Xbox Series X indie games could be hit by Unity license fee increase

(Image credit: Unity)

A change in Unity's license could have a big impact on the Xbox indie scene.

As reported by Gamasutra (opens in new tab), Unity has officially changed its policy for the Unity Pro license. As of right now, any game developers looking to launch their game on PlayStation, Xbox, Stadia, or Nintendo Switch platforms will need either a Unity Pro license, or a Preferred Platform License Key.

The issue for Xbox developers is that while PlayStation and Nintendo deliver keys directly to developers, Microsoft does not. This means that Unity-developed indie games looking to publish their game on Xbox platforms will now need to shell out $1,800 per year for a Unity Pro license for each developer wishing to use the software.

This could impact the Xbox indie scene in a big way. Although it should be noted that projects started only after July 30 will need to hold the Unity Pro license to launch their games on the aforementioned platforms, $1,800 per user per year is a big ask for indie developers, likely paying out of their own pockets for the fee should they wish to publish their games on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S.

A Microsoft spokesperson commented on the change, telling Gamasutra that "we will continue to work with our development partners and engine providers, including Unity, to determine how to best support creators on Xbox," the spokesperson said, while not confirming that they would be delivering Xbox keys to indie developers going forward, like Nintendo and PlayStation.

If you're looking to discover a new indie gem to add to your library, you can head over to our new indie games guide for more.

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.