As Unity announces its new pay-per-install model for fees, interest in rivals Godot and Unreal Engine is spiking.

In the wake of a controversial new payment structure, game developers using Unity are searching for alternatives, and interest in the likes of Godot and Unreal Engine is surging.

Following the announcement of Unity’s new plan, search interest in Godot more than doubled and remains high. Searches for “Unreal Engine fees” also increased by 1,600%, according to Google Trends.

(Image via Google Trends)
(Image via Google Trends)

Godot is a free, open-source game engine that fulfills a similar purpose to Unity. Unreal Engine is Epic Games’ 3D computer graphics engine that was once named the world’s “most successful videogame engine.” Developers are keen to explore these two most notable alternatives following the news of Unity’s pay-per-install pricing plan.

Indie developer IllusionOfMana shared that they were looking to transition to Godot late on September 12, asking for help. That post received over 120 retweets and 700+ likes and was viewed over 40,000 times.

They’re not alone, and a quick search on X/Twitter leads to dozens of developers contemplating the change.

However, the proposed fees would affect only a small number of developers, given the high threshold of over 200,000 installs for payments to start. Similarly, larger companies that have deals or plans with Unity will pay less. So, the primary group affected by the fees will be indie developers who have breakout success. And given this is the aspirational goal of most indie developers, it’s not surprising to see many look to switch platforms.

This departure isn’t something Godot’s own creators considered. Instead, according to Juan Linietsky, creator and technical lead of Godot, they felt “we should not be doing much to help Unity users migrate, given Godot is a thing of its own and not meant to compete.” That opinion has shifted in the wake of the new Unity fees. 

Still, the shock of Unity’s announcement seems to have made a huge wave in the game development scene. Unity has long been vaunted as one of the most accessible game engines to use. Now, developers may think twice before trusting their project to Unity again.

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