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I was looking at the Unity site, and I was a bit confused with the pricing. It says it's free, but for iOS/iOS Pro or Android/Android Pro. I need to shell out $400 minimum each. So if I want to develop with Unity for Android and iPhone, I need $800 to do this? (not saying that it's a lot of money, actually seems reasonable, just wondering)

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You are also going to need to pay Apple $99 for the iOS Developer Program. And of course, you'll need a Mac. –  Noctrine Apr 19 '11 at 15:13

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

At the time of this posting, the basic iPhone and Android licenses will cost a total of $800 along with the free version of Unity. For future reference, here are the Shop and License Comparisons:

Shop

License Comparisons

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Note: That's just the basic version of Unity. There are a number of other really helpful features that you'll really want that are only available in pro. The Profiler comes to mind immediately. In that case you're looking at $4000, not $800. –  scriptocalypse Apr 20 '11 at 20:27
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As of May 21'st, the basic Android and iOS licenses are free. –  joltmode Jun 1 '13 at 19:05

Yes, the engine is free for Win/Mac/Web. But if you want to release on Android/iPhone you have to buy some extra license. But I agree with you. It is a bit confusing, because on the download page it says "Free Full Version for Windows with Unity Pro and Android." They don't mention that it is a 30 day trial. At least, that was the case some time ago...

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The 30 day trial is only for Unity Pro. The free version of Unity is yours forever. –  Matt Flowers Apr 19 '11 at 14:17
    
Yeah thats what I found as well. I guess the real question is dropping $800 on unity or dropping $800 on monoTouch and monoDroid and getting the free XNA addition (so I can develop games for droid and iphone) or getting unity IOS and droid.... hmmm... I usually do 2d work, so this is a tough choice –  FreshJays Apr 19 '11 at 14:20
    
One other thing to consider is how the tooling is for each. I know that when you're talking about Unity there's a sweet built in profiler that is ONLY available in Pro (meaning you'd be paying $4000 instead of 800). Does Mono* offer the same type of tooling for the $800 you'd pay for unity "basic"? –  scriptocalypse Apr 20 '11 at 20:26

There are certain restrictions in regards to commercialization of products that apply to the free version of Unity. I believe you are allowed to profit up to $50,000 for a product produced by Unity before you need to purchase additional licensing.

It is pretty steep to purchase Unity Pro and the additional add-ons if you are just starting out and your on a shoe string budget. There are also some student licensing options to consider. The student pricing is for annual licenses and they only cut the current prices down by half, which if you are planning to be developing in Unity for longer than two years it is not really worth it.

Best solution is to download Unity and get your game up and running to near perfection, then download the free trial and spend the next month perfecting your game on your platform of choice. When you have completed your test deploy and your trial runs out, your best bet is to decide whether to bite the bullet and purchase the license. If you decide to try your luck then you can try to recoup your investment by selling your application (400+ friends at 99 cents should do the trick), but there is lots of competition on the app stores.

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