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Unity will be free of charge to all Xbox One developers
Unity will be free of charge to all Xbox One developers
November 5, 2013 | By Mike Rose

November 5, 2013 | By Mike Rose
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Unity today revealed that it has expanded its previous agreement with Microsoft, such that all developers registered with the ID@Xbox program will be able to grab the Unity Xbox One deployment add-on for free.

ID@Xbox is the self-publishing program for the Xbox One. Previously, the plan was to offer Unity's Xbox One deployment for free to Microsoft Studios developers only -- however, that has changed as of today.

In a blog post, Unity CEO David Helgason explained that a new agreement has ben reached, and now all indie developers who sign up to the ID@Xbox program will be able to add Xbox One deployment to their existing Unity license.

A special Xbox One version of the Unity Pro tools will also be made available to ID@Xbox indie developers for no extra cost, Helgason noted. The free tools will be made available the moment that Unity support for Xbox One launches in 2014.

Microsoft's director of ID@Xbox Chris Charla added that this free Unity license "supports every element of Xbox One, from Kinect to SmartGlass to the impulse triggers of the new controller," while adding that this free license also applies to Windows Phone and Windows 8 store games.

The deal is similar to that which Unity already has in place with Nintendo for its Wii U console.


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Comments


Wendelin Reich
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Free Unity Pro for XB1, that's certainly better than non-free. But I'm curious, is anyone in a position to tell us how much the devkit for ID@Xbox costs? It seems to include two console's, and MS has a history of making small developers pay, so I wonder which costs are left... (*if* MS accepts the application of your indie studio, that is).

John McMahon
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I thought they stated anyone with an Xbone can be an indie developer? Maybe ther eis spome kind of application process, but from my perception I thought the minimal requirement was an Xbone console.

Burton Posey
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John, you're correct that any console can be a devkit, but there will still likely be a cost involved in the utilization of your unit as such. It's something that has to be explicitly activated for your console (preventing anyone from passing anyone else non-retail code to "test" for an extended amount of time).

From what I understand this is a similar arrangement that both Sony (PS4+Vita) and Nintendo(WiiU) have with Unity Technologies. You get the license for free for Unity, but you still pay the piper for the devkit access/physical unit.

Anyways, really glad to hear this news and was expecting it, but glad it's done nonetheless.

Jed Hubic
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Xbox Live Arcade had issues maybe, but XBLIG was just using a stock 360 to work and the new Xbox One stuff will be self published which I believe is part of the ID program. We'll see I guess, but my hunch is there'd no point to doing all this just to put up hurdles elsewhere.

Salim Muhammad
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I'm pretty sure the only extra cost is the yearly sub, which activates your retail console as the sdk.

Ahmad Jadallah
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oK, now please do the same for PS4. It is not fair to have this sweet deal for Xbox One and Wii U but not PS4 :)

Jed Hubic
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The PS4 is the only console that's made for gamers, so like it doesn't need free amazing developer tools or things like that, which only make the console less about gaming or something.

Ryan Christensen
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Microsoft finally showing lots of support for one of the biggest and most successful C#/.NET (mono though still .NET) projects, Unity.

I was always taken back when Microsoft on Windows 7 and Xbox really didn't welcome it with open arms, probably due to the XNA lock-in love.

Now that Microsoft *needs* Unity to build up their app/game market they are really friendly. Which is good news for developers again, Microsoft always had been a friend to developers, lost it for a while and now maybe sees the err in their ways with the changing game markets.

Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN
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Basically, Microsoft has dropped XNA in favor of Unity or other frameworks/engines. While XNA was and is great, it's best to drop the proprietaryness for openness. Not only will they get more games now, but also of much higher quality. Which means more gamers, more revenue.

I just released my XNA game on Windows Phone. I have considered moving to Unity, but I didn't have the time to learn a new engine. I'm not sure how much work I could port to Unity. My game is so trivial, it's probably just a matter of switching SpriteBatch to whatever Unity uses to draw textures. I have heard of XNA games moved to Unity, so, it's not impossible I'd imagine. But I have no time, no money, and no superior coding knowledge.

MonoGame was also revealed to me a while back. I was happy with Windows and the cheap $100 a year to release it on Windows Phone and X-BoX 360 with no questions asked. Which was the main reason I chose XNA over other options. Porting from XNA to MonoGame is probably way more trivial than porting to Unity and is more than likely as simple as pressing a few buttons, lol.

Unity has a ton of platforms and as a sole developer, would probably only cost me $1,000 if I did want to move up, if I even needed the pro edition. I don't know anything about it. MonoGame on the other hand is as far as I'm aware $300 for Xamarin.Android and $300 for Xamarin.iOS each year. Then again I could be wrong and I could possibly use the free edition.

Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN
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The only thing I don't like about Microsoft's current policies is why do I have to pay $100 to put my game on Windows 8++, $20 for Windows Phone, $100 for X-BoX 360, $100 for X-BoX OnE, etc...? Not only that, but you have to make like $200 a month before you even get paid?

Caleb Garner
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you just have to hit $200 to get paid, it's accumulated, not like if you don't hit $200 for the month you lose any sales.

Sergio Rosa
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I'd love it if this also happened on the Playstation :O


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