Skip to main content

Unity kills Runtime Fee for Personal users, offers rev share for others

Engine maker will only apply per-install charges for devs on Pro or Enterprise licenses who upgrade to new version of Unity next year

Unity has unveiled its planned changes to the controversial Runtime Fee policy that would charge developers fees on a per-install basis.

Unity Create president Marc Whitten detailed the changes in a blog post, starting with the removal of the Runtime Fee for any games built on a Unity Personal license.

Additionally, the company is changing some of the Unity Personal terms. Previously Personal accounts were only for developers who had less than $100,000 in revenue or funds raised in the previous year, but that's being upped to $200,000.

Also, Unity Personal developers will no longer need to feature the Made With Unity splash screen on their work.

Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise developers are being given the option of avoiding the Runtime Fee in favor of a 2.5% revenue share for the company, based on a developer's self-reported revenues, or a "calculated amount based on the number of new people engaging with your game each month," as per Unity's open letter.

Unity says if a developer takes the 2.5% option and the revenue share works out to more than what the Runtime Fee would have been (based on the developer's self-reported new users), it will bill the lesser amount.

In another change to the plan, the Runtime Fee will no longer be retroactive; it will only apply to developers who ship their games using versions of Unity that ship in 2024 or later, so previously released titles and games that ship with the current version of the engine or earlier versions will be exempt.

"We will make sure that you can stay on the terms applicable for the version of Unity editor you are using – as long as you keep using that version," Whitten said.

Whitten also said he was sorry, and that Unity should have spoken with more developers and incorporated more feedback before announcing the Runtime Fee initially.

"Our goal with this policy is to ensure we can continue to support you today and tomorrow, and keep deeply investing in our game engine," he said.

"You are what makes Unity great, and we know we need to listen, and work hard to earn your trust. We have heard your concerns, and we are making changes in the policy we announced to address them."

Update: In a live interview with YouTuber Jason Weimann several hours after the blog post went live, Whitten emphasized that the Runtime Fee was introduced initially in an attempt to build a sustainable business for Unity.

"We're trying to build a model we think is fair and good sort of value exchange once they reach a level of success," Whitten said.

He also explained why the company announced the revisions on Friday despite having said Sunday night that it would say more in "a couple of days," Whitten said it waited the extra days so it could get more feedback on the considered changes. He noted that not listening to enough feedback was one of the company's mistakes with the initial rollout of the plan.

Read this next

Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
Related topics