Would it surprise you to know that their current CEO used to hold a similar position at EA?
Unity - the engine behind many popular productions in spaces from AAA to the shovelware peddlers of the Switch - is under fire today following a new fee structure that would be charged to developers and potentially platform holders.
As announced yesterday by Unity CEO John Riccitello, the new structure would involve games that reach a certain number of installs (200,000) being charged $0.20 / installation of the game with lower charges ($0.05 and $0.01) depending on sales volume. This would apply beginning January 1, 2024 and would affect both titles already released and released in the future.
Originally, it was believed that the fee would literally be per-install, resulting in a potential situation where a game could be repeatedly reinstalled running up a new fee each time. Unity has confirmed that the proposed fee would only be on the first install per device, but would still apply if it was installed on a standard Switch and a Switch Lite or a PC and a Steam Deck. Demos and games included in charity bundles (such as the Humble Bundle) were also confirmed to be exempt from the charges.
The backlash has been swift, with Devolver Digital threatening to pull their popular Unity-developed game Cult of the Lamb from digital storefronts on January 1, 2024 if the fee is not dropped. As well, a controversial provision would result in platform holders who make the games available via subscription services (such as a Switch Online game trial or more prominently Microsoft's Game Pass) bear the costs; the platform holders have not commented on such an obvious swipe at their subscription revenue.