Unity offices shut down following credible death threat

Unity Technologies offices in San Francisco, California and Austin, Texas have reportedly been shut down.
Unity Runtime Fee update september 2023

The offices of Unity Technologies in San Francisco, California and Austin, Texas have reportedly been shut down as of Thursday, following a ‘credible death threat’ against the company. The news comes courtesy of Bloomberg, who reported that Unity was forced to shut down a planned town hall meeting and close offices after a ‘potential threat’ to the safety of its workers.

John Riccitiello, Unity CEO, reportedly told workers to head home for the remainder of the day on Thursday, as the threat was reported to law enforcement. According to a statement provided to media, the company had “been made aware of a potential threat to some of [its] offices” and therefore had taken “immediate and proactive measures to ensure the safety of [its] employees.”

The Unity Technologies offices will remain closed on Friday, as Unity believes the threat may be ongoing.

Notably, this news arrives just two days after Unity unveiled controversial plans to charge game developers a fee every time a game is downloaded – which caused major outrage among game developers, who voiced their concerns on social media.

Read: Game developers rally against Unity game engine pricing changes

Many expressed frustration with the changes, outlining the steep costs of the policy change, and how it would negatively impact game studios of all sizes – particularly smaller, independent companies. In the wake of the announcement, many developers spoke of a desire to abandon Unity, to cancel upcoming games, switch engines, and to remove Unity games from storefronts.

Developers also flagged a lack of transparency on Unity’s part, while labelling the company as untrustworthy and greedy.

The timing of the death threat against Unity Technologies is aligned with this outrage – however, it appears to be a vast, unfortunate, and unlawful escalation of tensions. Investigators will work with Unity Techologies to determine the origins and motive of the ongoing death threat, with those responsible facing serious charges.

Unity Technologies is likely to return to its offices in the coming week, following assessment with law enforcement – but we do expect the fallout from its planned pricing changes to continue in future.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.