September 13, 2023 at 9:04 pm #44703VictarParticipant
Unity Engine is a code engine that forms the core of many video games and apps, including quite a few Exe-Create Kemco RPGs. I’ve seen the Unity Engine logo prominently displayed when playing various Kemco RPGs on the Playstation.
Unity has just recently dropped an absolute bombshell of a price change announcement on their blog:
In addition to paid licensing tiers, Unity plans to start charging game and app developers who use it a fee PER INSTALL of Unity-licensed games or apps, starting January 1, 2024. That’s not per sale, that’s PER INSTALL. If a buyer installs the game they bought on multiple phones, PCs, or game consoles, the developer gets billed for each install. To the best of my knowledge, no engine maker has ever tried to bill PER INSTALL before.
There are a lot of caveats to this. Supposedly the fee-per-install doesn’t kick in until a minimum number of users and installations has been reached. Supposedly pirated games and demos that don’t include the full game don’t count. I say “supposedly” because how is Unity going to know what’s a legitimate install and what isn’t? Their software doesn’t “phone home” when installed (and can’t legally do that in many countries).
Unity’s response has been a vague reference to something like proprietary aggregate data collection or whatever, but it’s corporate speak that boils down to “Just trust me, bro.”
Developers are outraged over this. Here’s an article about it:
What does this mean for Kemco and the Kemco games that use Unity?
One unfortunate possibility is that Kemco games that use Unity could get delisted, either temporarily or permanently. If Kemco risks getting billed every time one of these games is installed (not purchased – INSTALLED!) then keeping them available may not be worth it.
Another possibility is that Unity could get so much pushback (or even legal action) over this that they completely retract their price gouging proposal, and nothing changes. I hope this is what happens, but I’m not counting on it.
Another fairly likely possibility is that Exe-Create and any other Kemco developer that uses Unity will pivot to another game engine for all future games. In the long term, this would probably be a wise choice. In the short term, it could mean that forthcoming Kemco RPGs will be delayed while they’re hastily transitioned to a different engine.
Favorite RPG of all time: Journey to Kreisia (by Exe-Create)September 22, 2023 at 2:15 pm #44712JesusalvaKeymaster
They’re getting some backslash, Terraria (which doesn’t use Unity) donated 100k USD to Godot, AppLovin (which tried to acquire Unity in past — without success) made a GPT-powered tool to convert Unity games, EU game makers are trying to get Unity investigated for economic crimes (“anti-competitive bundling”), Unity stocks dropped ~12% this week, some possible investigation against Unity board might still happen (for market manipulation — they sold shares before the announcement).
And it might actually hit Apple (iPhones, etc) the hardest — it seems that apparently it’s where Unity shines the most.
Some in the market are betting that developers will outrage but accept the new fees in the end (and consequently relay them to users — a game from another company already removed it’s free to play version and is charging 20 USD, there would be no surprise if Kemco removed F2P as “no longer viable” and introduced IAP in other platforms besides Android as well).
While others are betting that with the advance of AI, transitioning to a new engine will happen and Unity will die. And a third group is calling all its local regulators — should be self evident, but regulators are immune to governing law clauses (and to arbitration clause as well), but regulators might have a limited impact (and unlike regular litigation, regulators must conduct their own investigation before accepting the denounce, so by the time any act, market might already have moved on).
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