Pokemon Go, despite its age, still boasts a staggering 5 million daily active users and 80 million monthly active users. This is particularly noteworthy given the recent developments with Unity, the engine on which Pokemon Go is built.
Unity has announced plans to implement an “install tax,” an additional charge for developers every time their game is downloaded. This tax is a separate cost, added on top of the subscription fee that developers already pay to use Unity’s engine.
Unity’s subscription fees are already considered among the highest in the SaaS ecosystem. For Unity Pro, developers shell out $185 per month. This is 26 times the cost of an Office365 subscription and three times the cost of Adobe’s “all apps” Creative Cloud subscription. The Unity Enterprise plan is even pricier at $250 per month.
Unity, which went public in 2020, has faced backlash from developers over this new profit-oriented strategy. Many see it as shortsighted and detrimental to the developer community.
Fortunately, developers are not without alternatives. There are other engines like Unreal Engine, used in popular games like Gears of War, Batman: Arkham City, and Tomb Raider. Additionally, there are tools like Maya and Godot, offering different capabilities and pricing structures.
While employees are encouraged to focus on the organization’s long-term vision, the board has set a 1-3 year revenue and profit target for the CEO. This creates a tension between long-term innovation and short-term financial goals.
The introduction of the install tax seems to be a move to meet these short-term targets. However, it risks alienating the very developers that Unity relies on, potentially pushing them towards other platforms and tools.
The situation highlights the delicate balance between revenue generation and maintaining a supportive and sustainable ecosystem for developers.
- Source: Gergely Orosz Tweet: https://x.com/GergelyOrosz/status/1702313519608389704?s=20
- Pokemon Go Active users – https://www.dexerto.com/pokemon/how-many-people-play-pokemon-go-pokemon-go-player-count-2132719/
- Unity Per Install Charge announcement – https://in.ign.com/among-us/194053/news/the-unity-games-that-could-be-impacted-most-by-controversial-fees-from-silksong-to-cult-of-the-lamb
- Unity To Start Charging Niantic Per Game Install – https://pokemongohub.net/post/news/unity-to-start-charging-niantic-per-game-install/
- Alternatives to Unity – https://www.computerenhance.com/p/game-development-post-unity