Here we are again – a company trying to retroactively change its licensing agreement to something that risks bankrupting creators in the pursuit of short term profit.
We dealt with this earlier in the year with WotC. Now we’re dealing with the same from one of the largest game engines out there.
What is Unity?
For the folks in the TTRPG community who may not have heard of Unity (and we don’t blame you) – Unity is a popular engine for video game development. Many popular games have been built in it over the years.
It also happens to be the engine we use to build Arkenforge.
What has Unity done?
The simple answer is that Unity is trying to charge a fee per installation of your software or game. While this would occur after a given threshold, it signals a fundamental change to the business model that every developer using Unity has signed up for.
Once the income and download thresholds are met, every installation would require a payment to Unity. Currently this is proposed at $0.01 – $0.20 per install, depending on your license.
Some developers have outlined that in some cases, this could lead to charges over 100% of gross revenue.
As was the case with WotC at the start of the year, this isn’t the license that any developer signed up for.
How will this affect Arkenforge going forward?
The fortunate answer is that we will remain unaffected.
The threshold for this to take effect is 1,000,000 installs. We aren’t quite at that number yet.
This means that for at least a couple of years yet, we’ll be able to operate business as usual. By the time we hit any of these thresholds, we’ll have various revenue streams in place to offset it. (More on those in the future)
While it’s one hell of a bad business practice, we’ll be able to weather the storm.
That being said, we sincerely hope that Unity goes the way of WotC, claim this new pricing strategy as an avant-garde piece of performance art or late April Fools’ joke, and we never hear about it again.
These kinds of business practices have no place in the development community.
At Arkenforge, we consistently try to do what’s best for our users, rather than what’s best for our bottom line. Other companies should do the same.