Metal Hellsinger is the latest game with an uncertain future amid the ongoing controversy around a new Unity fee policy introduced by the game engine creator. David Goldfarb, founder of Metal Hellsinger maker The Outsiders, joins an increasing list of game developers citing uncertainty about their games’ future. The Doom-style rhythmic FPS game made a big splash last year with its original soundtrack featuring notable metal bands such as Trivium, Arch Enemy, System of a Down, and Lamb of God.
The Unity Engine is one of the most popular game creation tools, in particular finding popularity among indie developers for its user-friendly interface and developer-friendly terms. Many of the biggest and best PC games are built in Unity, including the likes of Hollow Knight, Cities Skylines, Genshin Impact, Among Us, Kerbal Space Program, and Cuphead.
Earlier in the week, Unity announced that it would be introducing a new policy called the ‘Unity runtime fee’ based on game installs. This would see developers facing a fee ranging as high as 20 cents per install once certain thresholds are met – $200,000 in revenue in the last 12 months plus at least 200,000 lifetime installs for Unity Personal and Unity Plus members, or $1,000,000 in the last 12 months and at least 1,000,000 lifetime installs for Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise developers.
Among the developers to respond are Slay the Spire developer Mega Crit, who made their first ever public statement to comment that Unity “f****d up” and that it would be migrating its next game, which has been in development in Unity for the past two years, to a new engine “unless the changes are completely reverted and TOS protections are put in place.” Cult of the Lamb developer Massive Monster has also suggested that it is considering moving to a new engine in the future.
Now, Metal Hellsinger’s David Goldfarb sends his own short but succinct message: “Dear potential Metal Hellsinger players, remember we are a Unity game, which means get it while you f****n’ can.” In response to a query whether the team was planning to pull the game from sale, Goldfarb simply responds, “We will see.”
Since its initial statement, Unity has clarified that the policy won’t apply to games in charity bundles or users reinstalling a game. However, many developers are still wary, and the question about how Unity is keeping track of installs remains as-yet unanswered, with Unity simply saying, “We leverage our own proprietary data model, so you can appreciate that we won’t go into a lot of detail, but we believe it gives an accurate determination of the number of times the runtime is distributed for a given project.”
If you are tempted to pick up the rocking shooter in light of this news, and I’d say it’s well worth your time, Metal Hellsinger is 50% off on Steam until September 25, making it $14.99 / £11.84, down from $29.99 / £23.69. Its two DLC packs, Dream of the Beast and the Essential Hits pack, are both 25% off as well. Given that it’s no longer part of Microsoft’s Game Pass service, you may want to secure your own copy.