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.