Unity, the popular cross-platform game and media development engine, is on the defensive after receiving intense backlash over a controversial new fee structure, which developers using the platform decried as destructive and unfair. Now the company is reportedly looking to walk back the announcement, at least in part.
The engine is popular among independent developers as a way to get a game up and running across multiple gaming platforms while minimizing up-front costs. If a developer had revenue below $100K, it was free, while a Plus tier took one up to $200K, and above that was a Pro tier. As a result some of the biggest games out there use it: Pokémon GO and Genshin Impact, for instance, as well as countless indie hits like Slay the Spire and Timberborn.
But the company announced Tuesday morning that starting in 2024, the company would assess a $.20 fee per install of a game once that title had sold 200,000 copies, and the developer had taken in $200,000 in revenue. Developers who pay for a higher subscription tier have higher sales thresholds and lower fees (and it would remain free for those who don’t meet those milestones).
While selling 200,000 copies might be a dream come true for many indie developers, and Unity itself estimated that around 10% of its users would fall under this umbrella, there are also plenty for whom this fee could be disastrous. Suddenly a game where the Unity licensing cost has already been recouped many times over would become a liability: a spike in sales could saddle you with thousands of dollars in fees. And on mobile, where many games are free and rely on ads or in-game monetization, a trip to the top of the App Store list could saddle their creators with enormous costs with no immediateRead more on techcrunch.com