Unity Unveils Revamped Pricing Model


Unity, a widely used game development platform, recently faced a significant backlash from the gaming community after announcing a new pricing model. However, responding to the outcry, the company has made substantial changes to its initial plan, aiming to address the concerns raised by developers.

In the revised plan, users on the Unity Personal subscription plan will no longer be subject to the newly proposed fee. Additionally, Unity has raised the revenue cap on games developed with the Unity Personal plan to $200,000. Furthermore, any game created with Unity, generating less than $1 million in a 12-month period, will not be subject to the fee.

One of the critical modifications is that the fee will only apply to games made with the next version of Unity, anticipated to launch in 2024. Initially, the fee was set to apply to games meeting specific download and revenue thresholds, including those still in development.

Marc Whitten, President of Unity Create, clarified the change in a letter, stating, “The Runtime Fee policy will only apply beginning with the next LTS version of Unity shipping in 2024 and beyond. Your games that are currently shipped and the projects you are currently working on will not be included — unless you choose to upgrade them to this new version of Unity.” In response to developer concerns, Unity is also restoring the ability for developers to use terms of service (TOS) corresponding to their version of Unity. This means developers can remain on the terms applicable to the version of the Unity editor they are using.

Unity is adjusting how it assesses the runtime fee in 2024 and beyond. Instead of charging per installation, developers can now choose between a 2.5 percent revenue share or a calculated amount based on the number of new users engaging with the game each month. However, the blog does not specify the metric by which developers should calculate the payment.

Addressing privacy concerns and criticism, Unity has abandoned its reliance on proprietary software to determine when a game has met download and revenue thresholds. Instead, Unity will allow users to self-report revenue, aiming to provide more transparency and user control.

Recognizing its communication failures, Unity issued an apology. Marc Whitten expressed regret, stating, “I want to start with simply 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.” While the latest changes seem to address major concerns, Unity acknowledges that trust between the company and the game development community may have been damaged. Unity plans to host a live “fireside chat” on YouTube to discuss the new policy and engage with the community on the matter.

The original pricing model, which had sparked controversy, faced criticism for its potential impact on indie developers and smaller studios. Unity’s decision to revise the plan reflects the significance of community feedback in shaping policies that can impact a wide range of developers using their platform. The company’s willingness to listen and make substantial changes demonstrates the importance of open communication and responsiveness to the needs and concerns of the user community.

Illustration by Cath Virginia / The Verge

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