The mobile game industry has been abuzz in recent weeks after Unity announced changes to its runtime fee policy. The move, which has incensed developers and raised worries about the future of game development on the platform, comes as yet another stumble for the software giant.

Unity will implement the pay-per-install plan, one of the most popular game engines globally, from January 2024. Developers will be charged a fee per installation of their games exceeding certain download and revenue thresholds, according to the new policy.

This applies to Performance Reporting users only, and it gets enabled with an entitlement for direct connections, no extra work admins, or IT pros. We’ll look at the developer reactions, including a studio boycott and criticisms of Unity’s decision. Furthermore, we will be talking about possible alternatives and countermeasures that could emerge as a result of this contentious move.

Unity’s Runtime Fee Policy

The repercussions of Unity’s decision to add a run-time fee have shaken the mobile game development world. The company plans to monetize developers’ games by taking a cut of these install costs.

According to sources, Unity will waive these runtime fees if developers move to its LevelPlay mediation platform or any other services of Unity. This has prompted some industry insiders to suggest that Unity is working to undercut market rival AppLovin, taking advantage of its strong position internally.

Developer Reactions and Boycott

Unity’s runtime fee policy reveal sparks backlash from game developers everywhere. This but has been roundly criticized by many studios, venting their frustration via social media on platforms like Twitter and Capcom.

Mobile Game Developers Boycott Unity: Switching Off Ad Products
Mobile Game Developers Boycott Unity

In response to Unity’s policy, a boycott has been launched by a group of developers who turned off all Unity ad products. This boycott is intended to apply pressure and get Unity to change their mind about the runtime fees. With the boycott swelling, we’re still waiting to see how Unity will respond.

Concerns and Criticisms

Unity’s new policy releases a flood of game developer concerns. Chief among these is the worry about how much these runtime fees will cost developers, especially smaller studios with limited income. A number of industry observers claim these fees will surpass a developer’s total revenue to make it impossible for them to continue.

There have also been questions raised about the legality and practicality of applying retroactive changes to released games’ terms and conditions. And Unity, not to mention how it’ll properly differentiate between new installs and reinstalls or prevent abuse of the system.

Alternatives and Potential Solutions

Developers are starting to look at alternative engine like Unreal Engine, Godot or Cocos2d as Unity’s stance becomes popular knowledge. These engines are great alternatives for developers who want to sidestep the runtime fees of Unity while still having access to the powerful tools that come with it.

In addition, Unity/Game Developer unity advocated mutual dialogue could help to achieve more fair decisions. Developers are aiming for a change of heart from Unity, given how much the community is weighing against this move.

Unity reaction

Unity has answered the massive developer outrage with an update. It further stated it understands the feedback and apologized for the ‘apprehension and worry’ caused by its initial post.

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 official Twitter account


Unity’s move to introduce PPI (pay-per-install) has caused a massive outcry in the mobile gaming world. The consequences of this action are huge and have led to developers from all over the world responding strongly. While it remains uncertain how this situation will unfold in the coming months, one thing is clear: the solidarity between game devs against these policies has never been stronger.

As these conversations continue about alternatives and potential solutions it is vital for both Unity and game developers to keep talking openly with each other to find common ground. It’s collaboratively that we can join together the industry and shape a sustainable future for game development.

Unity’s recent policy has caused a major uproar and opened an interesting debate about the marriage between devs and engines. It’s unknown how Unity will respond to the increasing developer backlash, but one thing is certain: they can’t afford to ignore their community’s concerns.