Epic & Improbable Providing $25M to 'Help Developers Transition to More Open Engines'

UPDATED- Unity Pulls Licensing fromSpatialOS + Unity's Response to Allegations

"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.

The spat began yesterday when Improbable said that Unity had made changes to its Terms of Service which blocked developers using its SpatialOS tech from the engine.

"Six months ago, we informed Improbable about the violation in writing", they said.

Unity reportedly changed its terms of service to specifically disallow services like SpatialOS from functioning with its game engine, Improbable said in a blog post on Thursday. "We have been clear with Improbable that games now in production and/or games that are live are unaffected, and we would have expected them to be honest with their community about this information".

While everyone's hoping this is ssa breakdown in communication on Unity's part, the company behind SpatialOS is taking multiple steps to work with clients to keep their games working.

That led to speculation that games developed in Unity that use SpatialOS would have to be taken out of operation. SpatialOS is a cloud-based multiplayer service that's used by a variety of MMO titles; Unity's new terms forbid managed services from installing or executing the Unity Runtime on the cloud or through a remote server, and that's essentially what these SpatialOS games do.

Improbable goes on to note that it does not have technical arrangements with other engine makers like Crytek and Epic Games, and that commercial arrangement should not be prerequisite for services to run as intended.


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.

The Register asked Unity to comment. "Failing that, Unity must grant Improbable sufficient legal basis to protect its existing customers, or be honest with the community about the situation". 'We terminated our relationship with Improbable due to a failed negotiation with them after they violated our Terms of Service. We'll update our stories when we hear more.

Word of the loss of SpatialOS spread quickly, with several online games immediately being affected the news.

The way Improbable told it this morning, Unity changed their Terms of Service last month and then, without warning, pulled the rug out from under them. Improbable also says it is continuing to talk to Unity in an effort to reverse the decision, though its license to work with the Engine has now been revoked. But in a unusual twist, Unity released a statement (via Game Informer) saying that what Improbable was saying wasn't the whole story: they knew about their violations months ago, and Unity only took action because of Improbable's inaction. Projects that are now in production or live using SpatialOS are not affected by any actions we have taken with Improbable.

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".

"If you want to run your Unity-based game-server, on your own servers, or a cloud provider that provides you instances to run your own server for your game, you are covered by our EULA", he explained.

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