Outrage over Unity’s new payment model, developers calling it a ‘disaster’

There has been buzz for several days about the new payment model announced by Unity, known as the Unity Engine. The new system will come into effect from 2024 and is of course intended to bring in more money for Unity, but there is concern and anger among developers. It looks like a disaster.

But what exactly is happening? In short, Unity wants developers to pay an additional $0.2 fee when downloading and installing one of their games, if it was built using the Unity engine. This fee is in addition to the subscription fee that must be paid in any case to be able to work with Unity.

However, these fees must only be paid above a certain limit. For example, the game in question must have generated $200,000 or more in the past 12 months and the total number of installs must be at least 200,000. This way, according to Unity, small developers and games will be saved, and only large companies, which will make significant profits from their games anyway, will have to pay more.

However, this does not reassure many developers. Many find the concept of tying fees to game installs simply ridiculous, and some point out that you can quickly reach those 200,000 installs, even if you’re a small developer who doesn’t earn much from it. Add to that all sorts of other costs, and these additional fees that the unit will start charging could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back toward bankruptcy.

Furthermore, there are also many practical questions raised that suggest the unit has not thought everything through. For example, trolls could try to hit a developer through what is now called “download bombing” or “install bombing.” Then a person can download and install a game multiple times to collect fees from its creator.

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There are also questions regarding demos, games that are distributed for free, and games included in a subscription service, such as Xbox Game Pass.

After an initial storm of criticism, Unity tried to clarify some things, but it hasn’t made things any clearer yet, not to mention that after this clarification it suddenly seems like a good idea that the gaming community agrees on.

For example, Unity has announced that there is a system in place to prevent “install bombing” and that “most demos” will not have to pay a fee. Microsoft will have to pay fees for Game Pass games, but in this case it’s not very clear who exactly is responsible for those fees and when. Moreover, there is a high probability that Microsoft will pass on such costs one way or another.

In short: the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the new payment model that Unity wants to launch, which is angering many developers, both big and small. Some have also threatened to leave Unity and move to Unreal Engine. However, there is another trick: even if you switch to another engine, your old games will of course still run on Unity, and as long as new installations are made, you will still have to pay.

The unit does not appear to have any immediate plans to modify its plans at the present time. Instead, they’re basically trying to explain the new system better, as if the outside world and gaming community haven’t gotten it right.

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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