The Prospector

The Prospector

The Prospector

Unity Runtime Fees

Popular game development engine Unity recently rescinded the addition of a “Runtime Fee” to its platform, which was meant to charge game developers for each installation of their game. Unity runtime fees were initially announced on September 12th, and were meant to be implemented in 2024 in order to help the company turn a profit. However, they quickly received severe user backlash due to the change cutting down on game developers’ income, and consequently retracted their plan on September 22nd. However, many prominent game developers have already chosen to switch engines, as they believed this change violated the trust of its customers.

“I think Unity is a very good game development engine. It’s very great for beginners. And it made some very powerful games apart from library fun games: Pokemon Go, Hollow Knight, Getting It Back, all made in Unity,” Cupertino Game Development Club’s Vice President Laurier Ke said.

But despite over a decade of success, the implementation of Unity runtime fees had worried users. When the plan was first announced, users had believed that it would open the door for malevolent users to harm developers.

“If one player downloaded the game, then the company would be charged 20 cents,” Ke said. “Then they reinstall it again, for another 20 cents. And they can keep reinstalling over and over. And then they bankrupt the game development company, which was a nightmare for some game developers.”

After the initial announcement Unity clarified that they would not charge for reinstalls. However, the influence of the media quickly spread negativity towards Unity. Still, some users were optimistic.

“People make fun of me because I stand alongside Unity,” Ke said. “I think a lot of people are overhyping. Internet goblins, as I like to say, [are] blowing up this issue because these random YouTubers who don’t do game development will say ‘wow, Unity is so bad, this is a nightmare for game developers.’ But I think there was a lot of miscommunication.”

Community backlash significantly escalated the situation. Disapproval towards Unity was widespread, which is what caused the company to eventually retract their statement and rescind the addition of runtime fees.

Though the effects may have been minimalized, the idea that large companies could make changes that dramatically affect user experience without consideration of their effects was alarming. Ultimately, Unity’s runtime fees have harmed the company’s reputation within the game development industry. Many users, including the Cupertino Game Development club, are considering alternative game development engines. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Brian Kuo
Brian Kuo, Writer
Nikhil Krishnaswamy
Nikhil is a first year staffer for The Prospector. From enjoying programming and being on the robotics team, he also expands his interests to tennis, photography, and being an integral part of SAHA. As you can probably guess, Nikhil wants to major in CS after high school. He loves meeting new people, but hates talking about himself as a humble king.

Comments (0)

All The Prospector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *