- Unity has closed offices and canceled a town hall due to credible death threats, adding to the backlash it’s facing over its pricing changes.
- The change in Unity’s licensing fees has angered developers and gamers, as it may negatively impact the gaming industry.
- The decision to charge for game downloads without transparency on tracking numbers has sparked distrust and led to developers abandoning Unity.
Unity has closed two offices and canceled a planned town hall meeting due to allegedly receiving credible death threats. At the moment, many developers and gamers are angry with Unity due to the change in how the pricing of its licensing fees works, as it may have a direct impact on the gaming industry.
Back on September 12, Unity changed its licensing model, announcing that it would start to charge developers for each download of their games starting on January 1, 2024, as long as they crossed a certain threshold of sales and downloads. The decision caused so much backlash that Unity had to explain it via social media. Still, it didn’t seem to have been enough to persuade developers that charging for downloads without enough transparency on how these numbers are tracked is a good idea.
Today, Unity decided to close two offices over what was described as a credible death threat. According to the company, the security staff was made aware of risks to offices located in San Francisco and Austin, so they decided to close them down for the day. A town hall meeting with Unity’s CEO John Riccitiello was also canceled. Unity affirms that it has already contacted the police, which is currently working on the situation.
It’s safe to say that 2023 has not been very good for Unity. In previous months, the company laid off hundreds of employees and planned to cut down its number of offices by almost half, going down from 58 to 30. Also, several important members of Unity’s management sold many shares of the company before the unpopular announcement, including Riccitiello, Unity’s president of growth Tomer Bar-Zeev, and board director Shlomo Dovrat.
Unity’s decision to change its pricing has greatly affected the plans of many developers. For instance, the devs behind Rust affirmed that they won’t use Unity for Rust 2, as all trust in the company is completely gone now. According to Facepunch Studios CEO Garry Newman, Unity’s strategy makes no sense outside of the mobile gaming world. With different platforms, some of them without any form of DRM, there are several issues with accurately tracking downloads, so the information that will be used to charge developers can’t be trusted. Similarly, the developers of the popular Cult of the Lamb threatened to remove their game by January 1 as part of a protest to Unity’s changes in pricing. So far, Unity has not backed down on its decision, though.