A death threat made against two of video game technology vendor Unity’s U.S.-based offices was deemed “credible,” prompting the company to take precautionary measures.
As reported by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Unity CEO John Riccitiello said that a scheduled September 14 company town hall meeting has been canceled, while both the Austin, Texas and San Francisco, California offices will remain closed for the day. This is due to a “credible death threat” that was made against the tech company, though the nature of this potential violence hasn’t yet been detailed.
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When reached for comment via email, a Unity spokesperson confirmed to Kotaku that the office closures will extend to at least Friday, September 15.
“Today, we have been made aware of a potential threat to some of our offices,” the spokesperson said. “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.”
This comes amid a flurry of criticism lobbed at Unity for its rather controversial move to change how it charges game developers for making games with its Unity Engine software. The new scheme, which will see certain developers paying Unity 20 cents every time an end-user installs (or even sometimes reinstalls) their game, did not go over well with the online game-making community.
Many reacted with frustration, saying that the massive middleware vendor can no longer be trusted. Following the ire it provoked, the company has somewhat changed its tune on the plan, confirming it will “only charge for an initial installation.” Game developers largely don’t seem to be buying it, though, with some even seeking to migrate current projects off of Unity’s extremely popular technology.
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Unity went public in September 2020 but suffered a 5x decline in stock price by the middle of 2022, followed by over a thousand layoffs. Unity executives, including CEO John Riccitiello, have been observed selling off a portion of their shares in the interim.