UK games industry body TIGA have condemned game creation platform Unity for their overhaul of install fees, and called for the UK Competition & Markets Authority’s intervention into the case.
In a release, CEO of TIGA, Richard Wilson said, “TIGA members have expressed deep concerns about Unity’s announcement, warning that its plans will increase developers’ costs, imperil jobs, and potentially oblige some studios to shut their games down and risk going out of business. TIGA members are particularly concerned at the application of the fee to existing titles and the mere three months’ notice provided. Studios cannot easily reskill existing staff, hire alternative engine programmers and port games to another platform. Unity should reconsider its plans.
“The UK Government and the Competition and Markets Authority need to promote greater competition in the games engine market. It cannot be healthy for over 60 per cent of developers to be using one games engine. We need a competitive market which provides studios with real choice, and which keeps existing engine providers on their toes and responsive to customers’ needs.”
More to the point
TIGA’s statement echoes a similar one made by the European Game Developers Federation, including calls for regulatory scrutiny. It’s fair to say that the furor around Unity’s imposing of new per install fees for games that use their engine, has opened a new avenue of attack for those calling for greater controls to protect the supply of vital tools used in game development.
However, it’s entirely possible that by the time action is taken by either EU or UK regulatory bodies, the situation may have changed entirely. Unity started off this week with an announcement and apology, however they haven’t yet made it clear to what extent they will climb down from their previous position.