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The Unity IPO

The Unity IPO is happening tomorrow. We’re going to talk about a few of the risks they identified in their prospectus and what those risks may mean for you as a game developer.

Adam Moore, Blogger

September 17, 2020

4 Min Read

The Unity IPO is happening tomorrow. We’re going to talk about a few of the risks they identified in their prospectus and what those risks may mean for you as a game developer.

We’re also going to speculate about what those risks may mean for the future of Unity. Will there be a Unity Game Store? Will Unity offer services for project management or design documentation? Will Unity still exist in ten years?

Good morning, game developers! It’s Wednesday, September 16 and Unity is going public tomorrow.

That’s cool news for investors, but what does that mean for game developers?

When a company goes public, they must publish information for investors. One of those documents is their prospectus. The prospectus is an informative document for investors that they can use to decide whether or not to invest in a company that is about to go public.

I’ve read their prospectus.

When I read a prospectus, I usually skip straight to the risk factors section first. This section of the prospectus details the risks that the company knows they face, but it doesn’t talk about how they would mitigate those risks.

Since the prospectus doesn’t explicitly tell us how the company will address those risks, I’m going to make some wild speculation about the future of the engine. Feel free to come back to this video in a year to see how far off I was.

We have a history of losses and may not achieve or sustain profitability in the future.

This one was surprising to me. Unity isn’t profitable. If they can’t fix this, there probably won’t be a Unity Engine ten years from now.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Unity announces a Unity Game Store to try and compete with the Epic Game Store and Steam.

A lot of the other risk factors hint at some of the strategies Unity is going to use to try and address this problem.

Our business depends on our ability to retain our existing customers and expand their use of our platform.

This is more than just a long way to say, “We don’t want developers switching to Unreal Engine”.

They don’t just want developers to make games with Unity.

They want developers to use Unity Teams Advanced instead of Perforce.

Expect some updates to how Unity Collaborate works to make it easier to use for beginners.

Expect the addition of a task tracking system like Jira or a platform for game design documentation similar to Confluence.

They want developers paying to use more of their premium features.

Expect discounts or free trials of some of these premium services to try and entice more developers to use them.

Operating system platform providers or application stores may change guidelines or technical requirements to require us or our customers to change data collection and privacy practices, business model, or operations and practices, which could adversely impact our business.

This isn’t an overly specific hypothetical. This is happening as early as this Fall on iOS. Apple made some changes to their data collection and privacy practices and mobile games developed in Unity that don’t get updated to comply with the new requirements will likely be kicked off the app store.

Please update your mobile games to avoid this.

They also mentioned concerns that their competitors might get a better deal with Apple and Google, but I doubt that’s happening anytime soon given Epic’s current legal battles.

If we do not make our platform, including new versions or technology advancements, easier to use or properly train customers on how to use our platform and solutions, our ability to broaden the appeal of our platform and solutions and to increase our revenue could suffer.

This is why Unity Learn Premium was discontinued and all tutorials were brought out from behind the paywall.

This is also why Unity now has visual scripting available for free.

Expect a focus on new features designed to make the engine more accessible to beginning game developers.

Expect a lot more new content in the Unity Learn library of tutorials and more training workshops.

I was also going to predict a discount on Unity certifications, but they already did that. The certifications are currently at a $100 discount.

What do you think the future holds for the engine? Let me know down in the comments. Please like this video and subscribe for daily game industry updates.

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