The other day, Unity announced the introduction of a fee for each installation of a game created on the basis of its Unity Engine. Depending on a number of conditions, Unity Runtime Fee fees can range from $0.005 to $0.20 (in addition to the annual subscription fee). At the same time, the largest commission will have to be paid to small studios and independent developers, whose projects often cannot boast of large sales and high prices.
Unity’s move has drawn criticism from the developer community. The developers have called on the company to reconsider its decision, as the changes could jeopardize the already small profits of indie games. Developers are concerned that Unity implemented these changes unilaterally, breaking trust and leaving developers little time to prepare for the changes and potential costs. There have also been suggestions that this move could force Indian developers to switch to other engines.
As a unity employee until this morning, I assure you we fought like hell against this, brought up all the points everyone has, were told answers were coming, and then the announcement went out without warning. Those of us who care are out — more resignations coming end of week.
— Jono Forbes (@jonoforbes) September 13, 2023
Such changes in pricing were not to the liking of not only the developers, but also many of the company’s employees. A message from one of the now former Unity employees appeared on X (formerly Twitter). User @jonoforbes wrote that employees fought against this innovation and raised questions about it. They were promised answers, but instead, without any warning, an announcement of new pricing was released.
“Those of us who care have left ─ more resignations are expected at the end of the week,” he added.
The Unity scandal reached a new level when individuals dissatisfied with the new pricing began to threaten the company. Unity canceled a town hall meeting due to credible death threats. Unity CEO John Riccitiello was scheduled to speak to employees on Thursday morning, but a company-wide meeting was canceled and two Unity offices were closed due to the alleged threats, according to Bloomberg.
Let us add that Riccitiello is a controversial figure in the gaming industry. He was the CEO of Electronic Arts when FIFA 09 added the controversial monetization of loot boxes. He also got into trouble when he called developers “fucking idiots” for not implementing monetization schemes early in the development process. And he is also remembered for his proposal to charge Battlefield players a dollar for reloading weapons, made during a call with shareholders.
Source: The Verge