The creator of the popular Steam survival game Rust has attacked Unity amid the current furor surrounding the new charges.
Unity shocked the video game industry when it announced a new policy that means some developers will have to pay a small fee every time someone downloads a game built with the Unity game engine.
The Unity Runtime fee, which will go into effect on January 1, 2024, was universally criticized by developers on social media following the announcement. Unity later backtracked on some aspects of the policy amid growing anger from developers, insisting that the fee would only apply to the initial installation of a game, and that developers would not be responsible for installations later. through subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, with fees instead passed on to platform holders like Xbox.
However, great concern remains and the reaction has only become louder. Several high-profile developers have said that Unity’s new policy will significantly affect their plans, with some wondering whether they will use Unity in the future. Lamb Worship and Among us are among the high-profile games that risk being pulled from digital markets if Unity goes ahead with its plan. Unity has since insisted that 90% of its customers are not affected by the change.
Developer Garry Newman, founder of Facepunch Studios and creator of the phenomenally popular Garry’s Mod, wrote a blog post with some choice words for the management team at embattled video game engine maker Unity.
“Maybe they forgot about PC games. Again,” Newman said. “It hurts because we didn’t agree to this. We use the engine because you pay upfront and then ship your product. They didn’t tell us this was going to happen. We were not warned. We were not consulted.
“We’ve spent 10 years building Rust in the Unity engine. We have paid them every year. And now the rules have changed.
“Unity has demonstrated its power. We can see what they are able and willing to do. You can’t stop ringing that bell.
“Unity is the worst company to be in charge of Unity Engine.
“The trust is gone.”
Newman later revealed plans to make a sequel to Rust and regretted not having built a proprietary engine for the job.
“We had 10 years to build our own engine and we never did. I’m sure many game companies feel the same way today.
“Let’s not make the same mistake again, Rust 2 will definitely not be a Unity game.”
Unity faces a number of questions surrounding this new policy, such as who is considered the “distributing party” and should therefore foot the bill for these new charges. IGN understands that several publishers and developers of unannounced Unity games are currently scrambling to prevent their deals from collapsing following the news, with the former worried about absorbing the increased costs. Meanwhile, Unity, led by former EA boss John Riccitiello, is under increasing pressure to eliminate the policy entirely. Developers have also criticized Unity for removing the terms of service from the GitHub engine.
Rami Ismail, co-founder of Ridiculous Fishing, Luftrausers and Nuclear Throne developer Vlambeer, summed up the anti-Unity sentiment in a post on amount of additional monitoring, a technical impossibility and the only business model that can bankrupt you.”
I’m afraid this changes exactly nothing with respect to the four points I made yesterday. It remains a huge uncertainty for developers, a retroactive adjustment of terms, an absurd amount of additional monitoring, a technical impossibility, and the only business model that can bankrupt you. https://t.co/0fG8mZuaLW
— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) September 14, 2023
Wesley is the UK news editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can contact Wesley at email@example.com or confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.