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Unity Will Be Making Changes To Its Install Fee Policy


There was a significant uproar following Unity’s announcement of a pricing adjustment last week, prompting them to reconsider and modify their policy.

Upon the game engine company Unity’s recent announcement of alterations to its pricing structure, developers overwhelmingly expressed dissatisfaction.

The proposed changes would result in developers incurring progressively higher fees as their games accumulated installations, leading to the decision being labeled, among other criticisms, as “an astonishing scumbag move”.

Unity has issued an apology for the “confusion and angst the runtime fee policy” it unveiled last week and has disclosed its intention to “making changes” to it.

Unity has since issued a statement on Twitter/X stating:

The original Runtime Free Policy is set to go into effect on the first of January next year. Any game with more than 200,000 installs would be subject to a $0.20 per install fee under this policy.

This raised numerous inquiries, primarily due to the challenge of defining the term “install” in the contemporary context. Questions arose regarding whether game developers would incur charges for multiple installations by users who install, uninstall, and subsequently reinstall their games.

There were also questions about whether Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus installs would count, despite users not incurring extra charges beyond their monthly subscriptions.

Unity did make an effort to clarify the policy, clarifying that they would exclusively tally “net new installs” originating from any device beginning on January 1st.

They also stressed that they would not charge developers for reinstalls or installations labeled as “fraudulent,” like those carried out through botnets.

This news came as a shock and angered many developers who said they would not work through Unity anymore.

The backlash grew so intense that Unity had to close its San Francisco and Austin offices, and they canceled an important CEO meeting due to what they referred to as a “credible death threat.”

Unity San Fransisco Office.

Unity has now released an official apology and clarified its intention to “make changes ” to the previously disclosed policy. The statement opens with “We have heard you” and expresses regret for the perplexity and distress generated by the runtime fee policy introduced on Tuesday.

“We apologize for the confusion and angst the runtime fee policy we announced on Tuesday caused. We are listening, and 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.”

Even after this statement, developers remain weary with Trent Kusters of League Of Geeks studio stating:

“There wasn’t any ‘confusion. In fact, the exact opposite is the concerning issue here; That we all, very clearly, understood the devastating impact and anti-developer sentiment of your new pricing model far better than you ever did (or cared to) before rolling it out.”

League Of Geeks

Will this apology and policy change restore Unity’s standing with the developers they rely on, or could the breach of trust harm the company’s future irreparably?