Unity Breakup📆 Created on September 29, 2023.
It's old-ish news now, but yeah Unity basically tried to pull a scam over on indie game developers by attempting to change their pricing model to a predatory and ambiguous "per install" method. The worst aspect of the whole fiasco isn't even that their pricing centered around something that they themselves couldn't define clearly, it's that they tried to make it apply to any game that had been made in Unity before they announced the pricing change.
I'm not going to go into the whole "why that's incredibly shitty", plenty of other people have covered it. I do want to share some of my thoughts about what this means for what I've been doing for the past 5-6 years and what will change going forward for me. Let's rip the band-aid off, here's a quick list of the points I want to share.
- I'm dropping Unity as a tool immediately. I may go back someday, but they have a lot of trust to earn back.
- I'm pausing development of Electric Noir.
- I'm re-assessing what I want out of Game Development.
First one is a major change for me and not something I decided to do lightly, trust me. Investing 10+ years of my life into learning a tool and it's ins and outs to just toss it aside is something that took me a long time to figure out. What pushed me into this decision is that the Unity leadership thought this pricing change was the right course of action. Despite all the internal protests from their staff, despite the initial push back from pretty much the entire indie developer community. They doubled down initially and said "whats the big deal? most of you don't make enough or sell enough to care?". Yes, they've since proposed a much fairer pricing model, but their leadership hasn't changed, so the same people are still making the same decisions.
As for Electric Noir, this is a decision that if I'm being honest, has been in the back of my mind for a while. I've been putting in the hours and making progress, sure. But I just haven't felt connected to the project in a long time. Many folks may not know but Electric Noir started as a Beat 'Em Up and recently shifted into a Metroidvania/Platformer. These are two types of games that I enjoy playing, but they aren't game styles that I love. I've been feeling like I've been creating just another standard copy of game x instead of putting my twist on the genre because I just couldn't sync with the project creatively. I made a lot of really great gameplay features, systems and tools but I wasn't making a great game, if that makes sense. So, I've decided to pause the daily work on Electric Noir. This doesn't mean I'm scrapping it, I'll still have the source code and all the assets I've made over the years. It just very likely won't ever see daylight as what it is today. The world, story and characters may make appearances in other things I do as I really did a lot of development on them but I won't be working on the game at all.
Lastly, I'm taking a step back from Game Development to reasses what I want out of it. Am I looking to build a studio? Build hobby games? Enter jams? Is this something that has legs as another career or is this just me tinkering on toys in my basement? Any of those is fine, but I need to understand what I want out of this and I don't think I've ever even asked that question before.
Till next time.