Since its founding in 2010, the Boston Unity Group (BUG) has attracted thousands of members to regular gatherings, talks, and networking events, including many technical lectures archived on YouTube. But the group says it will be hosting its last meeting Wednesday evening via Zoom because the Unity of today is very different from the Dave Helgason-led company that BUG says "enthusiastically sanctioned and supported" the group at its founding.
Group leaders said that Unity has progressively shifted its focus away from the games industry and away from supporting developer communities.
"Following the IPO, the company has seemingly put profit over all else, with several acquisitions and layoffs of core personnel. Many key systems that developers need are still left in a confusing and often incomplete state, with the messaging that advertising and revenue matter more to Unity than the functionality game developers care about."
BUG says the install-fee terms Unity first announced earlier this month were "unthinkably hostile" to users and that even the "new concessions" in an updated pricing model offered late last week "disproportionately affect the success of indie studios in our community."
But it's the fact that such "resounding, unequivocal condemnation from the games industry" was necessary to get those changes in the first place that has really shaken the community to its core.
"We've seen how easily and flippantly an executive-led business decision can risk bankrupting the studios we've worked so hard to build, threaten our livelihoods as professionals, and challenge the longevity of our industry," BUG wrote.
"The Unity of today isn't the same company that it was when the group was founded, and the trust we used to have in the company has been completely eroded."