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Indie developer cancels Nintendo Switch port of Wipeout spiritual successor due to Unity engine changes

Indie developer Neognosis has announced that the Nintendo Switch port of its combat racing game, BallisticNG, has been canceled in light of the recent Unity engine controversy. This comes despite Unity’s apology and further policy amendments, which were announced last Friday (September 22)

Unity’s Runtime Fee policy was met with widespread backlash when it was announced earlier this month. It was first stated that all users whose games met certain thresholds (based on their total installs and revenue) would be subject to a monthly fee, calculated using the number of additional installs that their games had received. This has now been altered to exclude Unity Personal and Plus users, and it’s also been confirmed that the policy will only apply to games created (or updated) to the Long Term Support (LTS) releasing next year. 

As ComicBook reports, Neognosis shared the update on BallisticNG’s Nintendo Switch port on Steam, and clarified that the PC version of the game will remain available to download and play. However, it alleges that Nintendo enforces a “rolling Unity version requirement for game releases” which means that their port could be affected by the Runtime Fee policy. 

“By the time we’ll [sic] have a Switch version of BallisticNG ready, the threshold for Unity versions will exceed the new versions that Unity are pushing their [Terms of Service] changes with, and we currently have no confidence that they won’t try pulling another move or pushing back to their original plans under/beyond this new TOS,” Neognosis wrote. 

It continued: “Despite Unity’s efforts to recover after their PR disaster, there just isn’t any trust and security for us to continue moving forward with newer versions of their tools in the foreseeable future.”

Neognosis said that announcing the cancellation of BallisticNG’s Switch port “comes with much frustration and disappointment”, and that “several years of development” have been spent technically preparing the game for its move to Nintendo’s console while maintaining updates on the PC version.

“We’re sorry that it has turned out this way, and we’ll be looking at working with the console (or the rumored Switch 2) in a future project not bound by Unity,” the developer stated.

Concluding, Neognosis clarified that it will continue to support its existing PC version of BallisticNG, and that it’s sticking to the 2020 version of Unity to do so “for now”. 

If you’re looking for some new game recommendations, be sure to take a look at our lists of the best indie games and best PC games

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