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Unity’s runtime fee policy forces studios to push back with over 500 developers joining in protest

More than 500 developers have joined the protest against Unity’s runtime pricing policy by turning off monetization.

Like relationshipsat the time of writing, more than 500 companies and independent developers have signed an agreement collective letter to disable all IronSource and Unity Ads monetization until the new terms are reviewed.

“We are the collective voice of the game development industry: developers, game designers, artists and entrepreneurial minds,” the letter reads. “Passionate about our craft, we have invested years in shaping an industry that touches the lives of millions of people around the world. As stakeholders, we cannot remain silent when a decision threatens to destabilize this ecosystem.”

The protest comes after Unity announced that its game engine will soon begin charging developers a monthly fee with its new “Unity Runtime Fee” based on the number of installs their games receive. For those using Unity Personal or Unity Plus, the threshold will start with 200,000 lifetime installs and a total of $200,000 in revenue per game. This change is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2024.

“As an immediate action, our collective of game development companies are forced to disable all IronSource and Unity Ads monetization in our projects until these changes are reconsidered,” the letter continues.

“We invite others who share this position to do the same. The rules have changed and the stakes are simply too high. The Runtime Fee is an unacceptable change in our partnership with Unity that must be reversed immediately.”

Studios joining the protest include Magic Tavern, Lion Studios, Belka Games, Tap Nation, People Fun, Machine Zone, Clipwire, Mindstorm Studios and more, with the number of developers signing the collective letter increasing at the time of writing .

Following the announcement, a Unity employee threatened the company, forcing it to temporarily close offices at two locations. Unity released a new statement on September 18 apologizing for the “confusion and distress” the policy had caused, and it appears the company will look to review the new policy.

“We’ll share an update in a couple of days. Thank you for your honest and critical feedback,” Unity said.

At the moment, it’s unclear what direction Unity might go with its runtime fee policy, but in the meantime the collective letter is a way for developers to push back.

Some of the best indie games uses the Unity engine, but if you’re looking for something different, check out our top picks for the best games for PS5 of 2023.


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