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Unity Introduces Runtime Fee for Game Installs

Unity, the popular game development platform, has announced that it will be implementing a new charge for game installations using the Unity Engine. Starting from January 1, a Unity Runtime Fee will be applied to games that have exceeded certain revenue thresholds and lifetime install count.

The specific thresholds and fees differ depending on the type of Unity subscription the developer holds. For Unity Personal and Unity Plus users, the thresholds are set at $200,000 in annual revenue and 200,000 lifetime installs. Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise accounts have higher thresholds of $1 million in annual revenue and 1 million lifetime installs.

The fees also vary based on the subscription type, with Unity Personal developers having to pay the highest fee per install above the threshold ($0.20), while Unity Enterprise accounts pay the least ($0.01 for every install above 2 million). Developers in emerging markets receive a reduced fee, with Unity Personal accounts being charged $0.02 per install above the threshold and Enterprise accounts paying $0.005 per install.

Existing games built on Unity will also be subject to Runtime Fees if they meet the thresholds starting from January 1. However, non-gaming applications are exempt from these fees.

Unity justified the introduction of this fee by explaining that every time a game is downloaded, the Unity Runtime is also installed. The company believes that an initial install-based fee is a fair alternative to a revenue share model, as it allows creators to retain the ongoing financial gains from player engagement.

In addition to the new Runtime Fees, Unity has also announced the retirement of its Unity Plus subscription tier. Existing Plus subscribers will have the option to upgrade to Unity Pro for a year at the Plus price.

Overall, Unity's decision to implement a Runtime Fee aims to strike a balance between revenue generation for the company and providing developers with continued financial benefits from their games. It remains to be seen how this new fee structure will impact game developers, particularly those with smaller budgets or in emerging markets.

Sources: Unity Engine