Microsoft has announced, via Xbox Wire, that they’ll provide the Unity engine license to indie developers for free. Program head Chris Charla revealed that Microsoft will make copies of the software free to all members of the self-publishing [email protected] program, which is designed to ease the process of indie development for the Xbox One. Charla also confirmed that the Unity Pro seat licenses will also be free.
“Of course, middleware isn’t cheap. One of the cool things about working at Microsoft is that we have access to pretty amazing resources. For independent developers though, tools like Unity on console can cost quite a bit,” Charla said.
“We thought about paying for some developers’ Unity licenses but the more we talked about it, the more we felt paying for some developers’ licenses and not others just didn’t feel right,” he added. “To us, [email protected] is about providing a level playing field for all developers.”
Charla also promised that they’ll devote their marketing and promotion power towards lesser known developers and their indie titles. The whole concept behind this indie program is to provide a fair playing field for everyone.
“Will we devote marketing and promotion to promising looking titles in development? Of course, Chalra states. But we want to make sure the dev who’s working away in Omaha, or Coventry, or Chiba will have the same shot to realize their vision on Xbox One as one of my developer friends we hang out with in Seattle or at a trade show like GDC or Gamescom.
Because at the end of the day, we want gamers to pick the hits, Charla explains. That’s what Xbox One is all about: One games store, the best discovery tools on console, and a powerful, equal playing field for all games, from developers big and small.”
Every single developer that’ll be accepted into the program will receive two development kits for free, with additional kits available for purchase. There won’t be any application and/or membership fees for [email protected] members as well, nor any extra costs for game certifications or title updates.