With GDC on, after Unreal’s announcement I think this will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody… Unity 5 is here and it now has a new, more indie-friendly license.
Here is the release from their blog:
Unity 5 is here. For everyone.
Today is the big day. We’re launching Unity 5 globally. Today. Yes, you can all download it now.
There are literally over a thousand improvements in Unity 5 that we’d love to talk about. My quick blog today is not the place to do that. This note is being posted just as I go on stage to officially launch Unity 5 at GDC in San Francisco. We’re live streaming the launch and you will see Joachim, Ralph Hauwert, Todd Hooper, Will Goldstone go deeper on the technical upgrades in Unity 5.0. You will also see David, of course! And, there will be a few ‘guests’ from the industry on stage to talk about Unity 5 in their own words. Visit our website at Unity3d.com for the latest details and explanations. Also — Joachim will post some thoughts later this week once he gets through the craziness of the start of GDC.
Watch the launch event live right here:
While I can’t get into all the technical detail on Unity 5 in a short post, I do want to share with you the big ideas that we think define Unity 5.
It is a graphics powerhouse capable of rendering beautiful, complex and detailed scenes.
The highly extensible and feature rich editor is now 64-bit and is even more robust than ever with additions like our huge suite of integrated audio design tools*. (* full multi-track audio mixer. very cool.)
Unity’s industry leading multiplatform support grow with WebGL and improves with better console platform support and the introduction of IL2CPP. Unity now supports 21(!) platforms.
With the launch of Unity 5, we are launching Unity Cloud Build which is providing an option to developers to boost their productivity and efficiency through the cloud. You can learn more about Unity 5 here.
The business model…. one of the big questions for everyone. We’re evolving the best licensing model in the business into something even better. We’re adding value and power so that everyone has the creative freedom they need to succeed. Before I describe our pricing model, I want to take a moment and describe the philosophy behind the new pricing. I know I am on tricky ground in describing pricing philosophically. For many, I am sure you’d rather just see the numbers. Here goes. First, know that our pricing for Unity 5 is as much about Unity and our values at Unity as it is about anything else. This is entirely different than with any company I have worked with in my life. We did not start with setting a profit goal and working backwards. We started with two goals and worked forward to our developers.
Goal #1 — One of the founding principles of Unity is the idea that we work hard to solve very hard technical problems so our developers / users won’t have to. For this to be at all relevant, our best tools need to be a great value.
Goal #2 — Deep in Unity’s culture is the principle of Democracy. The goal is to price in such a way as to reflect our principles. Democracy is the principle we were founded on, and it means we do our best to put Unity in the hands of developers, Indies or Pros, that may not have the resources to pay for it. Its about enabling most everyone to create with the best tools we can make. I won’t get too soppy in this post — but is is an honor for me to work in a company so mission driven and principled.
So, on to the pricing model. We have two.
Unity 5 Professional Edition
With Unity 5 Professional Edition, we’re adding incredible value for teams of all sizes. Unity 5 Pro will have same starting price point as with Unity 4 Pro, at $75/month subscription or $1500 perpetual. Pro customers get all the power of Unity 5 plus:
Unity Cloud Build Pro (12-month subscription)
Unity Analytics Pro (currently in beta)
Game Performance Reporting (currently in preview)
Asset Store Level 11 (a new collection of free assets available each month)
Access to previews and betas
No revenue limit, no revenue share
We think this is a huge value. Unity 5 Pro provides a huge upgrade from Unity 4, and it comes with a bunch of extra services and a team license, all for the base pricing of Unity 4. Inflation gone backwards… or, put another way, better value than ever before.
Unity 5 Personal Edition
Democracy is something we believe in. It’s in the DNA of those that work at Unity. It’s one of the things that drew me to the company. It’s also one of the things that is most important to the games industry. So with that in mind, we are launching Unity 5 Personal Edition. Unity 5 Personal Edition provides all the power of Unity 5 engine and editor. To clarify — this is important — it is the same Unity 5 engine and editor as in the Pro Edition. It comes with all the features including Profiler, Occlusion Culling, Render-to-Texture, and Post-Processing Special Effects as well as all the big Unity 5 features like Physically-based Shading, Enlighten, reflection probes and much more.
Unity 5 Personal Edition is free. No royalty. Free.
Unity 5 Personal Edition is for professional developers, Indies, hobbyists and studios with revenue under $100,000 and funding under $100,000.
You can see a full comparison of the licenses here.
Download Unity 5, play with it, experiment with it, and create something beautiful and lasting.
Today is a big day. I hope you are as excited about it as we are at Unity.
So what exactly does the new license mean? Well for small time developers it's absolutely awesome. Unity Personal edition is basically the exact same product as Pro now, except completely free. What’s the catch?
Well, maximum revenue AND funding of $100,000. Over that and you need to buy the Professional edition. So essentially, if you are profitable or well funded, you need the pro version. If not, it costs not a cent and you get the full version, free. Not free plus royalties… free. Up to 100K.
There are a couple catches though… probably the biggest deal is you will have a Unity splash screen on startup. You don’t have access to the team server, cloud builds and pro analytics tools, but for most people that should be a non-factor.
All told, it’s a pretty sweet day to be a game developer!