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Unity Technologies officially files to go public with an IPO

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Unity Technologies, creator on the Unity game engine has now formally applied for IPO (initial public offering) and the documents are pretty revealing.

In these documents, they do show just how popular they are with the Unity game engine. They mentioned that they had approximately 1.5 million "monthly active creators" across over 190 countries. That's seriously impressive, with a lot of people hooked into the Unity ecosystem. That was clear though, considering the amount of games releasing all the time powered by Unity.

Their revenue continues to grow as well from "$380.8 million to $541.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019, respectively, representing year-over-year growth of 42%, and from $252.8 million to $351.3 million for the six months ended June 30, 2019 and 2020, respectively, representing period-over-period growth of 39%". So they're clearly pulling in plenty but the numbers aren't entirely rosy though, they're taking on plenty of losses too. Quoting again from the documents they had "net losses for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019, and six months ended June 30, 2019 and 2020, of $131.6 million, $163.2 million, $67.1 million and $54.1 million, respectively, which included $20.9 million, $44.5 million, $14.8 million and $21.7 million, respectively, of stock-based compensation expense".

Even in their risk factor summary bullet-point list, they make it very clear that they may not "achieve or sustain profitability in the future". That's probably quite common to read in such documents but still not exactly a good look as a whole, doesn't fill with any sort of confidence.

If you're a Unity game developer, this is probably going to be quite concerning. Having more investors means many more people to keep happy. They key point is, will that result in a healthier company and a better game engine? Eyebrows must be raised from many game developers I'm sure. Thankfully, there's quite a lot of choice now when it comes to the tech you can use to design games. This includes various high-quality free and open source tech too from full games engines to cross-platform middleware including:

…and so on. That's a really small list, the point is there's loads of choice. I don't want to sound alarmist and certainly not an intention, the point is to keep options open and be aware of what else is available.

Feel free to comment on how you feel about the IPO and offer suggestions for alternatives if you wish to as well.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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17 comments
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jarhead_h 25 Aug
They are living the tech sector dream - build up proprietary app, service, whatever, cook their books for public consumption, and then have a bunch of insiders give you a ton of money for your golden parachute so that they can turn around and make money off the hype in their casino. Behold, the IPO.
Patola 25 Aug
I hope their Linux support is not harmed with this change. But I'm wary of investors. Investors ruin everything.
Sudo_halt 25 Aug
Stride Game Engine (formerly known as Xenko) is also a free/open game engine, with a pretty nice 3D renderer and support for modern technologies.
It is a C# native engine, so if you're (for whatever reason) looking for a Unity alternative, you can check it out.
TheSHEEEP 25 Aug
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This makes me really glad I decided to use Godot for my side and future projects...

Can't trust a project or company once public trading is involved, as now the primary goal becomes profit, profit, profit. At all costs.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 25 August 2020 at 8:05 pm UTC
Solarwing 26 Aug
I think this is the beginning of the end.I don't either trust the new investors who will buy shares from Unity. It's like what happens in social security system in my country. It will fall unto wrong hands and then it's always a question of profits with maximum low costs. All I can do now is to console myself with legendary German proverb which I learned in school:"Wenn Ich traurig bin, esse ich Kartoffelchips.". What that means? Well try to find it out by yourself!
ageres 26 Aug
Can't wait for lootboxes with assets in Unity Asset Store.
CFWhitman 26 Aug
A company becoming a public corporation is pretty much never a good thing for its customers. This is especially the case for non mainstream customers. It's like when Snapple (at the time a regional fruit drink company in the U.S.) was bought up by a large corporation: No more strawberry lemonade. This is beside the fact that private businesses are as moral as their management, while public corporations gradually become as moral as their bank accounts.

Spoiler, click me
If I am sad, I eat potato chips.
Eike 26 Aug
Quoting: SolarwingAll I can do now is to console myself with legendary German proverb which I learned in school:"Wenn Ich traurig bin, esse ich Kartoffelchips.". What that means? Well try to find it out by yourself!

:D

I never heard that one (and Google neither). Still, nice!
( And I really hope that's not even a little obstacle for your consolation.)
Swiftpaw 26 Aug
Quoting: PatolaI hope their Linux support is not harmed with this change. But I'm wary of investors. Investors ruin everything.
Linux support will be ruined because this is capitalism.

In capitalism, you make more money when you're a monopoly/duopoly/etc. Microsoft is a monopoly. Their profits (disposable income) are used to destroy, collude with, or buy out competition. Even when you have other "competitors", if all the players involved have an interest in stealing more money, prices will stay as high as possible at the point at which they steal the most money from everyone else.

Just like Valve sold out to Microsoft after being bribed to make Linux more compatible with Windows games instead of fighting for more games to be made for Linux, so too will Unity now more easily fall prey to corruption and bribery and will be controlled by greedy capitalists only seeking more money.

The entire capitalistic economy hates Linux because it's free for everyone, both the users and the developers. Aside from utilizing it themselves internally to here and there to avoid the price gouging from Microsoft, the main play by Microsoft has always been to try to destroy it whenever it enters the capitalistic economic sphere, or try to corrupt government officials whenever it enters into the socialized government sphere. Until other economic systems or anti-corruption governments become a thing, Linux will continue to be relegated to socialized support from around the Internet from random individuals and groups.
ageres 26 Aug
Quoting: SwiftpawUntil other economic systems or anti-corruption governments become a thing, Linux will continue to be relegated to socialized support from around the Internet from random individuals and groups.
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