AMA: Unity goes free – what does this mean for mobile app developers?

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Kevin Ford

May 30th, 2013

Unity’s CEO recently announced they are reducing the price of their Android and iOS licenses from $800 to $0. In the near future, they also plan on dropping the price of their Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry 10 licenses. To better understand the impact of this change for mobile app developers, we interviewed the NativeX Games Task Force.

What does this change mean for mobile app developers?

gtf-1 Nate Dykstra

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
Unity dropping the license price to free is BIG DEAL! This makes game development accessible to many more people, some of whom may have never even considered game development in the first place. Giving them access to one of the best tools available for iOS and Android development at no cost is pretty incredible! Now developers can invest this money into making their games and apps better in other ways, like adding cross-platform support. This will become even easier when Unity cuts the price of their Windows Phone 8 & Blackberry 10 licenses in the coming months. These are all factors that will have nothing but a positive impact on the already enormous game and app ecosystem in the coming years, and it’s quite exciting to me not only as a professional working in this industry, but also as an avid mobile game lover.


gtf-2 Ben Sipe

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
This is a great move for Unity, and even better news for struggling or up-and-coming indies. However, I’m not so sure this news is as positive for gamers. We already have hundreds of thousands of games on iOS and Android, and lowering the barrier to entry for developers means even more games. $800 was already a pretty low barrier to enter the industry. I’m not convinced that we’re going to see any mind-blowing games come from studios that are $800 away from going broke. Mobile game developers will also need to take more games into consideration because with more games, comes more competition and makes discoverability even more difficult (which is already the largest problem for most). The importance of marketing and user acquisition in freemium games will only become more important with news like this.


gtf-4 Chris Harris

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
I applaud Unity for slashing the price for small developers. While the market will inevitably find itself with more low quality apps because of the lower barrier to entry, the likelihood of fresh new game designs and concepts rising up will increase greatly. Getting their apps discovered in the app stores will still be a challenge for small developers. Those who understand F2P mechanics and ASO will be successful.


gtf-3 Trevor McCalmont

Games Analyst, NativeX Games Task Force
Unfortunately the savings will not be large enough for small studios to reallocate their budgets for robust analytics solutions. Nonetheless, this is still great for the gaming community! Giving more students and independent developers access to Unity will open the door for innovation. I’m excited to see how young people that have grown up with mobile devices instead of consoles and controllers are able to innovate with Unity to create great new gaming experiences.

Have a question for the NativeX Games Task Force? Submit it here.

Kevin Ford

Marketing Manager


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