So this has happened. Unity is going to be charging developers for amounts of installs and revenue generated, no matter the game’s release date or actual age (e.g. including early access phase if present).
Seeing rather heated discussions around the matter online, I’d like to ask for EHG’s opinion about this ordeal. I know and understand that the sheer amount of man-hours invested into developing LE on Unity so far makes moving to a different engine a non-option by default, especially now that they’ve just gotten rid of a whole different codebase repository internally, but hearing their stance on the matter would still be very welcome.
Not sure what this has to do with us as players beyond a worst case scenario of an extra 0.20 UScents for the box price. (its even less, down to 1 cent, the more successful the game is based on tiering).
Surely they dont intend that intepretation of the change in licensing? That seems far too stupid to be possible. Especially as its a game engine - i.e. its normal for people to reinstall games on and off over the years… what about reinstalls when something messes up… are they expecting to track users installations (independantly of things like Steam) and charge EHG for each?
I cannot possibly see how thats what they intend. Thats downright idiotic.
I mean that’s how I interpret their pricing. It says 20 cents per new install, not new customer. They are tracking both yearly revenue and installs so it’s possible because of the low price of LE that it won’t necessarily affect EHG longterm, maybe not even short term. 200k installs for first threshold might be a lot for LE. $200k revenue is a pretty low bar though.
Honestly, I took it to mean the same as I have always handled licensing software in the past… an “install” to me is the same as a single license to use it on a single machine.
Not the actual physical installation process i.e. uninstallng or uninstalling the software would have no bearing in my interpretation.
I would be absolutely asstounded if they indend everyone to pay them 20cents every time they physically install a game. It just doesnt gel with typical use - you buy software licence to install it on a single system. You dont pay to reinstall it later.
Even software pay as you use/go like Adobe dont care how many times you actually install or uninstall it… its based on active use which they manage through thier app.
How the hell would Unity even manage this either - if you remove the Steam environment and have an app that uses unity - is it meant to phone home every installation and then re-bill the orignal product developer 20c every install…
Hackers would have a field day making auto unity app reinstalls to overwhelm a particualr developer or mess everything up on unity side.
I am personally not that invested in this but it really doesnt make sense.
They did in fact initially intend this as every install, they’ve since backtracked it to every install ona new device. This would still mean instlaling on a steam deck, on a second computer, on your laptop as well as desktop etc… would all constitute new installs.
It would also be likely that upgrading certain hardware would then make your pc a new machine in terms of this, like it does for thigns like denuvo etc…
Yes, this is the same bullshitness Apple used to have in place with their iTunes client – you got 5 installs before you could no longer install the client with your AppleId. I guess Apple users never upgrade their machines, nor own multiples. Everyone I knew went through their 5 alloted installs in 6 months.
Just to confirm, yes, this is exactly what they initially announced and intended. It was directly confirmed by a Unity rep on twitter. It triggered some heavy panic for me. I was writing a report to give to some people internally when I saw that Unity amended it slightly. It’s no longer per install but per initial install. They also aren’t charging for game pass installs, demo installs or charity bundle installs. How these will be determined is WAY beyond me as getting a game through a humble charity event and just buying the game through humble bundle will be the same installer package.
As of this morning, as far as I know, the current version (effective 2024) will cost us $0.20 (or less) per unique device install. I do not know how this will affect us in the long term but we are not taking any immediate action on the matter. I’m sure glad 1.0 is launching before this goes into effect though.
I don’t believe that they are attempting to put their developer partners at risk and if it is revealed that this is having that effect, I expect to see future changes to the policy. I have no inside information on the matter, I’m just trusting I guess?
Edit: There is a bit of a frenzy around this and I think it would be good to wait for the dust to settle a bit. I’m learning more stuff about it still. We are not concerned about the future of Last Epoch. Development is continuing as normal.
Wonder how FTP smaller, indie games are going to suffer because of this. They might rely on some MTX/DLC purchases down the line, from any retained players, but anyone who banks on a ‘free try, then hope you stick around’ model sure is in for a rude awakening.
Assuming it’s passed both thresholds, yes. I’m also curious as to how a game sold in both the established markets (“the west”) and emerging markets would be calculated. Would only sales in India (or wherever they count as “emerging markets”) be counted for the much lower fees, or would sales by a studio based in that region but selling into established markets also count?
That’s not how it reads though. It talks about downloads.
Historically no, in the future though?
That’s good to hear, even if it smacks of what Google did with their initial EULAs for their free apps…
Yeah, no doubt. It does sound like they thought they could get away with X then realised just how much of a shitstorm they’d unleashed and back peddled a bit.
I think that particular viewpoint probably depends more on the viewer’s point of view/trust/etc than the company doing (or not) the anchoring. Personally I subscribe to the “never ascribe to malice (ie, anchoring) that which is adequately explained by incompetence” point of view.