A popular gaming engine called Unity is currently going through a significant shift which poses major issues for independent creators that depend on it. The versatility of the engine can be seen in games such as Beat Sabre, Pokemon GO, Outer Wilds, Rimworld, and Fall Guys. They show off Unity’s capacity to allow creators from various backgrounds to realize their creative ambitions.
With recognized competitors like Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and Valve’s Source, Unity has continually maintained a position among the top gaming engines. Using Unity, game creators can create experiences for a wide range of platforms, including PCs, consoles, and mobile devices.
A new price structure for Unity’s game engine will have an impact on creators with different membership levels. The requirements include achieving an income threshold of $200,000 over a 12-month period and obtaining 200,000 installs throughout the course of the game for Unity Personal and Plus subscribers. Once attained, developers must pay $0.20 for each install.
On the other hand, in order to start paying the Unity Runtime Fee, Unity Pro, and Enterprise members must reach a higher threshold of $1,000,000 in revenue along with 1,000,000 installs in a calendar year. However, they will gain access to discounted rates, which for games with more than 1,000,001 monthly installs might be as low as $0.01 per install. The implementation of these amendments is planned for January 1, 2024.
A lot of people have criticized Unity’s new price structure, which also includes the Unity Runtime Fee. One major issue is that there developers cannot choose to opt out of the new Terms of Service, so it applies to all games—even those from years ago. The fee will be applied if a game achieves the income and install thresholds, although it won’t be retroactively applied to installs made before January 1, 2024.
Recently, Unity has also experienced layoffs, and the CEO of the firm, John Riccitiello, has come under fire for past remarks he made about game developers who don’t monetize their games through microtransactions. His viewpoint on the value of developing engagement loops to motivate microtransactions is consistent with this pricing shift.