After its release in 2005, Unity saw widespread adoption among independent game developers for its accessibility, ease of use, and its affordable pricing plans. However, recent blunders by Unity Technologies, combined with the catching up of competing engines, have put to question how effective Unity still is.
In recent years, Unity has been criticized for the morality of its recent business decisions. In 2022, Unity announced a merger with the software company IronSource, which had made its name through InstallCore, which was infamous for bundling malware and evading antiviruses. Recent layoffs have only worsened their reputation.
Along with potential mismanagement within Unity, new competition has provided game developers with other software to turn to. Unreal Engine, despite its old age, still sees popularity among more experienced developers. Godot, which is uniquely open source, has seen quick growth over the past few years thanks to grants from Mozilla and Kefir. Other alternatives have seen small-scale popularity, such as generalist engines like Gamemaker Studio and Pygame, and specialist engines like RenPy and RPG Maker.