Casey Muratori on Unity's growth

Year over Year Quarterly Growth is an inane metric, especially for a company that doesn't have seasonal fluctuations.
Missing 1 quarter's growth isn't "is no longer growing". You need a few more quarters to show the trend (we have 1 more right now, it shows recovery)

This is the "record growth or dying" mindset. We need more information to find out if this is a downturn for the company or just a blip on the radar.


Year over Year Quarterly Growth is an inane metric, especially for a company that doesn't have seasonal fluctuations. Missing 1 quarter's growth isn't "is no longer growing". You need a few more quarters to show the trend (we have 1 more right now, it shows recovery) This is the "record growth or dying" mindset. We need more information to find out if this is a downturn for the company or just a blip on the radar.


iOS tracking changes hit Unity hard just like other ad companies and increasingly stringent privacy laws pose a major risk for the company. They’ve been investing in non-gaming acquisitions and partnerships in an ongoing effort to diversify so it’s not as if the company is stagnating without a plan for the future.


Game devs should stick to what they are good at. Hint, it's not interpreting the health of companies via stock price changes.


Aged like milk.


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It'll become a problem for developers (Unity users) if Unity starts laying off developers (internal devs) since the engine is proprietary. Those aging tickets for obscure bugs and new features will only continue to age with less developers available to deal with problems. Public companies are at the mercy of public investors and that impacts a lot of aspects of operations and headcount, as well as general direction of the company. I would say Unity doing an IPO was a mistake but clearly they had been aiming for an IPO for a long time since they were privately bleeding money.




Fair enough, the current offering is pretty mature. I always prefer to have source though.


This means layoffs and maybe sell offs not the end of Unity.


How serious is this really? I've been going through the unity pathways tutorials for ~2 weeks, but considered switching to c++ (I got pretty proficient with it about 15 years ago). Also interesting to see someone downthread complain that the cross-platform building doesn't work as well as advertised.


If you want to make a game in the next 5 years, unity will absolutely be around and sufficient. If you want to make a game after that, the experience you get from unity will be transferable no matter what ends up happening with the product itself. I see no reason to be concerned about using their product, the concern here would really just be for investors


> How serious is this really? Prepare your buttcheeks from more monetization and schemes. That's what being unprofitable and not growing means. But as long as you pay you should be fine.


>How serious is this really? Unity's **only** real competition is Unreal and Unreal goes for a different niche of users. So it quite literally doesn't matter even if Unity were to stop growing. There are no alternatives. Even if it were to somehow go bankrupt then you can bet another large company would pick it up in a heartbeat. I also have to point out that ENTIRE tech industry is currently down in stock evaluation. It's not Unity specific. 2023 is just going to be a very difficult year, sorta similar to what 2008 was.


The issue isn't about competition, they can have no competition and still go bankrupt if they don't start making a profit considering selling more shares to offset their losses isn't an effective way to keep themselves afloat in said market. Though the one upside to how large they are is some tech company would probably buy them. I wonder if the Govt would let Microsoft acquire them if things got too bad, considering their core tech is based on MS tech stack.


While you're right that the entire tech industry is currently down, Unity is doubling the average losses of the market. There are definitely Unity specific issues. It's a weird thing to analyze though since their IPO was very overpriced. That combined with the financial insanity of the last couple of years makes it hard to draw conclusions.


I agree with most of your points, but while Unity and Unreal are the two main big names for AAA games, I'd venture to say that Unity \_does\_ have real competition in the indie market in the form of Godot, which is rapidly catching up in its capabilities and growing in usage. Godot doesn't yet have as proven of a track record, but I'd wager that there are many nontrivial indie games currently in development in Godot, and by the time these games release in 3-4 years the landscape may have changed.


Exactly what I was going to say. You know who else’s stock price is down 60% since last year? Meta - I guess Facebook is over. Tesla - probably time to throw those out. Apple dropped 27% so you probably won’t need that iPhone anymore. But Google dropped 37% so no Androids either. When you do order a phone, you’ll have to find someone else to deliver it to you since Amazon lost almost 50% last year. Unless your company pumps oil or delivered healthcare, you probably had a bad year last year. Growth rate is also a tough metric to use - there are only so many new customers that can be acquired, and only so many services that can be sold to them or through them. And it’s not like they experienced losses - they still grew, just not as fast as they had been. Some of that is going to be natural as they an audience saturates, some of it is probably shifts in market behavior as companies brace for recession. As for their IPO, a lot of that can be chalked up to unfortunate timing given the heights of the market and subsequent downturn (or fortunate timing, if you were a pre ipo investor who cashed in). Point is, it is far to early to declare Unity finished.


> Meta [...] Tesla [...] Apple [...] Google [...] Amazon All those companies are profitable. Unity isn't. > Growth rate is also a tough metric to use - there are only so many new customers that can be acquired, and only so many services that can be sold to them or through them. If Unity does not manage to become profitable, they will stop developing the engine and problably eventually shut down services (or hopefully get bought by a larger company instead). A big chunk of the Unity revenue comes from ads, and ad income is challenging in iOS nowadays - it's a systemic issue for them like for Meta and to a smaller extent Google. So there's a chance they will have a hard time recovering and actually becoming profitable. It is a significant problem, but I'll agree with it being early to declare Unity finished.


"All those companies are profitable. Unity isn't." Right - that's my point. Even the largest and most profitable tech companies' stock prices have dropped by giant margins over the past year, so in that context it's not nearly the red flag the original author makes it out to be. (To be fair, Unity's 1YR decline is more like 75%, but that's consistent with the smaller tech company losses last year, especially those still operating at a loss. Unity is technical considered "large-cap" with an $11B valuation, but that's the bottom of "large cap" range) As to profitability, a lot of their expenses in the past year were due to acquisitions and growth. Revenue is up, but so were costs and expenses. Their earnings, while negative, have consistently beat analyst estimates, meaning that they're exceeding the predictions. And estimates for this current quarter are that they will turn profitable this quarter. Plenty of tech companies have operated at a loss for extended periods - Uber has had one positive quarter in the last 3 years, and Twitter (pre-Elon) was only profitable twice in the previous decade, but they're still here. Unity's revenue stream is comprised of subscriptions, tools, a variety of services, sales in the asset store, and yes, an advertising platform. But Apple's recent changes do not block ads, they just limit the tracking an advertising platform can perform. This just makes them less targeted/accurate, meaning platforms lose some of the premium pricing. For Facebook and Google whose primary income is ad-dependent, this has a massive impact. For Unity, the impact is probably significantly less. My point is that the financial picture isn't as dismal as the tweet makes it out to be. They have a significant market share, a very wide user base, and growth. They'll be around for a while.


To be honest if you can work well in C# the C++ in unreal is so heavily macrod and abstracted it’s basically C# with pointers. Pretty easy to pick up and nothing like writing C++ from scratch. But it has the flexibility to allow you to do really deep work if you do keep learning and improving the C++ experience. I also find the combination of C++ and BluePrints to be brilliant. Makes rapid prototyping really easy but allows you to switch to more efficient and logical language when it makes sense or you need to optimize.


It's pointless fearmongering by a person that has no clue how businesses work. Unity is absolutely not going down in the far foreseeable future.


Unity is for small games with small teams. U learn you really need at least 5 people. These are guidelines not rules.


Some of the biggest games on the market today are built with Unity.


Right but it's really great for small teams where unreal is real bad for small teams


Other far less popular engines can still survive until today (cryengine for example). Trying to look for alternatives based on just a YoY growth number makes no sense at all. Your alternate engine may even die before Unity.


I guess Cryengine isn't a great example because Crytek did go bankrupt. The concern being raised is lack of support from Unity, which Cryengine really is lacking - despite some updates and Amazon buying it and doing a revamp of it. If a engine isn't supported, and it's not open source (or licenses allow for other company to take up the mantle), it's a real problem. To be fair though, I'm sure there're plenty of large companies that would be interested in buying the tech from Unity and continue developing it themselves.


Can someone explain the risk as to why alternatives should be getting explored?


Having 2/3 of a game made in an engine that is suddenly no longer supported practically means starting from scratch with 2/3 of your budget already spent. For a recent example look to “The/Our Machinery”. They recently tanked, and all game devs that had invested in using their technology where left without an engine. However, as others have pointed out, the odds of Unity suddenly vanishing in the next 5 years is next to none.


Not surprising. They've made trash decisions long before the IPO and will continue to do so.


It is a load of bullshit. Unity is not just game engine. Ad providers and tech companies in general got hit badly recently and we are in recession. Recent bad publicity did not help either.


Lol people love to bash Unity esp Unity fans. Not worried about this at all.


How about now?


Guy who posts YouTube videos of him building his own game engine (with rendering pipeline, light system, etc) posts how another game engine/IDE is supposedly dying. Rich


Casey put me in the screenshot.




Yeah, he's the clown... Edit: looks like Kevathiel doesn't want people to see his insults now that he's in agreement with Casey. No shortage of insufferable people on this site.


Godot is taking over


I'm not sure about "taking over" but it can at least be argued that it's a better idea to invest time in an engine that's open source and can be freely forked and modified, and not at the mercy of public investors like Unity.


Godot 4.0 is coming out and it's a game-changer. It's 100% free and gaining more support. You can download it on a toaster and make AA games. Meanwhile, Unity is becoming more obscure and chasing non-game-related grants. The download size is growing with each update. It's trying to be Unreal and failing hard. If you're looking for an alternative to Unity it is either Unreal or Godot. Godot IS taking over Unity. It's a repeat of the story between Blender vs 3DSMax vs Houdini


I hope you're right, I'm working with 4.0 myself and quite enjoy it, and am writing custom modules for it. But it's too early to tell if it'll gain traction with people that are deeply entrenched into Unity's ecosystem.


This is like the boy who cried wolf.. I don't doubt that Godot 4.0 has some amazing changes and I have no clue how it will compete with Unity, but the issue is people have made the same claim since the beginning. It was always the next version/renderer rewrite that was supposed to put Godot ahead, so at this point it's difficult to buy into the "hype"..


The same was said about Blender. Blender was released in 1994. It took Blender over 20 years to overtake the giants but now it’s basically in the lead. I’m rooting for the underdog Godot call me wolf boy all you want 😁 edit: typos


No one said this about Blender.. It only became a serious competitor after their huge UI overhaul. There wasn't some weird cult of Blender-witness trying to convert people to their lord and savior, until Blender actually became a viable alternative.


The idea alone was viable. It’s a community driven tool. Same with Reddit. Same with Godot.


I'm willing to bet my karma on this take


Can’t view it because he blocked me :(


You’re not missing out.