Unity's Controversial Install Fees Have Game Developers Dropping F-Bombs

Among Us characters on an airplane with Unity's logo in the sky.
Earlier this week, Unity announced a change to its business model, which has caused some game developers to drop f-bombs all over social media in response, and others to speak out with less abrasive language. The company tweeted that the upcoming changes would include new additions to its subscription plans and introduce a Runtime fee.

Unity is a well-known and widely used cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies in 2005. The company's website touts itself as having a user-first mentality where the best ideas win. However, earlier this week, the company announced upcoming plans for its business model that have since garnered a great deal of ire from the users it says it puts first.

In a tweet, Unity confirmed that the upcoming changes would include a price increase, but it would only affect a small subset of Unity Editor users. It added that the developers who would be affected are already generating revenue that far exceeds the thresholds outlined in its announcement, and that small companies who are still growing their business would not pay a fee.

unity explanation tweet

However, game developers like Mega Crit have expressed their disdain for Unity's new business model. In an official statement posted on X, Mega Crit remarked, "The retroactive pricing structure of Runtime Fee is not only harmful in a myriad of ways to developers--especially indies--it is also a violation of trust." The statement ended with a very emphatic response to Unity: "We have never made a public statement before. That is how badly you [Unity] fucked up."

Mega Crit is far from being alone in its disgust with Unity at the moment. Garry Newman, who founded Facepunch Studios in 2004, posted a statement on his blog site condemning Unity for its proposed changes. In the blog post "Unity can get fucked," Newman remarked, "Let me be clear.. the cost isn't a big issue to us. If everything worked out, the tracking was flawless and it was 10p per sale, no biggy really. If that's what it costs, then that's what it costs."

mega crit tweet about unity

Newman continued, "But that's not why we're furious. It hurts because we didn't agree to this. We used the engine because you pay up front and then ship your product. We weren't told this was going to happen. We weren't warned. We weren't consulted."

The fury that has erupted in the wake of Unity's announcement has led many developers, such as Newman, to say they will no longer be utilizing the once highly popular gaming engine. Newman went on to add, "The trust is gone," while concluding, "Let's not make the same mistake again, Rust 2 definitely won't be a Unity game."

Brian Clarke, the independent game developer responsible for the horror-based Mortuary Assistant, echoed Newman's frustration in a tweet, remarking, "While I am currently heavily intertwined with @unity for my projects I will be exploring alternatives. #Unreal #GodotEngine & more".

brian clarke unity tweet

While Unity has acknowledged that its announcement led to 'confusion and frustration,' it also said it will not walk back on its plans to implement the new business model, even as complaints from game devs continue to pile up. For example, Among Us developer Innersloth said this move will harm game studios of all budgets and sizes and "if this goes through, we'd delay content and features our players actually want to port our games elsewhere." 

Time will tell if Unity holds to its stance, and if so, how many game developers will look elsewhere in the future to create their games.