Unity Runtime Fees Revised Following Developer Backlash

Attempting to walk back controversial changes made to its fee structure, Unity clarified new runtime fees for titles using the popular game engine. The changes to the Unity Runtime Fee come on the heels of a new pricing structure that some developers claimed could force them out of business.

Unity announces changes to its controversial Runtime Fee policy for creators using the engine

As spotted by Wario64 on Twitter, Unity has issued a public statement on its blog outlining changes coming to the Unity Runtime Fee in response to the recent backlash.

The statement, written by Unity Create head Marc Whitten and posted on the official Unity blog, begins with an apology to the development community. Stating that it “should have spoken with more of you” and incorporated user feedback before implementing the new Runtime Fee, Whitten claims that the company wants to continue supporting creators who use the Unity engine in their titles.

Under the new terms, developers using Unity Personal will no longer be subjected to a Runtime Fee and will see the revenue and funding limits raised from $100,000 to $200,000. They will also no longer be required to use the “Made With Unity” splash screen on their titles and won’t be subject to fees unless their game earns over $1 million in trailing 12-month revenue. This is likely to come as welcome new to smaller developers, over a dozen of which led a protest against Unity last week by shutting off Unity Ads in their titles.

Users of Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise will also see changes to the Runtime Fee for their projects. Under the new rules, the Runtime Fee policy will only apply to projects made with the next LTS version of Unity, expected to arrive in 2024. Games that are already shipped or are still in development won’t be required to pay the new Runtime Fee unless they upgrade the title to a newer version of the engine.

Unity’s FAQ page for the new licensing rules also reveals that the company has abandoned changes that would have seen developers charged for each install of their game. Developers will now self-report their user numbers and can decide between paying a 2.5% revenue share to Unity or an amount “based on the number of new people engaging with your game each month.”

While these changes may not diffuse all of the anger directed towards Unity CEO John Riccitiello in recent weeks, they represent a significant improvement from the earlier Runtime Fee policy.     

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