Unity Xbox game developers will have to update to Unity Pro if they want to launch a game on Xbox consoles. The video game engine will require indie game developers to pay an extra fee to create games on Xbox. This does not apply to Sony and Nintendo as they offer keys to their devs.
Unity is making major changes in its licensing system. From now on, developers who want to develop games on Xbox consoles will have to pay extra to use the software with all of its tools. The exact fee for Unity Pro is $1,800 per year and it caused concerns among indie game developers. Before this update, they could use Plus or Personal license to develop titles. Unity Plus cost $300 dollars per year whereas the Personal version was free of charge.
Microsoft addressed the update and a spokesperson stated that they are working on ways to support game developers on Xbox. Unlike Sony or Nintendo, Microsoft does not offer Preferred Platform License Key which allows Unity developers to create their game using the engine’s full potential. Though the tech giant does not provide this option and most of the devs can not come up with $1,800 dollars per year.
We also do not have any information on whether Microsoft is going to offer keys in the future. For now, indie game developers on Xbox are stating their concerns on forums. We should also note that the approved projects will not be affected by this update. The license fee change will apply to anyone who wishes to start a new project on the software.
Unity Spokesperson Addresses the Change
After receiving backlash from the community, a spokesperson from the company has provided details. The spokesperson added that the reason behind the change was to keep offering the best game development tools in the field. They also stated that they want to add new features, tools, and services to support their creators. They also highlighted the fact that game development on consoles is no easy task. Therefore, Unity Pro will be quite essential during the process.
While this is going to affect small developers negatively, Microsoft might start providing keys or come up with an alternative in the future. Here’s a showcase of indie games that are available on Xbox Game Pass.