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Basically me and a friend want to develop a Facebook game by using Unity. What I wanted to know is if we do earn any money on it, how would we be required to use the profits of said money? I remember reading that Unity requires you to pay royalty (or something like that) after having earned a certain amount of money from your product.

What confuses me is where Facebook would enter the equation? I can't seem to find any sources on royalty on such from FB-based games.

Does anyone have any sources covering FB-games made in Unity on how it all comes together?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep, knew about them - or how they were a few years ago. But what interests me is how FB would go into the equation. Like how much money the devs who created Candy Crush is required to pay etc. \$\endgroup\$ – geostocker Jun 6 '16 at 15:37
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I am not a lawyer, and interpreting legal documents can be tricky. When in doubt you should always consult a lawyer about your specific scenarios.

That said, these things are usually covered in the EULAs for the software or services in question. They are generally completely independent of eachother.

Unity's EULA is here. The relevant two passages are:

a Commercial Entity that has either: (a) reached annual gross revenues in excess of US$100,000, or (b) raised funds (including but not limited to crowdfunding) in excess of US$100,000, in each case during the most recently completed fiscal year;

and

an individual (not acting on behalf of a Legal Entity) or a Sole Proprietor that has reached annual gross revenues in excess of US$100,000 from its use of the Unity Software during the most recently completed fiscal year, which does not include any income earned by that individual which is unrelated to its use of the Unity Software.

These are describing the conditions under which you cannot use Unity Personal any longer. Basically, once you make $100,000 in annual gross revenue, or get external funding (from investors, Kickstarter, et cetera) for an equivalent amount, you must purchase a Unity Pro license.

Facebook's platform policy is here. You may publish to it and use its APIs for free, although you read that entire document and be aware of what you're exchanging for "free" (especially the parts about how they can analyze your app and traffic for any purposes, et cetera). They do not promise the platform will always be free:

  1. We don’t guarantee that Platform will always be free.

You also have API limits you have to confine yourself to:

  1. If you exceed 5M MAU, 100M API calls per day, or 50M impressions per day, you may be subject to additional terms.

These terms are not spelled out; that usually means that if you exceed these limits, a representative from Facebook will contact you and you will have to work out a private legal agreement between the two of you that defines you terms (including any payments you may need to make) in terms of your API usage volume.

You're probably not going to hit those limitations at this point in your career, so usage of the platform is effectively free, unless you are using their payments APIs (for e.g., microtransactions). Those are a separate service, and using them involves a 30% cut that Facebook reserves for itself.

Other than that, you are free to use your revenue however you see fit; it's yours.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Great. Just the kind of answer I was looking for. Cheers! :) If you edit it with the service charge mentioned above I'll accept your answer seeing as it's a more thorough answer. \$\endgroup\$ – geostocker Jun 6 '16 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ "When in doubt you should always consult a lawyer about your specific scenarios" - absolutely. We can attempt to point you in the right direction, but GDSE answers are not sufficient to will not keep you out of court. \$\endgroup\$ – Pikalek Jun 6 '16 at 15:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ That clause 11 of the Facebook API policy is a really nasty time bomb. It basically means "As soon as your business is large enough to be worth it, we will hold it at ransom with the threat to shut it down unless you pay us as much money as we see fit". \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp Jun 6 '16 at 15:57
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Taken from Facebook's Payment Terms:

Whenever you complete a sale on our platform, Facebook will credit the proceeds from that sale, less our service fee, to your Developer Balance. Facebook will earn a 30% service fee, plus any applicable sales tax or VAT, in connection with each Facebook Payments transaction on our platform.

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