Unity apologizes for new fee plans, but offers no alternatives

Unity apology

Unity has issued an apology for its controversial new policy, but many remain unconvinced.

In the wake of the universally negative feedback towards the new Unity Runtime Fee, Unity has publicly apologized for the concern it has caused developers. The Unity Runtime Fee is a new policy that would charge developers for each individual download of every game created with Unity.

In the policy’s current state, studios have stated it threatens their financial stability. Developers of games such as Among Us, Genshin Impact, Hollow Knight, and Cult of the Lamb would have been forced to pay high fees to maintain their games. Some developers even claimed that the new fees would have totaled more than the revenue created by their game’s sales.

Is Unity changing the new fee policy?  

Yes, Unity is expected to change the fee policy in the next few days, though it hasn’t yet detailed just what those changes will entail.

In a statement, Unity announced that it will be taking feedback from its customers while discussing potential changes internally. The company is expected to provide an update within the next couple of days. It should be noted that in addition to disfavor, Unity’s initial announcement of the policy was also met with much confusion due to Unity changing its wording regularly.

In one of the earliest forum posts related to the new fees, Unity claimed that reinstalls would be counted as yet another charge to developers. In a later post on social media, Unity would change its stance, saying that such scenarios would be dealt with on an individual basis. Meanwhile, there also remains no response from Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo regarding Unity’s claims of development fees being shouldered by those companies. 

Is Unity losing money?

Yes, Unity is losing money in 2023.

According to The Motley Fool, Unity experienced a net loss of $193 million on $533 million in revenue. Unity compensated five of its executives upwards of $158 million, a full third of the company’s revenue for that quarter.

Paired with the news from GuruFocus that several higher-ups in Unity, including the CEO John Riccitiello, sold thousands of their shares weeks before the announcement, it paints a questionable picture of the company’s current value and the reasons behind these decisions. Any updates to the new policy will have to address these concerns.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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