Unity recently announced, modified, and reannounced its new runtime fee program. The video game development community was curious about why this rollout was so disastrous. Unity Create president Marc Whitten published a letter and held a live fireside chat on YouTube to address the community’s questions. Whitten apologized for not taking enough feedback before rolling out the program. He explained that the fee was meant to create a sustainable business model and a balanced exchange between Unity and its users. The new plan offers developers a choice to pay fees based on the number of new people engaging with their game each month or a flat 2.5% of all revenue. Whitten clarified that the fee would only affect games that made $1 million or more and had 1 million or more engagements with new users in the last 12 months. The term “engagement” refers to someone legitimately using the software on a distribution channel. Unity also addressed concerns about their terms of service and committed to updating them and providing developers the ability to lock in a particular version. However, there are still doubts about whether Unity can regain the community’s trust. Whitten acknowledged that actions, not words, are needed to earn trust and that it is up to the community to decide if Unity’s actions are enough.
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