Pre-emptive warning: Unity (U)

What follows is my personal opinion.

Unity is down almost 7% so far today, and I think it may drop more.

I want to pre-emptively warn about what seems to have happened.

Unity appear to have changed their license/pricing model catastrophically overnight.

As an investor, I would no longer consider investing in Unity stock at any price.

As a developer who has used Unity before, I will no longer use this product at any price in future.

I’ll try to explain why, by analogy.

Imagine you enter a deal with an art materials company.

They supply art materials to anyone who wants to try painting. You paint the pictures, they get 1/3 your profits.

Everyone wins. It lets you access amazing materials as a beginning artist, which you repay with huge chunks of profit only if you’re very successful. The materials company benefit from seeding a huge number of potential artists, some of whom become great and are comfortable working with their system.

One day all the artists wake up to a horrible announcement.

From now on, if one of your paintings becomes popular, you will pay a fixed fee of $1 any time someone looks at it.

But you already sold your art for $5 to $50!

And many people tend to look at a great painting - and often several times, not just once.

Now all it takes is for any of your paintings to become popular, everyone looking at it over and over again, and you are in a huge amount of financial trouble.

Of course, you could just destroy all the art you made in the last few years and have sitting on shelves, and buy back everything you sold to customers and refund them. That has a huge financial cost for you too.

The sunk costs of effort and design in order to use Unity are enormous. It’s sometimes a multi-person effort simply translating software between each new version of Unity, never mind moving to an alternative platform (such as Unreal or Godot).

Knowing this sunk cost problem, and seeing this bizarre and seemingly-capricious pricing announcement: As a developer, I will NEVER be willing to consider trying Unity now for a new project, not even if they reverse these changes and dropped all other fees! No way! Not after seeing a rug pull on this scale. This is a business risk far too great to ever consider taking.

Finally, the cherry in the cake: the competitor to Unity is a totally free (i.e. not just gratis) system called Godot, developed by volunteers in the open source community, which is already considered superior by some developers.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a company ruin its own business model so catastrophically for itself and customers, quite like this.

But wait, there’s more! Someone on Twitter claims they have also immediately moved small-team developers onto an expensive big-team package, without warning(?), affecting auto-renewing subscriptions from small companies in a big way:

“They eliminated Unity Plus subscriptions as of today, Plus members are being switched to Pro automatically. Be careful not to have auto-renew on your account if you can’t afford the price. And this is with just 2 people on my team with project access.”

Again, this is all my opinion from a quick read into the situation, it’s possible there may be errors in my understanding of this, do your own research, don’t take my word as gospel etc.

But if you have investments in Unity, IMHO you should look into this announcement and the knock-on effects as a matter of some urgency.



If anyone has access to Saul’s forum, can they put a link to this post over there? I noticed it has come up often on that forum as a company they discuss, this news may be of some interest.

Saul’s group focus on the select few great companies. Since (in your opinion) U is no longer worthy of investment, it would not be a candidate for discussion over there on principle.

Many people read the “latest posts”, regardless of forum. In fact, that’s how I found your OP above.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

No position in Unity.


Unity is now down 19%. It deserves to be down by even more IMHO.

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