Unity will charge up to $0.2 to install the game. Indie developers are outraged by this decision
Changes in Unity payment:
Usually, Unity-type services work on a licensing or subscription model. In January 1, 2024, the company introduced a new payment model for developers: Unity Runtime Fee. It means that game authors will pay to use Unity every time their game is installed by a player.
For this condition, the company has set different thresholds for different subscriptions, for example, the game must earn a certain amount of money and have a certain number of installs:
The monthly payment will range from $0.01 to $0.20 for one game installation:
It doesn’t mean that the owners of Unity introduced something radically new to the market. For example, another popular Unreal Engine has a condition: as soon as the game reaches $1 million in revenue, Epic Games receives 5% of all future sales.
“A partner who can and will change how much of your revenue you owe them *after* you’ve made and released your game needs to be avoided like the plague,”Francis tweeted.
And the head of the Necrosoft Games studio, Brandon Sheffield, wrote a whole article called “The Death of Unity”, and said that Unity was once the savior of the game industry, because this solution made life easier for developers. His company made all releases on Unity. And he is angry that, in addition to the subscription, he will now have to pay for each new installation of the game.
“But now I can say, unequivocally, if you’re starting a new game project, do not use Unity. If you started a project 4 months ago, it’s worth switching to something else. Unity is quite simply not a company to be trusted,”he added.
Brandon gives the calculation for a game on Unity that costs, say, $0.99 at release. Steam takes a 30% commission from it, and then Unity takes another 20 cents, and the maximum a game developer will earn is 46 cents on the dollar.
A separate problem for those studios that published games for free or almost free. Over the Moon Games, which listed its game The Fall on the Epic Store for free, writes: “We were happy to sell them the rights to the game for next to nothing. Since then, the game has been installed more than 7 million times. So how will it work? We will owe you more money than we have earned in our entire life?”.