The proposed Runtime Fee policy by Unity, a popular game development platform, has sparked a protest among companies and developers. Last week, 16 studios turned off all Unity-based monetization in protest of the policy. Now, more than 503 developers have signed a collective letter to boycott IronSource SDK and Unity Ads monetization until the new conditions are reviewed.
The studios that have joined the collective include Tap Nation, People Fun, Magic Tavern, Lion Studios, Belka Games, Machine Zone, Clipwire, Mindstorm Studios, and many more. In the letter, they state that as an immediate action, they are forced to turn off all IronSource and Unity Ads monetization until the proposed changes are reconsidered. They urge others who share their stance to do the same. They believe that the Runtime Fee is an unacceptable shift in their partnership with Unity and should be immediately canceled.
On Monday, Unity executives informed their employees of planned revisions to the proposed plan. Bloomberg reports that these changes include a maximum fee cap of 4% of a game’s revenue over $1 million, a non-retroactive installation threshold, and self-reporting of install numbers by users. These revisions follow an apology from Unity in response to the backlash. The company acknowledged the confusion and angst caused by the proposed changes and promised to share the revised policy in a couple of days.
The protest against Unity’s Runtime Fee policy highlights the concerns and frustrations of developers in the gaming industry. Monetization plays a crucial role in the sustainability and success of game development, and any changes to the terms and conditions can have a significant impact on studios. It remains to be seen how Unity will respond to the collective letter and whether the proposed revisions to the policy will satisfy the protesting developers.
As the protest continues, it is clear that the stakes are high for both Unity and the developers. Unity will need to carefully consider the concerns raised by the developers and find a balance between profitability and maintaining a positive relationship with its partners. The gaming industry will be closely watching the outcome of this protest and the resulting changes to Unity’s policy.