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Unity Sticks With Install Fees As Developers Mull Lawsuits

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SideQuest threatened Unity with legal action over its planned install fees while telling the game engine maker to “stick that up your pipe and smoke it.”

Yesterday saw Unity announce the Runtime Fee, a new charge based on revenue in the last 12 months and installs, counting from 2024 forward. With costs as high as $0.20 per install depending on your Unity plan, this new fee covers both future releases and currently available games. Despite widespread criticism from developers, Unity’s official response shows the company is standing firm.

On Wednesday, the popular VR sideloading platform SideQuest threatened legal action over how its installs will be monitored. Split across two tweets, the company issued this statement:

SideQuest does not authorize Unity to use any data obtained from us to determine a per install fee. Our downloads are referred to as “clicks” on our site, and do not constitute a download or install. Any data you obtain from our platform for the purposes of determining these absurd install fee calculations will be met with a lawsuit instantly. Stick that up your pipe and smoke it.

Elaborating further, SideQuest calls this “damaging to developers of all shapes and sizes — and damaging to the gaming community as a whole” in a blog post, outlining five big concerns – “predatory” revenue thresholds, retroactive terms of service, how Unity has “contradicted themselves,” the impact on free-to-play games and a lack of transparency.

SideQuest isn’t the only group seemingly threatening legal action against Unity over this change. In a separate post by Xalavier Nelson Jr, Strange Scaffold head and Stranger Things VR writer, the developer advised “at least one significant group of developers is talking [about] a class-action lawsuit against Unity.”

After yesterday’s news broke, many VR developers weighed in to express their condemnation of the planned changes. Since publication, we’ve received further responses to our request for comment from Anton Hand (Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades), Devdatta Puntambekar (DEFTXR), Reed Seal-Foss (Blocks Simulator), Gaurav Kale (Digital Bacon), Beep2Bleep Games and more.

You can read more in our original report below:

Leading VR Engine Unity Will Soon Charge Devs Per Install

Unity will introduce a new ‘Runtime Fee’ next year, charging developers based on user installs.

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