Developers to Boycott Unity Game Engine or you pay x2 for Gaming

There is growing discontent among developers who are expressing their intention to boycott Unity, a widely used game engine, due to Unity’s proposed implementation of a runtime fee’. This fee would require developers to pay a charge for each download of their game.

The Unity engine, which shares its name with the company, has been utilized as a software framework for the creation and development of video games as It competes with other engines like Unreal Engine and Godot.

Most video games operate on a specific software framework known as an engine. Among smaller developers, readily available engines like Unity are widely favored due to their popularity; and developing a custom engine by every game studio can be both time-consuming and expensive.

The fee will be implemented solely upon the attainment of a specific threshold of success by the game, and then the developers using Unity’s free services will pay a nominal fee of $0.20 (£0.16) per game download. However, this fee is applicable only if the game generates a revenue of $200,000 within a span of 12 months and is downloaded more than 200,000 times.

Also, the threshold for eligibility to one million downloads and one million dollars for developers who subscribe to Unity’s professional services. Then, developers with paid accounts will be charged a lower fee per download compared to those with free accounts.

The proposed amendments are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024, as Unity has communicated that it will implement a charging model that considers developer activity subsequent to the specified date. However, it is important to note that Unity will also factor in previous sales and downloads as part of this evaluation process.

When will this fee start?

According to the terms and conditions, in the event that a developer utilizing Unity’s complimentary services has a game that surpasses the runtime fee threshold prior to January 1, charges for downloads will commence.

What are game developers saying?

Nevertheless, developers have expressed strong criticism regarding the pricing adjustments recently announced by Unity for its gaming engine. Numerous developers have even gone as far as contemplating a potential transition to rival platforms like Unreal Engine, as aforementioned.

Although It’s a near-impossible task to collate all of the negative responses from developers on X, formerly known as Twitter, here are a few that sum up the overall reaction from @massivemonster twitter handle.

“Stop the stink @unity”

However, Numerous members of the gaming community have expressed the viewpoint that developers are facing repercussions for their achievements in creating a prosperous game as a result of these alterations. Though more profound concerns have also been brought to light,

There are several issues that have been identified in the current system, which are:

  1. Developers who provide free-to-install games are being charged for installations, even though they do not generate any revenue from them.
  2. Developers are being charged for re-downloads, which means that gamers who are dissatisfied with a product could potentially download the game multiple times without actually playing it. This forces the developers to incur fees for each re-download.
  3. In cases where games are illegally downloaded, developers may still be charged despite not receiving the rightful compensation they are owed.In the event that smaller developers utilizing Unity opt to withdraw their games from digital storefronts in order to circumvent download fees, it may inadvertently confer exclusive advantages to larger developers.

Although Unity has received significant backlash following the initial announcement, the company has not altered its intention to implement the runtime fee beginning next year. It is important to note that there have been updates regarding the fee since the initial announcement, after which the company promptly issued an updated statement, emphasizing that the price increase was implemented with a specific focus, stating that “the impact of this change will be minimal for over 90% of our customers.”