Unity staff have been sent threats in the wake of the controversial unveiling of a new pricing structure for Unity games. The company have now closed several of their offices to protect employees, and a law enforcement investigation is underway.
"Hey y'all, just a reminder to think before you target Unity employees," senior XR product designer Javier Busto tweeted earlier today. "This morning we learned that law enforcement notified several Unity offices of credible threats. This fucking sucks."
"Working at Exxon, threats on our office I could at least like, 'get'," senior software engineer Eli C Davis added. "But working at Unity? What?! Threatening devs in AUSTIN is the stupidest fucking thing."
Also writing on social media, senior product manager Utsav Jamwal attributed the threats to the backlash against Unity's recent pricing structure announcements, under which the company will charge some developers using its engine a fee for every first installation on a new device from 1st January 2024. Many existing Unity developers have announced plans to migrate their games to another engine in response. Unity have subsequently revealed that they will invoice developers based on internal estimates of the number of installations.
"[San Francisco] and Austin offices were closed today due to safety threats, I can only assume because of pricing changes announces yesterday," Jamwal wrote. "Surprising how far people are willing to go in today's age. Unfortunate."
Unity have now confirmed the reports in a statement to RPS. "Today, we have been made aware of a potential threat to some of our offices," it reads. "We have taken immediate and proactive measures 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 for this threat, and are fully cooperating with law enforcement on the investigation."
An update as of 15th September 2023: Polygon's Nicole Carpenter has managed to reach San Francisco police, who have confirmed that they responded to “a threats incident" at Unity's San Francisco office. A “reporting party” told officers that “an employee made a threat towards his employer using social media.” The employee in question works in an office outside of California, according to the police statement. The reporting party wasn't able to reach the out-of-state jurisdiction to make the report, hence calling the SF authorities. Nicole has posted the full statement on Twix:
Here's the full statement from SF police: pic.twitter.com/B5ousNv68E— Nicole Carpenter (@sweetpotatoes) September 14, 2023
(Thanks to Daedalus for flagging this in the comments.)