Unity in a Damage Control Mode after Its Runtime Fee Change Plan Runs Foul with Developers

Game engine and development tool company Unity is receiving developers’ wrath after it announced a new runtime fee structure last week. It suggests up to a $0.20 runtime fee for each install after a threshold of installs and revenue is crossed.

As per this pricing structure, the threshold for Personal and Plus customers was 200,000 lifetime installs and a revenue of $200,000 in the last 12 months. For the Pro and Enterprise account users, the threshold for the new pricing policy to kick in was set at 1,000,000 lifetime installs and a revenue of $1,000,000 in the last 12 months. The new runtime fee was to become effective from January 1, 2024.

However, after massive backlash from its developer community, Unity issued a message that apologized for its ill-conceived runtime fee plan.

“We have heard you. We apologize 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. We will share an update in a couple of days. Thank you for your honest and critical feedback,” Unity said on X, formerly Twitter, on September 18.

But the reactions of developers have not been any milder. They accuse Unity of destroying goodwill and trust, that will now lead to developers deserting Unity and joining other competing platforms. 

Unity 1.0 was set up by a group of three developers — Nicholas Francis, Joachim Ante, and David Helgason – in 2005. Today, Unity is one of the most successful cross-platform game engines, with a community of over 2.5 million developers.

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