Sci-tech

Unity rules change suddenly leaves many games in trouble

Unity rules change suddenly leaves many games in trouble”

"Unity has clarified to us that this change effectively makes it a breach of terms to operate or create SpatialOS games using Unity, including in development and production games", the British company said in its post.

Unity made the counter-claim that Improbable had been advised well in advance of the December Terms of Services change, and that anyway, games using SpatialOS - including Lazarus and Worlds Adrift - would not be affected by the deactivation of Improbable's Unity Editor license keys. "Unity is a popular engine and that popularity extends to the people using our [game development kit]", an Improbable spokesperson told TechCrunch. However, it seems Unity isn't interested in enforcing their new Terms of Service on these games in particular - both studios have been given the green light to continue operating as usual.

"We believe that even though Improbable is violating our EULA, game developers should never pay the price for that", Unity wrote. "We are very concerned about this news, and hope it is some kind of mistake".

Game maker Ruari O'Sullivan via Twitter lamented that Unity's handling of the situation represents a nightmare scenario for game developers. Unity has, in an update to that post, said it is now working to make its TOS clearer.

"Epic Games and Improbable would like to jointly reaffirm our commitment to giving game developers the best combination of engine and other technology backed by interoperable standards that work for everyone, while respecting developers' ability to choose partners and software components freely" Epic wrote in their own blog post.

Projects that are in production or live using SpatialOS are not affected, he explained.

Hopefully we'll hear from those companies soon, confirming that everything is safe and secure for developers on that side of the fence. The decision imperils the operation of many in-development game projects, including some that have already been released to the public.

"Currently the lack of clarity in the Terms of Service for Unity - and the ambiguity created by their subsequent statements - places us and developers in a hard situation", says Improbable.

The statement added: "Unreal Engine provides full C++ source code for everyone, and its license (https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/eula) ensures it remains open to all game developers and middleware providers, and enables all to collaborate together through SDKs, services, and forks of the source code". Six months ago, Unity once again notified Improbable of the violation, but seemingly no action was taken.

Unity has since responded, saying Improbable's version of events is incorrect. While not taking responsibility for the chaos, the response went on to suggest that the gaming industry needs to rethink how it business is conducted between developers and content creators.

This money will be distributed via the long-running Unreal Dev Grants initiative, as well as in the form of Improbable developer assistance funds and Epic Games store funding.

After yesterday's back-and-forth between Unity and Improbable regarding the future development of SpatialOS games, Epic has stepped into the fray to announce a partnership with Improbable to "help developers transition to more open engines, services and ecosystems".



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