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"Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of GRTV News. Today we have a really conflicting thing to talk about as recently Unity, which is a company that runs and offers a game development engine and tool for developers to build their games on, has decided to announce a new install fee and it's led to a bit of an uproar in the game development community."
"So without me sort of harping on any further about what this is about, let's dive right on in and take a look at it. Developers hate Unity's new install fee. Not exactly surprising when it originally would cost some money every time someone deleted and reinstalled the game, played it on two different devices and more."
"We've seen many discussions about how much of a game's revenue Epic Games Store, Steam, GOG and other digital stores have taken through the years, but there's also a less talked about part of many games that needs its share of the pie before a developer and or publisher can start putting the money into their own pockets, game engines."
"Unreal Engine and Unity are two of the most popular ones and Epic has tweaked the revenue share a few times lately. Now it's Unity's turn and it's definitely not being received well. A blog post reveals that Unity wants to introduce what's simply called Unity Runtime Fees on the 1st of January 2024. This is set to replace the revenue share as game creators instead will have to pay Unity a fee every time their games are installed on a device. The fee varies based on what kind of Unity subscription they have after reaching certain milestones. Unity claims this change will only affect a small subset of titles, but social media makes it seem like more than enough have a problem with it. The Among Us developers at InnerSloth shared their concerns after Another Crab's Treasure AgroCrab was one of the first studios speaking up against it and they're not alone. Call to the Lamb's Massive Monster is one of many other studios threatening to swap engine if this actually happens."
"It's not exactly weird when the original idea was to charge the fee every time a game was installed and across different devices. Fortunately Unity backtracked a bit in a comment to Steven Totilo at Axio so developers says publishers will only pay for the initial install and not demos unless it's early access and other variants that include the full game, subscription services and charity offers. Still it seems like the large majority of fairly known teams don't like this idea so it'll be interesting to see if Unity does a complete turnaround, backtracks their butt a bit more or stands its ground. What do you think about the Unity runtime fee? So the mention there as well is the key part is that, well two key parts mainly. The runtime fee will be in effect for every time a game is downloaded or installed rather. So that will affect you know if you download a game, play it for a couple of weeks and decide I don't really want to play this again so you want to install it and then you think to yourself oh maybe I'll play it again so you reinstall it, the runtime fee would then charge twice."
"Likewise if you play the game on two different platforms, say you play it on PC and on Xbox that'll be two charges as well for two different versions of the game essentially.Unity has said that the install fee will not happen if it's a game demo. Early access doesn't count, early access counts as like a full release or other variants that include the full game but if it's also through a subscription service or a charity offer it also doesn't count as well. Although it is interesting to think how Unity will manage to identify those different sort of versions of the game. I'm not too sure how it's going to do that so we'll have to see whether or not it will manage to do it successfully."
"But yeah it's a little bit of an uproar in the game development scene because it's already quite a challenge to develop games in the first place. It's not cheap, it's very demanding, it takes up a lot of time and now your revenue is being cut even further because you're having to pay a quite significant amount of money towards Unity."
"Now I think as well, before we do sign off, I think there was mention of the sort of revenue split and when and where it will be charged. So for Unity Personal and Unity Plus versions of the Unity Engine, those who have made $200,000 or more in the last 12 months and have at least 200,000 lifetime game installs, again that's lifetime game installs not active game installs or something like that but it's lifetime so that's two different platforms, download, reinstall, that sort of stuff. Yeah it'll apply to those people and likewise for the Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise which are most likely for the biggest sort of game developers and companies out there, those that have made $1,000,000 or more in the last 12 months and have at least 1,000,000 lifetime game installs, then they will pass the threshold for the revenue and the install, meaning you will have to pay the Unity fee."
"As for how much it will be, it changes to a various degree. So if the threshold is met, you could be paying a minimum of 20 cent, I guess that's what it is in US dollars, 20% of a dollar, I think it's cent. 20 cent per install for the most basic ones, that'd be Unity Personal and Unity Plus, as long as you hit that threshold."
"And it could go up as far, or should we say as high as, well actually that's as high as it goes and then it sort of gets cheaper as the amount of pick players and installs goes up. So yeah, you could be paying quite a considerable amount of your revenue threshold towards Unity per install, especially if a game, let's say it's an indie game that does quite well and it's only set to cost £16 or something like that. When you take away the split that's going to the actual store front and then you take away the fact that per each install, 2% of your revenue or whatever is going to the Unity engine as well, it's quite a significant amount of money. But yeah, it's quite an interesting thing, we've seen a lot of backlash from the gaming development community, so no doubt that will continue in the future as well. But as we learn more about this engine and this Unity fee, we'll be sure to get you posted and updated, so stay tuned for more no doubt."
"But until then, I hope you enjoy the rest of your Wednesday and we'll see you on the next episode of GeoTV News. Take care everyone."