From smaller niche-targeted games up to global projects, Unity Technologies has proven over and over that they can pull their weight in gold, regardless if you’re creating an Indie game or a global blockbuster. Unity prides itself with cross-platform support, covering over 20 different systems, but the most dominant market are still the smartphones. Pokemon Go, Gris, Monument Valley, Forgotten Anne, and many other games wouldn’t have been possible without Unity.
The question of the day is: How much does a Unity license cost? Do you need a similar budget like Niantic to create a game like Pokemon Go? Well, not exactly.
Explaining the pricing model
You see, Unity has a revenue-based pricing model that includes free and paid plans. The same structure offers students and independent video game developer (indies) a way of entering the industry as cheaply as possible, while also offering an affordable solution for large game studios. Additionally, each paid plan has a fee ‘per seat’, which basically means each team member needs their own license. For example, getting the Plus Plan ($40/month per seat) for a small game studio of 3 developers would cost $120 monthly. On top of that, how much you make from games in a year, regardless if it’s from revenue or donations, determines which plans you are eligible for. The higher your earnings, the more likely you’ll need an upgraded plan.
What are the free plans?
- The Personal Plan is completely free for individuals. It gives you all of the features Unity has, as well as full access to the Asset store. The Personal Plan is geared more towards individual use, as the other plans allow advanced integration with Unity Teams. You can still monetize your games completely free of cost. The main restriction of this plan is that you can’t surpass $100K in funding or revenue within a year. A ‘Made with Unity’ splash screen will always appear when loading the game up.
- The Student Plan offers even more, but you have to be a student. To apply for the Student Plan, you need to authorize your account with GitHub then apply for the Student Development Pack. After proving that you are currently enrolled in school, you will be able to activate your new Unity Student account. With Unity Teams, students can create projects and work with one another through cloud-based collaboration, while having access to all the learning resources. This educational software is only for non-commercial use.
How are the paid plans calculated?
- Plus Plan ($40/month per seat). The Plus Plan instantly lets you replace the “Made with Unity” splash screen with your own custom design. This gives a better sense of professionalism, differentiating you from the cheap knock-off Unity games on the Internet. The ‘Dark Theme UI’ is also available now for aesthetics. As for collaboration, you have up to 25GB of cloud storage for Unity Teams. This plan is only available to those that get less than $200K in funding or revenue yearly. With access to advanced cloud diagnostics and analytics, you can see user feedback, performance reporting, and improve the overall game experience.
- Pro Plan ($150/month per seat). The Pro Plan is ideal for medium to large game studios, with there being no limit on profits you can make. Perfect for flexible scalability, all members of a team can utilize cloud storage and collaborate efficiently. This plan comes along with a high-quality art asset pack valued at roughly $130. Along with having priority for Unity Customer Support, you are also given premium learning resources and consultation from success advisors. To optimize monetization and player behavior, you can collect over 50GB of raw data per month. With all this being said, you should only be considering the Pro Plan if you have a good setup and funding.
- Enterprise Plan ($200/month per seat). The Enterprise Plan is for those with a large game studio (over twenty members). Unity Enterprise users are given “private, interactive training” four times a year, to improve overall workflow and goals. If you’re ever in need of advice, you have constant access to representatives and Integrated Success Services.
In fact, within this plan Unity gives you a personalized curriculum to further expand your team’s skills and work ethic. When applying for the Enterprise Plan, you are encouraged to come up with a custom solution for you, which can be done by directly contacting Unity themselves. In some cases, you can negotiate for ‘volume discounts’ if working with many team members. Advanced licensing doesn’t come at a cheap cost, but it can definitely be worth it in the long run by taking on ambitious projects.
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