Unity plans to change its forthcoming pay-per-install program following widespread criticism from game developers.
“We apologize for the confusion and angst the runtime fee policy we announced on Tuesday caused,” Unity posted on X (formerly Twitter). “We are listening, talking to our team members, community, customers, and partners, and will be making changes to the policy. We will share an update in a couple of days.”
This new communication from Unity comes after nearly a week of clarifications, retractions, and a growing force of upset developers who threaten not only to remove their games from the engine but also a potential class action lawsuit.
Though Unity said an update on the pricing model will likely be out sometime this week, a new report from Bloomberg may outline the shape of the changes.
“Under the tentative new plan, Unity will limit fees to 4 percent of a game’s revenue for customers making over $1 million and said that installations counted toward reaching the threshold won’t be retroactive,” wrote Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier.
Under the new plan, it seems like Unity will still charge per installation, but it will cap the charge at 4 percent for games making over $1 million. For now, we do not know if there’s a cap on fees for games making under that amount. It also seems like Unity will only assess installs made after January 1st instead of retroactively applying the fees to games already released that have met the install threshold.
Additionally, Bloomberg’s report included that instead of Unity using what it called proprietary software to track a game’s installs, it will rely on users to self-report. Also in the report, Unity continued to affirm that these changes were only meant to capture revenue from Unity’s highest-earning games. The extremely popular mobile games Genshin Impact and Pokémon Go were developed in Unity, and it was widely stipulated that these games were likely the company’s true targets. The Verge reached out to both developers, Mihoyo and Niantic, for comment; Mihoyo did not respond, and Niantic declined to comment. Previously, Unity also stated that for games bundled in subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, it would have service providers like Microsoft pay the install charges. Microsoft also did not respond to a request for comment.
Though we still have yet to see exactly what new shape these changes to Unity’s pricing model will take, it does seem like no matter what they are, the damage has been done.