The announcement that Unity will begin charging developers a Unity Runtime Fee for each download of a Unity developed game continues to cause upset.
Many game studios have written public statements urging Unity to reconsider its decision (and threatening to withhold ads payments if they don't) and it appears someone has gone further, with Bloomberg reporting that the Unity were forced to close two offices in Austin, Texas and San Francisco on September 14 following the receipt of a credible death threat.
The company also canceled a planned town hall meeting, hosted by CEO John Riccitiello.
“Today, we have been made aware of a potential threat to some of our offices,” said a spokesperson for the company. “We have taken immediate and proactive measures to ensure the safety of our employees, which is our top priority. We are closing our offices today and tomorrow that could be potential targets for this threat, and are fully cooperating with law enforcement on the investigation.”
Polygon reported that the threat came from an employee of Unity itself, being delivered via social media.
A controversial decision
As the development platform of choice for around 70% of mobile game makers, any change to Unity’s pricing structure or business model will always cause massive shockwaves throughout the industry - after all, the company’s planned merger with monetisation platform ironSource became one of the biggest stories of 2022.
And yet it appears that the move has taken Unity by surprise.
While it’s natural that Unity would want to ensure its profitability, the unexpected move has proven controversial, and it appears that even those within the company have their reservations about the decisions.
We listed Unity as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2023.