Unity has finally backtracked some of the policies related it the Unity Runtime Fee announced last week following a wave of backlash from game developers. While the Runtime Fee isn’t completely going away, changes were made so it’s not as aggressive toward smaller developers and games that were already released.
The Unity Runtime Fee was going to start charging developers up to a $0.20 fee every time someone installed their game. This decision was met with ire by game developers, who hated the short-notice, retroactive application. Devs felt the plan had oversights concerning subscription services, charity bundles, and piracy. In a blog post about the Runtime Fee changes, Unity’s Marc Whitten admitted that Unity “should have incorporated more of your feedback before announcing our new Runtime Fee policy.”
As for what’s changing, the blog post states confirms that there will be no Runtime Fees for games made on Unity Personal or for games that made less than $1 million over the last 12 months. For developers using Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise, the Runtime Fee and applicability of Unity’s terms have been adjusted so that it only applies to games made on the next LTS version of Unity. That means games already released or already in development in an older version of Unity won’t be subject to the fee.
Developers who want to circumvent the fee entirely can also choose to just give Unity a 2.5% revenue share if that’s a lesser amount than what they would pay with fees. So, while the Runtime Fees aren’t going away entirely, it’s clear that the strong negative reaction from game developers has forced Unity to change course on what was a widely maligned plan.