New pricing plans

So in the very midst of the VR revolution PlayCanvas removes the ability to export to HTML option for the free plan. What an absolutely terrible move and a total turn off.

All the plans are unbalanced and make no rational sence to me.

And for someone like me who has no interest in making money from playcanvas I now have to think about moving on because i cannot even download my projects anymore.

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While new pricing makes life for free accounts a little bit harder indeed, payed tier gets more benefits per dollar compared to the old pricing model. Old model had this loophole where you could download your project on free account and modify its loading screen in any way you wanted. Now this stuff is locked away.

Personally, as a free tier user, I probably should be a little bit upset about that, but at the same time I understand that 99% of PlayCanvas accounts are free, so the team needs to make the development at least somewhat financially feasible. At the same time while my personal account is free, I also work on client’s projects, and they have org account set up.

Ultimately I’m looking forward to transitioning into $15/mo tier once I decide building my small development / outsourcing business on top of PlayCanvas tech. At the moment clients are still rare - and lots of them are scared away by cloud nature of PlayCanvas editor. And speaking of WebGL games, monetization is still unclear - sponsorship doesn’t bring good money anymore, F2P with IAPs requires a lot of content, ads bring almost no money at all.


Hi @mrLoganite

I’m sorry you feel this is bad move. Let me try and address some of the points.

First, can I ask what you need to download your application for?

Second, you suggest the plans are unbalanced. When we looked at all our users in detail before we adjusted the plans we discovered that the vast majority “pro” users were working alone but were running into the storage and project limits which we had in place. The new plans are much more generous for these users and allow them to work on bigger projects than before and they don’t need to worry about deleting projects to free up a private slot.

Finally, we believe that PlayCanvas is hands-down the best way to create WebGL and WebVR content. Graphically, it is better that all the other WebGL engines out there and the editor and tools are light-years ahead of all other options. We believe that using PlayCanvas will save you time, save you money and let you build better applications than the alternatives. There is a team of the world’s best web, graphics and art professionals working full-time on creating PlayCanvas.

In our opinion, the personal and organization plans are both excellent value for money to help us support this incredible team building for the future of the interactive web. We understand that not everyone can afford the plans, which is why we have the free plan to foster a community of creators who can build, share and learn from each other.

And if, for what ever reason, none of the options we offer suit you and you’d prefer to use another solution, then we’ll be sorry to see you go, we wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing what you create. :smile:


I download the projects so that I can self host and free up space.

Let me ask a question, why did PlayCanvas remove the download option from the free accounts?
Surely the only possible reason was to stop people like me self hosting to free up space and to force free accounts into paid accounts by the removal of existing “free” functionality.

To be honest I don’t have much of a problem with what you are doing but the timing hurts. WebVR is a mess still, the API is still ages from settling down (you only have to look at the change log for July 10 to see how mixed up things are). The sensible thing to do would have been to left the free plan as is and then attract vr developers to the platform until chrome goes mainstream on vr and the api settles. From a “potential” VR developers standpoint the PlayCanvas / WebVR platform just went from bad to worse. While all the time the other platforms are going from ok to good, Unity/ UE4 / aFrame. And I know you don’t see them as direct competitors yet but Unity is already ramping up their WebGL rendering engine in anticipation, aFrame launches their editor next week.

I quite agree that PlayCanvas is a good platform WebGL apps but it cannot claim that for WebVr (no one can really)

Putting VR developers off who might be interested in working on PlayCanvas by removing options that were previously free is a bad move in my book. The wasn’t even notification of the change to users which I think is quite poor in this age.

I pretty much agree on most, except regarding unclarity with web platform from commercial point of view.

There is no recipe for web platforms, like there are for appstore or googleplay, but that’s down to very different nature of platforms.
Web is so much bigger and diverse, there are dozen of different kind of websites and services in web, this just shows how vast possibilities are in web.
That applies to games as well, and to monetization, someone is selling in game bonuses, someone is selling services, another advertises their agency, someone is selling services and so on. There are many ways to make money in web.
So if you look at recent huge success projects such as or, they made simple games as possible, so they are accessible to pretty much anyone capable of tapping a screen or moving a mouse. Add the fact that web platform is biggest platform than any others combined, and you are getting huge number of users, in that case ads - bring tons of money.
Then you can take as example, and his totally different approach to monetisation and players accusation.

It is important to challenge our views of web platform, and take off any “filters” we use to look at web platform, like coming from mobile world.
Web is different from any platform out there, and shall be understood in isolation.

Generally I agree with that, Web has always been a diverse place welcoming experiments and new frontiers. But as a sole developer, I don’t have that much options in terms of project scope / complexity, and making another Agar or Slither type of game would be a huge gamble.

I find PlayCanvas to be a great tool and a breath of fresh air, which reminds me of early Flash days (even before Flash was bought by Adobe). The thing is, Flash ultimately became widely adopted and became a foundation to a lot of businesses, big and small. PlayCanvas is still waiting for its golden hour, and I hope it will happen soon.

In the meantime I’m experimenting with minigames, archviz and fancy shaders :slight_smile:

Removing export from the free plan ensures our development ecosystem is healthy and that apps can easily built, shared and viewed on the PlayCanvas and as underlight said it closes the loophole that allowed companies to use PlayCanvas for commercial projects without supporting the community.

Ultimately, John, if you don’t think that $15-a-month is a worthwhile price for the years of technical work by our team, daily support on these forums from the people who created the engine and the continued new work, features, bug fixes and improvements that are deployed every day then I then I don’t think there is much I can do to convince you otherwise.

I do think $15 a month is an excellent price for anyone “interested in / or already making money” from PlayCanvas.

I don’t fall into that category (at the moment) , however that’s not the point I was making.

There was a part of the Free account which is no longer free. It’s removal was not communicated in advance and now only people who pay can download my code , I however cannot.

Just so I am absolutely clear, I see nothing wrong with the platform (although still a bit unfinished in area’s such as geometry merging, controls over geometry creation etc). I see nothing wrong with the pricing model (although I don’t remember many comments from the community about the pricing so I am guessing somehow you managed to read the communities mind as far as pricing goes :wink:

I simply stick by the comment

There was a part of the Free account which is no longer free. It’s removal was not communicated in advance and now only people who pay can download my code , I however cannot.

People who pay, cannot download your code. They can only download their own code or projects they are collaborators of.

I pay for github, without using private projects, because I like github, and think that they deserve few bucks for a pint a month, plus I use it and it costs them - hosting, developers, etc. If github free, it doesn’t means it is actually free to have it - everything today have to come from someone who spent his own time making sure others can enjoy it. And if there are some number who support that activity, they are happy to contribute.

I pay for hosting of EC2 on AWS, because it is convenient. While there are free options, I still prefer EC2, because I like it.

I don’t make money using github or AWS. And I pay for many more other things, that I don’t make money from.

This is like: you pay for a good meal as you appreciate to have a good meal and keen to leave some tips for a good service.

They cannot download my code? Not even if they fork it and then download the project?

You do make a good point about github, mmm… I will have to think about that. I find it difficult to justify spending $15 a month vs nothing for Unity, UE4 or aFrame. Especially when I am not interested in making any money from it ( I just like making content and being part of a community). But you are right in that if I am using it then I should be supporting it. I think you have made it clear that the free account is actually more of a “Test” account.

Looks like I have a big decision to make.

Actually, you can make games and apps, and enjoy all the features without ever a need to download a code. You don’t need to even host your stuff as playcanvas have publishing and manages all traffic and hosting of people projects.
So no, it is not “Test” type of account, you can surely develop full-on game with it. Like tanx was developed initially in public, and went private just because of legal reasons. Still doesn’t need to be downloaded.
And most of all projects been made by free community been all “ok” and players can enjoy their content easily.

Unity had limited features, like you had no render to texture if you don’t pay. PlayCanvas does not do that regarding engine features at all. Everyone gets same features of Editor and Engine.

Anyway, more code could been written instead of those discussions, which feel actually pretty negative. It must be hard to read for developers team when they work hard, and then get something negative for actually giving something out for free already.
Very reminds me funny Louis CK:

lol, very funny clip. thank you.

Just for info Unity Free doesn’t have limits like that anymore since version 5, same engine and features in both free and pro.

I didn’t mean to sound negative, I think PlayCanvas is a great achievement.

I think I fall into weird category as I don’t really plan to make games - I plan to make webgl websites and vr websites. I have come a long way in learning playcanvas the past couple of weeks but I’m afraid $50 per month to remove the splash screen is going to be a deal killer for me.

I’d be THRILLED if I could replace the logo’d loader at the $15 level. That’s a number I could swallow. The only 2 features I’m really interested in is self-hosting and no playcanvas splash screen but $50 monthly is too steep for me to buy those 2 features.

Is there any chance of breaking out the cost of removing the Playcanvas splashscreen/loader? This detail kinda kills my plans atm.


ps: I love Playcanvas and I believe it has the potential to be very widely adopted.

Hi Alpay. Non-gaming applications is not a weird category. Perhaps one of the largest (if not the largest) group of PlayCanvas users is creative agencies. So you’re actually a fairly typical user.

Sorry to hear you feel that $50/month is too great a price to pay for customizing the PlayCanvas loading screen. The new pricing plans reduce the minimum cost for doing this from $100/month to $50/month. We felt that represented a generous reduction for what is, by far, the most advanced WebGL development environment on the market today.

At PlayCanvas, we pay subscriptions for Creative Cloud, Xero, Google Drive, GitHub, Atlassian, Mailchimp and many, many more and this totals several thousands of dollars a month. We pay this because we get great value and we want to support the businesses that enable us to operate so efficiently.

Thanks for the response Will… I hope i didn’t come across as disrespectful. I honor the fact that a lot happens behind the scene’s that include costs to create your service and run your company… and mind you, I’m not complaining about your pricing structure. It’s just… if guys like us out here in the wild don’t voice our opinions, you might not know the reasons for us to decide to pay or leave. So… constructive conversation. I read you loud and clear, $50 monthly is the cost for me to remove the Playcanvas branded loader. Understood. Thanks for the confirmation. I consider it a bargain for the features you provide, but a bad match for me to launch my own site to attract clients, and so, i’ll probably stop learning PC from this point on. I chose PC over one of your competitors, but for economic reasons ($9 monthy), i’ll have to give them a try. Thanks again and best of luck.

Any chance for a perpetual license be an option? I would pay for that if it were an option.