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Unity TOS Changes Impact Improbable's SpatialOS, Potentially Thousands of Devs

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I am glad I switched from Unity to UE4...just recently too. Seems like an odd coincidence. I am pretty sure they are feeling the heat from Epic Games and their new store and somehow tried to make a move.

Really bad for developers who put their trust in Unity and invested much time and effort in using it though.

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37 minutes ago, _the_phantom_ said:

You'd be wrong about the 'why' of all this...

https://blogs.unity3d.com/2019/01/10/our-response-to-improbables-blog-post-and-why-you-can-keep-working-on-your-spatialos-game/

TL;DR - Improbable have basically tried to play people... they have known about this problem for over a year and have tried to use their customers as leverage. 

Quote

As an example, if you have made a Windows or Linux player build of your game to be an authoritative game server and run that on a server in-house, you can continue to develop, publish or operate your game as usual. If you rent a server or pay for a cloud instance to run the game, you can continue to develop, publish or operate your game as usual.

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. 

^^^ This is some kind of BS though ^^^

If you run your own servers, that's fine. If someone else hosts your servers, that's fine.
But if your hosting provider is also a middleware provider, then that's not fine???

That still seems like extremely vague nonsense. Why should my hosting company have to pay a fee to / receive approval from my engine provider? Why should my middleware providers have to pay a free to / receive approval from my engine provider?

I still don't understand how this doesn't come across as a very uncomfortable strong-arming tactic from Unity, here...

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This is 2.4 from mid 2018:

Quote

You may not directly or indirectly distribute the Unity Software, including the runtime portion of the Unity Software, or your Project Content (if it incorporates the runtime portion) by means of streaming or broadcasting so that any portion of the Unity Software is primarily executed on or simulated by a server and transmitted over the Internet or other network to end user devices without a separate license from Unity. This restriction does not prevent end users from remotely accessing your Project Content from an end user device that is running on another end user device.  You may not use a third party to directly or indirectly distribute or make available, stream, broadcast (through simulation or otherwise) any portion of the Unity Software unless that third party is authorized by Unity to provide such services.  

This is 2.4 right now:

Quote

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. Without limiting the foregoing, you may not use a managed service running on cloud infrastructure (a “Managed Service”) or a specific integration of a binary add-on (for example, a plugin or SDK) or source code to be integrated in the Unity Software or Your Project Content incorporating the Unity Runtime (an “SDK Integration”) to install or execute the Unity Runtime on the cloud or a remote server, unless such use of the Managed Service or SDK Integration has been specifically authorized by Unity.  Additionally, you may not integrate the Unity Runtime with a Managed Service or  SDK Integration and offer that integration to third parties for the purpose of installing or using the Unity Runtime on the cloud or a remote server. For a list of Unity authorized streaming platforms, Managed Services and SDK Integrations, click here.This restriction does not prevent end users from remotely accessing your Project Content from an end user device that is running on another end user device.  You may not use a third party to directly or indirectly distribute or make available, stream, broadcast (through simulation or otherwise) any portion of the Unity Software unless that third party is authorized by Unity to provide such services.

 

Both (and Unity claims both were violated by Improbable, the end of 2018 one is just a special clarification to make it clear) sound like they forbid any servers at all but explicitly allow P2P multi, no?

Or is my off the shelf server I rent from a non-SDK providing cloud an "end user device"?

Does running graphics (and those client side 'predictions' to make graphics more snappy but that are sometimes misleading in FPS and such due to lag) on a client game on a PC and the authoritative game logic on server not count as "primarily executed on or simulated by the cloud or a remote server"?

Edited by FRex

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24 minutes ago, FRex said:

This is 2.4 from mid 2018

Yeah that still straight up sounds like running dedicated servers, or renting cloud infrastructure whatsoever is a violation of their terms... but in their blog they say it's ok to do this... Which still just makes them come off as very shifty in this whole incident (in a disagreement between the TOS and a blog post, the TOS wins).

Also, prior to mid 2018 (which is when they claim they informed Spatial OS they they were in violation to these terms), that clause only banned video streaming servers (OnLive, Gaikai, Polystream, etc)... So it still sounds like they've added a restriction on hosting their runtime in the cloud at all, in response to negotiations regarding payment from Spatial OS.

Also, the pre-2018 version of that clause (banning video streaming services) is also a pretty shitty thing for an engine company to do to their customers. I had no idea Unity banned their devs from hosting in that way 🤬
I'm not a Unity customer, but I recently added Polystream support to my game and were looking into using it for a few purposes... If my engine company jumped in and demanded a payment from me to do this, I'd be pretty shitty.

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I guess we will see because a few Unity employees in the comments said they're working on clarifying the ToS 'RIGHT now', 'as I type', etc.

And Joachin Ante who wrote the post said in a comment:

Quote

I am not sure what to tell you. It is in fact very much in line with the TOS and our lawyers did in fact help out on this blog post to ensure its accurate.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

People seem upset though (except for one person saying SpatialOS is a scam). :ph34r:

I wonder why did Improbable not become a partner and what part of the ToS did they break a year ago.

I send this to a friend who uses EU4 and he replied '$$$'. :P

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FWIW, Unity's response doesn't say that Improbable was violating THIS clause of the TOS..  Just that they were in violoation of the TOS/EULA.  So it could have been any number of clauses they were violating, technically.

Improbable is the only one who says this mess is about THIS clause.  Keep that in mind.

(deleted a bunch of conjecture..)

NVM all that, reading the comments on Unity's blog post.. haha..  Damn, they are getting ripped pretty hard over this mess..

Edited by Septopus

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37 minutes ago, Septopus said:

NVM all that, reading the comments on Unity's blog post.. haha..  Damn, they are getting ripped pretty hard over this mess..

I would hate to be the one responsible for cleaning up this PR disaster. :D

Unity needs to remember they're not the only players in town, and people will move over. The only reason Unity was suggested for my commercial project was due to the lower system specs, but at this point I don't care. I don't want to spend countless development hours, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to be in volition of their ToS over a "sudden change".

At least with Unreal, you're locked into the version's EULA until you upgrade the engine version.

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I'm just over here going, "Why was everybody trying to talk me into using Unity on my server again?"... haha ;)   Unaffected(for now)..

Edited by Septopus

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57 minutes ago, Septopus said:

FWIW, Unity's response doesn't say that Improbable was violating THIS clause of the TOS..  Just that they were in violoation of the TOS/EULA.  So it could have been any number of clauses they were violating, technically.

Okay - but which one? Unity doesn't say if it is or isn't 2.4 in their response to Improbable saying it's new 2.4 only. 2.4 was also changed very recently with language that kinda targets exactly what Improbable is doing (hosting + SDK). And the way Unity says that it's "same at the core" just "clarified" sounds like they think what Improbable was doing was banned under the old 2.4 and new 2.4 just makes it clearer.

 

58 minutes ago, Septopus said:

Improbable is the only one who says this mess is about THIS clause.  Keep that in mind. 

And Unity is the only one not saying which clause, being vague and only engine vendor having this problem. Keep that in mind. :P

 

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