Unity To Introduce A New Developer Fee Based On Number Of Installs

Game toolset creator Unity is introducing a new fee for game developers based on game installs. The new policy comes into effect on January 1, 2024.

Here are the details of how this will work. Unity is split into two basic functions: the Unity Editor, for developers, and the Unity Runtime, which is the code that executes on PCs, consoles, or mobile to actually play the games. The fee is based on Unity Runtime and activates every time a “qualifying” game is installed. The fee only activates after certain revenue and install base numbers have been met, depending on what version of Unity is being used. The fee itself will also change depending on the number of installs and what region the game is from.

For users of Unity Personal and Plus, the fees will kick in once a game has made $200,000 or more in the last 12 months and once it has been installed at least 200,000 times over its whole lifetime. For Unity Pro and Enterprise, the game will have to have made $1,000,000 or more in the last 12 months and have at least 1,000,000 lifetime installs. Below is a chart, provided by Unity, displaying the various install fees.

The chart of potential install fees via Unity.
The chart of potential install fees via Unity.

According to Axios’ Stephen Totilo, charity bundles will be exempt from the fees, but there are other concerns.

Writer and developer on Fallen London Bruno Dias asked on cohost, “If The Gamers get mad at a studio, can they cause them to incur Unity runtime fees by repeatedly reinstalling the game?”

Initially, it looked like the answer was yes, but Unity appears to have changed its tune. According to Axios’ Stephen Totilo, only the first installation per user will incur a fee for the developer, and most demos will not qualify. Additionally, Game Pass installations will be exempt from the fee.

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