Unity have announced that there will be changes to its controversial runtime fees following an unabating backlash from game developers, and apologised for sowing resentfulness.
“We have heard you. We apologise for the confusion and angst the runtime fee policy we announced on Tuesday caused. We are listening, talking to our team members, community, customers, and partners, and will be making changes to the policy,” said Unity in a post to X (previously Twitter).
“We will share an update in a couple of days. Thank you for your honest and critical feedback.”
The runtime fees were revealed on September 12. As the Unity Editor and the Unity Runtime code are present in the Unity engine, Unity explained that the new fee is to compensate the company every time that the latter is installed as part of a game installation.
People working in a cafe using a Macbook Credit: Helena Lopes via Pexels
The company also attempted to assuage concerns by claiming that 90 per cent of its customers would not feel these fees. Those using Unity Personal and Unity Plus will be integrated into the pricing plan once the game has generated $200,000 or more in annual revenue and it has been installed at least 200,000 separate times.
Reinstalls do not count towards the total, nor do demos, trials or “malicious” installs. On the other hand, Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise subscribers will be included once they’ve made $1million or more in annual revenue from their game and the product has been installed at least one million separate times.
In spite of this update on Unity’s stance, it seems that the general sentiment towards both itself and the runtime fees remains sour. “Let’s see the changes,” said Geoff Keighley. The host of The Game Awards had already called the new pricing plan “a joke” in its original announcement.
“No confusion here, just unity among developers fed up with the exploitative financial decisions being forced on us by your executives,” replied Innersloth developer Tony Coculuzzi. “You’ll need to do a lot more than ‘making changes to the policy.’ Those in charge have can no longer be trusted with our well-beings.”
Last week, Unity was forced to close two of its offices after a death threat was sent to it from one of its own employees.