War of words heats up between Unity and Improbable

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

Despite Unity pointing out Improbable's statement about its ToS is false and clarifying that developers aren't in legal limbo, Epic Games swept in to capitalize.

The company, which uses the Unity engine for its own game platform called SpatialOS, recently released a statement saying that Unity found both the company and the game platform in violation of its terms of service.

"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".

Buzzy British game tech startup Improbable says its cloud gaming platform has been blocked by Unity.

The fund was announced in a joint blog post penned by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and Improbable CEO Herman Narula last night.

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.

A few of the games that would have been affected by the change included Lazarus and World's Adrift, developed by Spilt Milk Studios and Bossa Studios, respectively. "To start, we just wanted to apologize to the incredible community of game developers we've seen engaging in discourse today", Improbable said. "Likewise, Improbable is developing a completely open Unreal integration for its online game development platform, SpatialOS".

"Our team has been working on an unannounced MMO project using the Unity engine this a year ago", Sensiga CEO Claus Grovdal wrote.

The Register asked Unity to comment. 'We terminated our relationship with Improbable due to a failed negotiation with them after they violated our Terms of Service.

If the license change remains in place, it could put developers off using SpatialOS in future. To make things more confusing for game developers, Unity's new terms use broad language that could potentially be used to shutter titles using SpatialOS, AWS, or other similar frameworks. The dispute is over a change in Unity's terms of services in December.

For Improbable, though, the issue is far from academic: While its existing customers are, according to Unity, free to continue using the company's Unity-based platform, Improbable itself has had its licence keys to the Unity Editor deactivated - meaning it can no longer continue to develop on Unity, and its customers will receive no further updates. 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. "This is a unique case - and not a situation we take lightly - but Improbable left us no choice". Projects that are now in production or live using SpatialOS are not affected by any actions we have taken with Improbable. "This was the only course of action to protect the integrity and value of our technology and Unity developers".

"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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