Technology Enthusiast Weekly (Issue 272): Unity’s installation fee, a microcosm of the gaming industry

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Here is a record of technology content worth sharing every week, published on Fridays. ( [Notice] The weekly is closed during the National Day holiday. See you after the holiday. )

This magazine is open source and submissions are welcome. There is also a “Who’s Recruiting” service that publishes programmer recruitment information. Please contact us via email ([email protected]) for cooperation.

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Colombia’s most famous artist, Fernando Botero, died this month at the age of 91. He likes to create chubby, comical characters and animals. The picture above is his sculpture “Cat”. In 2016, he came to China for an exhibition of his works , and I went to see it. ( via )

Unity installation fee, the epitome of the gaming industry

Unity is a top game engine. Many famous mobile games and web games are developed with it, such as “Honor of Kings” and “Genshin Impact”.

Its official website says : “70% of the top 1,000 mobile game developers choose Unity.”

It charges monthly fees, and you pay it as long as the game’s annual revenue exceeds $200,000. The higher the game’s revenue, the higher the fee.

On September 12, it suddenly announced a change in its charging policy. Starting from New Year’s Day next year, in addition to the original fee, an installation fee will also be added.

After the game’s annual revenue exceeds $200,000 and user installations exceed 200,000 times, Unity will be charged $0.20 for each new installation.

Just do a simple calculation and see how much more spending this will cost game companies. If a game has 1 million downloads per year, then after deducting the first 200,000 downloads, Unity will have to pay an installation fee of US$160,000 for the rest. If the annual revenue of the game is US$300,000, more than half of the revenue is lost.

The fee will hit small gaming companies particularly hard. Because they often adopt free games and cloud game models and rely on advertising to make a living. According to statistics , the average revenue for each ad impression in the game is US$0.02. If you want to cover the installation fee of US$0.2, it means that each player must watch at least 10 more ads.

It’s no wonder that as soon as Unity’s charging announcement was released, developers suddenly became furious, condemning Unity for going too far and killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Everyone began to study how to migrate from Unity to other engines.

Among the comments I saw, there was only one article that spoke for Unity (picture below), thinking that it was forced to do this in order to survive because the general environment of the game industry has changed . I think this point of view is worth sharing with everyone.

Unity’s own business situation is not optimistic. It is a listed company, and since it went public in 2020, it has not been profitable in a single year. In the first two quarters of this year, it has already lost $440 million.

It’s really ironic, the gaming industry is a very profitable industry, but game engine companies are not profitable.

Previously, Unity pursued revenue growth at the expense of profits. Now, it is understandable that management has changed its mind and plans to charge more money and improve the company’s financial situation.

Why did Unity change its mind? The main reason is that the gaming industry has stopped growing at a rapid pace. In 2022, global game revenue will decline for the first time in many years , and there does not seem to be an improvement this year.

To make matters more troubling, the gaming population seems to have stopped growing . The populations of major economies around the world are declining and aging, and the number of players is decreasing.

This has a huge impact on the gaming industry. At present, the mainstream business model of game companies is not to sell games, but to pursue an increase in the number of players and total game time. Once the number of people stops growing, it’s hard to grow revenue.

Everyone only has 24 hours a day, and their attention span is limited. The gaming industry will have to compete with all entertainment projects (TV, short videos, restaurants, fitness…) for players’ time .

In addition, European and American countries are experiencing high inflation and interest rates this year, and economic risks have become greater. Investment and capital costs of game companies have also increased accordingly.

Based on the above points, Unity Company judges that the era of high growth in the gaming industry may be over. This is not to say that the gaming industry is in decline, but it is no longer in its peak period of growth.

In addition, the profit margins of game development and distribution are decreasing, the game industry will be increasingly concentrated on a few leading companies, and the consolidation of small developers and publishers is inevitable.

Therefore, the author of that article wants to tell everyone that Unity’s introduction of installation fees is not to squeeze out game developers, but to save itself and prepare for the difficult times in the future. What it doesn’t do well is that it chooses to sacrifice the interests of small game companies.

“Developers who are angry about Unity should realize that Unity’s new pricing is not the cause of the problem, but a symptom of tough times ahead for the gaming industry.”

“It recognizes this and seeks to mitigate risks in light of the coming consolidation in the gaming industry.”

Technology trends

1. Vine cooling

A team at the University of California is working on growing vines on the outside of buildings to have a cooling effect.

They want to choose an optimal plant that has ideal cooling properties, grows quickly and requires less watering.

In the context of global warming, greening is the best urban cooling measure. Compared with planting trees, vines have several significant advantages: (1) they grow faster; (2) they cost less; (3) they can automatically adapt to the shape of the building.

Its disadvantage is that the building exterior walls need to have cables or wire mesh for plants to climb. In addition, the building is equivalent to being covered with a layer of combustible materials, which may be detrimental to fire safety.

2. Laptop motherboard box

Framework, an American notebook computer brand, focuses on replaceable and reusable parts. Its notebooks can all be assembled by yourself.

Now, it has teamed up with Cool Master to launch a cool product: a motherboard box.

You can remove the laptop motherboard and put it in this flat transparent plastic box, and it immediately becomes a portable computer. It has air ducts, slots, a power button, and an expansion port.

The box comes with instructions that tell users how to remove the motherboard from the laptop and install it inside.

This is really a valuable idea that can greatly reduce the waste of electronic components and increase playability. I hope other brands of notebooks will follow suit.

3. Multi-modal robots

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have invented robots with multiple forms.

It has four wheels and can move forward like a cart (pictured above).

The wheel has blades inside it, and when used as a propeller, it becomes an aircraft (picture below).

Each wheel can be controlled independently, so it can move upright or even crawl up steps.

4. Cube skyscraper

The Saudi government announced that it will build a cube skyscraper as a landmark building in a new district of the capital Riyadh.

With a length, width and height of 400 meters, the building will be the tallest building in the capital.

Its interior is basically hollow and is used to house a huge spiral tower, symbolizing religious belief.

The periphery of the tower is equipped with various buildings such as hotels and residences.

The building is designed to house 100,000 homes, 9,000 hotel rooms, more than 980,000 square meters of shops and 1.4 million square meters of office space, as well as 80 entertainment and cultural venues, a university, a theater and a museum.

The Saudi government says the project will be completed by 2030.


1. We give up TypeScript (English)

DHH, a well-known programmer and creator of the Rails framework, announced that his new project will no longer use TypeScript and will switch back to JavaScript.

2. Ports after 1024 (English)

The Linux system reserves ports less than 1024 (0-1023) for system use, and other ports are allocated by the user. This article summarizes ports larger than 1024 occupied by various common applications.

3. Viewport fragmentation (English)

How many browser window sizes (also called viewports) are there? A design company tried to make statistics and found that there were as many as 2,300 types.

4. How to apply for AWS SES to enter production mode (Chinese)

SES is Amazon’s email sending service, but to activate this service, you need to write an application email and explain the purpose clearly. The author shared his own application experience. (Contributed by @tiezhudotwang )

5. ZeroNet from a technical perspective (English)

ZeroNet is a peer-to-peer network. This article introduces its technical architecture, which is relatively easy to understand.

6. How to install Steam on Arch Linux (English)

This article teaches you how to install Steam, the world’s largest gaming platform, on your Arch Linux system.

7. “Rust or Go?” 》 (English)

The author of this article is a Rust language expert who is often asked to compare Rust and Go. He unexpectedly said that Go might be a better choice for newcomers.

One of his reasons is that Rust changes too quickly. He counted how many major versions of major programming languages ​​were released from January 2020 to September 2023.

  • Node.js: 7
  • Python: 3
  • Go: 8
  • Java: 8
  • Rust: 31

It can be seen that Rust’s version is updated very frequently. If it is not used for a period of time, its ecology will change. From this perspective, Go is more stable and more suitable for newcomers.


1. Linkwarden

An open source desktop program for managing web bookmarks.

2. v0

An experimental product launched by Vercel, which uses AI web pages to generate web pages.

You use text to describe what page you want, and it will give you three UI designs, let you choose one, and then generate a React + Tailwind CSS implementation of the page, allowing for continuous fine-tuning.

There are many works displayed on the official website, and several of them are quite good (pictured above). It should be the most powerful AI web page generator currently. It is still in the Alpha stage, and you need to wait in line to be eligible to use it. (Contributed by @James-Lam )

3. Extension Manager

A browser plug-in, used to manage various plug-ins installed by the browser, making up for the shortcomings of the system’s own extension manager. (Contributed by @JasonGrass )

4. iFlytek Spark cognitive model

iFlytek’s large AI model can generate PPTs and resumes, as well as document Q&A based on prompts. (Contributed by @huiyanghu12 )

5. Subdomain Center

This website can query how many subdomains a domain name has. After clicking the query box, you can directly change the URL in the address bar to query. Its code is open source .

6. Sqids

A library for generating short alphabetic IDs, available in all major languages.

7. Webrecorder

A toolkit for saving interactive web pages so that they can be reproduced as accurately as possible offline.

8. Reflex

A front-end UI framework in Python language, suitable for Python programmers who do not want to use JavaScript to write front-end web pages.

IP geographical ownership query

The following two websites can query the geographical affiliation of a certain IP address.



Both websites also provide free database downloads ( ipinfo download , ipapi download ).


1. Ancient Earth

This website allows you to view panoramic views of the Earth throughout geological time, going back as far as 750 million years ago.

2. HDR to SDR practical journey

A series of articles in Chinese that introduces the relevant knowledge of converting HDR (high dynamic range) videos into SDR (standard dynamic range), and has a sample library of Android implementations . (Contributed by @JonaNorman )

3. Financial reporting AI

This website can analyze the financial reports of listed companies (including US stocks, Hong Kong stocks, Shanghai and Shenzhen A-shares), and supports asking questions about the content of financial reports. Similar tools include BeeBee AI . (Contributed by @Y024 )

4. Penetrate Laravel

A Chinese learning material that introduces the underlying implementation details of the PHP framework Laravel. The code is open source . (Contributed by @youngtrix )


1. San Francisco Capsule Hotel

San Francisco is the most expensive city in the United States, with monthly rent for a single room ranging from US$3,000 to US$5,000 (more than RMB 20,000).

Many developers come to this city and feel that apartments are too expensive, so they choose to live in capsule hotels for a long time. Someone posted a photo of the capsule he lives in on Twitter.

He will live there for 30 days, and the price is US$700 per month (about 5,100 yuan).

Fortunately, the public space of this capsule hotel is good (after all, the fee is so expensive), and developers usually rest and communicate here.

2. Sockets from all over the world


1. Reversible and irreversible decisions

When making a decision, you can make two decisions.

One is an irreversible decision, which is like a one-way door. Once you pass through, you cannot come back.

The other is a reversible decision, like a two-way door. Once you go through it, you can come back again.

How to distinguish them?

You can look at revocation costs. The higher the reversal cost, the more irreversible the decision; the lower the reversal cost, the more reversible the decision.

The trick here is to make reversible decisions quickly and irreversible decisions later.

When decisions are reversible, make them quickly. The biggest risk is procrastination and indecision.

When a decision is irreversible, slow down and try to obtain more decision-making information. The biggest risk is making the wrong decision.

Amazon boss Bezos believes that if there is 70% certainty that the outcome of an irreversible decision can be determined, it is time to take action. If you are not so sure, then you might as well observe again.

In short, the greatest risk of a reversible decision is that it is left to the last minute, and the greatest risk of an irreversible decision is that the decision is made before the moment when the decision is really needed.



There are two kinds of people in the world: those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma but do not know it.

—GK Chesterton , British novelist


A study shows that the most important factor in leadership is not ability, and those who speak the most tend to be the leaders of the team. This is called “talking without taking a vacation”.

“The Leader’s Talk about Never Taking a Day Off”


Linux officially announced that the maintenance period for long-term versions has been changed from 6 years to 2 years. One big reason is maintainer burnout, they are often unpaid and porting the latest features to outdated code is very boring.

On the other hand, who are the people who most want a 6-year maintenance period? It must be big, old, slow businesses, probably banks and government agencies, and they’re not paying.

Hacker News reader


Cinemas have become like concerts, where people not only go to see a movie but also share the experience at the same time. The performance is that while watching a movie, they will take out their mobile phones, swipe the screen, take a selfie, or even turn on the flash, and then post it online.

“Movie theater audience behavior is out of control”


Many people hope that Studio Ghibli will last longer than Hayao Miyazaki, but this is obviously nonsense. Because it is easy for animation directors nowadays to establish their own studios and are not willing to submit to other people’s studios.

After Ghibli is sold, if we are lucky, the future Ghibli will be an empty shell, holding the rights to movies produced by Hayao Miyazaki and so on. If you’re not lucky, someone will take advantage of the Ghibli brand and start (mass) producing crap and sell it to Netflix.

Hacker News reader , commenting on Ghibli being sold to Japanese TV Network

Review of previous years

Game NPC is also a profession (2022 #225)

Knowledge Breadth vs. Knowledge Depth (2021 #175)

Who will the digital renminbi replace (2020 #125)

What impact will electronics replace machinery have on employment? (2019 #75)


Document information

  • Copyright Statement: Free to reproduce – non-commercial – non-derivative – maintain attribution ( Creative Commons 3.0 License )
  • Publication date: September 22, 2023

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