Some canny devs have started looking elsewhere, not least the open source and free game engine Godot. In fact, on hearing the original Unity announcement, two industry veterans decided to learn the engine and build a game satirizing the situation – and they did it all in one week.
The result is Install Fee Tycoon, an idle clicker in the vein of Cookie Clicker only instead of baking cookies at exponential rates, it's reinstalls of games built on the "Chaos3D" engine.
Granted, an idle clicker isn't exactly the most advanced type of game, but it demonstrates the point that experienced devs can whip up something in Godot, fully formed, in no time and that Unity is not the be-all and end-all. It also neatly plays on concerns many had about how Unity's install tracking would work and how it could potentially be open to abuse.
Yes, it is certainly not as great as Unity when it comes to that super-realism, but for many games it would really suffice quite well enough. That goodness there is some competition available so that devs do have some choices. I often feel it is better to stay a step or two behind the fanciest features, and rather retain your freedoms and not get locked into a subscription model you get held hostage to (sounds a bit like some cloud subscription services).
I remember a time when most games were not ultra-realistic, and we still got totally lost in enjoying the gameplay itself.
Godot is completely free and open source under the permissive MIT license. No strings attached, no royalties, nothing. Users' games are theirs, down to the last line of engine code. Godot's development is fully independent and community-driven, empowering users to help shape their engine to match their expectations. It is supported by the Godot Foundation not-for-profit. It is cross-platform for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and Web Editor.
But there are also other alternatives such as Cocos2d-x, CryEngine (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S), Armory, OpenMW, and LÖVE.
See Devs learn rival Godot engine in a week just to mock Unity
The result? Install Fee Tycoon