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What happens if I make more than $100k with the Unity Personal license?

If you generate over $100,000 in revenue or funding with the free Unity Personal license, Unity‘s terms of service require you to upgrade to a paid Plus or Pro license. Exceeding the $100k revenue cap with the Personal edition is considered a breach of terms, and Unity can issue takedown requests or pursue legal action. To avoid disruption and continue using Unity legally, you‘ll need to upgrade to Plus or Pro depending on your budget and studio size.

Evaluating Unity License Options

Once you‘ve exceeded $100k in revenue with Personal, you have two paid license upgrade options:

  • Unity Plus – $400 per seat annually, revenue cap of $200k.
  • Unity Pro – $1,800 per seat annually, no revenue cap.

I‘d recommend Plus for small/medium studios and Pro for large enterprises. Here‘s a more detailed comparison of Plus vs. Pro to help decide:

Unity Plus Overview

Plus gives you more cloud services, user engagement features, and some basic analytics compared to Personal. It‘s best for indie developers and AA studios that have outgrown Personal but don‘t need the full Pro suite.

  • Access to limited Multiplayer hosting
  • Additional cloud storage and content delivery
  • Custom splash screen capability
  • Basic ad networks integration

Plus costs only $400 per seat annually, so it‘s relatively affordable for small teams. Just be aware of the $200k revenue cap.

Unity Pro Overview

Pro gives you everything in Plus plus optimized performance, unlimited Multiplayer hosting, deep analytics, and customized expert support. It‘s designed for large enterprises and AAA studios.

  • Fully optimized build performance
  • Unlimited Multiplayer hosting
  • Maximum cloud storage and content delivery
  • Custom expert engineering support

Pro costs a hefty $1,800 per seat annually but has no revenue cap. The advanced features are invaluable for big studios.

Unity Plus Unity Pro
Annual Cost Per Seat $400 $1,800
Multiplayer Hosting Limited Unlimited
Analytics Basic Advanced
Engine Support Standard Custom

This table summarizes some of the key technical differences between Plus and Pro.

Estimating Your Team‘s Seat Needs

Don‘t overpay for unused seats. Audit your team to determine how many Plus or Pro seats you actually require:

  • Developers – Gameplay, engine, systems programmers.
  • Designers – Level builders, quest designers, UI.
  • Artists – 3D modelers, animators, technical artists.
  • Producers – Development directors, project managers.

Identify seats for active Unity users only. Exclude writers, audio engineers, QA testers, executives, etc. They don‘t need dedicated seats.

Buying seats monthly instead of annually can also optimize costs as your headcount changes. Just be aware of the overhead of managing recurring monthly payments.

Pros of Upgrading Your Unity License

While upgrading to Plus or Pro increases your licensing costs, there are good reasons to do so:

Access to More Monetization Tools

Plus and Pro unlock more ad networks, in-app purchases, and advanced player analytics to optimize revenue. With the right tools, you can better monetize your player base.

Capability to Build Bigger Games

Pro allows virtually unlimited Multiplayer hosting and content delivery, enabling larger games with online persistence. Plus also provides expanded cloud capabilities.

Increased Production Quality

Pro includes optimized build performance and custom expert support. This allows you to achieve higher production values and polish.

Improved Marketability

Having "Made with Unity Pro" or the Unity logo on your game can increase perceived production value and marketability. Especially useful for attracting publishers.

Other Revenue Streams Beyond Licenses

Upgrading your licenses is not the only way to leverage Unity. Consider diversifying into:

  • Selling templates, tools, and assets on the Asset Store.
  • Offering Unity development as a service to clients.
  • Consulting other studios on best practices.
  • Teaching Unity workshops and video courses.

These additional services allow you to generate revenue from your Unity skills, while continuing to use the free Personal license for your own projects.

Avoiding Disruption and Legal Issues

The upgrade costs may seem high, but avoiding Unity takedown requests and potential legal action is invaluable. The last thing you want is your game taken offline or lawsuits eating into profits.

Biting the bullet and upgrading proactively ensures you can operate legally at scale. Plus the additional capabilities can accelerate growth and offset the costs through increased player engagement and monetization.

Key Takeaways on Exceeding the Personal License Cap

Here are some final tips if you go over $100k:

  • Carefully determine how many Plus/Pro seats you need.
  • Weigh if Plus will suffice or if Pro is required.
  • Evaluate monthly vs. annual payments for cost flexibility.
  • Leverage additional monetization tools unlocked.
  • Consider diversifying into selling assets and services.
  • Upgrade promptly to avoid legal issues!

While transitioning to paid licenses increases costs, it enables you to keep building legally at scale. And with the right strategy, you can offset the added licensing expenses through boosted revenue.