One of the biggest news to come out this year came a couple of days ago when the biggest game engine in the market today, Unity, announced a number of new pricing and packaging changes that will take effect on January 1, 2024.
The most significant change is the introduction of a new Unity Runtime Fee. This fee will be charged to developers whose games generate more than $200,000 in revenue and have more than 200,000 installs in the past 12 months. The fee will be a small flat fee per install, and will vary depending on the Unity subscription plan. In a blog update, Unity revised its “per install” policy, from charging developers per install to per initial install, which means developers will no longer be charged for succeeding installs (if the user decided to install, uninstall, then install again) after the initial one. Demo installs and games included in bundles are also exempted from this charge.
Unity is also making a number of other changes to its pricing and packaging, including:
- Offering Unity Personal to anyone regardless of revenue
- Adding cloud-based asset storage, Unity DevOps tools, and AI at runtime at no extra cost to Unity subscription plans
- Introducing new DRM requirements for the Unity Personal editor
Unity says that the new pricing and packaging changes are designed to “align Unity’s success with the success of our customers” and to “ensure Unity remains a sustainable platform for all developers.”
To the surprise of absolutely no one, this announcement was met with a lot of flak from developers. They expressed concerns about the lack of transparency from Unity about how the fee will be calculated and how the revenue will be used.
One of the biggest reactions to this announcement came from Massive Monster. In a post on their Cult of the Lamb X page, they encouraged players to “Buy Cult of the Lamb now, cause we’re deleting it on Jan 1st.”.
Developer Mike Blackney also took to X to point out the ridiculousness of this fee.
This will no doubt affect a lot of roguelite devs as well, and it wouldn’t be surprising to hear multiple developers who use Unity as their main development platform announcing that their game will be massively delayed if not downright canceled.