cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ca/post/5555641

archive.org

Developers of indie puzzle game Orgynizer have claimed that Unity said organisations like Planned Parenthood are “not valid charities” and are instead “political groups.”

In a blog post, the EU-based developer LizardFactory said the plans to charge developers up to $0.20 per install if they reach certain thresholds would cost them “around 30% of the funds we have gathered and already sent to charity.”

As Unity clarified the runtime fee will not apply to charity games, LizardFactory reached out to the company to clarify their game would be exempt from the plan.

However, Unity reportedly said their partners were not “valid charities” and were viewed as “political groups.”

Profits made from the game go directly to non-profit organisation Planned Parenthood and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Michigan.

“We did this to raise money for a good cause, not to line the coffers of greedy scumbags,” the developers wrote in a blog post. “We have been solid Unity fanboys for over ten years, but the trust is scattered all over the floor.”

The developers are considering a move to open-source game engine Godot, “but we will have to recode our entire game because we refuse to give you a dime,” they wrote. “This is a mafia-style shakedown, nothing more, nothing less.”

Today, Unity responded to the ongoing backlash and apologised, acknowledging the “confusion and angst” surrounding the runtime fee policy.

The company has promised that changes to the policy will be shared in “a couple of days.”

  • Em Adespoton
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    10 months ago

    “Charity” should be a question answered by “do they have a registered charity number?”

    What’s considered a charity will differ country by country.

    • Mateoto@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      Only valid answer. If there’s a valid document stating charity status, no other discussion is needed.

    • jmcs@discuss.tchncs.de
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      10 months ago

      That would require them to care enough to figure out how to verify if something is a registered charity and what they are called in each country. Some countries don’t even have the concept of registered charity in any form.

    • HughJanus@lemmy.ml
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      10 months ago

      Planned Parenthood is a US institution, and a registered 501c3 non-profit charity, as defined by the IRS.

      Though I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to dip their toes into the absolute shitstorm that is modern partisan politics in the US.

      • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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        10 months ago

        Sure, and you do that by looking up the tax status. As long as it’s considered a non-profit by the government, that’s it. That’s as non-political as you can get.

        • HughJanus@lemmy.ml
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          10 months ago

          That’s as non-political as you can get.

          Well you simply couldn’t be more wrong about that. The NFL was a charity not too long ago. I’m sure there are Christian conversion therapy “charities”, too. “Charity” is nothing more than a tax status. You can make a charity for anything, so long as you keep your finances appropriately.

          • TheOneCurly@lemmy.theonecurly.page
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            10 months ago

            I assume the NFL is/was a 501c6 tax exempt organization since it calls out football leagues specifically.

            You’d be looking for 501c3 organizations which does include churches and other dubious religious affiliated organizations but not all federal non-profits.

          • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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            10 months ago

            It’s still not political since there’s no active choice to accept some and reject others, it’s purely based on tax status. That’s it, no politics, just facts.

            • HughJanus@lemmy.ml
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              10 months ago

              The political quandary does not come from the tax status, it comes from the service they provide. If you think abortion is not a political topic then you need to dig your head out of the sand.

              • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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                10 months ago

                I’m not saying it isn’t. I’m saying that if their policy is to not look at the services they provide and only their tax status, they can stay away from the whole political angle. But as soon as they block just one tax-exempt org, then it becomes political.

                • 佐藤カズマ@lemmy.world
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                  10 months ago

                  Correct, which is what has happened here. The user above I think is misunderstanding the situation, or is perpetuating right-wing drivel. Due to the state of political discourse in the States, I’m going to take a guess it’s the latter, because I’ve learned not to give the benefit of the doubt.

  • lobut
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    10 months ago

    Right wing groups in the US made Planned Parenthood a political issue. It doesn’t make it a political organization.

    I feel sorry for Unity because I want them to be profitable and all that. However, they have a greedy prick for a CEO and one of the dumbest change rollouts I’ve seen (Twitter has been crazy bad lately too) at this scale. It wipes away any empathy for them and makes you yearn for their collapse.

  • Jaysyn@kbin.social
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    10 months ago

    Devs may as well bite the bullet & switch engines mid development now, because I’m not buying any new games made in Unity.

      • frezik@midwest.social
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        10 months ago

        Right–the AAA studios will just consider if they should use Unreal or an in-house engine. They’ll put it all in a big spreadsheet and come to a conclusion.

        Indie devs that are on Unity are going to get hurt by this scheme. They’ll also get hurt if you don’t buy their games because they’re in Unity. The choices here aren’t great.

        The one thing is Unreal seems to have been preferred for a while now, anyway. Unity was already losing market share, and is now only going to accelerate that.

        • Em Adespoton
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          10 months ago

          If you’re doing 2D, some devs have been actively documenting the migration from Unity to Godot to make things easier for others to follow suit.

    • HughJanus@lemmy.ml
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      10 months ago

      The list of games I can’t buy is too damn long. Like anything else in the modern age you’re forced to support unethical business practices or withdraw from the industry altogether (if you even can).

      Can buy games from EA or Activision/Blizzard/Microsoft/Xbox or Ubisoft, or anything made with Unity, or anything with Denuvo, or anything with anti-cheat, or anything that’s online-only. Did I leave anything out?

      Steam Deck + boring indie games is what we’re left with until gamers get together and collectively stop supporting the atrocity that is modern gaming.

    • rbar@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      I do not think this is a place for consumer action. It is good the devs are running their awareness campaign for gamers. If a dev releases a game made in Unity in 2025 it is because they have made the decision that it is the best course of action for their business. Maybe they have a B2P or subscription model that makes the runtime cost more sustainable over throwing out N years for development effort.

      At the end of the day Unity is a business to business product. The developers are the customer, not the players. If Unity’s new pricing and business practices don’t make sense to developers then developers will no longer use it and Unity will fail without player intervention.

      I don’t think your goal is to further hurt the devs. Boycotting games made with Unity is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  • Ertebolle@kbin.social
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    10 months ago

    So we’re currently at the ‘apology that actually makes things worse’ phase, which means just a few more days until ‘unconditional surrender but even so nobody will ever trust you again’

    • TheFriendlyArtificer@beehaw.org
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      10 months ago

      People still buy Lenovo laptops, Sony music, use Microsoft products and Google services.

      No matter how loathsome and evil a company has acted towards their oysters, there will always be people who lined up to get shucked.

      • Piers@beehaw.org
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        10 months ago

        It’s slightly different when you show consumers you’re willing to screw them out of nowhere than when you show businesses that you’ll do so. People shake that stuff off as an annoyance because they aren’t dependant on those businesses behaving decently in order for them to keep the lights on. When a partner shows it could randomly kill your business at any moment for no good reason, you tend to realise the importance of disengaging from them.

  • northendtrooper
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    10 months ago

    This is their downfall hiring that CEO and the leadership should be ashamed. I feel sorry for the employees who had no say in this and are being affected by their myopic choices.

  • JokeDeity@lemm.ee
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    10 months ago

    Well as if it wasn’t already obvious they were headed by conservatives…

      • hansl@lemmy.world
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        10 months ago

        Children’s hospital are actually a more legally challenging claim that they’re not charities, at least in some cases (edit: I did not check if that specific hospital is legally a charity).

        But PP is classified as a charity at the federal level. If you give cash to PP, you can claim the amount you gave as a gift to a charity. That’s all you need to know.

        So when they say charity, they don’t actually mean charity. They mean some weird shit that they’re making up. Because there’s a legal definition of “charity” and PP is part of it.

  • Vlhacs@reddthat.com
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    10 months ago

    Calling PP a political org is too obtuse a message to view this response as a simple mistake or miscommunication. Unity is apparently run by conservative hacks and I hope they collapse.

    • KillAllPoorPeople@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      This isn’t generic conservatism. Many Americans, who are conservative, support abortion rights. Unity seems to be in bed with far right political Christianity.

      • Etterra@lemmy.world
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        10 months ago

        *Christianity." Not too be confused with other types of Christianity. There’s a lot of them, and while I am not any of them, it is important to be accurate.

  • Queen HawlSera@lemm.ee
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    10 months ago

    It’s like he heard that there was no such thing as bad publicity and took that is literally as he possibly could

      • Queen HawlSera@lemm.ee
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        10 months ago

        Didn’t EA during a partnership with Nintendo, suggest to them crippling Mario’s Jump Height in order to sell “High Jump Boots” as DLC?

        • TheSaneWriter@lemmy.thesanewriter.com
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          10 months ago

          That genuinely reads like satire. What an awful corporate model, extracting every penny out of the workers and consumers to force that line to keep going up.

  • Hiccup@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    10 months ago

    The unity CEO is an arsonist as he’s set ablaze the whole company. Guy should be investigated for fraud and malfeasance.

    • kameecoding@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      he is challenging Elon Musk to a fuck (up) off. who can burn a company to the ground faster.

      I think the Unity CEO is winning, but hard to tell, because next to Twitter, Musk is also fucking with Tesla and SpaceX

      • MSids@lemmy.sdf.org
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        10 months ago

        Sorry, but Elon is about 40 billion in the red compared to this guy so I think he’s got Unity bosses beat by a lot.

        • Hiccup@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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          10 months ago

          Yes, but the unity guy is causing seismic shift in the gaming industry that is having cascading effects. Then again, musk is going for the quadruple axle of fucking shit up between Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, and starlink.

    • ulkesh@beehaw.org
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      10 months ago

      And yet when he is inevitably asked to resign, after years of this shit-show, he’ll get yet another golden parachute. Stupidity fails upwards in the United States. And half of this country applaud it.

  • FISHNETS@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    10 months ago

    I can understand Planned Parenthood maybe, heavily disagree, but whatever.

    But a children’s hospital? How could that ever be classed as a “political group”?

    What a joke.

    • PowerCrazy@lemmy.ml
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      10 months ago

      Depends what Childrens Hospital it is. Shriners? Sure, that’s a charity. Mayo Clinic - Children’s Wing? Definitely not a charity.

  • uriel238@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    10 months ago

    By responding with judgment (e.g. your charitable donations are invalid ) Unity is showing how other devs can expect to be treated when they try to negotiate with Unity on a case-by-case basis.

    This shows Unity is looking for bad faith reasons by which to justify rejecting exceptions to the fees. It’s a bad idea to expect exception to the new fees, even in the face of bankruptcy.

  • OhStopYellingAtMe@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    Well I’m not going to buy any more Unity games, and I’m going to uninstall any Unity games I have. Fuck those guys.