unity’s strengths is accessibility. I just don’t think “revenue” is one of its weaknesses, or that Unreal’s strengths correlate with revenue, which is how I interpreted Art’s original point.

I don’t think we disagree overall. What I was originally trying to say regarding that graph, was that it was showing a specific dimension of the engines’ relative position and dominance (if that is the right word), but in other dimensions Unreal has a much stronger position. It doesn’t necessarily even mean anything intrinsic about the capabilities of the software, as much as how it is used, by whom and for what purpose.

It would be interesting to see that chart. You’re right, it would be different. Unreal would probably punch higher than its adoption rate indicates, which I think was your point, but I’m not actually sure that it would be by that much. Unreal projects can fail; Unity projects can be top-earners.

I think the original point was really trying to say that Unreal has a higher number of AAA games using it. Some bigger games have used Unity, but as AAA games have migrated from using their own engines they’ve very heavily gravitated to Unreal. Does that guarantee they’ll make more? No, of course not. But they are games with more money behind them and therefore odds are kind of stacked in their favor.

…aaaand he’s out.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20231009494331/en/Unity-Announces-Leadership-Transition

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That’s the “find out” phase.

Nah, he’ll get a lovely parachute and move on elsewhere.

Quarter is ending, they need to tell investors they made a decisive change.

On the bright side, I can envision a universe where Unity didn’t announce a damn thing and then Epic came in with their Fortnite revenues dropping and tried it instead. That would be a darker timeline.

For sure Riccitiello will walk away with hundreds of millions of dollars. He’ll be fine.

But I’m sure he’d rather still be Unity’s CEO.

As bad as the whole drama was, I’m shocked that there were actually consequences for him. It’s unfortunately rare that CEOs are held accountable for debacles, so I guess this is promising.

Wow, Whitehurst is going to be CEO. I didn’t keep track of where he went after we merged with IBM, and he didn’t get the CEO spot after Rometty stepped down. Ah, looks like it is some interim thing while they do a search.

Consequences for C-level people being millions of dollars to take an extended vacation and another executive gig at a different corporation once any non-competes expire. Sign me up for those consequences any day. :)

(I get what you’re saying, don’t mind me just taking the opportunity to bitch about executive compensation)

Not all C-levels! (But all C-level people at big publicly traded companies)

Yes, thanks, I should have been more precise!

Was always a given that more lay-offs will happen, so…

Unity has announced a round of layoffs and the closure of Weta Digital, after it decided to end its agreement with Peter Jackson’s Weta FX. The layoffs will impact 265 employees, a total of 3.8% of its workforce, Reuters reports.

Back in December 2021, Unity acquired a part of Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital, including “Weta Digital’s tools, pipeline, technology, and engineering talent” in a deal worth $1.625 billion. The remainder of Weta Digital remained under Jackson’s ownership and rebranded to Weta FX, with the company maintaining an agreement to use Weta Digital’s tools and services.

Now, Unity says it has terminated the professional services part of this agreement, which will result in the layoffs of 265 employees involved in the agreement. Weta FX issued a statement to FX Guide, saying it would be looking to re-hire as many of the Weta Digital team as possible. Unity will retain ownership of the tools it acquired, and they will remain readily available for Weta FX to use.

“Unity believes the Weta Digital team are remarkable, but Unity needs to become leaner as it focuses its expertise on its core business,” the statement says, explaining why this decision was made. “It also believes it makes more sense for Weta FX to own full end-to-end production activities directly. Unity will be focusing its expertise and people on other matters, and Weta FX will be getting support for its use of the Weta Tools directly from its own crew – a shorter path which makes sense for both companies.”

The move has been called a “company reset” by Unity, with the company looking to refocus on its core business of game development. Unity will also look to reduce its office footprint as a cost-cutting measure, shutting down offices in 14 locations including Berlin and Singapore. The company will encourage employees to work from home more often, removing mandatory in-office days for employees, and reducing “full in-office services” to just three days a week.

One up-side I guess.