It sounds like the fight between game engine company Unity and indie developers over recent changes to Unity’s pricing model is escalating, and not in a good way. A new report from Bloomberg noted that Unity’s offices in Austin, Texas and San Francisco were closed today due to the company receiving what was reported to be a “credible death threat.”
The report stated that Unity CEO John Riccitello was scheduled to hold a town hall meeting with Unity employees today, but that meeting was postponed after the company received the death threat. There is currently no word on the source of that threat.
Rock paper shotgun It released a statement from a Unity spokesperson who added:
We have taken immediate and proactive steps 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 of this threat, and are cooperating fully with law enforcement in the investigation.
These threats come after Unity this week announced major changes to the pricing model for the use of its game engine in general, and its Unity Runtime application in particular. Beginning January 1, 2024, the Company will charge developers a per-install fee for its Runtime software after a certain number of installs and revenue levels have been achieved.
Reaction from Unity game developers has so far been almost universally negative, with concerns that some small indie developers won’t be able to afford the installation fees to play. Many big developers who used Unity in the past have now said that they will switch engines or no longer make new games with Unity.
The company has since published several clarifications regarding this change. This includes one that was Posted on her X account (formerly Twitter). on Wednesday, where it says it will not charge developers for reinstalling a game, and that there will be no charges at all for web-based and streaming games, nor for games released for charity or as part of charity bundles.