A free Unity?

October 29, 2009 in Rants & Raves

Short answer: yes!

Long answer: read on :)

At the Unite 2009 conference we just announced that Unity Indie would be discontinued and that a new version of Unity (called just “Unity”) would be made free. Of course this requires some explanation, and since the forums (as well as Twitter and the rest of the interwebs) are aflame with speculation I think I better get started explaining.

Unity Indie no more

Unity Indie was a cool product. It was very featureful, enabling production of rich 3D games and other interactive content for the web and standalone PC and Mac builds too. And it was a commercial product too: it cost $199 and you were explicitly allowed to sell your work and make money with it. This was no “hobbyist” or “noncommercial” license.

But also it’s not been a significant part of our business at all: Unity Pro, Unity Wii and Unity iPhone for the bulk of our (rapidly growing) livelyhood.

However what we liked about Unity Indie was that it allowed many many people to get started with Unity. These people are hobbyists, students, professional and amateur independent developers, as well as teenagers and kids. And many of them are really valuable to the community.

Instead, a free Unity

Today we launched a new product called just “Unity”. It has the same features as Unity Indie had, and the same license (and can thus be used commercially). The only difference will be that it’s free of charge. No time limits, no trials. Just a registration and a download, and you’re good to go.

This new product won’t do anything funky or strange. There’s no forced advertising, there’s no new requirements to share your revenue with us, and there’s no “crapware” or “adware” installed with it.

Indie customers, expect an email from us

Secondly, we understand that people who recently bought Unity Indie might feel really unlucky. Every single Unity 2.x Indie license owner will be offered to upgrade to Unity Pro or to add Unity iPhone Basic to their license for a big discount. And everyone who bought Unity Indie in the last sixty days are alternately being offered full refunds if they don’t wish to upgrade.

These emails are going out in the next couple of days so please bear with us while we’re inundated with excitement and while we try not to make our severs overheat :)

Feel free to discuss this here or on the forums (http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=34991), and we’ll try to answer your questions although we are also really busy at the conference (it’s awesome by the way, so many great people).

UPDATE: A few people asked if this move had anything to do with our new investors. It’s a fair question, but we had been thinking about this much longer. However when we told them, they were very supportive of the idea.

UPDATE 2: Thanks for the comments. A few questions have been asked repeatedly here and in our forums, so I addressed them here.

Comments (40)

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  1. David Helgason

    February 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm / 

    Unity is really actually free. The 30 day trial is for Unity Pro, which has more features and costs $1499. To get the free version (or the trial, the install is the same), just download here http://unity3d.com/unity/download/ and then just activate the free option instead of selecting the Unity Pro trial. If you’re having trouble with it, feel free to reach out to support@unity3d.com who’ll help you out.


  2. Andrew Odendaal

    February 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm / 

    Yes, I saw the 30day trial one as well…
    Anyone know more about this “free” version?

  3. Kip

    February 2, 2010 at 5:18 pm / 

    I just followed the link to the free download but when I got to the end it said that it was a 30 day trial so I have not registered it yet. Where do I find the free indy version for teens and hobbyist mentioned above?

  4. Blacklight

    December 5, 2009 at 2:59 am / 

    Hooray! This news was so exiting I almost wet myself. I had been looking at game engines for a while, including Unity, but I can’t believe that I missed this.

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    November 19, 2009 at 11:57 pm / 

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  7. Ugh

    November 5, 2009 at 10:56 pm / 

    Bought the Indie version before it went free, and I have to say that I’m not too happy about the Dec 31st deadline. Some of us have Christmas presents to buy– and spending $1k on myself and my interests is not feasible right now. Why can’t you extend it to next December??

  8. King InuYasha

    November 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm / 


    I’m impressed and happy you did this. Now the only thing that would make it the perfect solution would be Linux support all around. I hope that will become available soon! Nevertheless, great job and I hope for the best of luck with you guys!

  9. Sallen

    November 5, 2009 at 1:56 pm / 

    Thank you! I might upgrade someday, but this is just what I needed right now. You are great, keep it up!

  10. xxr

    October 31, 2009 at 2:39 am / 


    did not cover this news guess that cause GG owns thier site. But at least
    http://www.gamedev.net/ did cover this change.

  11. Josh

    October 30, 2009 at 10:55 pm / 

    “I love you”.
    You got to love UNITY! Great work guys! 10/10.

  12. Lisa Ganem

    October 30, 2009 at 9:41 pm / 

    Unity for all…sweeeeet!

  13. jack shiels

    October 30, 2009 at 7:59 pm / 

    amazing… GG is getting scared!

  14. mindlube

    October 30, 2009 at 7:48 am / 

    Thanks for spreading the Love, with the now free Unity!

    Unity Indie + iPhone Basic

  15. joe

    October 30, 2009 at 4:40 am / 

    This is fantastic news!

  16. Ed

    October 30, 2009 at 3:06 am / 

    Wow, for FREE!?! really! When I first say that, I ran around yelling “Unity is free! OMG!”(I just finished an energy drink). But really? FREE! Like, now I can accually work on my game, but my computer really lags power, It dosent like big maps and lots of scripts well.. :( hopefully I can get a new MBP soon… lol, you say that this is appealing to ‘hobbiests, kids, and teenagers” I am a teen, and free will really put me a step ahead money wise, but not many others I know do anything like this, but I know some on the internet…. Anyway, THANKS SOOO MUCH!

  17. Dom

    October 30, 2009 at 2:04 am / 

    Excellent move guys! Lovely!

  18. Ashkan

    October 30, 2009 at 12:24 am / 

    thank you guys
    it’s the most big difference between OT and garagegames
    you can sell many pro licenses in this way
    does it have anything to do with your new big investors

  19. cheezorg

    October 29, 2009 at 9:04 pm / 

    Hmm… a 15% discount on a Unity Pro upgrade that HAS to be used by Dec 31st is not IMHO a “big discount.”

    But paid-Indie users CAN pick up iPhone Basic at a 60% discount.

    I wonder which one your investors want you to sell…

  20. occultcg

    October 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm / 

    Wow, this is very nice, i`m interested in game production and now i can get into this more easily, thank you very much !

  21. TK

    October 29, 2009 at 6:43 pm / 

    While this is great news, sadly I won’t be learning Unity any time soon. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the power of Unity, but until I can develop and run it on Linux, I can’t use it. I really want to use Unity, but I will not use Windows to develop it, and if I can’t run the web player on Linux, it doesn’t do too much good for me.

    I mean, I could spend HOURS playing Blurst’s TimeDonkey, but since I can’t run it on Linux, I won’t spend hours playing TimeDonkey. The moment Linux support is announced for the player and the IDE is the moment I jump on board 100%.

  22. Chaotic Heart

    October 29, 2009 at 6:17 pm / 

    This is excellent. I am one of those people who bought the Unity Indie just a month or two ago, but I am still excited about this. The program is worth way more than the $200 original price-tag. At a price-tag of FREE!, anyone who does not get this is a fool. The simplicity of use, power at hand, and wide range of publishing options is amazing. I am hard-pressed to find a paid option as good. I absolutely CANNOT think of a free option as good. Period.

  23. horace

    October 29, 2009 at 6:14 pm / 

    it’s awesome that unity is free now. it’s time for more 3d on the web! :)

    i have bought the license two weeks before the 60 days limit.

    i think it’s nice that you offer cheaper pro and iphone updates but it sucks a bit that there is a time pressure on it. couldn’t you offer this without deadline?

  24. enzo

    October 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm / 

    I’ve been developing in AS3 and flashdevelop and love it but Unity has the power and soon I will too. I hope you guys can really push the web plugin. It would be great to run a online arcade with Unity games, to heck with papervision.

  25. CosmoKing

    October 29, 2009 at 2:53 pm / 

    This doesnt fix the Mac os 10.4 iMac integrated graphics problems with the editor does it?

  26. Kevin Maeda

    October 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm / 

    Garry, yeah I think they kinda made a mistake of not being ready with the website. People are talking about it in many blogs and complaining that they’re getting fooled to think that the trial version (30days) of Indie version ($200) is now seen as temporarily “free” just for hype. The thing is that they are actually REALLY making the indie version FREE. It’s just not clearly explained on the website yet.

  27. Garry

    October 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm / 

    Just to be clear, the text above your matrix still says “buy”:

    “The Unity licenses that you can buy straight from our store are Unity and Unity Pro, Unity iPhone Basic and Unity iPhone Advanced.”

    And clicking on the “Free Unity” link in that nice splash graphic just reloads the same page instead of taking you somewhere that describes what “Free Unity” means.

  28. Aurelio

    October 29, 2009 at 1:51 pm / 

    I love you SO much!!!

    You’re destined to rock the world with this awesome engine of yours, you’re the next big thing!

  29. Garry

    October 29, 2009 at 1:38 pm / 

    I am interested in trying this out, but I have to complain a little about your branding. Just calling the free version “Unity” will lead to a lot of confusion. When I came here from Reddit, I looked around your site for several minutes for the free version, wondering, after a while, if the free part was really just a bait-and-switch 30 day free trial. The word “free” just doesn’t appear many places on your site. The product comparison matrix also does not indicate which product license is free. It wasn’t until I found a link to this blog post from the Reddit comments that I finally figured out your strategy. Concept-wise, the word “Unity” is already pretty heavily loaded in your business strategy and adding a modifier of some sort like “Unity Free” or “Unity Green” or something would really help clear things up. Not replacing “Indie” with another word is a mistake.

  30. WTF

    October 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm / 

    I bought the buggy version 2.5 cause I was expecting the 2.6, and now what, it’s free and you “offer” a pro version for 1000$ to the indie buyers ? You guys at unity REALLY SUCK.
    Why i didn’t pirate your app… it was a huge waste of money.

  31. Blaenk

    October 29, 2009 at 7:26 am / 

    Wow, this is awesome. I had been wanting to work on a hobby application for quite some time now, and Unity got my attention, but being a hobby application (A learning endeavor), I didn’t feel compelled to spend money on it just yet. This is a great move on your part, I really appreciate it!

  32. Hima

    October 29, 2009 at 5:08 am / 

    I was deciding which one to use between Unity or Torque ( I want to buy Unity Pro ) but with this good news, I think I’ve reached my decision. Can’t wait for Unity! Thank you so much for doing this.

  33. marty

    October 29, 2009 at 3:53 am / 

    Beat that Torque!

  34. Neodrop

    October 29, 2009 at 3:43 am / 

    Great news. The way for World Conquering is open.

  35. Shea

    October 29, 2009 at 2:59 am / 

    I’m a self taught student looking for a way to make some games for my showreel without having to get up to my knees in code “(As I’m a designer) so I had been hoping some day to afford the Indie license. I played around with a trial a couple months bac and loved it, it was looking like it could be next march before I had the funds to consider it :p – yes I know it was affordable, but as a student 200 bucks goes a long way, especially with debts to pay. This was perfect timing and really what I needed to lift my spirits lately, I can’t wait to dive in and see what kind of mischief I can get up to in Unity. Biiig biiiiiig THANK YOU to you guys, it’s very much appreciated!!!

  36. Jesse Dorsey

    October 29, 2009 at 2:58 am / 

    Anyway to get like an Iphone basic preorder so that we can take advantage of the upgrade if we won’t have the money for Unity Pro by the end of the year?

  37. Steven

    October 29, 2009 at 2:27 am / 

    […]Every single Unity 2.x Indie license owner will be offered to upgrade to Unity Pro or to add Unity iPhone Basic to their license for a big discount.[…]
    Hahaha… rahh… I didn’t want to upgrade from 2.5 to 2.6 so I waited a few days… and missed the big discount :/

  38. Joseph Burchett

    October 29, 2009 at 1:59 am / 

    *Does the monkey* w00t you guys are so cool it hurts! I love it :-D

  39. diamondTearz

    October 29, 2009 at 1:36 am / 

    You guys are truly the best!

  40. Jeff Baxendale

    October 29, 2009 at 12:53 am / 

    This is awesome. I’ve wanted to pick up an indie license for a while, but time to work on it is limited at the moment so I always put it off and thus never got to jump in. Now I will :)

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