Unity Gets in a Spat With SpatialOS Developers

AlphaAtlas

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Improbable Game's SpatialOS Engine and cloud service are behind a number of promising, upcoming MMOs, including Worlds Adrift , Mavericks: Proving Grounds, an MMOFPS called Scavengers, and a mysterious project from Runescape developers Jagex. But yesterday, Improbable released a statement saying that a change in Unity's terms of service puts all existing Unity SpatialOS games at risk. Improbable lashed out at Unity for doing "harm to projects across the industry, including those of extremely vulnerable or small scale developers and damaged major projects in development over many years," but later that day, Unity responded by saying that Improbable broke their terms of service, that no existing or unfinished games are at risk, and that they clearly communicated this information to Improbable many months ago. Improbable later issued a half-apology, and Epic Games, of all companies, jumped into the fight and announced a $25 Million fund to help developers migrate to "more open engines" (like, for example, Epic's Unreal Engine). Overall, the situation looks like a mess, and many developers behind the upcoming MMOs seem confused, to say the least. Thanks to GamesIndustry.biz for spotting the dispute.

Perhaps it's time to create a code of conduct, or basic set of principles that the enablers within the ecosystem need to operate by, as against developers and clearly also players. The law is a useful tool in disputes, but as today has shown, in game development reputation and trust can be equally powerful. As a first step, we may be able to self-police, or at least experiment with informal principles to help guide this space.
 
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the gist i get is that this is the main problem ? , from the Unity's reply:

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

"However, if a third party service wants to run the Unity Runtime in the cloud with their additional SDK, we consider this a platform. In these cases, we require the service to be an approved Unity platform partner."

and i suppose the negotiations to be an approved platform is what caused the collapse ?
 

EODetroit

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So Improbable was trying to run as a platform without being an approved Unity platform partner? Sounds like they're the ones in the wrong here, leaving the small developers who trusted them to have their shit together, in the lurch. And instead Improbable is trying to shift the blame to Unity.
 

Lakados

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So Improbable was trying to run as a platform without being an approved Unity platform partner? Sounds like they're the ones in the wrong here, leaving the small developers who trusted them to have their shit together, in the lurch. And instead Improbable is trying to shift the blame to Unity.
Yeah it certainly appears that Improbable was working in a grey area under the TOS then Unity went and cleared up that grey area putting Improbable clearly in the wrong.
 

kju1

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Yeah it certainly appears that Improbable was working in a grey area under the TOS then Unity went and cleared up that grey area putting Improbable clearly in the wrong.

I think they are a bit of a fly by night company anyway. I spent some time interviewing with them last year after they reached out to me to talk about job opportunities. I really tried to give them a fair chance to impress me but their recruiters kept dropping the ball and their tech people seemed confused about some of the questions I asked about how they were doing development and operations. Eventually they just went silent after telling me they wanted to setup an in person interview with one of their senior leaders because they would really like to have me on board. It was a mess.
 

steakman1971

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I've never developed any software using a 3D platform. However, I can imagine it would be a lot of work to switch from Unity to another platform. Yikes.
 
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