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Unity reportedly tells staff details of Runtime Fee backtracking

Executives say the engine maker may cap install payments at 4% of revenue, will rely on customers to self-report data

Unity executives informed staff today about some of the planned revisions to the controversial Runtime Fee policy it announced last week, according to Bloomberg.

In a recording of the all-hands meeting reviewed by the outlet, executives detailed a number of changes under consideration, including:

  • A maximum fee cap of 4% of a game's revenues over $1 million
  • The installation threshold will no longer be retroactive, so only installs after the imposition of the policy would count toward the threshold
  • Unity will no longer rely on "proprietary technology" to track installs, instead asking users to self-report numbers.

While Unity CEO John Riccitiello acknowledged the company could have done a better job rolling out the Runtime Fee plan, he said, "I don't think there's any version of this that would have gone down a whole lot differently than what happened. It is a massively transformational change to our business model."

Last week, Unity announced that beginning in January, it would impose a Runtime Fee on every install of a Unity game after it reached certain install and revenue thresholds.

There was considerable backlash to the move, and Unity's official channels offered vague and sometimes contradictory information about what the fee would cover, how the company would keep track of the fees, and who would be responsible for paying them.

Yesterday, Unity released a statement apologizing for the "confusion and angst" it caused, and saying that it would announce unspecified changes to the plan in the coming days.

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