Devs React To Unity's Newly Announced Fee For Game Installs: ‘Not To Be Trusted’


Resident Canadian
Dec 1, 2020
Canada's Ocean Playground

The new Runtime Fee, announced in a September 12 Unity blog, is based on the number of installations a game built with the Unity engine receives, as well as the revenue it generates. Though it won’t start until January 1, 2024, the Runtime Fee will apply to any game that has reached both a previously established annual revenue threshold and a lifetime install count.

Yesterday, game engine company Unity announced changes to its pricing plan that will see developers charged each time someone installs their game after certain revenue and installation thresholds are met. Unity has been around since 2005 and is one of the most popular platforms for game creation, used for big-budget titans like Genshin Impact as well as games like Vampire Survivors, Pokémon Go, Cuphead, Among Us, Subnautica, RimWorld, BattleTech (2018), and Hollow Knight.

The outside game devs are mad as hell.

Let me be clear.. the cost isn't a big issue to us. If everything worked out, the tracking was flawless and it was 10p per sale, no biggy really. If that's what it costs, then that's what it costs.

But that's not why we're furious. It hurts because we didn't agree to this. We used the engine because you pay up front and then ship your product. We weren't told this was going to happen. We weren't warned. We weren't consulted.

We have spent 10 years making Rust on Unity's engine. We've paid them every year. And now they changed the rules.

Studio behind Slay the Spire announce they will change course (on a 2+ year game-project) and completely migrate away from using the Unity Engine after Unity's price change

Wow. They must be very desperate to come up with a hairbrained scheme like this.

RIP Unity.

I don't see any developer staying with them after this. After all, if they come up with this rule, what's next?
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Riccitiello isn’t the only executive at Unity to sell a bunch of stock the week before the company’s Runtime Fee announcement. According to Unity’s market activity on the Nasdaq, several other Unity board members sold significant numbers of shares leading up to its “plan pricing and packaging updates.” Chief among them being Tomer Bar-Zeev, Unity’s president of growth, who sold 37,500 shares on September 1 for roughly $1,406,250, and board director Shlomo Dovrat, who sold 68,454 shares on August 30 for around $2,576,608.
The Unity CEO who decided this was a good idea, also once thought about charging out-of-ammo players a monetary fee for reloads.

Unity CEO John Riccitiello once tried to make gamers pay for every bullet they would fire in an FPS game. During a 2011 stockholder meeting, the ex-EA CEO tried to introduce paid gun magazines in games such as Battlefield during the heat of gameplay.

When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you’re really not that price sensitive at that point in time,” the CEO said.
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  • According to a Bloomberg report, Unity CEO John Riccitiello was set to hold a town hall meeting with staff on Thursday to discuss the controversial rollout of a new Runtime Fee that would charge developers per each new install once their games reach certain revenue and download thresholds.
  • However, the meeting was canceled after the company received a “credible death threat” and, as a result, decided to temporarily close offices in Austin, Texas, and San Francisco.
  • A spokesperson told the publication that Unity has “taken immediate and proactive measures to ensure the safety of our employees.” It is now “fully cooperating with law enforcment.”
I like this part:

Replying to Forbes, New Blood’s Dillion Rogers noted that the “problem with Unity for several years now is that the people running the show aren’t listening to the developers and engineers like yourself.”

And the devs and engineers aren't listening to the players either. They do whatever the hell they want and have for years. No wonder a lot of them are starting to go broke and resorting to ridiculous measures to try to stay afloat.

Shit really does roll down hill.

Now they know how the players feel.
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