Unity 3D and licensing ideas


Unity 3D has always had an interesting licensing model. You can use the basic version for free, until your annual sales exceed $100K, whereupon you have to get the pro licence.

More interestingly, within the last couple of years they have moved pretty much all features into the basic version. So with the basic version you can deploy to any platform, write native plug-ins, etc.

Straight up, that's potentially interesting to JUCE. Because it opens up the idea of combining the two technologies, using Unity's game engine together with JUCE for real-time audio/MIDI processing.

But also, I think their licensing model could be of interest to ROLI.  It's basically harvesting.  Nurturing indie developers until they are big enough to bear fruit.

Might it make sense for JUCE to adopt a similar licensing strategy?

The current license says you may use JUCE without paying only for opensource projects. If it is closed-source, you have to pay.  How about adding "... once your annual sales exceed $20k"?

The current licensing model makes it very difficult for an aspiring freelance developer. They do not want to open source, because this is their income. But at the same time, unless they have some kind of backing, they have a long road ahead of them to get to the point of bringing in enough income to pay the license fee.

It is a giant Catch-22.

Just my $.02 worth...



You can use the basic version for free, until your annual sales exceed $100K, whereupon you have to get the pro licence.

Just to note, this doesn't mean that you can use it for free until your game makes 100k. You can use it for free so long as your company makes less than 100k a year, doing whatever you is that your company may do. Let's say you write a killer piece of audio software and it earns your company 100+ a year, your company will need to pay for a Unity license if you wish to use it. 

We found this out recently at our university. We were told we have to pay for a license, because, like most universities we have an income of over 100+ a year through government funding and what not. It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that a company like Unity seem to be actively discouraging colleges from teaching students their software. Maybe I'm missing some bigger picture?