Unity introduced charge per runtime game install


Unity updated its pricing model lately, please check links below for latest information.

NOTE: I have removed previously posted extractions and links to avoid confusion.


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It makes no real difference to me. I don’t make $200k per game per year and never even had 200,000 installs across all my games together, never mind a single one. It will be some time before I need to worry about it.

From the blog

Those thresholds for us small-time indies are $200k per game in the last 12 months and 200k lifetime installs per game. Meh

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hi bixarrio, thanks for visiting, same here, just planning for demo game merely.

Yeah quite a few people are up in arms about it, and rightly so. But I think every situation is different. Like yourselves, I do not need to worry about it right now, and by the time that I do need to think about it, they may have backtracked or there may be another pricing model in play.

However it’s worth mentioning to keep up to date with this update, because a lot can spring up from this. For instance, there may be just advancements in Godot or Unreal, in order to capture the developers which have decided to leave Unity because of this.

This may mean that the popular game engines shift in position.

It’s worth continuing the talk here if people are interested or wish to express their opinion (within reason and using sensible language :smiley: ).

For myself I do see a few behaviours that I should change for when I hit this threshhold:

  • Stop testing my game as a built .apk or built version by updating, as this installs a new runtime (from what I have read).

  • Be careful who you send the testing of your game to, because this also affects closed Beta testing - be even more aware of open Beta testing.

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hi Catley,

Thank you for the information sharing and advise.

Well, is really not easy to switch to other platforms because much efforts, time and money contributed in learning Unity unless it is an extreme policy changes. Such extreme changes is something like moving from MSDOS to Windows programming :sweat_smile:

I do evaluate the comments from discord channel regarding the runtime charges, many said “switch to GoDot”, personally I don’t think is that easy, there are many aspects to consider.

For the threshold, honestly I never think of the USD200k earnings at all, but the number of downloads of my app from the mobile stores that really concerned me at first :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

However, I do concern from time to time of any news about the business model policy changes made by Unity, I don’t want to fall into a trap that I cannot pull myself out later.

It is the reason that I learned up Unreal Engine few months back as alternative solution, just in case.

Thanks again.

I think that the main rule here should be to never create a free-to-play game with Unity. If you create one and have the misfortune of going viral enough to earn $200K, you will immediately go bankrupt. In general, the lower the price, the more problematic this scheme is.

I don’t think that the new charge will affect most small devs, but it should certainly make people think twice about using Unity. Unless your plan is to remain small, it’s a risky business.

So for anyone not already in the Unity ecosystem, I think it would be a good idea to learn another engine.

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I came across this article yesterday:

The article is from:

Any one here can confirms the above statement that no runtime fees is held upon demo game is valid ?

Well, for knowledge wise, is good to know ahead and be clear on what I am doing now, I will post the similar question to Unity as well.

Here, I am more concern about the abuse made by the beta testers though.

What I’m worried about, after someone mentioned the idea, is deliberate trolling. It will be trivial to write a script that installs and uninstalls endlessly. Unity did say that developers can report abuse and it will be considered, but because it’s so easy, I’m sure that there will be enough bad players to try this, and it will become a burden to deal with.

In this respect, I think that beta testers will be less of an issue.

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ic, thanks for sharing your concerns, much appreciated for all comments here.

I have posted the question to Unity yesterday but was being removed, perhaps just wait for Unity Q&A section.

Meanwhile, Stefan from Imphenzia had something to say about this HERE.

In addition, some one from the Unity forum recommends to post the question to dedicated channel HERE which I have posted as well. Let’s see what’s the feedback will be.


Main problem are F2P games as far as I know. Charges are on a monthly basis starting from 200K (charge is calculated from the difference), so even if you charge as low as 50 cent per copy you are always going to have enough money (notwithstanding taxes, steam charges, publisher charges and the like of course). If it’s a free game with millions of downloads that just makes a few 100K of revenue, then yes, you are in big trouble, which is in my opinion an edge case that affects not that many companies.

What it will be indeed a problem for almost all developers is now the inability of creating a trustworthy commercial plan. If you don’t know if your game is going to get popular enough you may not account for the extra charges if it does and that can be a pain.

All in all is a scummy move, communicated in the worst manner possible and the backlash is is understandable because there may be now thousands of jobs on the line, with people needing to learn a new engine ASAP if the company they work for decides to change engines (or the fact that such a change puts the company at high risk of bankruptcy due to the downtime of switching to new pipelines incrementing considerable developing time).

I’m just waiting to see how the situation develops, as I find myself looking for work right now and I can see the offer for Unity positions shrinking in the near future, which really worries me.

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hi OuterGazer, thanks for your sharing here, for F2P games that is the reason I want to clarify with Unity, the initial feedback comments are very virtual and some source with “negative criticizing”, and Unity removed my post the same day, eventually I submitted to a dedicated channel as recommended for this question “runtime charge on free/demo game”.

Honestly, is not a problem to sell a game, I means if Unity going to charge USD0.20 per runtime install, then for example, logically I will be selling at USD1.20 instead of USD1 but how effective is Unity runtime install /uninstall monitoring system, no one knows.

If it is F2P games release, then responsibility is not that heavy, can I say so :thinking: as I can use it as promotional materials for an online course or assets right.

Well I have no plans to go big in game development. I’m doing this as a hobby with hopes that one day I can release my own open world RPG…probably will take years to get that far but hey it’s just a hobby to me! Knowing how Unity released this new fee structure onto devs only, I’m wondering why Unity didn’t say the fee will be paid by the Publisher or customers? I doubt customers will even notice a .20 fee charged. If Unity allows this new fee to start, the what is going to stop Microsoft from charging Unity a runtime fee? When companies go public like in Unity’s case, they have shareholders and investors to deal with. The company is under a tremendous amount of pressure to make money, however making devs pay for every runtime install is just asking for trouble. I think that any game engine company that goes public will run into similar issues like Unity. Once you go public, now the company has to worry about revenue, costs, shareholders, CEOs changing, etc.

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It’s worth remembering that the $0.20 charge is per install, not per purchase. If a user installs the game on multiple machines, or shares it via family sharing, or has a problem and uninstalls and reinstalls, or wants to play the game again a year later, these will all be charged. It’s a good question how much this really matters, statistically, but I think that “50 cents per copy” or “$1.20 instead of $1” isn’t really going to cut it.

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I added this question to the post HERE, as my fist post is removed by Unity, and re-posted to a dedicated channel, so far Unity did not remove anything from there, hopefully there are solid answer by Unity officially.

Here is the snapshot:

Yes, the USD1.20 is just an example to describe, no obligation :slightly_smiling_face:

Oh my—what a firestorm!

Rick posted a video answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=YRpM_meNzRg&feature=youtu.be

TLDR is it’s not nearly as bad as people are thinking.

Now, it gets worse for me… I posted a link to Rick’s video to the Unity Course Community, got some rather heated replies full of unity hate (and some more sensible replies too), and Meta (AKA Facebook) notified me that someone submitted a complaint about me and therefore they disabled my business page. I have asked for review and sent them a photo of my driver’s license (to prove I’m a real person, I assume, in this day of ChatGPT!). I hope it will all just work out (it probably will) but if not, I can afford to lose a business page on Facebook, even though they’ve made money off me from my buying ads!

But to be completely transparent, I can’t actually prove that my posting Rick’s video caused the bad report, but the timing is just too close for me to believe otherwise! That’s how emotional it’s getting for people…they respond viciously instead of thoughtfully!

Just a warning…to paraphrase Heinlein, in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is not king. He is considered to be a loon who only imagines he can see!


The answer is updated HERE.

Below is the extraction:

Go with flow in this case, in Chinese poetry “One type of rice, feed million of peoples”.

I never advise peoples to use this or that, but lead by example will do, unless they come to ask me.

I am not in the qualified group of the Unity business earnings threshold, and cannot judge what is right or wrong, but surely there are reasons why peoples responded that way.

However, knowing Unity retiring the Unity Plus soon and qualified developers must use Unity Pro, pay more, it sounds not so good to me though at this stage.

For me, I like Unity, but will carefully observe, and move one step ahead, learn and delegate some time to one more 3D engine like Unreal Engine, just to play safe.

FYI they are updating this page a lot with the updated terms: https://forum.unity.com/threads/unity-plan-pricing-and-packaging-updates.1482750/

It’s worth keeping an eye on.

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Morning Catley, which page are you referring to, the link provided seems pointing back to the post of Todd_Vance in this channel ?

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I agree with Rick here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRpM_meNzRg

As long as the pricing strategy is to “tax” the rich and alleviate pressure on the small and hobbyist devs, I am supporting the direction. Having said that, in this day and age there could have been better communication and PR done.

I just looked at Unity’s financial statement Unity Software Inc. (U) Income Statement - Yahoo Finance. They are almost net negative $1 million last year, and they are in the red every year for the last 5 years. For those who have enjoyed the free pricing plan for years, I think it is something to appreciate and empathize with as well. We can say the CEO is incompetent and what not, but gaming industry as a whole is not easy.

For me, I just feel a bit unfortunate for me, because I only just started learning seriously and these things really affect my choices.


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