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Recent ToS update blocks the use of SpatialOS to make games in Unity

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AtomiCal, Jan 10, 2019.

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  1. AtomiCal

    AtomiCal

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  2. xBLgS

    xBLgS

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    That company raised a ton of funding capital. Now if they want to continue, Unity wants a piece of the pie.

    This is not the first time Unity do something like this (slot machines).
     
    spacefrog likes this.
  3. ZhavShaw

    ZhavShaw

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    what the F***
     
  4. delphinius81

    delphinius81

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    These restrictions are VERY confusing. What exactly defines the Unity Runtime? Is it only that I specifically transmit the UnityEngine.dll? Or I send the position of an entity derived from NetworkBehaviour? These restrictions can be interpreted that any dedicated server is in breach of the terms of service, as you are executing a portion of the Unity Software that includes your Project Content and transmitting it over the Internet.

    Do your lawyers realize that the "cloud" is literally just a buzz word for servers on the Internet? If I host my server on an AWS instance, am I in violation of these ToS now? Is Amazon then in breach since they are indirectly distributing Unity Software?

    Ya'll done messed up with this one... Some clarification please....
     
    elias_t, Rog and idbrii like this.
  5. Indiefreaks

    Indiefreaks

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    We definitively need some clarification from Unity on this matter. Until then, it just puts a lof of stress into developers betting either on SpatialOS tech or any other cloud based solution to make their multiplayer game using dedicated servers (past and future).
     
    Weendie-Games likes this.
  6. Laurence_Whaites

    Laurence_Whaites

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    Edit: Merged from its own thread.

    I am posting here to show my concern regarding recent ToS changes blocking the use of Improbable's SpatialOS technology. For those who are unaware, spatialOS enables unparalleled large scale networking by spreading the shared multiplayer worlds workload across many servers, and is unique in its ability to do so.

    Having spent over 18 months working with the tech within Unity, to see it taken from us would mean a major financial loss, one we will likely not recover from to continue the project on an alternate engine or subsequent network technology unity has planned.

    I will be contacting our account manager with regards to this, but posting this for visibility and to show support for Improbables ongoing negotiations with Unity.

    More details can be found here:
    https://improbable.io/company/news/2019/01/10/unity-blocks-spatialos
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    elias_t, RaL, Kohijin and 2 others like this.
  7. Mark_Darkrift

    Mark_Darkrift

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    What does "Project Content (if it incorporates the Unity Runtime)" refer to? If I stream a VR experience rendered on a server to a headset wirelessly, am I breaching the terms?

    It boils down to this:

    "You may not distribute your Project Content by means of streaming so that any portion of the Unity Software is primarily executed on a remote server and transmitted over the network to end user devices"
     
  8. Lyje

    Lyje

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    This is seriously worrying. The wording here is incredibly vague and could apply to almost any game, almost any service.
     
  9. rizu

    rizu

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    Looking at the wording at 2.4. It literally says this:

    "you may not use" "Your Project Content incorporating the Unity Runtime (an “SDK Integration”) to install or execute the Unity Runtime on the cloud or a remote server,"

    If you read this literally, it means you can't do dedicated servers without separate agreement from Unity
     
    Aldo-V, glenneroo, Ceciphar and 8 others like this.
  10. Kukkino

    Kukkino

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    This is something I'd expect from Oracle. Please don't be like Oracle.
     
    elias_t likes this.
  11. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    Can some advanced lawyer explain why this occurred?
    This doesn't really makes sense to me.

    Is it because you could run Unity's Editor on the cloud or something?
    Edit: Got it, you can't stream anything, including runtime as well.

    This is a major setback for the Unity, that's for sure. Cloud services and streaming are the future.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  12. LukeDawn

    LukeDawn

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    What is this? Can I no longer run unity headless servers for my mulitplayer RPG? Is this true? What about assets like Atavism, uMMO, WorldStreamer, and others.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    sfoust, idbrii, JBR-games and 2 others like this.
  13. Handola

    Handola

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    this needs to be clarified
     
  14. bluescrn

    bluescrn

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    What does SpatialOS do that's so different to other multiplayer or back-end-as-a-service solutions? (e.g. Photon, GameSparks, etc)

    I would have expected that the server/cloud side of SpatialOS is merely a server (engine-agnostic, not built using Unity)?
     
  15. arcanereality

    arcanereality

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    Really hoping this was a misunderstanding. My team and I have been working on our project for 2 years now and are literally DAYS away from release. Looking forward to some clarification.
     
    RaL, JBR-games, TheValar and 3 others like this.
  16. mephistonight

    mephistonight

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    In case the previous messages in this thread don't make it obvious enough already, I can also testify to what a colossal, project killing gut punch this is from Unity.

    My company has been building with the SpatialOS SDK/GDK for close to three years now. Our latest project is mature and was progressing well. This decision from Unity, without any consultation or heads up completely wipes us out.

    I'm actually lost for words.

    Please fix this Unity.
     
  17. silentneedle

    silentneedle

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    @arcanereality we're in the same boat.

    If this really affects projects which use a unity build as a server, it'll be really a stab in the back for everyone who is working/running a unity multiplayer game. Even titles like The Forest would violate the terms right now.

    Hopefully this is only a misunderstanding, my team and me put so many effort and trust in Unity.
     
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  18. HollySto

    HollySto

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    I'm really hoping this is some kind of misunderstanding, or will be reverted in some way. I was part of a two person team relying on SpatialOS for our project. Sure it was only a pet hobby project, though it was a great source of passion for the two of us. It's quite a gut punch to spend quite a decent amount on assets and tools, never mind having been discussing potentially getting some other developers on board, only to shortly after be told you're unable to continue. I really hope they reconsider their decision, as we may only be a small hobby team, but this is affecting companies with live games as well.
     
    Weendie-Games and JBR-games like this.
  19. xBLgS

    xBLgS

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    I would bet they're preparing the group to "offer" their own half-baked service (making you have no choice but using whatever they throw at you in near future)
     
  20. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    Unity's Multiplayer now supports cloud? Oh goed please no.
     
  21. N1warhead

    N1warhead

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    Not that I'm using SpatialOS, but - shame on you Unity! Straight up SHAME on you for doing stuff like this.
     
  22. rasto61

    rasto61

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    I understand that you are the community manager, so I hope I am asking the right person @Buhlaine
    I think it would be nice to get someone here who could explain what all this means before the outrage machine gets to 88 mph. Because this is either a misunderstanding or a sign of darker days ahead.
     
  23. wccrawford

    wccrawford

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    I'm not using SpatialOS either, but this kind of thing coming out of nowhere is incredibly scary. I was just about to start an LLC and seriously considering publishing my mobile game in the next couple years, and I was going to use Unity. This isn't the first time something in the Unity ToS has startled me, and it really makes me wonder if I should just bite the bullet and use a different engine.
     
    elias_t, Ceciphar, nixter and 3 others like this.
  24. camirving

    camirving

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    what the hell.
     
  25. N1warhead

    N1warhead

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    I hear ya mate.
    Unity has a way of sucking us in where we can't leave lol. No other engine I've found is as straight forward and easy to use, so when I go to try another engine I end up hating it and going back to Unity because it's just simple how it all works. Now that - is kinda scary too haha.
     
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  26. LukeDawn

    LukeDawn

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    Please clarify "unity runtime" and "binary plugin". My headless unity servers (which use unity runtime) uses MySQL.dll (a binary plugin) - is this now not allowed?

    Please speak in concise words for those of us who are on the Autistic Spectrum and can't understand vague legal garbage.
     
  27. ambershee

    ambershee

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    "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."

    Bold emphasis mine. If I'm reading this correctly you also can't now sell or offer your games through a non-Unity approved vendor? How does one know which third parties are authorised distributors?
     
  28. xBLgS

    xBLgS

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    The only message I get from changes like this is:

    "-this company can't be trusted."

    It could be me if I'd build a company depending on their technology. They can change ANYTHING in ToS ANYTIME; the next day I may go out of business.
    And this wasn't the first time either, some had to migrate and use Godot because changes Unity imposed before.
     
    Tactical_Beard, RaL, Mikael-H and 4 others like this.
  29. LukeDawn

    LukeDawn

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    That certainly is worrying.
     
  30. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    I'd rather like to learn HPC# instead of Python. Though the future is a bit scary.
     
    xBLgS likes this.
  31. bluescrn

    bluescrn

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    So you can't make a free game jam game available from a personal website (hosted by a third party)?...

    (Or do they define 'the Unity Software' elsewhere to be the toolset and not the runtime components?)
     
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  32. fholm

    fholm

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    Or steam? Steam is a third party which distributes the runtime... which this seems to prohibit?
     
  33. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    I think it also applies to any distribution platform, well, unless:
     
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  34. LukeDawn

    LukeDawn

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    Disallowing Steam would kill hundreds of Unity projects
     
  35. gypaetus

    gypaetus

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    I also woke up this morning to learn that my project is being ripped out from beneath me because of a sudden change in Unity TOS.

    I cannot begin to describe the amount of time and effort that had suddenly been wasted because the Unity team has decided to stop bearing the torch in regards to industry innovation and openness.

    If this decision isn't reversed I won't have any choice but to switch to another, more inclusive engine. The whole situation leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. And honestly, how could I ever use or recommend Unity when they have suddenly and without warning, retroactively revoked licenses for my project and the sdks I'm using?

    This is the kind of thing that builds brand loyalty for the OTHER guys. Such a shame.
     
    Shorely, RaL, glenneroo and 7 others like this.
  36. AtomiCal

    AtomiCal

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  37. Werewolf_GS

    Werewolf_GS

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    Does this prevent netcode that has been written specifically for a game to run on an AWS instance?

    My game is such that unity's default network logic is no good, its way too inefficient. It needs very precise network update logic at specific intervals and very good packet compression. Not to mention the available turnkey solutions can be extremely messy code-wise and has limited bandwidth with bloated packets.

    This netcode along with the game logic has been written from scratch over 3 years and I am hoping to release this year. I absolutely need a headless dedicated server running on an AWS instance or similar. If not, the entire project is ruined, its too much work to change and I have completely lost my competitive advantage.

    I really really hope I haven't just wasted 3 years of my life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  38. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    I won't be surprised if it would be no longer legal to distribute Unity made games on Epic Games Store.

    -Ahem- Subnautica -Ahem-
     
  39. DuendeBrek

    DuendeBrek

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    What the hell is happening Unity Team?!
     
  40. Laurence_Whaites

    Laurence_Whaites

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    I do wonder how much this is a direct result of Unity playing hardball in its Improbable negotiations, without consideration of the consequences to anyone making a none peer-to-peer multiplayer or cloud-based software built on Unity. This isn't something we, as the game development community, should accept.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  41. Flavelius

    Flavelius

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    I'm in the process of making a multiplayer game and this sounds worrying, this definitely needs clarification!
     
  42. Kylotan

    Kylotan

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    The clause is written so broadly that it's impossible to know. It says "you may not use a managed service running on cloud infrastructure [..] to install or execute the Unity Runtime", but is AWS a managed service, or is it the cloud infrastructure? Is it saying you're allowed to have the server up on AWS, but aren't then allowed to permit AWS to spin up instances?
     
  43. mephistonight

    mephistonight

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    They actively yanked the SpatialOS Unity licence, so you can be pretty sure it means any execution of Runtime on cloud infrastructure. Or at least, that's how they're enforcing the clause.
     
  44. GameDevCouple_I

    GameDevCouple_I

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    Can someone from unity explain how games like Rust etc differ from spatial OS in this regard?

    Why are they allowed to run unity in headless mode for dedicated servers?

    Or are you doing this to them too and basically giving the finger to the entire games industry, after spending so many years being a proponent of game development democracy?
     
    RyanJEC likes this.
  45. Kohijin

    Kohijin

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    Besides my independent game development, I've been working a lot with clients outside the gaming industry. While skeptical at first, many established industries became very fond of the engine because of it's flexibility and transparent licensing terms. As the recent change of the TOS brushes many potential future projects for my clients (i.e. networked content that must not run on third party servers), I'm very concerned where things are headed. This issue needs clarification.
     
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  46. Andy-Korth

    Andy-Korth

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    Is there any plan to grandfather in older projects that were released (or started...?) when it was permissible (or even recommended) to run headless Unity servers on a remote server?
     
  47. mikerz1985

    mikerz1985

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    I love Unity -- I've been to Unite been excited about changes to the platform over the past year, but honestly -- this change affects me and puts pressure on me to move to Unreal. I'm deeply disappointed right now.
     
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  48. daschatten

    daschatten

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    Playfab and even Multiplay are not on their list of authorized managed services. So their own service is not usable anymore?

    Really confusing and leaves a bad taste!

    We need some clarification ASAP @Unity!
     
  49. eheimburg

    eheimburg

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    This needs to be clarified immediately. Like, today. Does this really mean headless unity builds are against the ToS? Does it mean we can't offer our game for download on a CDN (which is a cloud-based distribution system)? Holy F*** what are these idiots doing?!
     
  50. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Once upon a time there was a service known as OnLive. OnLive was a service where game clients were run on the cloud with the goal of eliminating the need for people to purchase expensive gaming hardware. Essentially the client would run on a remote server and the I/O would be streamed back and forth between the user and the server.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OnLive

    SpatialOS is a framework to develop extremely large scale MMOs. They achieve this by having the actual client run in the cloud with the I/O being streamed back and forth. Essentially it's OnLive but with a very specific goal in mind.

    Because this restriction only applies to the game client.

    See this is where everyone is misunderstanding the situation. This isn't suddenly a new section of the license. This section has been there for years now. Additionally this section doesn't forbid you completely. It just forbids you from streaming with a normal license. SpatialOS just needs to acquire the "separate license or authorization" mentioned in the ToS.

    SpatialOS's blog post is basically one giant "we don't want to pay for the license, so we're going to make noise about it".
     
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