In a Twitter post on September 17, Unity Technologies apologized and claimed that changes are coming to their recently announced—and heavily disliked—runtime fee policy. The new policy was met with pretty universal outcry as developers realized they’d suddenly be on the hook for ludicrous fees. In some unique instances, some developers would owe more in fees under the new policy than they may have earned in total via sales for their game.
“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.”Unity via Twitter
Too little, too late?
It’s no surprise that Unity is walking back the runtime fee policy already. Not only have customers been unhappy across the board, but some have already sworn off using Unity in the future. This seems like one of those cases where being a bit out of touch with your user base may have led to some pretty disastrous decisions. In fact, a lot of developers have stated they aren’t against paying more to use Unity if their game ends up being a hit. However, the way they plan to implement it in its current state simply makes no sense.
Most of the comments on the Twitter post are from users declaring Unity has already lost their trust. No one wants to risk building a new game in Unity only for a retroactive fee structure activating later. It’s an odd situation because obviously learning a new engine isn’t always ideal either. But, if that’s your only two options, it’s easy to see the path most developers would take.
Hopefully, in a couple of days, we’ll have more information regarding the changes as Unity has promised. Based on the current sentiment it feels like this may be too little, too late. But, only time will tell.