Recently, Unity Technologies, one of the leading game development tools and services companies, faced a significant backlash from game developers due to a controversial price hike. This move sparked outrage within the community, as it threatened to disrupt the financial viability of many indie developers and small studios.
Unity Software Inc. backtracked on a controversial price hike, considering changes such as a cap on fees, according to Bloomberg.
Impact on the Game Development Community
Unity’s decision to overhaul their pricing structure profoundly impacted the game development community. Many independent developers who were previously considering alternative engines or platforms due to financial constraints now felt reassured that Unity was still a viable option for them.
The Controversial Pricing Scheme Changes
Under the proposed scheme, Unity planned to charge a fee of 20 cents for every fresh install above a certain threshold on games created using its engine. This move was seen as detrimental to developers’ profitability, as it could potentially eat into their revenue significantly.
David Helgason, co-founder and ex-CEO of Unity, took to his personal Facebook page to express his disappointment with the way the new pricing model was introduced. He acknowledged that there were flaws in the announcement and admitted that they had “fucked up on many levels.” Helgason emphasized that the new model missed important corner cases and ended up being opposite to what it was intended to be.
While Helgason’s comments were not made through an official channel, they resonated with many developers who felt frustrated by Unity’s handling of the situation. His words provided a sense of validation and hope for those who were concerned about the impact of the pricing changes on their businesses.
Unity’s Plan Moving Forward
At Unity Software’s general meeting on Monday, it was announced to employees that the company will drop key provisions of the new monetization policy that was announced last Wednesday.
According to the new – experimental – plan, Unity will limit revenue collection to games that earned more than $1 million. The company will not charge more than 4% of user spending.
The publication also mentioned that Unity now plans to take into account not the number of installations collected over time, but only – as of January 1, 2024 (i.e., the threshold will not be retroactive).
As for counting installations, the company will rely on the data that developers themselves will provide.
No further details are available. Most likely, they will appear during this week directly on the official Unity website.
Recall, the announcement of the new pricing policy caused a massive outrage of game developers. More than 400 companies and indie developers signed an ultimatum, according to which they refuse to use IronSource and Unity Ads until Unity reconsiders the new monetization.
By the way, several Unity employees questioned during the meeting how Unity was going to rebuild lost trust. “Not in word, but in deed,” the directors replied.