Game Studios Boycott Unity Over Controversial Licensing Fee Changes
A boycott of Unity has been initiated by a group of more than a dozen game studios, in response to the company’s controversial changes to the licensing fees charged to developers who utilize the popular game engine. This move follows Unity’s recent announcement that developers will now be subjected to a per-install fee when their game reaches a certain number of installations.
16 Studios Protest Unity’s New Runtime Fee
According to Mobilegamer.biz, a total of 16 studios have joined forces in boycotting Unity to protest against the new Runtime Fee policy. These studios have disabled Unity Ads and IronSource monetization within their titles, in an effort to influence the company’s decision to implement the new fee structure. Although the current group of boycotting studios is primarily made up of mobile game developers, they have released a joint letter calling on developers from all corners of the gaming industry to join their cause.
The new Runtime Fee policy proposed by Unity, under the leadership of former EA CEO John Riccitiello, has sparked major concerns among developers. This policy could potentially result in significantly increased licensing fees for developers using the engine. Of particular contention are the new pay-per-install fees, where developers would have to pay a license fee for each user installation of a Unity game, instead of being charged per sale. This change could have a negative impact on subscription services like PS Plus, as Sony may decide to discontinue offering Unity-based games to avoid these additional fees.
Unity has gained popularity among smaller developers in recent years due to its previously affordable licensing fees compared to other engines. However, the controversial changes to Unity’s Runtime Fee policy have already prompted Mega Crit, the developer of Slay the Spire, to publicly announce on Twitter that they will no longer use Unity for their upcoming game unless the policies are reversed. This situation may inadvertently benefit Epic Games, as developers may opt to switch to the widely-used Unreal Engine, which was previously considered more expensive than Unity.