Unity will charge up to $0.2 to install the game. Indie developers are outraged by this decision

The company that owns the Unity engine, which is very popular among game developers, is changing its terms of use. It introduces a fee for each installation of a game that already uses Unity. The community of indie developers is vehemently criticizing this decision, calling it “incredibly worthless” and even “death” for the technology. AIN.Сapital tells the details.

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:

Community reaction

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.

However, independent game developers did not like Unity’s innovation. It seems that the community for the most part did not like the sudden change in the terms of use of the product. Someone is already joking that they will ask players not to install the game after purchase. And someone even writes extensive columns under the heading “Death of Unity”.

PC Gamer quotes Tom Francis, creator of Heat Signature, who called Unity’s decision “incredibly lame”.

“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?”.