Unity 5's new full-featured Personal Edition is completely, utterly free to use

unity logo

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

This is why competition is great: Following on yesterday's news that Unreal Engine 4 is going free, now Unity 5 is going even more free—as long as you're a developer making less than $100,000.

Past versions of Unity had a free edition, but it was a crippled version of the engine that lost out on many of the advanced features. Pro users either had to buy a license or pay $75 per month for a subscription.

No more. At GDC Tuesday, Unity announced "Unity 5 Personal Edition":

"Unity 5 Personal Edition is a free solution empowering hobbyists, sole developers, and studios just getting started with all the powerful features found in the Unity engine and editor such as Profiler, Occlusion Culling, Render-to-Texture, and Post-Processing Special Effects as well as all the big Unity 5 features like Physically-based Shading, Enlighten, and reflection probes."

In layman's terms: The free version of Unity 5 is now a full-featured version of Unity 5. And there's no need to pay royalties. It's actually, honestly, legitimately free as long as you make revenue of less than $100,000 or have less than that amount in funding.

The Professional Edition still costs $75 per month or a license of $1,500 for developers who don't meet the sub-$100,000 requirement. You'll also get access to advanced support features like Cloud Build Pro and Unity Analytics Pro.

So to sum up: Unreal 4 is free, but you pay 5 percent royalties to Epic after the first $3,000 your game makes every month. Unity 5 is free as long as you make less than $100,000 in revenue, but costs a flat $1,500 after that point with no royalties.

Either way, it's a great time to be a game developer.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon