The management of Unity Technologies canceled a previously scheduled meeting of the workforce and closed two offices – the company cited the threats received and the resulting fears for the lives of its employees as the reason for this. The conflict erupted over the decision to introduce the Unity Runtime Fee commission.
The company “was made aware of a potential threat to some of its offices” and “took immediate preventive measures to ensure the safety of employees,” Bloomberg quotes a statement from a Unity representative. Unity closed offices that may have been attacked on September 14 and 15 and began “cooperating fully with law enforcement.”
The reason for public dissatisfaction was the company’s decision announced on September 12 to initiate the Unity Runtime Fee program – it provides for a new royalty scheme for games created on the Unity Engine platform. Starting January 1, 2024, game creators using the Unity engine will have to pay for each installation (upon reaching a certain threshold).
Game developers accused Unity of violating their own software licensing terms and warned that the new pricing scheme could threaten their existence. Many game studios issued harsh statements calling on the company to reconsider its decision.
Unity CEO John Riccitiello was scheduled to meet with company employees the day before, but the event had to be canceled as a precaution. Offices in Austin, Texas, and San Francisco, California, have closed.
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