Why I scrapped two Ambitious Unity Games in Response to their CEO and Pricing Plans

Why I scrapped two Ambitious Unity Games in Response to their CEO and Pricing Plans

November 22, 2023 0 Comments

When a "creative" person decides to go into game development it is a deeply personal thing and never easy. But the idea to make the games we always wanted to play or express a story we had yet to share is very alluring and difficult to pass up. One of the very first choices to make is what game engine to use?

Beautiful Dreamer Game - first concepts

For the last four + years I had chosen Unity and it was the amazing community of creative indie developers that drew me in along with the concept tailored to artists that you could develop a game without coding. Easier said than done.

A tool like Unity with the (right) installation, though can speed things up fairly quickly. Discovering the editor version that has the least issues can be extremely frustrating, though - especially when you realize that you may have conflicts when importing some of your favorite assets. For myself, I would learn in chunks and when things went wrong, I'd take long breaks - sometimes for weeks or months.

Beautiful Dreamer Game - Settlement City Mother Ship

I've no idea how many times I would try out an editor, import the assets that I couldn't live without, go through the process of making sure everything was set up as best as I could and give it a go only to have something go wrong hours, days or even weeks later. Bear in mind, debugging is still a fairly foreign concept to me and my greatest weakness so far as I can tell. Starting a relatively large project with quality assets can take hours, too before you even begin to create anything.

Each time, though you learn something new and have a fresh canvas to begin on your dream, yet again.

Wind-Weaver Game McGuire Castle

Some of the best advice for any of us is to start small. I rarely do. I think big. I'm ambitious and to follow through with a creative task for me needs to be inspiring and worth the effort but that's just me. If someone told me something was impossible I am nearly certain that I can prove them wrong.

That is the power of creativity, and why I often do not share my plans with others because people tend to put their own limitations on others as if they want you to fail.

So, as to why I scrapped two dream games to start all over? I had all of the assets and tools necessary to see both games through. That's right. It would be only a matter of time. I had purposely jumped back into Unity after a very long break and I knew that when I sat down with those projects, the rest of my business would be put on hold unless it, (like music production) would be used for those games. 

I had a clear vision, room on my PC set aside for a video diary or speed build with my screen capture software and I was ready to rock. This was it. I was finally in a position to give this my full attention.

Beautiful Dreamer Game - Settlement City Mother ship

With design tools like Gaia, Gena and Pro Builder ready and working properly, I began - again from scratch. It had been a while but two weeks later, I had over 200 videos of my progress for both, some fairly impressive large terrain levels and some decent art from the scenes. I was seeing this through and if I got stuck, I had been paying $40 / month for a Pro subscription that included a quick reply to issues.

Beautiful Dreamer Game - Concept Art

And then I, too got the email. Out of nowhere Unity's pricing was to change drastically. It was such a show of greed and disrespect that I felt immediately betrayed. They were asking 5 x what I had been paying for all these years when realistically, I probably did not need a subscription at all. I had felt that the price they had been asking was a realistic entry price for a tool that deserved my support but to them, it was not enough. And, that was the least of the insane changes to come. I was FAR from alone in my shock. I soon discovered the company had a new CEO and learned of his blatant disrespectful comments of "creatives" and failure of leadership. Within days of our backlash, the company took a step back and reconsidered it's pricing strategy. Little did this stranger to our world seem to understand Unity's loyal customers.

Fairy Art by Sam Worley Studios Artist Musician Game Developer

You see, artists are visionaries. They have a unique perspective on life. We have the capacity to see beyond societal norms with a child-like wonder that never wanes. And sharing this perspective throughout our lives is also a glimpse into our hearts. I say a glimpse because to do so, we open ourselves up to the envy and criticism of others. Words like "starving artist" and "you'll be famous when you're dead" are weapons society has brandished against us since time immemorial.

The heart of an independent studio is fierce, passionate and dedicated to ideals far beyond monetary gain. That is WHY we're independent. 

And that act, by yet another shareholder-driven corporation quite possibly ruined it for the rest. As for myself, I'll not take that same chance with Unreal. Because with a decent no-strings-attached engine like Godot available to all of us artists who have been stepped on our whole lives - this, diamond in the rough is our new home. It should bear the name "Unity" because we creatives are the best of people. Of that, I am certain. And the heart of an indie studio is the same heart that fosters hope. If we perish, so do you all. From now on, it is we who profit from our gifts, our vision and creative spirit. And it is the greedy bullies of this world who will marvel at our achievements and beg in the streets while we stand unified in our resolve.

- Sammy Lee Worley



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