It would be really great if the Unity situation would stop being a big ol’ industry-wide garbage fire, but alas, it is not this day, as Unity still hasn’t officially backed down from its abruptly announced plan to collect per-install fees from developers using its engine. While the company has vowed changes, leaks of those changes aren’t going over with developers, who argue that not only does Unity not go far enough, there’s little the company could do to restore the trust it torched last week anyway.
Over 550 studios have reportedly signed on to the United Game Devs letter committing to disabling ad monetization through Unity’s tools, though you can’t see the full list right now as apparently its hosting is down (and the link is currently redirecting to open-source engine Godot while that gets sorted). A copy on the Wayback Machine notes that the collective had previously supported Unity as a “cornerstone of game development,” but now it denounces the company for leaving developers out of the “conversation” on Unity’s fees and urges devs to “turn off all IronSource and Unity Ads monetization until a fair and equitable resolution is found.”
Some devs are going a lot further than that – like Terraria developer Re-Logic, which announced last night that it’s donating $100,000 apiece to the open-source engines Godot and FNA, in addition to $1000 monthly stipends for both, in support of their development. Re-Logic “condemns” Unity’s fees as “predatory moves” and says it chooses to “[light] some candles in an otherwise dark moment” rather than just making a public statement. This is what we would refer to as “putting your money where your mouth is” – and it helps that Re-Logic has lots of it thanks to the fact that the indie game has sold nearly 50M copies.
“All we ask in return is that they remain good people and keep doing all that they can to make these engines powerful and approachable for developers everywhere,” the Terraria dev says about its donations. “We feel that our actions in this moment are the best way to carry that mission forward – by accelerating and strengthening competing open source game engines.”
— Terraria🌳 (@Terraria_Logic) September 19, 2023
I hereby apologize for all the times I’ve rolled my eyes as my kid boots up tModLoader.
Re-Logic is very interested and supportive of this new direction for @MonoGameTeam – an open source project with so much potential. After our announcement earlier this week, we had many people asking us whether or not we would also choose to support Monogame. pic.twitter.com/ZYWJptKiVA
— Terraria🌳 (@Terraria_Logic) September 21, 2023