- Unity Technologies has apologized and promised significant changes to its controversial runtime fee policy after facing widespread criticism and boycotts from game developers.
- Unity’s decision to charge developers for every game installation sparked outrage, leading to a wave of backlash against the company and a boycott of its ad platform.
- While Unity has acknowledged the frustration caused by their previous announcement, the specific changes they plan to make are yet to be revealed. There are concerns about the impact of the policy on developers and the management’s previous share sales.
In a surprising turn of events, Unity Technologies has issued a formal apology and pledged significant changes to its controversial runtime fee policy. On September 12, Unity unveiled a contentious decision to charge developers every time their games are installed, sparking widespread outcry within the gaming and development communities.
The newly introduced Unity runtime fee was set to impact developers whose revenue exceeded $200,000 over the preceding 12 months, coupled with games garnering more than 200,000 installations. While Unity has consistently been lauded as one of the premier game engines, often mentioned in the same breath as industry giants like Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and Valve’s Source Engine, its versatility is underscored by titles such as Hollow Knight, Pokemon GO, Monument Valley 2, Rimworld, and Fall Guys. These examples exemplify the engine’s adaptability, enabling developers of all backgrounds to bring their creative visions to life.
However, the Tuesday announcement triggered a wave of backlash against Unity, despite its status as a globally renowned development engine. Many game developers have joined forces to boycott Unity Technologies’ ad platform in protest, taking a significant stand against the new pricing model. Nevertheless, Unity has now released a fresh statement acknowledging the concerns. In their statement, Unity acknowledges the frustration and confusion caused by their earlier runtime fee policy announcement. They express their commitment to actively listen to feedback from their team members, community, customers, and partners.
Furthermore, the statement asserts that Unity is in the process of evaluating the policy and intends to make revisions. They pledge to provide an update on these changes in the coming days and express gratitude for the candid and constructive feedback they have received. While this is unquestionably a welcome statement, it remains to be seen what specific changes Unity will implement. It is evident that the statement has arisen in response to the mounting criticism and boycotts from several renowned developers.
It’s important to note that Unity had previously attempted to clarify that the change would affect less than 10% of its customers, but this statement failed to have a significant impact. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that before Unity announced these changes on September 12, several key members of Unity’s management sold a substantial number of company shares ahead of the unpopular announcement. Furthermore, the company was compelled to close two offices and cancel a planned town hall meeting due to alleged credible death threats.