Saturday, 15 June, 2019

Dispute Between Unity, Cloud Service Shuts Down Some Online Games

Unity White On Black [Update] Unity Changes Terms of Service to Block SpatialOS Tool from Improbable
Sandy Mccarthy | 13 January, 2019, 23:22

Improbable, the team behind SpatialOS, announced today that all existing SpatialOS games, including games now in development, are in breach of Unity's new license terms.

Unity found itself in hot water last night, as SpatialOS developer Improbable put up a blog post saying that Unity had ended support for the tool, meaning games using cloud-based multiplayer services could be under threat. "Unity is a popular engine and that popularity extends to the people using our [game development kit]", an Improbable spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Spilt Milk Studios uses both Unity and SpatialOS for its sci-fi MMO "Lazarus". Unity has also revoked Improbables ability to continue work with the engine as well, hindering their ability to support previously released games. Indeed, game dev studio Sensiga expressed their concern with Unity's SpatialOS block on Twitter today.

Gaming technology firm Improbable has been dealt a blow after game engine Unity blocked the startup's core technology. "We are very concerned about this news, and hope it is some kind of mistake".

The change coming to light has been met with immediate backlash from game developers, with even one of Unity's forum moderators making it clear they're not too pleased with the company's failure to communicate such a change ahead of time. 'Improbable published a blog post regarding their relationship with Unity earlier today. According to Unity, Improbable had started to use its engine without proper authorization more than a year ago, and that the subsequent marketing, sales and development of their products while using the engine was in violation of Unity's EULA. In, the game-engine company offered a clarification for any Unity game makers concerned about their use of SpatialOS: "Projects that are now in production or live using SpatialOS are not affected by any actions we have taken with Improbable", the blog post says. Outside of using the cloud-gaming platform, this could be seen as a beacon to studios and developers trying to figure out the best home for their projects in general, especially with funding being dangled out in front of them. "Moving to the Unreal Engine, the most likely choice, would mean first hiring several new developers with the right skillset, then re-writing the game code from scratch". "Failing that, Unity must grant Improbable sufficient legal basis to protect its existing customers, or be honest with the community about the situation". Projects that are now in production or live using SpatialOS are not affected by any actions we have taken with Improbable.

Chiefs troll Colts with Twitter post after playoff win
Vinatieri had a chance to reduce the Colts' deficit to end the half, but his attempt from 23 yards deflected off the upright. Kansas City has dominated the early going, outscoring the Colts 14-0 in the first ten minutes of the first quarter.

This caused a ripple effect in the gaming industry, as developers who used SpatialOS quickly began taking their games down from the market.

We believe we are at the beginning of an unprecedented age of inclusive online games that become parts of our everyday lives.

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". We encourage others with a similar vision to reach out, so we can find ways to make it come sooner.

Some of the funding will come from money earned by the Epic Games store.

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