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Game developers react to Unity Engine’s new pricing changes

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Game developers react to Unity Engine’s new pricing changes

The announcement of Unity Runtime Fees has caused a stir amongst developers.

Donovan Erskine

Donovan Erskine

September 12, 2023 1:35 PM30

This morning, Unity released a blog post informing users of an important update coming to its engine: Runtime Fees. These fees will be charged to developers whose games cross a specific revenue and install threshold, siphoning away a portion of their earnings. The news quickly spread among the game developer community, with many having overwhelmingly negative reactions to the announcement.

The news from Unity was enough to elicit reactions from developers in both indie and AAA spaces. This includes Thirsty Suitors Director Chandana Ekanayake, who quoted an opinion piece from Insert Credit that urges developers not to use the Unity Engine for their projects. Rami Ismail aired his frustrations as well, stating that it’s highly unlikely that any video game developers were consulted before this decision was finalized.

According to the Unity blog post, the Runtime Fees will apply to games developed with Unity Personal and Unity Plus that have made $200,000 USD in the past 12 months and have at least 200,000 lifetime installs. For Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise, the fees apply to games that have made $1,000,000 USD and surpassed 1,000,000 downloads in that period.

Unity provided some clarifications in a statement provided to Axios. If a player were to uninstall a game and then reinstall it at a later point, that would count as two unique installs towards the developer’s threshold. Many have pointed this out as something that can be weaponized against developers by bad actors. Unity has also clarified that the fees will not apply to charity games and bundles.

With such a strong negative reaction across the board, and several developers stating their intentions to switch to different engines, it feels like only a matter of time before Unity provides a statement on the situation. We’ll be sure to update this article with any additional information once it’s shared.

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