All SpatialOS Games Are Now Blocked by Unity's New Terms

All SpatialOS Games Are Now Blocked by Unity's New Terms

All SpatialOS Games Are Now Blocked by Unity's New Terms

Its success, though, has not been welcomed by all: The company has been quietly fighting a battle with engine maker Unity over what the latter claims are breaches of its terms and conditions - and that fight came to a head late yesterday when Improbable claimed Unity had modified its terms of service to shut down all SpatialOS games, including those in production and already shipped.

Unity Engine games developed with SpatialOS' cloud-based multiplayer Game Development Kit (GDK) are now in violation of Unity's terms of service, according to SpatialOS maker Improbable.

"You may not directly or indirectly distribute the Unity Software, including the runtime portion of the Unity Software (the "Unity Runtime"), or your Project Content (if it incorporates the Unity Runtime) by means of streaming or broadcasting so that any portion of the Unity Software is primarily executed on or simulated by the cloud or a remote server and transmitted over the Internet or other network-to-end user devices without a separate license or authorization from Unity". The answer probably lies in the "partnership" that both Unity and Improbable allude they were in the process of reaching, i.e. Unity likely wanted Improbable to pay up if they were going to be hosting the Unity Runtime on Improbable servers, but the two couldn't come to an agreement.

'The game engine provider Unity recently changed (Dec 5) and then clarified directly to us (9 Jan) their terms of service to specifically disallow services like Improbable's to function with their engine, ' claimed improbable in a blog post on the matter. Improbable said Unity has hurt projects across the industry, particularly among smaller developers, leaving games in legal limbo. "In addition, Unity has revoked our ability to continue working with the engine for breaching the newly changed terms of service in an unspecified way".

Other studios have taken a more cautious tone, such as Bossa Studios, the developers of Worlds Adrift. "Likewise, Improbable is developing a completely open Unreal integration for its online game development platform, SpatialOS".

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From here, Improbable says that it will continue trying to solve this problem with Unity, with the ultimate goal being a reversal of this particular ToS change.

Improbable is taking steps to now help developers, including setting up an emergency fund for partners and offering development support.

In a statement emailed to The Register, Unity CTO Joachim Ante disputed Improbable's version of events.

Business Insider has contacted Unity for comment.

We'll have more as the story develops. "We've made it clear that anyone using SpatialOS will not be affected". Two weeks ago we took the action of turning off Improbable's Unity Editor license keys. The dispute is over a change in Unity's terms of services in December.

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"More than a year ago, we told Improbable in person that they were in violation of our Terms of Service or EULA".

An Improbable spokesman told Business Insider that it was hard to estimate the potential financial impact on the startup, but added that the situation with Unity was "unique".

Projects that are in production or live using SpatialOS are not affected, he explained. "This was the only course of action to protect the integrity and value of our technology and Unity developers".

The firm wrote "For now, we believe this unfortunate and counterproductive action to be an error in judgement or coordination failure within Unity".

The change is a blow, but won't impact all games running on SpatialOS.

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