Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

The Unity Drama Is A Complete Disaster


Unity has been central to a significant internet debate for the last few weeks. Unity is a developmental software most used by indie developers to create games. It is a viral tool and has been used for many titles, such as Among Us and even Pokemon Go. Unfortunately, they are a victim of their success, tearing the company apart. I held off talking about this issue as things are still developing. However, things are reaching a boiling point.

About a week ago, Unity announced they would change the revenue model. Up until this point, they have always relied on a subscription system. If you pay your subscription, you are free to use the software. However, Unity feels that they are entitled to a portion of the revenue generated and revised their policy due to this. As part of this revised policy, studios will now be charged an additional runtime fee once they have reached a certain threshold. As part of their standard plan, if you make more than $ 200,000 and have two hundred thousand downloads, you will have to pay 20 cents per download after that.

The Unity Drama Is A Complete Disaster
The Unity Drama Is A Complete Disaster

As part of Unity Pro, any game that generates 1 million dollars in 12 months must pay up to 15 cents per download. It might not sound like much, but this could result in hundreds and thousands of dollars developers must pay. In most cases, these are indie developers who cannot afford to pay these types of fees. The fact that there are additional fees for software that you paid for is ridiculous.

The Unity Fees Drama

If you have paid for the product you are using, you should be free to use it as you please. If you have a lawn mowing service and buy a lawn mower, you should not have to give the manufacturer a piece of your profit when cutting grass. While revenue sharing is nothing new for platforms like YouTube, Apple, and Steam, it is different regarding software. Due to this, the backlash against Unity has been fast and harsh. Many Indie developers have said they will move their game from this engine.

Sadly, this is not an option for everyone, and this process can be pretty costly, especially for those with a game in production. While it is true that this revenue split will only affect a small minority of people, it is still devastating for aspiring developers. Everyone dreams of enormous success. While you might not currently make millions in sales, you will always hold out hope that your next game will be the big one that shatters records. If you know that there is this ceiling above your head, it can become discouraging, especially since there is already such a high production price.

The Unity Fees Drama
The Unity Fees Drama

The original policy from Unity was also reasonably vague. They want to charge you per install, but how it will be counted is unclear. At first, they stated that you could be charged for multiple installs from one person, and later, they backtracked and reduced it to one. People were also concerned about piracy, but Unity insisted they could track it. As you can imagine, people do not believe they can accurately detect piracy. Initially, they also wanted to charge for specific demo downloads but later backtracked.

The Unity Walk Back

All of this brings us to yesterday when Unity offered an apology. In a Twitter statement, they said, We have heard you. We have heard you. We apologize for the confusion and angst the runtime fee policy we announced on Tuesday caused. 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. Thank you for your honest and critical feedback. Unfortunately, at this point, the apology rings very hollow. Most developers after this will no longer be able to trust the company.

Many small companies are currently in mid-development and cannot afford to change engines. For these developers, I would advise wrapping up their current games and making changes for the next one. Even if Unity backtracks their policy, the trust has been broken. They are not happy with their current stream of revenue. Unity wants to increase profits, and it is only a matter of time before they try something like this again. It also looks like they will be running this current plan back, but it is unclear to what extent.

The Unity Walk Back
The Unity Walk Back

Most expect that there will still be some standard revenue split required, which is unfortunate. This company is already worth billions, and, sadly, this is not enough for them. However, the current CEO of Unity was also in charge of E A, so that should tell you everything you need to know. This decision from Unity might be their death, which is very unfortunate.

Unity Plans Moving Forward

The Plans for Unity moving forward is still unclear. Currently, it is speculated that some minor changes will be made. Firstly, many developers worried about how they would be charged per download, especially when free downloads are available. For instance, under the current plan, you will be charged if you have a game on game pass and someone installs it. However, Unity has clarified in these cases the developer will not be charged but rather the service. Microsoft will be asked to cover the run-time fee if you have a game on-game pass.

Many developers are, however, not happy with this development as it is doubtful that large publishers will eat this cost. It is far more likely that Microsoft will not allow any Unity games on their service rather than pay the extra fees. This means many Indie developers will be disadvantaged. A few other questionable things have also come from Unity over the last few days. In a statement earlier this week, they stated that they received credible death threats that have resulted in them shutting down two of their studios. These claims were followed by a request to the community to take it easy.

Unity Plans Moving Forward
Unity Plans Moving Forward

However, shortly after, it was revealed that these threats did not come from the community. Instead, the death threats came from one Unity employee internally. This resulted in the public speculating that Unity was faking it to garner sympathy. It is unclear at this stage if it is a rogue employee who was acting out for something more serious. Since no one trusts Unity currently, people are slow to believe anything they say. Employees of Unity should not be harassed. They did not make this decision. Direct your anger at the CEO and executives.


Moving forward, it will be interesting to see what happens with Unity. Even with a walk back, I cannot see them regaining the community’s trust. However, it is worth mentioning how short people’s memories are. There is always a new company out there that does something worse. In a few weeks, most will have moved on to something else. Hopefully, developers can continue to fight for their revenue and not allow Unity to get away with this.


What is Unity?Unity is a widely-used cross-platform game engine for creating 2D, 3D, AR, and VR experiences, developed by Unity Technologies.
Who developed Unity?Unity Technologies is the company behind the development of the Unity game engine. It was first released in 2005.
In which programming languages can you develop games in Unity?Unity primarily supports C# for scripting, alongside support for JavaScript (UnityScript) and Boo. C# is the most widely used and recommended language.
What platforms does Unity support?Unity supports a wide range of platforms, including PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, WebGL, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, AR/VR devices, and more.
Is Unity suitable for both 2D and 3D game development?Yes, Unity is versatile and suitable for both 2D and 3D game development, providing dedicated tools and features for both dimensions.
Can Unity be used for non-gaming applications?Yes, Unity extends beyond gaming and is used for various applications, including simulations, architectural visualization, training programs, and more.
How much does Unity cost?Unity offers different licensing options. Unity Personal is free for individuals or small companies making less than $100,000 annually. Unity Pro requires a subscription with additional features for larger-scale projects.
Frequently Asked Questions

Table Of Information

TypeCross-platform Game Engine
DeveloperUnity Technologies
Initial Release2005
Programming LanguagesC# (Primary), JavaScript (UnityScript), Boo
Supported PlatformsPC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, WebGL, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, AR/VR devices, and more
Game Development Styles2D, 3D, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR)
Non-Gaming ApplicationsUsed for simulations, architectural visualization, training programs, and more
Pricing– Unity Personal: Free for individuals or small companies making less than $100,000 annually
– Unity Pro: Requires a subscription with additional features for larger-scale projects
Unity Asset StoreOnline marketplace for buying and selling assets, tools, plugins, and resources
Virtual Reality (VR) SupportSupports major VR platforms including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and more
Beginner-FriendlyConsidered beginner-friendly with a user-friendly interface, extensive documentation, and community support
Learning ResourcesUnity Learn, comprehensive documentation, online courses, forums, and communities
Unity Game Engine

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