Unity reportedly cancels town hall over death threats. After the reports and incident, the company also closed two of its offices and then warned employees that are uncomfortable with the whole situation to stay at home.
Unity Cancels Town Hall
The Unity pricing debacle has kind of taken quite an unfortunate, dangerous turn. In a new report from Bloomberg, the firm has just reportedly canceled a town hall meeting because of what the publication referred to as credible death threats. And according to Bloomberg, Unity CEO John Riccitiello was set to address employees on Thursday morning, but the companywide meeting in question was reportedly canceled and two of the offices of the company were closed due to the alleged threats.
Unity in the early parts of this week, the company which is the maker of a video game engine popular among indie developers, reportedly announced that it was making changes to its pricing model. And in addition to charging yearly subscription fees, the company is also planning to implement a pay-per-install pricing scheme, thus charging developers each time a game is installed on a device once that very game has met specific download as well as revenue thresholds.
The News Was Met With a Sizable Backlash
The news in question was met with a sizable backlash. Indie developers reportedly protested in droves, stating that the changes in question would reportedly hurt their already small profit margins while also in turn damaging their trust simply because the policy shifts were announced with little clarity or any form of warning. Some have therefore threatened to never make use of Unity again and are also encouraging players to pay for but not download their games in a bid to avoid incurring the new fees.
Riccitiello Is Seen As the Driving Force behind the New Development
Riccitiello himself reportedly became a central figure of the controversy as many see him as the driving force behind the new development and model. He was the CEO of Electronic Arts when the controversial loot box monetization was added to FIFA 09 at the time. He also made news when he referred to developers as “fucking idiots” over the reluctance of some developers to introduce monetization schemes in the early parts of the development process.
There is also the infamous clip of Riccitiello talking during a shareholder call regarding charging Battlefield players a dollar to reload their guns. The Unity CEO in other news also raised eyebrows this very week when it was reported that he reportedly sold off 2,000 Unity shares right before the company announced this very news — with the company’s stock price seeing a major drop thereafter.
Unity’s Tweet Clarifying the New Pricing Structure
Unity has already tweeted some clarifications regarding the new pricing structure and then walked back several unpopular tenets. Developers in question will now no longer be charged for demos or even game re-installs but will however be charged for installs on multiple devices.
There also will be programs put in place to help protect against fraud or malicious activity, and games that are included in charity bundles will not be subject to fees. Unity also revealed that it only expects 10 percent of its users to be affected by these new changes, thus targeting what it said are users who have found success at a much bigger scale.
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