Unity Technology’s decision to announce a controversial new install fee policy went over with the video game development community about as well as you might imagine. And while the company has released the inevitable mea culpa, which does “acknowledge the confusion and frustration” the announcement caused, it’s a far cry from the complete backtrack one might have expected.
All over X, the Unity account is attempting to get the word out, claiming that “more than 90% of our customers will not be affected by this change”. Fees would only be levied on new installs and not re-installs, demos would not incur a charge (but Early Access titles would), and in the case of fraudulent install charges: “We will work directly with you where fraud or botnets are suspected of malicious intent.”
Needless to say, developers across the industry are seething, and many are already looking to cut ties with the company entirely. Of course, if you’ve spent the last few years developing a game in Unity, this is much easier said than done. Over on ResetEra, a thread compiles the growing movement of developers who are making their voices known and explaining the catastrophic effects this seemingly flippant decision is having on their projects.
Some feel like they are being forced away from the platform, while others hope to persuade management to see reason. All are united in opposing Unity in this, a state of affairs with a pleasing sense of symmetry. Pundits and players are left to grapple with what this will mean for long-in-development and eagerly-anticipated games.