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  • Taisiia Dobrozorova

Unity New Pricing Model: Should We Switch to Unreal and Godot Engines?

In the fast-paced world of game development, staying on top of the latest trends and tools is crucial. Recently, Unity, one of the most popular game engines, introduced a new pricing model that has sent shockwaves through the community. This has left many developers wondering: Is it time to consider alternatives like Unreal Engine and Godot Engine? Let's dive into the details and help you make an informed decision.

Unity Pricing Model
New Unity Pricing Model. Source: https://techraptor.net/

Understanding Unity's New Pricing Model


Unity, a renowned game engine that has powered countless successful games, recently introduced a significant change to its pricing policy. This change centers around "Unity Runtime Fee." To help you make an informed decision about whether this new policy impacts your game development endeavors, let's delve deeper into what this policy entails.


The Unity Runtime Fee: What You Need to Know


The Unity Runtime Fee is at the core of this new pricing policy. It's a fee that Unity Pro creators will have to pay based on the number of game installs they accumulate. This fee applies to games that exceed specific revenue and install thresholds. In essence, you'll be charged a fee for every download of your game, which represents a significant departure from Unity's previous pricing structure.


Unity Pricing Policy
Unity Runtime Fee Schedule
Unity Runtime Fee Schedule. Source: https://unity.com/pricing-updates

Thresholds and Eligibility


To determine whether the Unity Runtime Fee applies to your game, two primary criteria must be met:

  1. Revenue Threshold: Your game must have generated $1,000,000 USD or more in revenue over the last 12 months.

  2. Install Threshold: Your game should have achieved at least 1,000,000 per-game lifetime installs.

If your game meets both these criteria, you will be subject to the Unity Runtime Fee. For specific details regarding the fee per install and other related information, you should consult Unity's official resources or documentation.


Weighing the Impact


Now that we've outlined the basics of Unity's new pricing policy let's consider its potential impact on your game development journey.


Additional Features vs. New Costs


Unity has sweetened the deal by introducing some enticing new features alongside this pricing change. These features include:

  • Unity Asset Manager: Offering 50GB of storage per seat, asset approvals, a non-CAD web viewer, asset versioning, view-only roles, and integrations with Unity Version Control.

  • Unity DevOps: Providing 1 seat of DevOps per Unity Pro seat, along with 5GB of storage and 200 Windows build minutes per month. More storage and build minutes can be obtained for an additional fee.

  • Team Administration Tools: Streamlining access to assets, subscriptions, and cloud development tools with role-based access controls, financial roles, administrator roles, and bulk user and license management capabilities.

  • Unity Sentis: Enabling developers to embed AI models within the Unity Runtime, reducing cloud-compute costs and network latency.

While these additional features can undoubtedly enhance your development process, it's essential to weigh their benefits against the potential new costs incurred due to the Unity Runtime Fee.


Factors to Consider

Unity Runtime Fee
Unity. Source: https://gameworldobserver.com/

Before making any hasty decisions, consider the following factors:


1. Project Scope and Revenue


Evaluate the scope of your project and its revenue potential. If your game is expected to generate substantial revenue and accumulate a vast number of installs, the Unity Runtime Fee could become a significant expense.


2. New Features


Assess whether the new features introduced alongside the pricing policy change align with your development needs. If these features can enhance your productivity and game quality, they may offset the additional costs.


3. Team Expertise


Consider your team's expertise with Unity. If your developers are highly skilled in Unity and have an extensive history with the engine, transitioning to an entirely new engine may require additional training and adjustment.


4. Long-Term Goals


Think about your long-term goals as a game developer. Are you looking to create a series of successful games, or is your current project a one-time endeavor? Your long-term plans may influence your engine choice.


5. Industry Trends


Keep an eye on industry trends and the decisions made by other game developers. Sometimes, industry shifts can provide valuable insights into which engines are gaining traction.


By carefully weighing these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether Unity's new pricing policy aligns with your game development goals or if it's time to explore alternative engines like Unreal Engine and Godot Engine.

In the next sections, we'll delve into these alternative engines, exploring their strengths and considerations to help you make a well-rounded decision. Remember that the game development landscape is dynamic, and adaptability is key to your success.


Evaluating Alternatives


Before deciding whether to stick with Unity or explore other engines, it's essential to evaluate your options. Unreal Engine and Godot Engine are two popular alternatives worth considering.


Unreal Engine: A Viable Contender

Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine, developed by Epic Games, is known for its stunning graphics and versatility. It's worth noting that Unreal Engine uses a different pricing model. While Unity's new policy charges per download, Unreal Engine typically takes a percentage of your game's revenue after it reaches a certain threshold.


Strengths of Unreal Engine

  • Graphics Capabilities: Unreal Engine shines when it comes to creating visually stunning games. Its high-quality rendering and robust tools are a favorite among developers aiming for top-notch graphics.

  • Community Support: With a large and active community, Unreal Engine offers ample resources, tutorials, and a marketplace for assets and plugins.

Considerations

  • Learning Curve: Unreal Engine's advanced features can be challenging for newcomers. If you're new to game development, you might face a steeper learning curve compared to Unity.

  • Costs: While the pricing model can be favorable for small projects, the revenue-sharing aspect may become significant as your game succeeds.

Godot Engine: The Open-Source Champion

Godot
Godot Engine

Godot Engine, on the other hand, stands out for its open-source nature and user-friendly interface. It's a solid choice for both beginners and experienced developers.


Strengths of Godot Engine

  • Open-Source: Godot Engine is entirely open-source, meaning you have access to its full capabilities without worrying about licensing costs.

  • Flexibility: It's known for its flexibility, allowing developers to create 2D and 3D games, making it suitable for a wide range of projects.

Considerations

  • Smaller Community: While the Godot community is growing, it's still smaller compared to Unity and Unreal. Finding specific solutions or assets may require more effort.

  • Advanced Graphics: If you're aiming for AAA-level graphics, Unreal Engine might be a better fit.

Making an Informed Decision


Choosing the right game engine boils down to your specific needs, project scope, and long-term goals. Here's how you can approach the decision-making process:


1. Project Scope


Consider the scale and requirements of your project. Are you developing a simple mobile game or an ambitious AAA title? Unreal Engine might be the go-to choice for high-end graphics, while Godot Engine's flexibility is suitable for a wide array of projects.


2. Team Expertise


Assess your team's familiarity with different engines. If your team has extensive experience with Unity, switching to a new engine may require additional training and adjustment.


3. Target Platforms


Think about the platforms you plan to release your game on. Different engines excel on specific platforms, so choose one that aligns with your target audience.


4. Budget Considerations


Compare the costs associated with each engine, including licensing fees, revenue sharing, and any additional expenses. Unity's new pricing policy introduces a runtime fee, which could significantly impact your budget.


5. Community and Support


Explore the community and support available for each engine. A strong community can be an invaluable resource when facing challenges during development.


The Future of Game Engines


As the game development landscape continues to evolve, it's essential to stay adaptable. Unity's new pricing model has undoubtedly stirred the pot, but it doesn't necessarily mean you should jump ship immediately. Consider your unique circumstances, and remember that game development success often depends on the skills of your team and the quality of your game.


HitBerry Games to Help

Remember, whatever choice you make, HitBerry Games can help you create your future game, since our team works with different game engines! We provide a wide range of game development services leading to successful games as you can see in our portfolio.


Contact us right now and discuss the details of the future game!



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