So Unity decided that they want to start charging for use of their software. They want a minimum commission per install instead of a proportional commission on sales above a certain revenue total. Now everyone is freaking out.
There are three problems with devs complaining. One is hypocrisy. Two is failing to see a silver lining. Three is recognizing that it is someone else's software.
First off, the idea that Unity is now evil because they charge for access to their software, isn't this the model that every game dev wants to promote with their software? How would they feel if everyone called all games devs money grubbers for thinking their project should be distributed at cost? Maybe prior kindness makes future behavior that is equal to the accuser's evil?
Next is the failure to see the silver lining. Let's face it. Everyone wants software for free, especially things that are the result of personal projects. Even though the amount of effort to exposure ratio for personal projects is usually worse. By adding a minimum overhead to dev's costs it actually makes it easier to break the ice on saying, look, I have to charge something.
The third is that whatever terms unity releases their software under it is a net benefit to society because you can always just not use it, which is the same as if they never released it at all. Therefore they cannot be evil while exclusively doing good. Maybe they are doing slightly less good than they were when giving people practically free software. But they have to balance the amount of good they do with staying afloat even in a completely altruistic world.
Software is just not going to be free anymore if it is even slightly commercial. Freemium is going to die. This is because of speculative retraction. Firms just can't speculate on being future tense profitable forever and business cycle theory basically makes it so that firms are want run out of patients within the same industry around the same time. This trend was always going to drop, and now its dropping. And the absolute irony is that game devs might benefit from that shift. They actually have way more to gain proportionally than unity does. But if unity happens to be the one to kick it off for the industry then they are evil. They are also only kicking it off for a sub-industry of indy-gaming. For the broader industry of tech it was really facebook, twitter, and reddit.
Anyways all IP is bullshit. But people who spend their whole day building nothing with real practical utility in hope of making money off of the IP legal framework are not the people to be pointing a finger at Unity.
Comment preview