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Game Growth Program is an accelerator program for free-to-play indie games on mobile. By partnering with Unity, select indie developers get access to awesome tools plus a dedicated team of game operations experts. Unity covers the costs of acquiring new players and optimizing your game, and we share the revenue 50/50. 

Let’s face it: small teams with big dreams are in fierce competition to find the right audience. Making an amazing game is the first step, but what happens after you launch? How do you acquire players and keep them engaged? This is where the Game Growth program comes in.

Game Growth is an accelerator program for mobile indie developers, currently in the early-access phase. We partner with select indie game developers to help you quickly and effectively scale your game while you remain 100% independent. 

When you become a partner, you get access to industry-leading tools and experts in player acquisition, engagement, monetization, and more – all while retaining full ownership of your studio and your intellectual property.

The program basics

The Game Growth program is open to already-published free-to-play indie mobile games. Partnership opportunities are limited, so check out our FAQs for specific requirements.

If you meet the criteria and we accept you into the program, Unity will fund user acquisition for your game and provide the technology and Unity experts to help manage player engagement and monetization. We take care of the process that helps grow your game while you concentrate on development. 

Game Growth is a revenue-sharing program – Unity and the developer team split the revenue from advertising and in-app purchases 50/50 after the user acquisition spend has been recouped. Put simply, Unity covers the cost of bringing in new players while we both share in the reward. 

We want to be clear about the terms up front so you can decide if Game Growth is the right program for you. Let’s break down the revenue sharing with an example:

  1. An indie developer has a mobile game that makes $3,000/month. They apply to the Game Growth program. Unity spends $100,000/month to acquire new users to the game, retains those users with dedicated live operations support, and grows the game to $130,000/month in revenue.*
  2. Unity would first recoup their $100,000 in monthly user acquisition costs, leaving $30,000 in monthly revenue. So the developer and Unity would share that $30,000 equally, giving $15,000 to the developer and $15,000 to Unity.*

*This model would continue throughout the partnership. We’re using this fictitious example to illustrate the revenue sharing model only. The exact investment/revenue amounts will not always be consistent month over month.

Our mission is to set up independent creators for long-term success. Not only do we help grow your game during the partnership, but our team also works with you directly to integrate tools and best practices that will stay with you for years to come. Our goal is for developers to outgrow the program. They’ve accumulated a player base, extensive knowledge of live game operations, integrated valuable technology, and generated enough revenue to self-fund another game or passion project. When the partnership ends, you maintain complete ownership of your intellectual property and game — with no permanent revenue sharing commitments to Unity going forward.

Here’s what we mean by growing your game:

  • We design and run strategic user acquisition campaigns that bring new players into your game.
  • Our team analyzes your game economy and works with you to implement optimizations.
  • Game Growth experts work with your development team to manage and optimize ad placements and in-app purchases.
  • We work with you to implement tools and tactics to increase player engagement.

How does Game Growth work?

Game Growth is a true partnership – an ongoing process where we work together to improve and grow your game. You’ll get the benefit of Unity products and industry professionals to optimize your game, as well as funding for user acquisition.

If you’re interested in joining the program, you can apply on the Unity Dashboard. Start by telling us about your project and development team. Then, integrate the Game Growth package via the Unity Editor. This package includes a suite of analytics tools designed to help measure important metrics within your game.

Once the package is installed, we take a close look at your game to determine if it is a suitable candidate for testing. Among other factors, we consider key metrics that help indicate a game’s success, specifically, D1 retention, D7 retention, average session duration, average sessions per user, install conversion rates, and cost per install. If your project meets the criteria, we move into the user acquisition testing phase. This lets us know if your game is a good fit for the program, and we can establish an official partnership. Unity covers all of the costs associated with this phase.

If you become a partner, our team works closely with you to optimize key elements of your game and begin user acquisition campaigns. This includes helping you design new features, integrate critical business services, and optimize player engagement and monetization. 

Game Growth acts as your extended team of experts throughout the partnership. This means you have access to a dedicated group of game operations professionals with experience growing some of the biggest games in the industry.

How do I apply?

Application is easy; all you need is a valid Unity ID and a game made with Unity live on iOS or Android. Then head to the Game Growth section on the Unity Dashboard to begin the process.

As part of the application, you will need to submit details about your game, development team, and some general information about your project. You will also need to upload creative assets (images and videos) and integrate the Game Growth package via the Unity Editor.

Just because you’re a small team doesn’t mean you can’t dream big!

33 replies on “Introducing the Game Growth program”

I don’t know if this will get a response or not, but in my opinion there are some things that you should consider.

In your example one I think how Unity will be recouping it’s “spend” is flawed. As you have outlined it Unity is essentially issuing a loan of funds, that you Unity would control.

Whether or not it is truly a «spend», an operations expense or an actual cost, is a different discussion. But it brings up a few questions:

Would indies who do not opt-in be penalized by your ad algorithms, with all the best revenue going towards those that opt-in?
Could that potentially get Unity into anti-trust trouble?

Why not consider that spend an investment and «recoup» that from the 50/50 split? The developer has already made a spend/investment in «sweat equity» of creating the game itself.

I’m hopeful you will take a different look at this. Let me be clear, I am a big fan of Unity, all the way back since before Unity and you guys were just Over the Top Entertainment/Goo-ball. And I am a small shareholder. Even through your growth, Unity has made mistakes and learned from them, and eventually did the right thing in the long run. Something just seems a little “off” with this.

Shouldn’t Unity split only the *increase* in profit, rather than splitting the total profits? If Unity increases my game’s profits from $10k to $15k, I will only make $7500 per month, less than I made originally.

Unity runs their own ad network. When you say $100k in user acquisition spending, how much of that money is just getting funneled to other areas of Unity? How can developers be sure that you are being truthful with your expenses. These kinds of expenses are incredibly easy for a large company like Unity to inflate.

This deal seems laughable really. Imagine losing 30% of your profits to Apple’s app store cut, and then $x for Unity to recoup their expenses, AND 50% on the remaining 70%. If you have other investors during development, they’ll also likely take a cut $y. Leaving developer with ~35% — $x — $y to pay their team, cover development expenses, and save for future projects? Seems like a recipe for disaster.

Another useless initiative that will close in a year. The market does not need this. There are a lot of players on the market who are ready to scale up already released successful projects. Please reconsider your decision. Create a foundation to support early-stage developers. It will do a lot more good. Take an example from Epic, they support their developers much better

Hello Adrian. So, the package will only show up for those who have applied for the program. You can start this application process on the Unity Dashboard. You get the package from the dashboard as a separate download during the application process, then you add it from your download folder via the Package Manager add package menu.

It is fabulous. I just began on Unity this semester, and I liked. Recently I developed a micro-simulation about Covid-19 transmission on the air and this microgame was sanctioned by GooglePlay. I am trying for UDP but I have issues with Sands Account. My interest is developing games-simulations for education from public health.

It is fabulous. I just began on Unity this semester, and I liked. Recently I developed a micro-simulation about Covid-19 transmission on the air and this microgame was sanctioned by GooglePlay. I am trying for UDP but I have issues with Sands Account. My interest is developing games-simulations for education from public health. I think that is neccesary videogames for understand science, health, etc.

So, if in your example, the game only made 90k when Unity spent 100k, does that mean the user gets nothing when they were at least getting 3k before? I would hope growth would happen, but it’s just as possible it wouldn’t.

I’m also curious about how it would actually work in any scenario where the amount invested monthly is not reached, also considering multiple months in a row with a low revenue (something we know to expect from indie titles). I can obviously see how, even in that case where the dev would get no revenue in a month, this could still be a viable alternative to create yourself a name, manage to get a game to a huge level and be able to boost the development of future titles.

Hey Chris! Thank you for your question. This was an illustrative example only, and is not intended to convey that Unity would spend $100k in user acquisition up front. Rather, Unity would consider and analyze a variety of factors when determining the amount to spend on user acquisition per month, which factors may include existing revenue and profitability of previous campaigns, if any.

I understand it was to illustrate, but the question was. If Unity spends more than the game makes, does the developer then get nothing because Unity has to recoup it’s cost. If I’m making $100 a month for example and Unity spends $500 but then I only see an increase to $300, what happens?

We all hope for growth, but we also all know there are chances to fail or that something isn’t as successful as we hope.

Once we move into a partnership, we would scale up user acquisition slowly in order to be as confident as possible that we could successfully grow the game. However, if Unity were to spend more than the game makes then Unity and the developer would both take a loss — meaning that the developer would not owe Unity the difference, but wouldn’t take home any revenue.

I honestly regret every single minute and I am ashamed that I helped you Joachim, Nicholas, and David to grow OTEE and create this monster Unity Technologies. I should never have helped you with the core architecture and concept of Unity in 2003, Joachim!

1. why you regret helping them
2. whatever happened, I hope you don’t let regret or any other bad feelings consume you, if you really helped with it then you seem to be smart, so make something big & enjoy your life, don’t spend it agonizing over the past.

1. why you regret helping them ?
2. whatever happened, I hope you don’t waste your life in regret or other bad feelings, life is really short for that, and if you really helped them, then you seem to be smart, so use your abilities to make something cool & live a life you will not regret.

Hey Pratik,

Thanks for the question! Glad to see you’re interested in the program. Right now we are only accepting live games, but definitely encourage you to check out the requirements in the partner guide so you can apply when you’re ready: https://unity.com/solutions/mobile/game-growth-program/partner

In terms of how the program can help right now, definitely take a look at the upcoming Indie XP Unite Now series kicking off this week — every session is a different focus for mobile indie developers with topics on game operations such as ad creation, monetization, marketing, and more.

I’m not sure exactly what you’re looking for, but here are some additional guides and resources which you might find helpful.
https://learn.unity.com/course/growing-your-mobile-game/?tab=materials
https://create.unity3d.com/increasing-player-ltv-tips-and-tricks?_ga=2.62005352.574163825.1594580880-860992937.1518555361
https://unity.com/how-to/improve-retention-every-stage-player-lifecycle

The Game Growth program currently focuses on supporting mobile free-to-play games because of the products, services, and expertise Unity has in that area. There are no plans to expand beyond mobile at this time, but please keep an eye on our channels for any possible future announcements.

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