Both the premium Professional and free Personal versions of Unity 5 are now available.
Unity has made significant adjustments to what features are and are not excluded from the free release. In Unity 5, all the features of the engine and editor – including 3D texture support and optimized visual effects like depth of field or motion blur – will be available to all Unity developers.
Those who purchase the Unity 5 Professional will be able to access cloud-powered features from Unity Cloud Build, a team license tool for managing dozens of people working on the same project, and WIP versions of Unity’s own analytics utility and game performance crash reporting.
As with Unity 4, Unity 5 Personal will be offered at no cost and Unity 5 Professional can be had for a $1,500 perpetual license or a $75/month subscription plan.
"If you’re a seven-figure developer, you can afford $75 a month," Riccitiello said. "But if you’re not, if you’re just getting started or just choose for artistic reasons to give your games away for free, or if you’re a hobbyist screwing around or a student, this is free. You get the full power of Unity 5 for free. There’s no royalties, no fucking around. It’s simple. That’s really what we’re announcing."
"With Unity, it’s capped. It’s $75 a month or $1,500 for a perpetual license; we’re not nickel-and-diming people and we’re not charging them a royalty. When we say it’s free, it’s free. When we say $75 a month, it’s $75 a month. Yeah, you can buy other stuff from us. [Unity 5 still offers supplemental subscriptions like Android Pro and iOS Pro.] We’re not a one-trick pony, but we’re not charging a royalty, which I think is akin to looking for whales. For example, if Candy Crush had a 5 percent royalty, the licensing fee for that would be billions over time, maybe $50 million in a given year. You have to pay $75 a month a lot of times to get to $50 million.
"I do think you could argue that royalties are quite a bit like free-to-play. They sort of hook you and then try to exploit that relationship. That’s not what we’re trying to do. If you were to walk around Unity, you’ll find this point about transparency, clarity… democracy is like every other paragraph of every other conversation. It’s a deeply embedded value. We thought for a while about things like royalties, [but] we just didn’t think it was right. We thought about the nickel-and-dime model of free-to-play, not to implement it, just to see whether it had any implications for us, but we didn’t think so."