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Does the UAS EULA restrict the use of store-bought assets to games with no micro-transactions?

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by hopeful, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. hopeful

    hopeful

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    In a conversation with a representative of a fairly large, well-known company that sells art assets in both the asset store and their own store, I was told that they have produced a new EULA - which applies retroactively - based on their consultations with Unity. This new EULA forbids micro-transactions in games that use their art, and they are telling me that this is based on what Unity has told them about Unity's own restriction against micro-transactions.

    Their new EULA, which they say is based on what they were told by Unity, states:
    • Additional restrictions. Use of the Content in any of the following ways is not allowed under this Agreement, and would require User to obtain additional rights other than those granted under this agreement:
      • Distribution or transfer in any way (including, without, limitation by way of sublicense) other way than as integrated components of electronic games and interactive media.
      • Delivery, unlocking, or other methods of availability of Content from User or User’s applications that require an end user to make a financial transaction to either buy access to or use of the content, or which require a financial transaction for some other credit, item, or status which is then used to gain access to or use of the Content other than the initial purchase and installation of such an application made available by User.

    They say this is based on Unity's own restrictions on the use of UAS content in games, as found in the following paragraph of the Unity EULA:

    2.2.1 Non-Restricted Assets. The following concerns only Assets that are not Restricted Assets:

    Licensor grants to the END-USER a non-exclusive, worldwide, and perpetual license to the Asset to integrate Assets only as incorporated and embedded components of electronic games and interactive media and distribute such electronic game and interactive media. Except for game services software development kits (“Services SDKs”), END-USERS may modify Assets. END-USER may otherwise not reproduce, distribute, sublicense, rent, lease or lend the Assets. It is emphasized that the END-USERS shall not be entitled to distribute or transfer in any way (including, without, limitation by way of sublicense) the Assets in any other way than as integrated components of electronic games and interactive media. Without limitation of the foregoing it is emphasized that END-USER shall not be entitled to share the costs related to purchasing an Asset and then let any third party that has contributed to such purchase use such Asset (forum pooling).​

    In reading this, I don't see any restrictions to be applied to game developers on the assets they use in games. What I see is Unity simply saying that assets purchased in the store cannot be re-sold, given away, or shared, but the buyer has a perpetual license for the art be used in games. Nothing at all about micro-transactions.

    But I'm told I have this wrong, and the asset store vendor is cautioning those who have already purchased the art, saying that it cannot be used in games with more than just the original financial transaction.

    I can't see that functioning for many games. As I explained to the vendor's representative, it appears to forbid the use of the company's art in games made according to many popular business models, such as: 1) games that are free, but which charge players a fee for delivery of additional content; 2) games that have an original paid-for module, and then additional expansion modules; and 3) games sold on a subscription model, where players are encouraged to pay a monthly fee, and in turn receive periodic updates, new content, and rewards that enable them to unlock new gear in-game.

    So I need a statement on this, from published Unity users, and preferably someone from the Unity team who knows the intention of the UAS EULA.

    Does Unity restrict the use of store-bought assets such that they can only be used in games with an original purchase price, and no further financial transactions?
     
  2. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    No, and it's bizarre anyone would argue otherwise.

    --Eric
     
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  3. hopeful

    hopeful

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    @Eric5h5 - That my take as well. It doesn't make any sense, and I can't see it in the Unity EULA quote, either.

    Do you know who I should contact about this at Unity to be sure? I mean, I have the text of the EULA, but this vendor says I'm not reading it right, and that Unity staff personally told them that micro-transactions were not permitted.
     
  4. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    It seems unlikely Unity staff would actually have said that.... Unfortunately I'm not quite sure who the asset store person is, so I'd suggest the normal contact page: https://unity3d.com/contact

    --Eric
     
  5. hopeful

    hopeful

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    Okay, thanks! (Annnnnd done!)
     
  6. Quorlox

    Quorlox

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    Please share any response you get.
     
  7. hopeful

    hopeful

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    Hmm. Apparently there was something to the restriction, or at least some vagueness in the UAS EULA about micro-transactions.

    Here's a response I got today from the Unity rep helping me.

    The Asset Store team apologise for the confusion and have asked me to reassure you that they are working out the situation with them. Essentialy under no circumstances does our EULA restrict against using Asset Store content in products that monetize off of microtransactions, but you should refrain from directly selling Asset Store content as a microtransaction as we work to make sure our EULA is clearer on this.
     
  8. Ian-Dunlap

    Ian-Dunlap

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi folks, for the record I am the above mentioned 'Unity Rep'.
    This situation all started from publishers being concerned about the protection for their content our EULA was able to offer. We had worked out and clarified what we thought was a clear and beneficial situations for all parties involved (Asset Store Publishers and Users), but ultimately it seems to be bringing on a lot more unintentional concern and confusion. Please bare with us as we sort out with our Legal team what the interpretation of our EULA for micro-transactions with content are.
    For the time being, if you are a developer utilizing Asset Store Content, I would not concern yourself that there are any gotcha restrictions related to micro-transacting.

    Cheers,
    Ian Dunlap
    Content Manager, Asset Store
     
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  9. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    What doesn't cover micro-transactions in the current EULA?

    Simply - As long as the game developer is not selling the source fbx/texture/shader content to gamers - rather - selling access to the content, in the game - there is very little (no) ambiguity with that.
     
  10. Ian-Dunlap

    Ian-Dunlap

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    Hi Folks,

    Slight delay on my part but hopefully we can clarify the good deal of confusion and poorly delivered information around this topic. It is true that there is room for interpretation in the Asset Store End User License Agreement ("EULA"), as in most legal agreements. However, after evaluating the impact to our community and all parties involved, the Unity Asset Store wishes to clarify that it is not adopting any stance or interpretation to the effect that the EULA prohibits micro-transactions in respect of Assets incorporated or embedded in electronic games or interactive content pursuant to Section 2.2.1 of the EULA.

    Cheers,
     
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  11. hopeful

    hopeful

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    So ... the UAS EULA does not prohibit games from engaging in micro-transactions (like paid expansions, items bought with in-game currency, etc.) of assets purchased through the asset store. So the situation is the way most Unity users thought it was: no limitation on how games use assets inside the games.

    That's what you're saying, right? Or am I missing a nuance? I just want to be sure.
     
  12. Ian-Dunlap

    Ian-Dunlap

    Unity Technologies

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    Correct, Our EULA should not be interpreted as having limitations on including Asset Store content in products that utilize micro-transactions.