Unity Learns It's Best Not To Piss Off Game Devs And Issues Install Fee Apology

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Unity is apologizing for the confusion and anger resulting from the company's announcement of its Runtime Fee Policy, stating it will be changing it. However, customers are responding that the damage has been done and that Unity is still left with an egg on its head.

Unity tweeted out its apology on X over the weekend, saying it had heard many customer complaints and would be talking with its "team members, community, customers, and partners" to develop a new policy. It said it would share an update "in a couple of days."

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The company's announced Runtime Fee Policy that set off the tirade of customer comments on social media was set to go into effect on January 1, 2024. At that time, Unity would start charging a $0.20 per install fee for any game with more than 200,000 installs. It left many developers with more questions than answers. Devs wondered if they would be charged for multiple installs by those who install, uninstall, and then choose to re-install the game again later, or whether or not installs from services such as Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus also counted.

To clarify those questions, Unity said it would only count "net new installs" on any device beginning January 1, 2023, and that devs would not incur a fee on re-installations or "fraudulent" installations through things such as botnets. The company also insisted that the change would not affect 90 percent of its customers.

The explanations did not soothe the ire of devs and the community, nor did the apology from Unity and its backtracking on the decision to implement the new policy. Game developers and community members quickly responded to the apology on X and expressed that the damage had been done.

opera gx tweet unity frog of shame

The Opera GX X account responded with "the frog of shame." The image of a frog shared the words, "If the frog of shame gets more likes than the original tweet, then your tweet really sucks." It added, "I will keep posting the frog of shame until you reverse this policy."

Tim Soret, Creative Director of The Last Night and founder of Odd Tales Games, responded, "Pease, either a total revert or a standard revenue share. Forget about any other kind of convoluted scheme." He went on to say, "Just be honest, upfront, reliable. We need stability. Thank you."

tim soret tweet unity

Multiple game developers, such as Rust 2 developer Facepunch Studios and Mega Crit, have already stated they will be utilizing a different game engine in the future. In Mega Crit's official statement following the initial announcement, it remarked, "That is how badly you fucked up." The creators of Among Us have also remarked they would be looking into possibly swapping game engines.

The anger that the policy change caused went as far as what Unity called a credible death threat and made the company decide to close offices in San Francisco and Austin. The company remarked about the threat, "We have taken immediate and proactive measures to ensure the safety of our employees, which is our top priority."

Time will tell exactly what changes will be made to Unity's Runtime Fee Policy following the company's apology, and if it will be enough to persuade its customers not to abandon ship.