Last week, Unity announced it would be charging developers a per-install fee for using its game engine. Amidst backlash, however, Unity has apologized and promised "changes to the policy."
In a Sunday tweet, Unity said: "We have heard you. We apologize for the confusion and angst the runtime fee policy we announced on Tuesday caused." It promised "an update in a couple of days."
Last week, the company said that once certain revenue and install thresholds were reached, every install of a video game developed with Unity would incur a "Runtime Fee," as outlined in this chart:(Credit: Unity)
"We believe that an initial install-based fee allows creators to keep the ongoing financial gains from player engagement, unlike a revenue share," Unity said at the time.
As Engadget notes, developers were quick to register their displeasure. Meta Crit, the creator of Slay the Spire said a "retroactive pricing structure [is] a violation of trust." It pledged to migrate to a different engine, despite the work it had already done on Slay the Spire, unless Unity reversed course. "We have never made a public statement before. That is how badly you fucked up," Meta Crit concluded.
Unity apparently didn't learn anything from the Reddit kerfuffle. There, the social network tried to clamp down on AI tools scraping Reddit content by charging a fee for access to its API. That didn't go over well with legacy Reddit clients, like Apollo, which was forced to shut down over a potential $20 million yearly bill. Rather than backtrack, though, Reddit's CEO doubled down.
It remains to be seen whether Unity’s U-turn will be enough to keep its developers on board.