Unity, a leading video game software company, recently made a headline-worthy decision. From Jan. 1, they’ll charge game developers 20 cents every time a game made with their engine is downloaded. This news didn’t sit well with many. Developers and gamers voiced concerns, fearing this could hurt small game creators and make some free games less profitable.
We want to acknowledge the confusion and frustration we heard after we announced our new runtime fee policy. We’d like to clarify some of your top questions and concerns:— Unity (@unity) September 13, 2023
Who is impacted by this price increase: The price increase is very targeted. In fact, more than 90% of our…
But the reactions went beyond just words. According to Bloomberg, Unity had to cancel an important meeting because of death threats aimed at two of their offices. To keep their staff safe, they shut down their Austin, Texas, and San Francisco locations for a bit.
There was some confusion about this new 20 cent charge. At first, people thought it would apply to every game download, even if someone was just re-installing it or if it was a pirated copy. Unity cleared this up. They said the charge is for games that hit certain download and money-making marks. The good news? About 90% of Unity users won’t see this fee. And if you’re just re-downloading a game or if it’s a pirated version? No fee.
For some perspective, let’s look at Epic Games, another big name in game software. They only charge a fee for games that bring in more than $1 million. Both Unity and Epic Games let people use their software for free, but they do sell extra tools and features.
This pricing change has some game creators thinking twice about using Unity. Aggro Crab Games, a smaller game developer, shared their worries. They said if Unity sticks with this, they might have to learn a whole new system for making games.