Unity Responds to Huge Backlash Over Controversial ‘Runtime Fee’

Unity logo on a white background.
Unity logo on a white background.

Recently, Unity announced a new payment plan for studios that use the dev kit, an announcement that was met with backlash. As such, the company has issued a statement explaining more about the upcoming “Runtime Fee.”

Won’t impact most developers, apparently

After Unity announced its pricing plan that’s set to roll out on January 1, 2024, the community expressed deep concern.

If you aren’t aware, the Unity Runtime Fee is an additional cost to studios, whereby (come 2024) an additional cost is to be paid every time someone installs their games.

This has caused controversy almost across the board, with developers worried that this will have a major impact on potential earnings. Famed journalist and presenter Geoff Keighley referred to the plan as “a joke.”

In response to the negative feedback, Unity has attempted to clarify the impact of the fee. In a post on Twitter, the company said the new pricing will “only affect a small subset of current Unity Editor users.”

The Runtime Fee will not affect the “majority of our developers,” and it will not be a retroactive fee, as only games that are released through Unity from January 1 will have to pay. However, many still have concerns.

According to an FAQ, any game that is installed will be charged to the studio that made said game. This includes reinstalls and redownloads, and even if the user “changes their hardware,” with Unity adding that the “creator will need to pay for all future installs.”

Twitter user Neokuro asked whether this new pricing will take into account piracy, in which people can “get the game, without providing revenue, during a viral moment.” A reply from Unity suggests the company does have some form of fraud protection and will work with studios on the matter. However, this may not be a solid enough answer to alleviate worries.

If you use the Unity Engine and want to know whether the upcoming Runtime Fee will impact your studio, you can read more responses to questions here.

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