Unity, a leading tech company in game development, is facing backlash from the game development community after announcing a new “Runtime Fee” policy. The fees, aimed at funding the development of their technology, have left many game creators concerned about potential financial burdens.
Under the new plan, developers using Unity’s free tier will be charged $0.20 per installation once their game reaches 200,000 downloads and earns $200,000 in revenue. Those on the Unity Pro plan, paying over $2,000 annually, will face different thresholds and lower fees. This policy is set to take effect in 2024.
However, concerns were raised that games experiencing a surge in installations due to events like big sales, charity bundles, or inclusion in subscription services could incur substantial Unity fees. Game developers took to social media to express their frustration and called on Unity to reconsider their approach.
Unity’s Marc Whitten clarified certain aspects of the policy, assuaging some of the concerns. He emphasized that fees would only apply to the initial installation of a game, not subsequent re-installations. However, an additional fee would be charged if a user installs a game on a second device.
Whitten also clarified that game demos and games offered for charity would be exempt from the fees. Additionally, fees for subscription services like Game Pass would be borne by the distributors, not the developers.
Whitten estimated that only around 10% of Unity’s developers would be affected by these fees, given the thresholds games need to meet. He emphasized Unity’s commitment to providing valuable tools for game development and expressed a willingness to address concerns raised by the community.