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A bit over four years ago Unity 1.0 entered beta, and was subsequently released June 6th, 2005. Since then we’ve released 20 updates, grown from 3 to 34 people, seen hundreds of games and other products released (as well as thousands of demos and throw-aways).

But what is this all about anyway?

This summer I will be posting a handful of posts to share with you some of our thoughts about where this is all going. Not exactly a roadmap (our CTO Joachim Ante, as well as our lead iPhone developer Renaldas “ReJ” Zioma have been doing that), but to explain why we’re doing what we’re doing, and maybe to help us all know what we’re speaking about when we say “Unity”.

Democratization is the word

Giving everyone access to something that previously not everyone had access to. So we decided to do that.  This has several requirements:

1) Be simple, accessible

The first step to democratization is to provide a license that anyone can pick up.

Not everyone will go to the trouble to call up and inquire about pricing, so that has to be given away on the website.

Not everyone can afford $1499, so we offer a $199 license too.

We felt that a professional software model was the most powerful of models, offering a well understood setup where software is basically purchased from a website, rather than somehow pried away from the provider. To understand it, just think how Photoshop or Office is licensed and you’ve pretty much got it.

This then has to be offered in an accessible manner: all docs and tutorials are provided on the website;  no stupid NDAs to sign. And we offer our developer conference proceedings for free on the website too (some 30-odd hours of highly qualified tutorial content).

2) Robustness, polish

If you license a game engine for a million dollars, you’ll perhaps not mind too much to hire a full time supporter to go along with it. But if you buy something for $199 it better work the first time around!

Think about it. As illogical as this sounds, having thousands of customers paying you just $199 each is an incredibly high bar, much higher than working in an enterprise licensing model where you have a complex and high-touch relationship with each customer.

3) Profit

While the previous two points are pretty obvious, this one is less so, but no less important. No matter how friendly a business model one adopts, if it’s not profitable, it’ll have to change. We however are proud that our business model is working incredibly well, and that we therefore are able to stay the course (more than can be said about some of our dear competitors).

But just for the record (we’re honest guys) we’re not just doing this to be nice. There is a kind of boiling point of openness and accessibility, at which a community can evolve and generate tremendous excitement and value. Which everyone who participates gets to share in.

And with you, we’ve hit it. Thanks, and here’s to many more years of cool Unity.

Comments are closed.

  1. Troy "Tex" Miller

    October 27, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Dear David,

    Congratulations on the recent funding announcement! Unity sounds like a great company ina market that is actually growing!

    I’m living and working in tokyo for the past 14 yrs as a media and entertainment consultant. I recently located a Country Manager for one of my gamesoft clients (US Based)and am wondering if Unity has plans to open an office in Tokyo. The client I mentioned, decided to hire a “consultant” on a full time basis for 1.5 years, working out of a home office. After the 1.5 years the client will decide whether it makes sense to set up an actual limited liability company and hire more staff in Japan. There were a few candidates who were just as capable, but mayby a little older than what my client was looking for. I beleive one of these candidates might have the right industry connections and experience to represent Unity in Japan.

    Please let me know what you think.

    Thank you,

    Tex

  2. Ashkan Saeedi

    June 4, 2009 at 7:47 am

    sorry for that comment
    your support is great guys just the ammount of email is too high and i could not wait to have unity in my hands
    i will license it soon

  3. Ashkan Saeedi

    June 1, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    hi
    why your support is not like what it was in past???

    your support sometimes don’t answer questions
    we want to make a virtual world project and we want to use unity. i am tracking unity from more than a year ago and i was waiting for windows version for a long time, now i have a limited budget and a team to work but your staff don’t answer my questions well

    sorry for commenting here but i can not wait to start working with unity

    also i want to ask you to write posts about “why we should choose unity?”
    for example compare unity with torque that i think is the most important competitor
    or do something like that somewhere in web site, they have it in http://www.garagegames.com

    Regards

  4. Yann Le Bihan

    May 26, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for all you’ve already done, and for the exciting future you’re preparing. With people like you, no time to get bored ! :D
    Cheers to you and your great team.

  5. Joe@ByDesignGames

    May 26, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Great post David… thanks for the details!