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Unity Continues To Backtrack From Its Runtime Fee Announcement, And Now Potential Changes To The Policy But Not A Full-Reversal Have Leaked

Unity continues to suffer from its announcement of a new Runtime Fee policy, which would charge those distributing games made with Unity a fee for every game installed.

This new fee infuriated developers across the industry, as it inherently changed the business relationship between Unity and those using it. In an apology statement published to Unity’s Twitter account, it stated that Unity “will be making changes to the policy.”

“We have heard you.” the statement began. “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.”


As far as what changes are said to be made to the policy, a report from Bloomberg shows that the potential changes would make Unity’s structure appear more like Epic’s own structure for its Unreal engine.

These changes as reported by Bloomberg would be:

  • Limit fees to 4% of a game’s revenue for those making over $1 million
  • Game installs which count towards reaching that threshold won’t be retroactively counted
  • Unity will no longer count the number of installs using its own proprietary method, instead developers and publishers will self-report the amount of installs to Unity

For game’s published on Unreal Engine, Epic only begins to take a royalty cut once that game has hit $1 million, though it takes a 5% cut.

It’s interesting to note that the tone of this apology statement almost reads to imply Unity didn’t expect the confusion and fervor it received.

Though many online have been quick to point out that the developers within Unity would have, and in some reports did, warn executives about the backlash this new fee would cause.

There’s also the fact that there have been reports in which developers point to this whole fee being a ploy to kill Unity’s competitor in the mobile space, AppLovin.

According to reporting from mobilegamer.biz, developers will have their runtime fee’s waved off if they choose to create their apps and games with Unity’s LevelPlay and most importantly use LevelPlay’s monetization features.

This then puts into context why Unity won’t, at least right now, be entirely reversing this Runtime Fee announcement, but try to make changes to it, to hopefully regain some of the ground it lost.

Bloomberg also reports that in the meeting recording of a Monday meeting where these details came from, that chief executive officer John Riccitiello acknowledged the extremely poor execution of this announcement.

While also admitting that there was no way the news would go down well with anyone, which further informs that Unity knew this would be, at the very least, an unpopular decision, even a downright bad one for its longevity.

“I don’t think there’s any version of this that would have gone down a whole lot different than what happened. It is a massively transformational change to our business model…I think we could have done a lot of things a lot better.”

Source – [Bloomberg, mobilegamer.biz]