Sponsored By

Unity pledges to tweak controversial Runtime Fee policy in the coming days

"We are listening, talking to our team members, community, customers, and partners, and will be making changes to the policy."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 18, 2023

2 Min Read
The Unity logo on a stylised background

Unity has pledged to change its controversial Runtime Fee policy after facing a seismic backlash from the development community.

Last week, the engine maker announced plans to begin charging Unity developers who meet certain thresholds a per-install fee starting in January 2024.

In response, developers lambasted the company for what many described as a betrayal of trust and questioned the decision to announce such an impactful change without effectively communicating how it would affect users.

The company then sought to clarify and amend the policy in a bid to combat "install bombing" and other potential issues, such as how downloads made through subscription services like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus will be handled.

Despite those assurances, major studios and devs including Among Us maker Innersloth and Rust creator Garry Newman indicated they were considering ditching Unity over the decision, while influential publishers like Voodoo and CrazyLabs threatened to turn off IronSource and Unity Ad monetization in protest.

Within three days of the policy being announced, over 100 studios and solo developers had published statements criticising the move and calling for Unity to back down.

Now, in a statement posted on X in the early hours, Unity said it has "heard" the criticism and will be tweaking the policy.

"We have heard you. We apologize for the confusion and angst the runtime fee policy we announced on Tuesday caused," wrote the company. "We are listening, talking to our team members, community, customers, and partners, and will be making changes to the policy. We will share an update in a couple of days. Thank you for your honest and critical feedback."

Many developers, however, have emphasised that "changes" aren't good enough and that only a complete reversal will allow Unity to begin rebuilding trust with its customers.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like