Unity Apologizes for Install Fee Policy Controversy (Update)

Unity says it will make changes and not backpedal on them. Why is that?

Update: Bloomberg reveals Unity staff shared details of the tentative changes to the policy during a new all-hands meeting.

  • Limiting fees to 4% of a game’s revenue over $1 million.
  • Installations counted toward reaching the threshold will no longer be retroactive.
  • Installations will no longer be tracked by proprietary tools. Instead, Unity will rely on users to self-report the data.

“I don’t think there’s any version of this that would have gone down a whole lot differently than what happened,” Unity CEO John Riccitiello said in the meeting. “It is a massively transformational change to our business model.”

“I think we could have done a lot of things a lot better.”

Unity has issued an apology for the “confusion and angst the runtime fee policy” it announced last week has caused. The company has now confirmed it will be “making changes” to it.

Last week, Unity “shocked” everyone with an announcement that it would change its policies, which will now be called the Unity Runtime Fee Policy. It was going to take effect next year, January 1, 2024, which charges $0.20 per install for any game with more than 200,000 installs. Several games are using the Unity game engine, which means if players install, uninstall, and reinstall a game, a developer will be charged for each one. Do PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass titles count?

While Unity clarified that this new policy will not affect certain installations, this has still stirred the whole gaming community and most of them are not pleased. This has now made Unity take action and try to douse the fires that gamers and developers alike are starting to burn.

Unity posted on Twitter to share an apology to the gaming community for the “confusion” the policy caused. Here is the full statement:

We have heard you. We apologize for the confusion and angst the runtime fee policy we announced on Tuesday caused. We are listening, talking to our team members, community, customers, and partners, and will be making changes to the policy. We will share an update in a couple of days. Thank you for your honest and critical feedback.

Interesting to note that the statement only mentioned an update and not “backpedal” on the Unity Runtime Fee Policy. It seems this policy will stay, but the community wants it gone for good. Just how much reduction of the fee will be done in order to appease everyone? Will the developers and gaming community finally forgive Unity or will this anger them even more?

We’ll find out more in a few days.

Former News Editor