news\ Jun 1, 2016 at 9:00 am

Unity engine now available in tiered subscriptions with added networking features

Tiered but unified

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Unity Technologies, best known for its titular game engine, recently unveiled multiple additions to its software ecosystem.

The Unity engine itself is now divided into tiered packages. Unity Personal, the entry-level package, will be free to all developers whose projects bring in less than $100 thousand annually (in revenue, not profit).

Unity Plus shares this revenue cap, but sweetens the deal with improved analytics, priority cloud queueing, quarterly asset project packs, and expanded multiplayer capabilities. As it should, as Plus is also a paid package. Unity Plus is available for $35 per month with an annual commitment, or $49 per month on a monthly basis.

Finally, Unity Pro removes the revenue cap and further improves the engine’s specs. However, Pro requires an annual commitment. So, although creators can pay its rate of $125 per month, they will have to sign for a one-year contract. Unity Enterprise, a customizable package, is also available at a rate contingent on each subscriber’s selected feature set.Unity engine now available in tiered subscriptions with added networking features

“We wanted to simplify,” Unity CMO Clive Downie said in a release. “We wanted to give more value. With our three new products we’re confident we have increased the ability for developers to reach the largest audience, increased access to the latest tech, and made Unity more affordable.”

All Unity packages include the engine’s full feature set and support for all platforms, including iOS and Android, the tools for which were previously available as $75 add-ons, offering a particularly potent discount to Personal subscribers.

Notably, Personal or Plus subscribers whose Unity-made projects do reach $100 thousand in annual revenue will be required to upgrade to Pro or Enterprise. With that said, Unity will not collect any royalties or fees from creators, regardless of how much their projects earn.

Plus and Pro subscriptions are priced by the seat, meaning larger development teams will have to pay more to get everyone access. There is good news, though: each software key is good for two activations.

Aside from annual and monthly subscriptions, pay-to-own plans will also be available, the company confirmed on Twitter. Additionally, existing Unity subscribers will retain their current rate until June 2018 and receive “personalized transition offers” later this month.Unity engine now available in tiered subscriptions with added networking features

Following Unity’s Unite Europe 2016 presentation, many independent developers expressed their displeasure regarding the “splash screen” options (i.e. logos and blurbs shown during a game’s boot sequence) included with the Plus package. Whereas Pro and Enterprise allow creators to make their own, Plus, a paid package, shares the default splash screen of the free Personal package. In several follow-up tweets, Unity said they are looking into adding a “semi-customizable” splash screen to Plus.  

In addition to these packages, Unity Technologies announced three additions to the engine. Firstly, Unity Collaborate, a cloud-hosted means of sharing projects. All Unity subscribers can register for Collaborate via the Unity site.

Secondly, Unity Connect, something of an in-house job network allowing Unity developers to “discover jobs and projects” directly through the Unity marketplace. Connect is currently in closed beta; prospective Connectors can now apply for the next beta period.

Thirdly, “LookDev,” a tool allowing graphic artists to check their handiwork by quickly loading and viewing assets and objects under various conditions (e.g. weather, lighting, etc.). LookDev will arrive in the beta build of Unity 5.5.  

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Austin Wood Austin Wood started working as a writer when he was just 18, and realized he was doing a terrible job at just 20. Several years later, he's confident he's doing a significantly less terrible job. You can connect with him on Twitter @austinwoodmedia.
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