Unity, the widely-used game engine, recently unveiled a new pricing scheme that has sparked widespread backlash among developers. The announcement of the Unity Runtime Fee, which is set to take effect in 2024, has left many developers concerned about its potential impact on their plans.
Under the new policy, developers will be required to pay a fee for every download of a game built on Unity’s engine. This has triggered a wave of criticism from developers, who have taken to social media to voice their displeasure. Many have expressed worries about the financial burden this could place on their projects.
In response to the backlash, Unity clarified that the fee would only apply to the initial installation of a game and would not be applicable to installations through subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. However, this clarification has done little to alleviate the concerns of many developers, who are still unhappy with the policy. As a result, some have even considered shifting away from using Unity altogether.
The potential consequences of this new pricing scheme loom large. Games such as Cult of the Lamb and Among Us, both of which rely on Unity, could potentially be pulled from digital marketplaces if Unity proceeds with its plan. This is a significant blow for both developers and players alike.
Garry Newman, the creator of the popular game Rust, expressed his disappointment with Unity in a blog post. He stated that Rust 2, the highly anticipated sequel to Rust, will not be built on the Unity engine. This development highlights the extent of the discontent among developers.
One major point of contention is how Unity plans to track installations and who will ultimately bear the cost of the new charges. Developers are questioning the transparency and fairness of this system, adding to the growing discontent.
Unity is now facing mounting pressure to reconsider or completely scrap the policy. Prominent figures in the industry, such as Rami Ismail, the co-founder of Vlambeer, have criticized the plan for being uncertain, retroactive, and potentially bankrupting for developers. Additionally, Unity has faced further criticism for removing the engine’s terms of service from GitHub, further eroding trust among developers.
The news has also caused concern among publishers and developers of unannounced Unity games. They now find themselves scrambling to prevent deals from collapsing in the wake of this controversial pricing change.
With the growing outcry, CEO John Riccitiello has been urged to address these concerns and reconsider the policy. Unity now stands at a critical juncture, where its response to this backlash will largely determine its standing within the developer community moving forward.
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