Unity’s decision to start charging fees each time a title using its game engine is installed was understandably met with furor and talks of class action lawsuits. In response to the bomb Unity dropped, Terraria developer Re-Logic has stepped in to promote and support alternative open-source game engines that developers can use instead. In a post on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, Re-Logic called Unity’s move “predatory” and “unequivocally condemn[ed]” the fee changes proposed, as well as the “underhanded way they were rolled out.”
“The flippant manner with which years of trust cultivated by Unity were cast aside for yet another way to squeeze publishers, studios and gamers is the saddest part,” the developer continued. Re-Logic said that a simple public statement wasn’t sufficient, so it’s donating $100,000 each to the open-source game engines Godot and FNA. It will also continue supporting both projects by giving them $1,000 each every month going forward.
Terraria is wildly successful and has become one of the best-selling video games over the years and across platforms. While Re-Logic can afford a donation like this, it’s not the company’s responsibility — and the community knows it, based on the amount of positive responses its announcement received.
Unity first introduced its new “Runtime fees,” which it intends to implement on January 1, 2024, a week ago. The fees will vary depending on what plan a developer uses. A Unity Personal and Unity Plus subscriber, for instance, will pay 20 cents per install after reaching $200,000 in revenue from the past 12 months and 200,000 lifetime installs. Days after its initial announcement, though, Unity backtracked and promised changes to the policy. It also explained that the owners of subscription services, such as Microsoft when it comes to Game Pass, will have to pay the fees and not the developers themselves. At the moment, the exact details of Unity’s Runtime fees remain unclear, but it promised to release an update very soon.
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…
— Unity (@unity) September 17, 2023