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New Unity Gaming Engine Fees Cause Hard Backlash from Developers

As of January 2024, developers will be charged every time a user installs a game made with Unity.


Leading game engine provider has announced a new “Runtime Fee” that has stirred significant backlash from the game development community. This fee, set to take effect in January 2024, will charge developers every time a user installs a game made with Unity. The fee is tied to the number of game installations, a move that previously didn't cost developers anything. Under the new system, developers using Unity's free tier will owe Unity $0.20 per installation once their game reaches 200,000 downloads and earns $200,000 in revenue. Those on the Unity Pro plan will face different thresholds and lower fees.

Developers' Concerns and Unity's Clarifications

The announcement was met with immediate concern and criticism from developers. Many worried about the potential financial implications, especially for games that see a surge in installations due to sales, charity bundles, or inclusion in popular subscription services like 's Game Pass.

Unity's Marc Whitten responded to the concerns, clarifying that the fee would only apply to the initial installation of a game. Subsequent installations on the same device, such as re-installs, would not incur additional charges. However, installing the game on a different device would result in an extra fee. Whitten also mentioned that game demos and games offered for charity would be exempt from the fees.

The Broader Impact on the Gaming Community

The new fee structure has raised several concerns among developers. One significant worry is the impact on “freemium” games, which are free to download but generate revenue through in-game purchases. A game that achieves significant downloads but only modest in-game purchase revenue could end up owing Unity more than the game's total earnings.

Additionally, there's the potential for “install-bombing” where users repeatedly install and uninstall a game to rack up fees and financially harm developers. Unity's initial response to this was to charge for each install, but after backlash, they revised their stance to charge only for the initial installation on a device.


In light of these changes, some developers are considering migrating to other game engines, underscoring the depth of their concerns. Unity's decision has highlighted the delicate balance tech companies must strike between monetizing their services and supporting the developer community that relies on them.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.

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