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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. BlankDeedxxAldenHilcrest

    BlankDeedxxAldenHilcrest

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    Doesn't it use a modded version of the Unity engine as a cloud intermitterary that handles all processes without loading any graphics objects. Thus increases data handling?

    So for all intents and purpose, their product was Unity.

    I mean somebody tell me if I'm wrong, I'm gonna feel like a jackass.
    @J.P.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  2. BiosElement

    BiosElement

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    Unity wins when developers use their product. The better they do, the more developers make, the more Unity makes. It's an apt analogy and if the percentages matter, PR and good faith from the community matter far more.
     
  3. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Keep on target... No arguing with other users, no attacking other users opinions. If you don't agree with another's opinion on this topic, keep it to yourself. Forum posts by users here are not Unity or SpatialOS policy.
     
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  4. MyNameJeff22

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    BLOG POSTS ARE NOT LEGALY BINDING CONTRACTS
     
  5. ShilohGames

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    True, but we don't actually know for sure how PUBG has been implemented on the server side. It might be a headless build using UE4, or it might be a clean room server implementation without any UE4 code. It is probably a headless UE4 build, but it does not technically have to be. Similarly, nobody is forcing Unity game devs to use a headless Unity build on the server side. Game devs can and should write their own servers from scratch to get the best scalability and least legal woes.
     
  6. Buhlaine

    Buhlaine

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    Improbable published an inaccurate blog post regarding their relationship with Unity. Here's our response.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  7. AcidArrow

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    I'll do you one better, they should write their own game engines! :p
     
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  8. mephistonight

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    Sorry but it whitewashes too many of the facts. You can't claim someone has been in breach of your ToS for a long time and then perform a switcheroo on the ToS, completely changing their intent and then claim they've been that way all along. Nor can you seriously suggest people keep developing for the SpatialOS platform and this doesn't impact on devs when Improbable's own developers can't run Unity... meaning they can't update their SDK at all. Whatever has been happening between Unity and Improbable, it seems it's just us, the devs, who are suffering because of it.
     
  9. Tharis

    Tharis

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    This is an absolutly disappointing step from unity. Shame on you. Usually I like Unity and their philosophy to drive innovations and help developer to create amazing games. But this goes in a completly other direction and smells like a deal with google cloud. Unity have to revert this change!!! Everybody should be able to run unity servers where ever you want. Nearly every multiplayer would use today a cloud hosted server.
    This is not want I understand under connected games. Properly they should rename it to to unity services bounded games.
    And in addition unity can not even offer solutions for things like spatial os or even gamesparks.
    This makes me so angry.
     
  10. J_P_

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    The blog post is clarifying and I hope the TOS is updated to match what is described in the blog.

    Though I'd like a little clarification on this. Is something only a "platform" if it is reselling (even if free) to other developers? Could a company create an in-house service for their own game?
     
  11. ShilohGames

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    It is great that Unity posted something on this topic, but Unity still needs to address the current ToS problem. The ToS currently disallows using a headless Unity build on a cloud server. Unity needs to refine the wording in the ToS. I am assuming Unity will update the ToS to match the blog post wording.
     
  12. BlankDeedxxAldenHilcrest

    BlankDeedxxAldenHilcrest

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    "However, if a third party service wants to run the Unity Runtime in the cloud with their additional SDK, we consider this a platform."
     
  13. CaveTurtle

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    Even if the ToS gets updated, what stops them from doing this again in future? Once trust is lost it takes a lot to build it back up again. The amount of resources developers have to put into their games does not warrant the risk by having ToS clauses added, removed, and modified at will. Even though I love the Unity engine, this will be reason enough for me to move over to Unreal.
     
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  14. ShilohGames

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    Writing the client side game engine and implementing support across multiple platforms is a huge undertaking. Any dev who tries to implement a game engine solution on the scale of Unity would probably struggle to build their own game engine and still find time to build their game. The server side of a project is much more narrow scope, and is practical for many devs.
     
  15. Lurking-Ninja

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    Newsflash for you: every company keeps open the possibility to change its EULA. Just take a look at Unreal's (clause 22). The only difference is UE allows you to use your current setup without accepting the new EULA, but you're barred from even log in into the service, you're without support or marketplace, basically without anything. Of course you still will need to pay them up when the time comes.

    ---
    About the blog post: Yeah, it's pretty much I was counted on. I always would like to see clarification on EULAs, because they're always to vague and defensive. Oh well.
     
  16. bigfootaus

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    Yeah I want clarification on the EULA - specifically on why/how some people get on this list and some people don't. Is this issue boiling down to "our EULA says so", or are there specific reasons why companies must be approved & blessed by Unity?
     
  17. LukeDawn

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    So to clarify: Unity headless server, hosted on our choice of hosting service running linux or windows, and includes mysql.dll and Steamworks - is that a "platform" or are we ok?
     
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  18. CaveTurtle

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    The difference is that Epic doesn't have a track record of doing the 180 flip on their user base, Unity does. Did we all forget about the emails sent to users claiming they earned more than their annual threshold and they must upgrade their licenses?
     
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  19. Ryiah

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    An accidental email is nothing at all like this situation.
     
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  20. BlankDeedxxAldenHilcrest

    BlankDeedxxAldenHilcrest

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    That was an error and all that happened was some people got emails. It literally had no consequence, and they apologized heavily.
     
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  21. HeadClot88

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    Guys, unity has made a major mistake IMO. I have heard that people at Unity were caught by surprise by this sudden change. On top of the sudden EULA change. I do not buy the unity blog post that improbable was in violation for a year and have just started to revoke Improbable's License keys last week.




    This is on top of media reports as well.

    https://www.gamesindustry.biz/artic...aims-improbable-has-breached-terms-of-service

    My guess is that Unity is developing a MMO networking architecture and plan to compete with Improbable. Anyway...
     
  22. Lurking-Ninja

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    If you don't sell it, it is your game. If you start to rent it out to others, it probably a platform. As expected.
     
  23. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    It sounds like the initial blog post from improbable was an attempt to spin the issue after they lost thier licenses. Their second post reaffirms that.

    As unity stated, if you are a spatialos user, contact unity for more details. Other server setups are unaffected. As long as you are not providing a service using the unity runtime to external parties, (where they are using your license), you are fine.
     
  24. Ryiah

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    When you have hundreds to thousands of employees it's completely normal for company employees to be caught by surprise when the legal department decides to make alterations to their Terms of Service.

    Why do you feel that Improbable is more reputable than Unity?

    Media reports that are regurgitating the posts by Improbable and adding a spin to make it more sensational.
     
  25. stephanu

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    The way I understand it is this:

    Unity does not consider it a platform if you are renting the servers yourself or do the load balancing yourself.

    A platform would be a third party cloud service specifically tailored to game servers that automatically scales based on metrics extracted from the game based on an SDK. i.e what SpatialOS is doing.
     
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  26. J_P_

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  27. Lurking-Ninja

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    "Update: Spilt Milk Studio has resurrected Lazarus servers for the time being, saying on Twitter, "We're not quite sure what's going on - we were told that access to the servers would be revoked by 2:30 p.m. today but it seems that's not the case. Until either the servers are forced down or we're told to turn them off, we'll keep Lazarus live.""

    Apparently they jumped the gun too soon and they weren't in danger after all...
     
  28. JohnnyA

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    You can't see the difference between having to shutdown your business and having to possibly * do a bit more support work?

    * I say possibly because in ten years I've never had a satisfactory response to a Unity support request (I think the best is a bug being fixed 18 months after it was raised. I wouldn't ecpect Epic support to be any better.
     
  29. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    I think that is the heart of the improbable issue. They were offering a service which essentially allowed users run on improbable’s licenses rather than having thier own. (Basically renting unity).
     
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  30. Ryiah

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    Agreed. Like I mentioned earlier their second post felt very much like an attempt at damage control. It shows to me that they knew (after all what stops them from reading these threads and seeing @Buhlaine mention an incoming clarification blog post) that Unity was about to provide a summary of the problems to everyone.

    By the way, do you know why I buy the blog post from Unity? I buy it because of the second blog post from Improbable and the way they worded it. You don't make the statements they made in that post if you know you're in the right. By making that post they eliminated any benefit of the doubt they would have had.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  31. bonzaiferroni

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    Ok, personally, I'm putting the pitchfork away. I think Unity needs to update their ToS so that it actually reflects the policy they explained in their blog post. They outlined the distinction in the blog post but I don't see any language that supports it in the ToS.

    To the degree the Improbable misrepresented facts, I think they owe everyone an apology, not a vague "errors were made" statement.
     
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  32. noio

    noio

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    That is just absolutely completely untrue.

    To use SpatialOS, you build a headless Unity executable under your own license, and upload it to the SpatialOS servers where it is executed.
     
  33. stephanu

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    Is that what happend or just speculation on your part? Up until now I thought Spatial was simply an elastic server provider like EC3 and the like just with their own game specific sdk.
     
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  34. stephanu

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    If I understand correctly the licenses that were revoked from Spatial were simply their editor licenses that they use to provide customer support.
     
  35. zombiegorilla

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    If that is true, then I am wrong on that part. Last tim I looked at spatial, there wasn’t any mention of that.
     
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  36. Lurking-Ninja

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    We don't have (and we probably won't have) more information on this one. I don't believe in Improbable's explanation for even a bit. Exactly because Unity support needs weeks to operate, I doubt that they would shut down this business overnight. They don't have track record doing that, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Built upon Unity tech. I guess the initial problem is exactly there. Improbable didn't build their own game and ran on servers they built an SDK with Unity tech and then sold it to other users and they probably refused to license it properly. This is my understanding on the current known facts and information.
     
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  37. Laurence_Whaites

    Laurence_Whaites

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    What I personally suspect is going on is Unity want to rule with their new networking tech and are playing hardball with the biggest threat, Improbable. I also suspect Improbable haven't been in any violation of ToS until December, when they changed them giving them power to revoke the editor licences. Having used SpatialOS for 18 months, and knowing to a decent depth its inner-workings, I don't see any violation myself. I implore Unity to correct me here as i'd like to know where they have gone so wrong.

    Unity state they will support SpatialOS devs, yet by revoking editor licences they are making it impossible to maintain thus stalling if not canning countless productions.
     
  38. xBLgS

    xBLgS

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    Oh well.
    That post makes everything clear.

    I'm now glad my employer don't need Unity whatsoever to make games.

    I can't believe people somehow are trying to defend Unity on this one. Cya
     
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  39. Automoda

    Automoda

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    Spatial will have zero incentive to maintain the code from here on out. 3 years from now? Of course it'll break and your game is dead by neglect. The people I know using Spatial OS are doomed. Put yourself in their shoes. Even if these two companies make a deal, how could you trust either one from now on? I'd return what kickstarter money remains and close shop now rather than go under later. I don't know what existing users are doing, but I'd say there are some indies that died this day.
     
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  40. MyNameJeff22

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    so no changes to the TOS...
     
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  41. Errorsatz

    Errorsatz

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    I think my big issue is that even if this is only intended to target Improbable, and will never be enforced on anyone else, it still means that Unity is able to bring the hammer down on anyone using their engine, at any time. And is willing to do so in at least some cases.

    If iRobot said something like:
    "The new Roomba can be remotely controlled to lock onto people and fire poison darts at them, but don't worry - we'd only use that against terrorists or mass shooters, not on our customers!"
    Then I still wouldn't want one.
     
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  42. mephistonight

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    Yep. I'm not prepared to sacrifice my business at the altar of two heavy weights fighting it out over licensing issues. This is totally a Unity created problem, trying to squeeze Improbable for licensing fees that their previous ToS didn't include. I quite simply can't trust Unity from now on. Even if they come to an agreement later on with Improbable, I'm not prepared to risk my business on Unity changing their ToS. I have no choice but to seek life elsewhere.
     
  43. J_P_

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    The problem is that this is vague. If I build a game with a robust level editor that basically lets people create games on top of my game (like LittleBigPlanet, Dreams, Warcraft, etc), maybe it has a Lua SDK or something like Garry's Mod -- is that now a platform? Is it a platform if the game only runs locally so Unity Software isn't running on a server? Is it a platform if some of it happens to run on the cloud (to build asset bundles or something)? Whether some of it runs on a server or not seems to me like a pretty arbitrary difference.

    They don't define what they mean by "SDK" or "service" in the blog post and the ToS is still so open ended it could apply to simple dedicated servers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  44. snacktime

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    Unity licensing is untenable at any scale for multiplayer games that use Unity server side. I think this was likely the main point of contention. Unity had every right to force the issue but their pricing was likely so far from reality as to make SpatialOS not interesting as a business using their current model.

    Plus with Unity moving into managed services itself, where it could adopt an entirely different licensing model, one potentially far cheaper then if you went to a third party. Just the chance that could happen would be enough for me to think about getting out if I was Improbable.

    Both sides have handled the PR poorly to say the least. When it's fairly easy for people to connect the dots, trying to hide your real motives just makes people even more frustrated.
     
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  45. BrewNCode

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    Unity's response is on the blog.
    https://blogs.unity3d.com/2019/01/1...-you-can-keep-working-on-your-spatialos-game/

    More than a year ago, we told Improbable in person that they were in violation of our Terms of Service or EULA. Six months ago, we informed Improbable about the violation in writing. Recent actions did not come as a surprise to Improbable; in fact, they’ve known about this for many months.

    Two weeks ago we took the action of turning off Improbable’s Unity Editor license keys. This is a unique case — and not a situation we take lightly — but Improbable left us no choice. This was the only course of action to protect the integrity and value of our technology and Unity developers.
     
  46. Boinx

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    The official response by Unity leaves me very confused. Unity says normal cloud providers are okay, but not anyone who has a SDK. Well, last I checked AWS has dozens of SDKs for various services and products available to its users. Unity says the issue is whether the server is a platform. Last I checked, Amazon itself calls AWS a platform. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I feel like developers deserve a better explanation. Remember we do not know all the behind-the-scenes details, so don't understand anything other than the actual words Unity publishes.

    I think we need a better explanation of the networking restrictions, and a ToS update that clarifies this whole mess. It is also probably time to adopt the same ToS version lock-in that other engines offer to reassure us that our products cannot just be deemed against the ToS unless we pay you ransom payments.
     
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  47. BinaryOrange

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    Your blog post contradicts the new ToS, so, what is actually true?

    How can games using SpatialOS "not be affected" by the changes to the ToS, but the company responsible for SpatialOS be affected? You do realize that by severing your relationship with the company would also screw over all of those developers who depend on it (and, subsequently, you), don't you?

    Thank God alternatives to you exist, Unity. I'm so glad I never bought a pro license from you despite the temptation. This is serious bull, and I wouldn't be surprised if I see news of a class-action lawsuit against you in the coming days.

    This is shady, there really is no other word for it.
     
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  48. BrotenTechCorp

    BrotenTechCorp

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    Looks like Geforce Now, and Xbox's new streaming console. Will require runtime licenses from unity to use the games on it. This really sucks.
     
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  49. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It only sucks if you don't understand what is going on at all, and clearly most people still don't. And no, It's not shady. It's common and all engines have similar TOS.

    The only sad thing is that a company valued at one billion thought it was fine to slander Unity and ignore Unity's TOS for well over a year.

    Then post a blog packed with drama, while contacting every media outlet in sight just to get Unity to remove a TOS that's been present for years (that I ran into myself when consulting).
     
  50. Laurence_Whaites

    Laurence_Whaites

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    Improbables staff, those who would know this information, have confirmed they have not been told of any violation of ToS until December 5th, so this is now a case of 'he said she said' sadly.

    As much appreciation and respect I have for Unity and it's staff, this whole construct has a strong smell of a bullish move by an out-of-date higher-up in Unity management, making a move which would struggle to play out well 15 years ago in the general software business, never mind in the open forum of today's game business. If this isn't the case, then the timing of it all has been badly misjudged at very least.
     
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