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Unity has revoked the license from the creators of SpatialOS – Epic Games has volunteered to pay developers to switch to another engine


Worlds adrift

Unity has updated the licensing terms for its game engine. According to rule 2.4, developers are not allowed to run this technology on remote servers or “in the cloud” without special permission from the company. This means that developers of multiplayer games on Unity need to receive a separate license.

Under the ban, in particular, the SpatialOS platform from Improbable has fallen. This solution allowed to operate the game from the company’s cloud servers. On this technology, for example, MMO Worlds Adrift from Bossa Studios works.

Updating the licensing terms of the engine, Unity accused Improbable of violating them. In their address, the creators of SpatialOS stated that this applies to all developers: both those who have already released the game and those who are working on it.

These actions on the part of Unity immediately hurt a lot of projects: those that are created by small studios, and therefore are particularly vulnerable, and to those large-scale games that have been in development for many years. Games that received funding, because their authors have promised the next-generation multiplayer, based on SpatialOS, are now at risk from the choice of engine.From the Improbable statement

In Improbable, they expressed the hope that the whole situation is a consequence of the leadership error in Unity. The company promised to support all developers affected by changes in licensing terms.

In Unity, in turn, said that the SpatialOS developers incorrectly presents the situation. As the authors of the engine noted, the partnership with Improbable was severed due to “failed negotiations”, and the company itself, allegedly, “made it clear” that the changes will not affect those who use SpatialOS.

Over a year ago, we personally communicated with Improbable that it violates the rules for using the engine or user agreement (EULA). Six months ago, we notified Improbable in writing. Recent events did not come as a surprise to the company – in fact, she had known about this for many months.From the Unity statement

As noted in Unity, revoking the Improbable license is a unique case and it happened only because the company “left no other choice.” In this case, the developers “should not pay for it.” Unity reported that changes to the terms of use do not concern developers who create or operate a game using SpatialOS.

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Unity also clarified changes in licensing terms. So, if developers launch their own server or rent power, then they can continue to work as before. However, you need to get approval from the company if the game authors plan to use third-party solutions and use additional SDKs.

Unity acknowledged that the wording in the terms of use may be vague and work to make it clearer. Until then, you can directly contact the company at [email protected] for all contentious issues.

The situation drew attention to the head of Epic Games Tim Sweeney. He spoke sharply about the Unity policy and told how the Unreal Engine 4 is doing with the EULA.

We are making great efforts to develop the Unreal Engine User Agreement, so that everyone has access to the complete source code, that all changes apply to other licenses (including commercial ones), so that everyone has the opportunity to confidently do business on the engine.

We specifically made the EULA perpetual, so that when you get a new version of the engine, you can use it on the old terms if you want.Tim SweeneyEpic Games head

Later, Epic Games announced a partnership with Improbable. Within its framework, companies are organizing a fund for $ 25 million. This money will go to support developers who make games on Unity using SpatialOS.

As Tim Sweeney and Hermann Narula, Improbable head, noted, the funds will help “developers to move to more open engines, services and ecosystems.” According to them, the games that are being developed with SpatialOS are now in “legal purgatory”.

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