Unity has filed to take the company public on the same day its rival, Unreal Engine, is having its iOS fate discussed in a court room battle between Apple and Epic Games. While its plan to go public have been in the works for awhile, the timing is significant.
Apple vs Epic Games
On Tuesday the first hearing between Apple and Epic Games took place in the United States. The two companies are at war after Apple booted Fortnite from iOS due to a policy violation. Google also removed the game from the Play Store.
Apple took issue with Epic Games offering an alternative to the in-app payments that provide Apple with a 30 per cent cut of all revenue. Epic subsequently sued, referring to the ban as anti-competitive.
Things got more complicated when Apple threatened to also ban Epic’s Unreal Engine from its platforms — a program used by a high proportion of third party developers.
With Unreal Engine’s iOS fate on the line, it’s an incredible time for Unity to announce that it’s going public.
Unity is the maker of the Unity Game Engine — a popular rival to Unreal Engine for game and app development. The Apple-shaped threat to Unreal Engine could make its stock all the more attractive once it goes public.
That being said, all is not lost for Unreal just yet. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said she is “inclined” to allow a temporary restraining order against Apple booting Unreal Engine from its platforms.
Still, Unity has plenty going for it on its own.
In its S-1 filing to the United States Security and Exchange Commission, Unity claimed that in 2019 53 per cent of the top one thousand mobile games on the App Store and Google Play were made with the Unity Game Engine.
It is also boasting a huge number of users.
“As of June 30, 2020, we had a global reach of over two billion monthly active end-users, who consume content created or operated with our solutions on over 20 platforms,” Unity said in the filing.
“We saw an average of more than 15,000 new projects each day in the first half of 2020.”
The IPO paperwork also revealed that the company has never turned a profit. In 2019 Unity lost $US163.2 million on $US541.8 million in revenue. The year prior it lost $US131.8 million on $US380.8 million in sales.
But its not all bad news. Revenue has been increasing year on year and Unity’s losses are being narrowed. During the first half of 2020 Unity lost $54.2 million against $351.3 million in revenue.
And as of June 2020 Unity held $US1.29 billion in assets and $US453.2 million in cash.
Unity has not disclosed how many shares it will be offering or at what price. However, the company says it plans to raise up to $US100 million.
Interestingly Unity will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the single-letter ticker of ‘U’.