Unity has proven to be a popular video game engine. This engine also has proven to be quite popular for newcomers to the video game industry. As a result, we have seen quite a few indie games launch through Unity. However, this month was quite rocky for the engine as a new pricing policy was being implemented. Called the Unity Runtime Fee, the outrage that came with the policy spread online with protests and calling out Unity developers to change their engines or even delist their games.
Now that some time has settled, Unity is returning with a new post, hoping to clear the air and readjust its policy as we head into 2024. Those of you who were hopeful that a complete removal of this policy was coming might be disappointed. However, you might be fine with the new adjustments being made. To avoid confusion, we’ll only focus on the current plan being implemented and not reference the original policy that Unity submitted. You can also read the open letter from Unity’s Marc Whitten on the official Unity blog right here.
Unity will execute the Runtime Fee Policy next year with a new update to Unity’s engine. Any games released now or launched using the current versions of Unity won’t be subjected to the fee. However, if you move to the new update, you’ll need to note this. For starters, the Unity Personal Plan will remain free, and no Runtime Fee will be set on games built through Unity Personal. Meanwhile, they will increase the cap from $100,000 to $200,00.
With the next LTS version of Unity that’s shipping in 2024, you’ll find that the Runtime Fee will be subjected to games that are making more than $1 million in trailing yearly revenue. The fee will be either calculated by 2.5% revenue share or the amount based on the number of new people engaging with your game monthly. Each of these numbers will be self-reported, and the amount billed will always be the lesser amount.
This new fee will help further support Unity and continue building upon the engine. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what the future may hold for the game engine and if this is an agreeable adjustment by the developers that actively use Unity. At the very least, it looks like current Unity projects or past released games won’t be subjected to dealing with this new fee. I’m sure that will be a relief for some teams that were spending quite a bit of time getting their projects ready for release.