Atari VCS Revenue Split Revealed, Unity and Linux Support Confirmed
Atari VCS developers will keep 88% of their game's revenue if it's exclusive, 80% if it's on other platforms.
Despite some alleged behind the scenes drama, the Atari VCS is still poised to release in March 2020. While we are only three months away from its launch, Atari is just now encouraging indie developers to start working on games for their new systems. They have not only confirmed that it will support games and apps created with Unity and Linux, but will feature a pretty nice revenue split for developers as well.
Unity is a very popular and fairly accessible game engine, so it’s no surprise that Atari VCS would support it. The Medium post revealing all this information states that Atari wants its system to be “open, easy, and straightforward for creators and studios to develop for,” and Unity support just helps them achieve that goal. Interestingly, the post also mentions that developers working on VR games in Unity should contact Atari, so it will be interesting to see if the VCS ends up having some form of VR support. As for Linux development support, Atari states that “the Atari VCS uses a version of the Debian Linux OS and supports games and apps developed using standard 64-bit Linux code, APIs and tools,” so indie developers working in Linux shouldn’t have a problem bringing their game or app over.
These are the only two engines that are compatible with the Atari VCS at this time, though Atari is “actively working toward confirming compatibility with other popular development engines in an effort to provide additional flexibility and multiple options for game and app developers.” The console itself will also serve as a development kit, so indie developers start testing their games when the system launches in a few months. Of course, there will be developer certification and game submission portals for developers to use, but those aren’t live yet. In general, today’s post just seems to encourage Unity and Linux developers to keep the Atari VCS in the back of their minds.
It may be an enticing system too as it features a good revenue split. For exclusive games, developers get to keep 88% of the revenue, which is on par with the Epic Games Store and better than its console competitors and Steam. If a game isn’t exclusive, that split becomes 80/20, which is still fairly high for this industry. As this open call for developers is coming suspiciously close to the system’s launch, it will be interesting to see what the Atari VCS’ game an app lineup looks like at release outside of Antstream’s retro game support.