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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. Tomer-Barkan

    Tomer-Barkan

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    Waiting to hear a clarification from unity, but the biggest problem here is not that they chose to ban SpacialOS/Steam/Play Store/whatever... It's that they CAN do so and that it's retroactive.

    I really hope that the result of this fiasco will be the removal of this horrible clause from the TOS.

    1.4 Modification
    Unity reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, discontinue or terminate the Services. Unity may also modify the Agreement at any time and without prior notice. If we modify the Agreement, we will post the modification on the Site or otherwise provide you with notice of the modification. We will also update the “Last updated” date at the top of these Terms. By continuing to access or use the Services after we have provided you with notice of a modification, you indicate that you agree to be bound by the modified Terms. If the modified Terms are not acceptable to you, your only recourse is to cease using the Services.​

    So developers can feel secure using Unity, they need to know that whatever the TOS they agree to when downloading the software, that's the TOS that will remain throughout their project - unless they choose to upgrade the software. So I should at least be able to keep using the same version I already downloaded with the same terms that I agreed to. If they want to change the terms, it should only apply to newer versions.

    As long as that is not the case, Unity can destroy entire projects at a whim, for whatever reason they see fit. Imagine Epic had this ability, they could use it to shut down PUBG!
     
  2. PeterJK

    PeterJK

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    I don't think this will affect you selling your game on Steam. However I think it would affect you hosting your own game servers.

    Today you can sell your game on your own website. Around the corner is cloud streaming of games. Under these terms you won't be able to host your own game on your own infrastructure for game streaming from your own website, for example. So while it's not relevant to Steam downloads of your game, it is relevant to other distribution methods.

    It is, in other words, an impingement on your distribution rights in more general terms.

    It's basically Unity saying what machines you can or cannot run instances of your game on, even with regard to 'open' machines like PC/Mac/Linux.

    That's incompatible with any sense of you actually owning the rights to your own game IMO. I understand that some platforms are proprietary - I have to get permission Sony to run my game on Playstation, for example - but having to defer to Unity about what PCs I can or cannot run builds of my game on, in service of my own game, is just beyond the pale. Even the closed console platforms don't dictate to you what server infrastructure and services you can or cannot use for your own game. For an engine to try to do this is absurd.

    To do this at all is nuts. To do it retroactively is almost beyond words. And of course it raises questions of what else could be written into terms in the future.
     
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  3. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I'm proud of the community here being reserved enough to complain but not burn the place down. I guess it's a sign of a healthy community when people can express their dislike in a mature manner.
     
  4. AtomiCal

    AtomiCal

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  5. Teila

    Teila

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    I think we should all wait to hear from Unity before we freak out. Right now it is all just speculation.
     
  6. Lyje

    Lyje

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    Please let's at least wait for Unity's response before jumping off the deep end here. At this point, this could be a mistake, albeit a bad one.

    That said:
    While there are conclusions being jumped to, the wording of this clause is very problematic regardless of context or Unity's intent. One way or the other - even if it turns out Improbable are in the wrong - this is a fairly major issue and needs to be taken seriously.
     
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  7. BeefSupreme

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    I hope they hurry up, my daily freakout is scheduled between 1:30 and 2:30 pm (MST).
     
  8. Creepgin

    Creepgin

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    I've been building a networked game with ECS for almost a year now. Server code is all pure-ECS. So I'm just wondering if it's on Unity's agenda to make ECS completely decoupled from the engine. That way, devs with pure-ECS server code can just compile their own .Net executable without needing to do a more bloated regular Unity build.

    I know this is not likely seeing how ECS is coupled with a few other Unity dependencies (Jobs, Rendering, etc...). But still, just wanted to ask.

    I'm also asking this because of today's Unity TOS fiasco (Unity pulling the rug out from SpatialOS).

    https://improbable.io/company/news/2019/01/10/unity-blocks-spatialos
    https://twitter.com/TimSweeneyEpic/status/1083407460252217346
    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019...ge-makes-cloud-based-spatialos-games-illegal/

    NOTE: This post was originally posted under ECS forum but was later merged into this one by mod.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  9. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Agreed, it is important to take this seriously, but freaking out in a massive way is not my definition of taking it seriously.
     
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  10. tgienger

    tgienger

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    Trust is a terrible thing to waste. Ciao.
     
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  11. Teila

    Teila

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    I already had a team member freak out. lol Not pleasant. I had to listen to paragraphs of rants. Ugh.
     
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  12. JBR-games

    JBR-games

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    Its not jumping too conclusions when games are already being shut down..
     
  13. knr_

    knr_

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    I find it hilarious that people who most likely do not have a game that is running the Unity client as gameservers on hosted sites are thinking they have some type of right to supposedly say "don't freak out". They already revoked a live game's licenses.
     
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  14. Valkrysa_Herja

    Valkrysa_Herja

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    It would be nice if UT could comment sooner than later on this as the publications are all reporting the initial story and UT is missing it's opportunity to get it's perspective in those stories.
     
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  15. EnigmaFactory

    EnigmaFactory

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    This is because Unity has a great community and I think a major reason for that is the consumer-friendly culture Unitt has cultivated. This is a step that undermines that. I know there is probably a lot of meetings and discussion going on behind the scenes and you guys are still figuring this all out but I think any level of clarification that can be given now should be as the wild speculation is likely to do more damage then whatever is really going on ever could.
     
  16. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Only the company behind the platform has said anything. Until we've heard Unity's side we're jumping to conclusions.
     
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  17. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Anyone who is saying "don't freak out" when this has already lead to one game having to cease sales and another having to completely reevaluate production because they relied on SpatialOS is being either ignorant or disingenuous. Unity's actions here are awful and there's a reason it's leading to a PR disaster. The fact that the only response we got from Unity is "oh we have people looking into it" while projects are actively stopping is a big enough red flag on its own. If anything, we should have gotten a blog post or something explaining the ramifications of the ToS change. Instead? Nothing. All while Unity is in the process of completely reworking their networking systems.

    Nothing about this looks good or okay and given the fallout of this, there is no reason to give Unity the benefit of the doubt.
     
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  18. Teila

    Teila

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    We are developing an MMO that will run on game servers. So yes, I do have the right to say do not freak out. It does nothing for us and does not change the outcome.
     
  19. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Which games?
     
  20. Teila

    Teila

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    Exactly. We are basing all this on what the other company says. We do not know the other side.
     
  21. Murgilod

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  22. jwdstephens

    jwdstephens

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    I hope your development is going well.

    I will chime in though - it's is precisely this that can bring about change. If people remained silent waiting for comment none would come. I'm confident Unity is listening to the community; the community is their business. Whether or not they will act on the 'outrage' is another matter.

    It is on Unity to break the news of a change to the TOS. They didn't do this. Whilst we wait for their side of the story, it doesn't look good from where we're all standing.
     
  23. RobertPC

    RobertPC

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    I love how everyone is developing MMO...
     
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  24. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Cloud based server solutions like this also power games like Rocket League.
     
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  25. LukeDawn

    LukeDawn

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    We really need to hear definitive words from a Unity spokesperson. We can freak out afterwards. This is enough of a PR disaster already for Unity - it's in the gaming world's news headlines across the planet. I'm pretty sure they'll want to allay fears asap.
     
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  26. Teila

    Teila

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    Our team is not just everyone, but thank you. ;)
     
  27. DragonsanStudios

    DragonsanStudios

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    I think you will be fine with Atavism, uMMO, and similar solutions, as these solutions are not offered as a services.
     
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  28. jashan

    jashan

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    Full-quote because of full agreement. For a game engine that claims to be about democratizing game development, this is really not acceptable.

    I really trusted (and still trust) David, Joachim and Nicholas - and all the great and genius engineers still working at UT. The corporate people that got involved ... not so much.
     
  29. Mikael-H

    Mikael-H

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    You are absolutely right. Clause 1.4 has been an issue for my employer for legal reasons for a long time. I always argued that "surely they wouldn't bite the hand that feeds them and do a change that would hurt us" but right now I am not so certain. I work for a large company that is not in the gaming industry and we may be hit with the next change, who knows?

    I will follow this issue closely, not because it disallows hosting in cloud, but because this shows what kind of risk it actually entails working with unity. I would totally agree with @Teila normally that you should not freak out before hearing what unity has to say but seeing what has happened to Improbable I think Unity actually has shown their intention in action if not in words.
     
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  30. Murgilod

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  31. BrokawayGames

    BrokawayGames

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    To be honest - we shouldn't have to wait for explanations. Whenever a change of this magnitude is being made everything should be clear before such change is actually in effect.
     
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  32. Teila

    Teila

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    Absolutely but what really did happen in December to make them change the TOS? Did another company do something that became a major issue for Unity? Or is this simply getting rid of the competition? Or is it a huge mistake. Maybe we will find out it is something we did not expect. The TOS change is a shock, but maybe it was required to stop something that was serious. Or maybe Unity is just greedy. We really do not know.
     
  33. LukeDawn

    LukeDawn

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    That is worrying. Looks like a vetting procedure. You can only make the sort of multiplayer games that we agree with.
     
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  34. Teila

    Teila

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    At this point, lawyers are involved I am sure so we have no choice but to wait.
     
  35. AwakenedRage

    AwakenedRage

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    Just started an LLC a couple months ago and was going to launch our game within the next couple of months, we developed a lightweight server solution for our game and now this. Game has been in development for three years, I feel robbed.

    This reminds me of Panda3D's license issues back when it was first released to the public.
     
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  36. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Unity's mp service looks good though. I hope I can afford to use it :)
     
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  37. stephanu

    stephanu

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    Sounds like exactly the kind of service SpatialOS is offering. :rolleyes:
     
  38. BrokawayGames

    BrokawayGames

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    I think (hope) it's just a 'preemptive strike' aimed at services like Project xCloud (Microsoft) and Project Stream (Google)
     
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  39. BiosElement

    BiosElement

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    I've been proud to develop in Unity until this moment. As a tiny indie developer hoping to bring people together through the internet, these changes adversely affect my future plans and have forced me to explore other, frankly cheaper, alternatives. I've been defending Unity for months now and been pleased with recent announcements, but this is a pointless and illogical change that only harms everyone.

    I hope Unity reconsiders their decision and refrains from such drastic EULA changes in the future. Even a license fee would be preferable to this but cloak and dagger secret pricing isn't viable for indie's.
     
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  40. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    So, to summarize what we know so far:

    - Unity probably wanted some share of the business from SpatialOS
    - Improbable breached the initial ToS
    - Improbable probably said that they won't pay up
    - Unity started to enforce their ToS and while at there they changed it too to make it more pronounced
    - Improbable was clever enough to drop the PR-bomb to cause mass panic so force Unity to go back to the starting point and miss out on Improbable's business

    Also I like that people started to quote Tim Sweeney on this. LOL. He has so much to gain on this. They get the percentage out of any game no matter if they run locally or not, he can say easily that it's bad business.
    Why I'm thinking Improbable and Unreal coordinated this? :D

    I say Improbable was clever so far, Unity was dumb. Will see what they have to say about it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  41. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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  42. jwdstephens

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    I wonder if Google would approve of this. They're in partnership with both.
     
  43. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I see it as a sign of the community starting to get used to Unity acting like this, or maybe that's just me.

    I actually hope it's just me.
     
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  44. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Google don't care as long as Google gets paid.
     
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  45. AtomiCal

    AtomiCal

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    What's so conflicting is that I really like it and I would totally use it. It's a nice step in the right direction for Unity and I want to use it for multiplayer games.

    But if the ToS change stays and Unity stands behind their decisions then I will probably turn into a bitter person and move to another game engine.
     
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  46. jwdstephens

    jwdstephens

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    Unfortunately, this is probably true.
     
  47. sinzer0

    sinzer0

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    I dont see why unity would be so threatened by SpatialOS. Even if they are similiar most people would gravitate towards the unity solutions once it's mature. We have seen this play out with other projects like NGUI etc.
     
  48. noio

    noio

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    What they will offer is —from what it looks like— fundamentally different from SpatialOS. It looks like they will just spin up a classic multiplayer servers for you, not aggregate multiple servers into a single distributed world.
     
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  49. Teila

    Teila

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    Maybe they are not threatened but as a service Unity wanted them to pay a license fee. Possibly they did violate the ToS. Here I am speculating. LOL
     
  50. Joachim_Ante

    Joachim_Ante

    Unity Technologies

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    We are preparing a blog post because there is a lot of mis-information but the short summary is that using Unity as a game developer or game studio in a generic cloud (GCP, AWS, Azure) or on your own servers is perfectly legal.
     
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