The world’s first official Unity user group, the Boston Unity Group (BUG), has announced that it is dissolving after 13 years due to a complete lack of trust in the company behind the Unity engine. The group states that the trust they once had in the company has been eroded over the past few years.
BUG was founded in 2010 and has attracted thousands of members to regular gatherings, talks, and networking events. However, the group feels that the Unity of today is very different from the company they wholeheartedly supported at its inception. They believe that Unity has shifted its focus away from the games industry and developer communities, instead prioritizing profit, acquisitions, and layoffs.
The group also criticizes Unity for leaving key systems that developers rely on in a confusing and incomplete state, with an emphasis on advertising and revenue over functionality. BUG highlights that Unity’s recent fee structure plans were hostile to users and disproportionately affected the success of indie studios. Although Unity made some concessions following the backlash, developers remain wary and unconvinced that the company’s trustworthiness has been fully restored.
This sentiment is echoed in the wider game development community, with many prominent developers expressing skepticism about using Unity in their future projects. Some developers feel that Unity ignored their advice and pushed ahead with their initial fee structure changes despite the anticipated negative response. As a result, even after the walkback, developers continue to voice concerns about Unity’s leadership and their potential to make similar decisions in the future.
Unity executives, including Marc Whitten, have acknowledged the erosion of trust and have pledged to engage in more open dialogue with their creators in an attempt to regain trust. However, developers remain skeptical and assert that actions, not just words, are necessary for Unity to rebuild their reputation.
The dissolution of BUG and the continued apprehension of developers highlight the serious consequences of a breakdown in trust within the game development community. Unity will need to take significant steps to address these concerns and establish a track record of transparency and accountability if they hope to regain the trust of developers in the future.