Unity apologizes & backtracks on universally-hated Runtime Fees update

Developers and the community at large let their voices be heard and Unity is reassessing its policy.


Unity has made as statement regarding its planned pricing changes after considerable public pushback. Developers and studios quickly responded to Unity’s Runtime Fees, with many voicing considerable concerns and looking for ways to unshackle their game from the engine. This new statement, which includes an apology, indicates that the company will be making changes to this policy.

unity statement on twitter

Source: Twitter

On Sunday, September 17, 2023, Unity took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to issue a statement regarding its planned policy changes and new Runtime Fees. In the statement, the company says it has “heard you” and is “listening” and will be making changes to the policy. The full statement follows.

We have heard you. We apologize for the confusion and angst the runtime fee policy we announced on Tuesday caused. We are listening, talking to our team members, community, customers, and partners, and will be making changes to the policy. We will share an update in a couple of days. Thank you for your honest and critical feedback.

A table showing Unity's proposed new fees

Source: Unity

On September 12, 2023, Unity released a blog post that informed users of an update to its policy regarding Runtime Fees. The fees would have seen developers pay when their game crossed a revenue and install threshold. Over the course of the hours following, Unity doubled-down on its position, further ostracizing itself and sending developers reeling, with the likes of Rami Ismail offering advice for those who needed guidance. Following this, Unity closed some of its offices after receiving death threats which San Francisco police confirmed were made by a Unity employee.

Today’s statement seems to indicate that Unity is at least willing to hear out concerns and hopefully change its policy. Be sure to keep it locked to Shacknews as we keep you updated on the situation.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 17, 2023 6:05 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, Unity apologizes & backtracks on universally-hated Runtime Fees update

    • reply
      September 17, 2023 6:09 PM

      Their statement only says that they'll be making changes. What if the changes are even worse than what they announced last week.

      • reply
        September 17, 2023 6:29 PM

        That would be a real feat.

      • Zek legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
        September 17, 2023 6:37 PM

        It's extremely hard to imagine that their changes can repair the broken trust after they betrayed their existing users so completely.

        • reply
          September 17, 2023 7:27 PM

          At this point, they need to let devs complete their current projects without any more fear of retroactive payment changes.

          After that, they might as well start from zero on their knees, begging for clients.

          • reply
            September 17, 2023 9:14 PM

            They'd be starting at less than zero, with an assumption that they're not trustworthy.

      • reply
        September 17, 2023 9:00 PM

        they actually wanted to charge each time the runtime is started, so they'd probably put in some more fees for starting up the program.

    • reply
      September 17, 2023 6:32 PM


    • reply
      September 17, 2023 7:29 PM

      It doesn't say they backtracked, just that they'll make further adjustments.

      • reply
        September 17, 2023 8:45 PM

        This was probably their shitty plan the whole time. Put out something abhorrent, apologize and 'revise', then put out something slightly less shitty that they wanted from the beginning.

        • reply
          September 18, 2023 5:29 AM

          Thats giving way too much credit to John Riccitiello.

        • reply
          September 18, 2023 6:12 AM

          Bad plan considering they have destroyed trust and a lot of devs are already jumping ship.

        • reply
          September 18, 2023 6:16 AM

          I really doubt they intended a New Coke situation here rather than just being plain greedy and developer-hostile.

        • reply
          September 18, 2023 6:30 AM

          nah. because this whole situation showed that they are very unreliable business partners and companies should think twice before starting a project with their technology.

          • reply
            September 18, 2023 7:36 AM

            Yup. Gonna be fun seeing their financials in a year or two.

        • reply
          September 18, 2023 8:09 AM

          If that was indeed their plan, but it's terrible, because people are going to call shit out when they see it, no matter how subtle or egregious.

          They grossly underestimated or ignored the concerns of developers with this change, and it's vaporized a metric ton of trust that won't be easily rebuilt. The scorched earth far outweighs any value this would've brought to the company.

    • reply
      September 17, 2023 8:50 PM

      if i was unity id do...runtime fees or 5%. whatever is lower for the developer. that way companies like nintendo and genshin dont have to reveal their pocketbooks, and choose the runtime fees instead

    • reply
      September 17, 2023 9:26 PM

      Its okay at least all the execs sold before the news. Not illegal or anything, we definately shouldn't investigate this!

    • reply
      September 18, 2023 3:52 AM

      No, they didn’t.

    • reply
      September 18, 2023 4:38 AM

      They are altering the deal, pray the don't alter it any further.

    • reply
      September 18, 2023 5:13 AM

      Unity reportedly told dev Planned Parenthood and children's hospital are not "not valid charities"


      • reply
        September 18, 2023 5:46 AM

        I saw someone describe Unity as "the Kevin Sorbo of Game Engines"

    • reply
      September 18, 2023 8:57 AM

      It has been somewhat positive for me in that it gave me the impetus to check out the Godot engine seriously. And I like what I've seen so far.

      • reply
        September 18, 2023 9:42 AM

        i dont like that you cant see the game in editor view while its running. its so good in unity to be able to see your gameobjects as the game runs

        • reply
          September 18, 2023 11:08 AM

          in Godot, can't you see your game objects from the Remote tab while the game is running? not super familiar with Unity so I'm not sure how it differs

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