Unity President Marc Whitten has published an ‘open letter’ apologising and backpeddling many announced features for the new Unity Runtime Fee that caused massive upset amongst game developers, Unity staff, and the wider gaming community.
“I want to start with this: I am sorry… We should have spoken with more of you and we should have incorporated more of your feedback before announcing our new Runtime Fee policy… You are what makes Unity great, and we know we need to listen, and work hard to earn your trust. We have heard your concerns, and we are making changes in the policy we announced to address them.”
Part of the newly announced changes includes a complete removal of the Runtime Fee scheme for any developer using the free ‘Unity Personal’ plan. The $100,000 cap on revenue for Unity Personal has increased to $200,000 and products made with Unity Personal will no longer have a ‘Made with Unity’ splash screen. In addition, the Runtime Fee will no longer be applied to any game that makes less than $1 million in trailing 12-month revenue.
Importantly, for developers who use Unity Pro or Unity Enterprise, the Runtime Fee will not be applicable for any game being developed on the current Unity Engine. The fee will only be applied should you choose to upgrade to the next version of Unity shipping in 2024. This policy change is perhaps the most significant, with much of the outrage over the initial announcement of the Runtime Fee caused by the idea of retroactively charging developers for games that are already released, or charging game developers for games already in development. Moreover, when games eventually do start being developed with the new Unity Engine where the Runtime Fee comes into place, you can instead pay a 2.5% revenue share with the data self-reported by the devs, not from Unity.
It’s good to see Unity listen to feedback and reverse many of the policy changes that got people so outraged in the first place. However, it’s hard not to think that the damage was already done with trust lost from developers. For a bigger breakdown of what policy changes are being made, you can head here.