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Unity announces new fee policies after intense backlash

Unity’s new policy introduces a fixed fee, but only for some users

Unity general manager Marc Whitten announced the platform’s revised fee policy in a new blog post, following weeks of backlash from indie devs over the initial runtime fee plan. The original plan proposed a $0.20 fee charged whenever a user downloaded a game made with Unity, but now, the company is offering the rumored hard cap on Unity runtime fees for some developers.

Under the new plan, anyone building with Unity Personal and making under $200,000 in revenue in a 12-month period will pay no fee, and these developers won’t have to include the “Made with Unity” splash screen anymore. No game making less than $1 million in a 12-month period will pay the fee, either.

Studios using Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise will be subject to the platform’s new fee – but only if they upgrade to the next version of Unity shipping in 2024. Projects currently in development will only be subject to the fee if the studio changes to that new version of Unity, and Whitten said any developer who remains on an older version of Unity will still be working with their original terms of service – no surprise changes. Like this one.

Marc Whitten, a white man with short gray hair, is sitting on a gray sofa, wearing a gray collared shirt, and smiling at the camera

Whitten said the planned fee is different now as well. Games that make over $1 million in revenue will be subject to a 2.5 percent revenue split, which is half of what Unity competitor Unreal Engine charges, or Unity will calculate the amount owed based on “the number of new people engaging with [a] game each month.”

That last part is a bit vague, but in a separate FAQ page, Unity recommended that developers estimate based on the number of up-front payments or new user accounts created. If Unity developers don’t provide their own numbers, Unity will make its own estimates based on the data available from the integration a developer originally agreed to in their contract.

Whitten said developers will self-report their revenue and engagement, and the fee charged will always be the lower of the two amounts.

Games distributed via streaming or subscription services, including Xbox Game Pass games, will still be subject to the fee.