Unity 5 Is Out Now, Has Free No-Royalty “Personal Edition”

I’m at a Unity [official site] special event at GDC and I’ve had a donut for breakfast. Take everything I’m writing below with a pinch of the sugar rushing through my veins, but Unity have just announced that Unity 5 is available to download now and that there’s a free, no-royalty Personal Edition for use by small companies.

There’s a livestream of the event and more details below.

I am adding more details on what Unity 5 contains in between looking for some fruit.

For starters, there’s a question over whether Unity have an answer to Epic MegaGames’ announcement yesterday that the Unreal Engine would now be free (with a 5% royalty on games released using it). Unity 5 Professional’s pricing is the same as Unity 4 – $75/month or $1500 with no royalty. However, they also announced Unity Personal Edition, which is free, with no royalties, and for use for companies with earnings below $100k.

That sounds good, though a larger coup is maybe that Unity CEO John Riccitiello then introduced Mike Capps to the stage, who was the long-time president of Epic (MegaGames). That’s some top corporate trolling. Capps talked about Unity’s graphics engine and how it now allows small teams to reach “high-end graphics”. It’s weird to think that small indie developers are basically repeating the graphics race that triple-A went through in the late ’90s.

The second big thing is how Unity has been working with Oculus to put native-support for the virtual reality headset into Unity 5. An alpha for that has just launched. I have no idea what that means over the old plugin implementation, but Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey seemed excited. And young. He’s very young.

This is a developer-focused event, and the focus so far is on ways that Unity 5 can make development either easier or make games potentially prettier. The first example is a quicker-to-use lighting model, which one of Unity’s founders demonstrated by building and lighting a scene live on stage. Then the developer of Republique talked about how Republique Remastered – the PC/Mac version of the iOS sneak-’em-up – was made within Unity 5. It seems that lots of lighting that was previously faked by being baked into the textures is now able to be rendered in real-time.

Hey look, screenshots of what Unity 5 can do.

Sexy curves/moustaches.

They’re now bigging up Unity Ads, a service for monetizing mobile games. The example they give is Crossy Road, which apparently has made $3 million from its in-app adverts. This is definitely a developer-focused event.

The highlight of the event for me is i) the introducer pronouncing John Riccitiello’s name wrong and ii) Riccitiello doing mouth sound effects when the first trailer’s audio didn’t work. I am not a game developer, YMMV.

Here’s the livestream.

21 Comments

  1. TT says:

    And also mostly free. link to unity3d.com

  2. jezcentral says:

    A great time to be a dev.

    • airmikee says:

      And hopefully in the coming months and years this will lead to a great time to be a player. ;)

  3. Koozer says:

    Can’t load the login page, the site must be being hammered.

  4. SominiTheCommenter says:

    Unity CEO John Riccitiello

    Wait, what?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Yep. And for all the talk of “DOOM!” and “Trojan horse!” on forums when it was announced, things seem to be going well for them.

    • Devan says:

      As a developer at EA, I also did a double take at this. It’s good to see he seems to be doing well.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      The Unity name itself always reminded me of the Master from the Fallout and now ,discovering of their CEO’s identity, it all makes sense.

  5. Lars Westergren says:

    New graphics look nice, but what I’m wondering about (and maybe some developer can answer):

    Does it have a newer mono runtime? I understand Unity 4 was stuck on a really old version.
    Are load times better?
    Is memory better optimized? I believe I read that Obsidian ran into some limitations and had to put fewer NPCs in urban environments than they wanted to have.

    • a_shbli says:

      Well, Mono isn’t that bad, but as you see they’re now introducing IIL2CPP, which converts all Mono C# code to C++ (Way way faster)

      Currently, it works on iOS and WebGL, but it’s slowly support more platforms in future (They started with these 2 as they are requirement anyways, not optional, for 64 bit on iOS and WebGL basically needs it for technical restrictions on the web)

      Memory management and all should be way better if the developer ticked the IIL2CPP option in the editor.

  6. April March says:

    That sexy spaceman looks like the villain from The Fifth Element if it had been written by Asimov in the 50’s and adapted to a motion picture in the 80’s.

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      teije says:

      He’s so futuro-French my eyes are burning. More shadows please!

      • Premium User Badge

        neffo says:

        He’s the French playboy industrialist/love interest/villian from the new No-one Lives Forever game.

  7. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Exciting!

    Shadows were what Smingleigh Supergame was needing.

  8. minkiii says:

    Eurggh, wishing I hadn’t gone splits with a friend to turn shadows on two years ago! I’m still owed £200…
    Oh well, this is good news overall. Woohoo, shadows for all!

    • Shadowcat says:

      But my gameworld is populated entirely by vampires. This is a disaster!