Unity 5 Launches Globally, With No Royalties

Unity 5 Launches Globally, With No Royalties

Unity Technologies just released the Unity 5 game engine, with support for 21 platforms, royalty-free.

The first week of March is shaping up to be a great one for anyone interested in game design technology. After yesterday's announcement that Unreal Engine 4 was being released for free, Unity Technologies unveiled its own major announcement - the global release of Unity 5. Unity was already one of the most popular licensed game engines to begin with, but the latest edition expands its functionality with graphics upgrades, a new audio mixer, and 21 supported platforms. And if that's not enough, you can download the royalty-free personal edition - with all the engines features - right now for free.

Unity 5's release was announced at GDC, where CEO John Riccitiello and a host of speakers discussed its features. According to Riccitiello, the current build includes 57 pages of release notes, but there are a few key highlights that will be significant to developers. Unity 5 will be a graphics powerhouse, complete with new advanced lighting and physics support. It will also include a feature rich editor, including a detailed audio mixer. Perhaps most importantly, Unity 5 will support more platforms than ever, including WebGL browsers without requiring an additional plugin.

Unity 5 can be licensed on a personal or professional plans, both of which include the full engine. The Personal edition is intended for projects with revenue and/or funding below $100,000 dollars - ideal for students, hobby developers, or first-time indies. Stepping up to the professional level includes a team license, beta and preview access, Unity Cloud Build Pro, Unity Asset Store Level 11 deals, and more. Neither license plan includes royalty fees, a feature distinguishing it from the recently release Unreal Engine 4.

Source: Unity

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... Between Unreal and Unity, I'm going to have to get a bigger harddrive.

Bring it on.

So um, without royalties and with a free full download, how are they planning on making money? I mean this is awesome and all, don't get me wrong, but I'm just not seeing the profitability of doing it this way vs Unreal's release.

the doom cannon:
So um, without royalties and with a free full download, how are they planning on making money? I mean this is awesome and all, don't get me wrong, but I'm just not seeing the profitability of doing it this way vs Unreal's release.

Firstly, there's still a professional version of Unity with several extras.
Secondly, there's a limit to how much you're allowed to earn yearly with the personal edition.

For Unity 5 Personal Edition

May not be licensed or used by a commercial entity with annual gross revenues (based on prior fiscal year) in excess of US$100,000, or by an educational, academic, non-profit or government entity with a total annual budget for the entire entity (based on prior fiscal year) in excess of US$100,000. See the Software License Agreement.

More on that here.

the doom cannon:
So um, without royalties and with a free full download, how are they planning on making money? I mean this is awesome and all, don't get me wrong, but I'm just not seeing the profitability of doing it this way vs Unreal's release.

It's free for 99% of bedroom coders who make nothing interesting anyway. More than $100k in revenue or funding means that you have to pay for your licenses, and even indie games are rarely made on such a tiny budget.

And when the real game developers start hiring, they will find that nearly everyone who can code at all is familiar with Unity. So they will use Unity because their programmers know it and it will be easy to hire more programmers who know it.

And they are off, the wacky races begin once more.
I wondered how long the other two will keep their sub fees once the biggest rival goes free, not that long it would seem. Which is a very very good thing for any hobby creator, being stuck with sub fees for shit that makes you nothing back is just a an infinite money sink-hole.

Bad Jim:
And when the real game developers start hiring, they will find that nearly everyone who can code at all is familiar with Unity. So they will use Unity because their programmers know it and it will be easy to hire more programmers who know it.

That is some seriously incorrect logic. Studios will pick an engine that meets their needs and learn how to use it, making some edits where necessary. If Unity does not have the features they need, developers will look elsewhere. New programmers and designers will then need to learn how to use the engine that was decided on. A good company will not choose a game engine because potential future employees know how to use it.

Pre-production exists for a reason - it gives production time to plan while giving the developers time to learn the engine. Your logic MAY be applicable to very small indie studios, but no major game company has that mentality.

EndlessSporadic:

Bad Jim:
And when the real game developers start hiring, they will find that nearly everyone who can code at all is familiar with Unity. So they will use Unity because their programmers know it and it will be easy to hire more programmers who know it.

That is some seriously incorrect logic. Studios will pick an engine that meets their needs and learn how to use it, making some edits where necessary. If Unity does not have the features they need, developers will look elsewhere. New programmers and designers will then need to learn how to use the engine that was decided on. A good company will not choose a game engine because potential future employees know how to use it.

Pre-production exists for a reason - it gives production time to plan while giving the developers time to learn the engine. Your logic MAY be applicable to very small indie studios, but no major game company has that mentality.

No, it is valid logic. Sure, it isn't the only factor in choosing an engine, but it is a factor. Learning how to use an engine on company time costs that company money. If an engine is difficult to hire experienced developers for, they may have to offer more to hire the team, which again costs money. And these costs are proportional to the size of the team, so someone with a huge team must still consider it.

It may turn out that it is cheaper to hack needed features into a familiar engine than to learn one that supports them out of the box. Not necessarily so, but possible.

Cryengine has also been available for about £5 a month for some time now, not to mention Blender if you're looking for somehthing open source. Indie devs really have some choice now.

God dammit.. I DL'd Unity 4 like 2 days ago. *grumble*

Guess I shall have to get the new one now!

Grew up creating games with Unity and this is beyond my expectations...

 

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