Godot has seen a significant increase in its user base following last year’s controversy surrounding Unity’s new pricing policy. Seems like a big win for the open-source engine.

Unity's controversial pricing update helped Godot double its user base in month last year

Stephen Totilo is back with some GDC takeaways in his Game File newsletter. Speaking with Godot Foundation programmer Adam Scott, he learned that the engine “doubled its user base in a month” last year.

This was a huge boost, since Godot, according to Scott, typically took a year to achieve this kind of growth before the Unity Runtime Fee scandal. However, he didn’t go into much detail, so it is unclear how many people flocked to Godot last fall or how many users it currently has.

In September 2023, Unity introduced the so-called “Runtime Fee,” planning to charge developers for every install after a certain threshold. The decision caused a widespread anger within the community, making the company revamp the model by offering more licensing options and exempting a large portion of its customers from any additional fees.

Despite the apology, many developers paid attention to other engines, including open-source solutions. Godot project manager Rémi Verschelde welcomed users who wanted to switch from Unity to Godot, but warned them not to rush. “It’s a great engine, but no software is perfect and we don’t want you to come to it in panic, and end up frustrated that it might not be the drop-in replacement for what you had to leave behind,” he said.

Shortly after the Runtime controversy, Godot officially launched the Godot Development Fund to help the team “secure stable funding and ensure the longevity of the project.” They also received a $100k donation from Re-Logic, an indie studio behind Terraria. “All we ask in return is that they remain good people and keep doing all that they can to make these engines powerful and approachable for developers everywhere,” Re-Logic said.

Godot is a free open-source engine, which supports allows developers to create 2D and 3D games for multiple platforms, including PC and mobile. Among popular indie titles made with Godot are Deponia, Brotato, Dome Keeper, The Case of the Golden Idol, and Halls of Torment.

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