Unity says sorry – again – and reveals its revised pricing plan


Unity has announced a tweaked pricing plan as it attempts to repair the damage done by the Runtime Fee policy it proposed last week.

Unity Create boss Marc Whitten just posted the below on the Unity blog. The game engine maker also published a Runtime Fee Estimator to help developers calculate the potential costs of the new pricing model, and an FAQ to address any further questions.

The apology:

“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. Our goal with this policy is to ensure we can continue to support you today and tomorrow, and keep deeply investing in our game engine.

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.”

The details:

“Our Unity Personal plan will remain free and there will be no Runtime Fee for games built on Unity Personal. We will be increasing the cap from $100,000 to $200,000 and we will remove the requirement to use the Made with Unity splash screen.

No game with less than $1 million in trailing 12-month revenue will be subject to the fee.

For those creators on Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise, we are also making changes based on your feedback.

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.

We will make sure that you can stay on the terms applicable for the version of Unity editor you are using – as long as you keep using that version.

For games that are subject to the runtime fee, we are giving you a choice of either a 2.5% revenue share or the calculated amount based on the number of new people engaging with your game each month. Both of these numbers are self-reported from data you already have available. You will always be billed the lesser amount.”

From last Friday: ‘Unity boycott begins as devs switch off ads to force a Runtime Fee reversal

Before Unity made today’s announcement, Unity boycott group United Game Devs sent us the below statement, which re-iterates its commitment to switching to “open-sourced engines” like Godot.

“The main problem is that an update to the runtime fee doesn’t solve its fundamental issue: its existential impact on the game dev community,” says the United Game Devs statement. “Building a games business while paying runtime fees, even with its proposed revenue cap, is not an option, and many developers will use the old version of Unity Engine to avoid that fee.”

“The latest announcement shows again that the game developer community has no choice but to explore and focus on other engines.”

“Sadly, Unity is also unwilling to openly communicate with its community in a true dialogue to find common ground and a workable solution. Instead, it chose again to inform its community of its changes as a fact. The market rules are simple – everyone prefers to do business with partners whose changes in terms and conditions are transparent and consider developers’ interests.”

“That is why the community will not rely on Unity in the long run and already started migrating to other engines. As United Game Devs, we will focus on fostering and investing in open-sourced engines.”

From last week: ‘Unity is offering a Runtime Fee waiver if you switch to LevelPlay as it tries to “kill AppLovin”

Unity caused widespread anger last week by announcing plans to introduce a pay-per-install policy effective January 2024.

We later learned that behind the scenes Unity account managers have been offering developers a waiver on the Runtime Fee if they switched to Unity’s own LevelPlay ad products. Developers we spoke to suggested Unity simply wants to “kill Applovin” by leveraging its game engine in this way.

On Friday, a group of developers kicked off a Unity boycott in which they switched off all Unity ad products in protest. The group hoped to force Unity into retracting the Runtime Fee proposals.

Rival AppLovin even joined the debate with CEO Adam Foroughi writing a public letter saying that Unity should “retract” the Runtime Fee “and shift to transparent price increases”.

From last Friday: ‘AppLovin CEO urges Unity and Riccitiello to ditch Runtime Fees or risk ‘tearing the industry apart’‘.

“Don’t make this about advertising,” he added. “Don’t make this an attack on indies. Go back and rethink the choices you’ve made.”

Unity appeared to relent on Sunday, with a statement on Twitter that apologised for the “confusion and angst” caused by the Runtime Fee announcement and that promised an update on its policies.

Now that Unity has revised its plans, what does this mean for you and your studio? Let me know here.

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