Unity's Mobile Development Tools Now Free for Indies

Unity's Mobile Development Tools Now Free for Indies

Unity Mobile Tools

The barriers that prevent newcomers from creating professional mobile games have been lowered even further.

These days, developers have a broad range of opportunities for creating and publishing games. Whether designing for PC, consoles, or even browsers, there are more engines and publishing avenues available than ever before, which is encouraging for newcomers and veterans alike. Of course, such opportunities are helped greatly by accessible design tools that allow anyone to craft their own games. To this end, Unity Technologies has announced that its base-level mobile tools, previously available for $800, will be completely free for all indie creators and small design studios.

"We were able to make Unity free for the web and for desktop computers a while ago, but have been dreaming of doing the same for mobile for what seems like forever," said David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies. "Mobile games development is possibly the most dynamic and exciting industry in the world, and it's an honor to be able to help so many developers be so successful in fulfilling their visions and in building their businesses."

The 100% price drop applies to all Unity licenses held by developers earning less than $100,000 annually. License holders who earn above that amount, or wish to make use of Unity's advanced mobile features, will need to shell out $1,500 on a paid license to continue using the tools. Even within those limits, there are still several development options available, and all finished titles can be released for-profit. Anyone who already bought Unity's basic mobile addons within the past 30 days will be provided discounts for future purchases.

This change is a fairly minor one on Unity's part, but holds significant implications for mobile gaming. When Unity solely provided paid mobile services, its engine was still being used in 53% of mobile titles. Couple that with the engine's ease-of-use and low prices for mobile titles, and Unity's market presence should increase exponentially. At the very least, it might make mobile gaming even more appealing to new developers, especially considering the current uncertainties of traditional console markets.

Source: Unity

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Nice. I'm gonna have to play around with that at some point.

So it's actually only free for those who already bought their licenses and aren't making money.

Well this is a good time to mention that while Unity does come with a decent free version you need to prepare a couple of grand for their licenses if you intend to take your projects to the market.

Mr.K.:
So it's actually only free for those who already bought their licenses and aren't making money.

Well this is a good time to mention that while Unity does come with a decent free version you need to prepare a couple of grand for their licenses if you intend to take your projects to the market.

I assume the assets for mobile development will be added to the free version.
Since that sounds exactly like license for making commercial products with the free version of Unity.

Yes, I actually read the license at some point.

Mr.K.:
So it's actually only free for those who already bought their licenses and aren't making money.

Well this is a good time to mention that while Unity does come with a decent free version you need to prepare a couple of grand for their licenses if you intend to take your projects to the market.

Sounds largely reasonable to me. Adobe's practice of making everybody pay scads regardless of knowing if their software is what you want to go with looks crazy compared to this arrangement. Why have thousands of artists pirate your software when you can hand it to them and ask for money when they have it to give? Get your foot in the door, don't make any shady deals, and be cool for cash.

I love it how nowhere does it provide a link for a download of this package, nor does it say what you actually get (when compared to other licenses or what do you have to download. They say that is the formerly $800 package, but that package is not currently available/visible in their store,so again no actual information.

Some time ago (I think it might have been for v3.5), they also said the Android version was free (as in like there's Unity and Unity Pro, they added Android instead of just Android Pro), I'm assuming this means that now Android Pro is free, but as I read both texts a few times I realise that with Unity (non Pro), you now get Android (non Pro). In the full on pricing page there is some indication that you'll get Andorid Pro, because it doesn't say what price the upgrades cost, but still they could've made it a bit more clearer.

If it is indeed them adding a free version of Android Pro, as much as you can actually do things with this, this is basically a demo and all this calling it "free" is making it more shady...like wearing a popped up collar in the video.

And Unity comes with a Pro 30 trial when you download the free version, so you won't actually know what you'll get for a month...

weirdguy:
Sounds largely reasonable to me. Adobe's practice of making everybody pay scads regardless of knowing if their software is what you want to go with looks crazy compared to this arrangement. Why have thousands of artists pirate your software when you can hand it to them and ask for money when they have it to give? Get your foot in the door, don't make any shady deals, and be cool for cash.

Well I'm not saying this is bad business just warning people that there are major unavoidable costs down the line of Unity games, I know quite a few who didn't bother to check until the project was done.

Mr.K.:

weirdguy:
Sounds largely reasonable to me. Adobe's practice of making everybody pay scads regardless of knowing if their software is what you want to go with looks crazy compared to this arrangement. Why have thousands of artists pirate your software when you can hand it to them and ask for money when they have it to give? Get your foot in the door, don't make any shady deals, and be cool for cash.

Well I'm not saying this is bad business just warning people that there are major unavoidable costs down the line of Unity games, I know quite a few who didn't bother to check until the project was done.

Don't those costs only come if you make at least $100,000 in a year?

Rex Dark:
Don't those costs only come if you make at least $100,000 in a year?

Unless things changed since I last checked you need a Unity commercial license for every platform before you start selling things, which will set you back $500-2000 depending on the platform.

Mr.K.:

Rex Dark:
Don't those costs only come if you make at least $100,000 in a year?

Unless things changed since I last checked you need a Unity commercial license for every platform before you start selling things, which will set you back $500-2000 depending on the platform.

That is not correct. You can use Unity Free (Indy) to sell any game you make commercially. Once you hit $100K in sales in any given year, you then are required to purchase a professional license ($1,500).

The free version of Unity does have some restrictions (no real-time shadows, no batching, no occlusion, etc), but it is certainly capable of creating games. Lot's of people do it.

Now, that was for desktop deployments (PC, Mac, Linux). It used to be if you wanted to do mobile games, you had to get a license specifically for those platforms (and off the top of my head I don't know how much those licenses are). It appears that will no longer be the case. I presume there will still be functionality differences between the Pro version and the Indy version of the mobile deployment, just like the desktop platform deployment. They do, after all, want you to buy their engine at some point if you are a serious game developer.

My concern with this announcement is the signal to noise ratio for mobile games is already dismal. It's going to get much much worse with this change. But whatever. Everyone starts somewhere :)

I <3 Unity. Last year I committed myself to learning game development and the massive Unity community was a huge help. Any questions you have you can just type "Unity3d + <my noob question>" in google and you will have an answer, usually with a code example.

There are hundreds of video tutorials on youtube, some text tutorials and even some dead tree books which are good.

So far in that year I finished 3 (crappy) games. Solo scrabble, a hex-based roguelike proof of concept, and the obligatory asteroids clone - my first sprite based project.

I'm currently working on a squad-based tactics game w/ light card/deck mechanics.

There has never been a better time in history to get into game development. The tools just keep getting more usable and friendlier and the libraries cheaper and more advanced.

No matter how noob you are and how little you know there is a game dev team out there that can use your help. Just understand there is no money in it unless you have some specialized skills.

If you have a game idea in your head that you would love to see exist NOW is the time to start working on it.

Feel free to PM me any questions anyone has about Unity or how to get started.

rembrandtqeinstein:
There has never been a better time in history to get into game development. The tools just keep getting more usable and friendlier and the libraries cheaper and more advanced.

Yeah, definitely. Unity is a great choice for an Indy. That, and probably UDK as well (though I have no experience with that one, but I've heard it's pretty good as well).

Do you have shots ready of your game, Rem? I always like to see what other people are doing with the engine. What plans do you have for the engine going forward?

This is the project I'm working on (which is a dungeon crawl kind of thing). These shots were taken during the development of the second Milestone, which I'm near the end of currently. I won't tell you how many total milestones are planned :) Suffice to say, I'm still pretty early in development. I expect this one will take me a couple of years to finish (and by a couple, I probably mean three to five).

image

There's a number of shots of the level on this page

http://www.rjcyberware.com/GameProject/DCScreensM02.shtml

I'm using Unity Pro (I felt this project needed some Pro features, especially real time shadows, occlusion culling, and LOD). But even using the free version, I think anyone could get pretty much similar results.

This can only mean good things for the Ouya and android based consoles in general. Will this flood android with crappy games? Probably. But if there's one decent game for 100 bad games, then it'll be worth it. I'll probably need to look into getting a bluetooth controller for my tablet sooner than I thought

 

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