With a universal lynch mob hailed against them, Unity have done the unprecedented move of backtracking its imposed Runtime Fee price model.

You can learn more about Unity’s previous antics, when they first introduced the runtime fee, doubling down on it and declaring that Children’s Hospital isn’t a charity.

In an “open letter to our community” post from the head of Unity Create, Marc Whitten, Unity has seemingly backtracked on its runtime fee to a large extent as a sort of half arsed apology for subverting their EULA and imposing a retroactive fee across all Unity based games, targeting lucrative Free-to-Play mobile games with their extensive install counts and MTX revenue figures.

Unity has taken note of the concerns raised and is implementing a series of adjustments. Firstly, they have decided to increase the revenue cap for Unity Personal license holders from $100,000 to $200,000.

Previously, Personal accounts were limited to developers who earned less than $100,000 in revenue or funds raised in the previous year, but this threshold has now been raised to $200,000.

Additionally, Unity has decided to remove the requirement for developers to display the “Made with Unity” splash screen, which is a massive plus considering the removal of the Unity splash screen was essentially a requirement to purchasing a Unity Plus license which has since been removed and sadly will remain removed.

Unity has made significant revisions that primarily affect creators who utilize the Unity Personal license. Notably, they have also eliminated the Runtime Fee for Unity Personal games.

Now onto Unity Pro and Enterprise subscriptions, the runtime fee will technically apply for developers whom are signed on with a Pro or Enterprise license but will only apply with the next rendition of Unity, LTS 2024 and beyond.

What does this mean exactly? For games developed retroactively on prior versions of the Unity engine they will not have to pay any fee whatsoever, unless of course they are massive free-to-play mobile oriented titles and the developers wish to continue support and utilize new and enhanced features, existing games and projects will remain unaffected unless they are upgraded to the new version of Unity.

So, basically for online only games and brand new projects, developers are essentially going to be abandoned by Unity as they must stick with the current version of the Unity Engine if they simply don’t want to pay money directly to Unity Software.

That means they will have inferior technical ability and security for the sake of sole profiteering.

Now then, the revised “runtime fee” has been changed drastically. It is no longer the pay by the month per install that Unity tried peddling almost two weeks ago as seen from the above image.

For developers who choose to upgrade to the 2024 version of the Unity engine and are subscribed to a Pro or Enterprise license, they will have the option to select either a 2.5% revenue share or an amount calculated based on the number of new players their game receives each month. Unity assures that developers will be billed the lesser amount between the two options but this once again is another “trust me bro” moment.

It’s important to note once again that existing games that have already been shipped and are using previous versions of the engine will not be impacted by these pricing updates, unless developers voluntarily decide to upgrade to the newer version of Unity, so once again this is strictly targeting F2P mobile games.

Unity has hit hard times recently, as far back as December 31st 2022 they employed over 7,700 people, Epic Games for instance employs half of that amount, Unity suffers from atrocious operating costs and remain constantly in the red by over $200 million dollars.

In the red by over $200 Million dollars and yet can seemingly afford to pay its bigwig executives (and CEO) over $150 Million dollars all up, totally not at all suspicious. Just a hard work ethic.

Unity’s recent pricing changes were a desperate attempt to generate quick revenue, betraying the trust of their vast audience of developers, both corporate and private, who rely on their game engine.

Unity is a company that has been on a buying spree, buying out SpeedTree (the most convenient and frequently used Tree creation tool on the market for games, film, and more), Peter Jackson’s WETA studio, SyncSketch and Ziva Dynamics in a failing attempt to compete with Epic Games and their vastly superior Unreal Engine.

I honestly did not expect Unity to actually backtrack on their agenda, but I’m still holding firm that the damage to their reputation has already been done. Thankfully those whose projects are built on older renditions of the Unity engine will be barred from ever paying the new 2.5% runtime fee as I genuinely doubt many small time developers would even consider updating to Unity LTS 2024, rather they’ll continue their projects as they currently are now and once completed will tell Unity to get fucked and switch to competing game engines.

Because I can assure you that the only beneficiary from this whole ordeal is Timmy Tencent and his Unreal Engine, I guarantee you that in a few years time 90% of games coming out the pipeline will be developed on the Unreal Engine.

Or Godot if you’re making small projects.