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Report: Unity narrows controversial Runtime Fee policy

Outcry from the game development community has led to Unity rethinking its upcoming policy change, which it still insists will affect a small amount of users.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

September 18, 2023

2 Min Read
Logo for engine maker Unity.

A week after announcing its upcoming Runtime Fee policy, and hours after promising tweaks were to come, Unity is said to be backtracking from the "major aspects" of its plan. 

Per Bloomberg, the company recently held an all-hands meeting where staff were informed it was now exploring changes, such as a 4 percent cap on potential fees. This would apply for customers making over $1 million in revenue, and installations counting towards that wouldn't be implemented retroactively. 

Last week, a number of developers decried the new fee policy, which was set to go live on January 1, 2024. Studios such as Massive Monster and Innersloth made their distaste for it clear, and threatened to break off their relationship with Unity to create their projects in other engines.

In the case of Massive Monster, it threatened to delist and delete its 2022 hit game Cult of the Lamb, which was made in Unity.

Bloomberg further claims that rather than relying on proprietary tools to track software installations, Unity will now rely on users to self-report the data. The outlet alleges these changes are being looked over by Unity's partners and the company won't announce them until it's been given their full approval. 

During the meeting, CEO John Riccitiello reportedly told staff Unity will better work on its communications going forward. And when asked about the now soured relationship with game developers, he and other executives replied they will have to "show, not tell" a commitment to regaining trust. 

"I don’t think there’s any version of this that would have gone down a whole lot differently than what happened," Riccitiello reportedly said. "I think we could have done a lot of things a lot better."

Game Developer has reached out to Unity for confirmation of Bloomberg's reporting, and will update this story when a response is given. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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