The situation around Unity is getting increasingly chaotic. The company reportedly had to close some of its offices after its decision to introduce per-install fees sparked outrage in the gamedev community and beyond.
- According to a Bloomberg report, Unity CEO John Riccitiello was set to hold a town hall meeting with staff on Thursday to discuss the controversial rollout of a new Runtime Fee that would charge developers per each new install once their games reach certain revenue and download thresholds.
- However, the meeting was canceled after the company received a “credible death threat” and, as a result, decided to temporarily close offices in Austin, Texas, and San Francisco.
- A spokesperson told the publication that Unity has “taken immediate and proactive measures to ensure the safety of our employees.” It is now “fully cooperating with law enforcment.”
Many employees also seem unhappy with management’s decision to change the pricing model. According to former Unity senior software engineer Jono Forbes, who prior to this week worked on the XR and PolySpatial teams (via LinkedIn), the company’s pricing update caused some employees to depart from the company.
“As a Unity employee until this morning, I assure you we fought like hell against this, brought up all the points everyone has, were told answers were coming, and then the announcement went out without warning,” Forbes wrote on X (Twitter). “Those of us who care are out — more resignations coming end of week.”
Forbes announced the departure from Unity on September 13 after working at the company for seven years. However, it is unclear how many employees, who couldn’t tolerate the management’s decision to introduce per-install fees, did the same.
Replying to Forbes, New Blood’s Dillion Rogers noted that the “problem with Unity for several years now is that the people running the show aren’t listening to the developers and engineers like yourself.”
I appreciate that, Jono. The problem with Unity for several years now is that the people running the show aren’t listening to the developers and engineers like yourself.
— Dillon Rogers (@TafferKing451) September 14, 2023
The Runtime Fee announcement caught game developers off guard, with them criticizing the decision and saying that “the breach of trust is so insane, that it’s impossible to stay with Unity.” Some even started considering switching to other engines, not to mention that the new pricing model could put many studios at risk. For example, Shadow Fight maker Nekki stated that “Unity’s new policy could effectively increase our costs by up to 50 times, leading to a revenue cut of 50-100% in certain countries.”