Search Unity

Running Unity-based servers

Discussion in 'Connected Games' started by Kylotan, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Kylotan

    Kylotan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Posts:
    182
    Some of you will be aware of Improbable's blog post today: https://improbable.io/company/news/2019/01/10/unity-blocks-spatialos
    And the other discussions relating to it:
    https://forum.unity.com/threads/spa...due-to-unity-tos-changes.610459/#post-4084219
    https://forum.unity.com/threads/rec...e-of-spatialos-to-make-games-in-unity.610447/

    Can someone from Unity confirm whether we will be allowed to host servers running programs based on the Unity engine in future, or whether the only allowed use will be if we pay Unity for hosting or a hosting licence?
     
    Slymp, Karasu416 and noio like this.
  2. noio

    noio

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Posts:
    85
    Unless someone contradicts the information in that post, I am most likely pulling the plug from the Unity / SpatialOS prototype that I was working on. I was extremely excited by the possibility of creating a persistent world game with a small (solo) team. Stuff that was impossible 8 years ago (when I got into game dev) now seems within reach, with technology like Unity and SpatialOS. Working on this project for the last ~2 years made me realise that these technologies are powerful, but also very complicated. This announcement shows that there won't just be technical challenges, but also legal ones.

    In a way this might be the straw that broke the camel's back. For Unity, I don't think this matters, they probably need leverage to sell their own Multiplayer platform or get a cut of the bigger online games. I would have been happy building an experience for a few hundred players, so I am the smallest of fish. It just shows that 'indie MMOs' are perhaps not as close as I thought they were. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  3. PrimeDerektive

    PrimeDerektive

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,071
    Yeah, we need additional clarification on the violations here. Does this essentially mean any form of dedicated unity multiplayer servers are not allowed?
     
    Karasu416 likes this.
  4. Jes28

    Jes28

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Posts:
    291
  5. Kylotan

    Kylotan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Posts:
    182
    Unfortunately the blog post contradicts the actual ToS. It's pretty clear that most people running on generic cloud services are violating the ToS since the cloud service is a third party that distributes the Unity software. There are also vague references to "managed service" which they may intend to mean people like Improbable (and Amazon Gamelift?) but which could easily be taken to mean AWS, or even your ISP. It might well be the case that they have no problem with those actual usages, but legally speaking you're on shaky ground until they revise the terms.
     
  6. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    4,665
    Doesn't matter. Unity has made their intent clear regarding that section of the ToS. Since Unity, like every software publisher, includes a clause that they can change the ToS at any time, if they actually wanted to expand the scope of banned usage of Unity they can do that with a ToS change whenever they want. So the current text of the ToS doesn't matter, being out of any grey area as you design your game doesn't matter, because the ToS can be changed at any time. Only Unity's intent matters.
     
  7. Kylotan

    Kylotan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Posts:
    182
    I'd argue the opposite. If you're within the ToS, you're safe, no matter what they intend. If they change the ToS later, you have the right in some jurisdictions to challenge that. For example, there's an interesting case Douglas v. Talk America where it was ruled that a revised contract does not bind the parties until it is accepted. Would this apply here? Who knows.

    By contrast, if you're breaking the ToS from the start, that's a much harder case for you to argue, and you might be liable for past infringement if and when their intent (or their interest in suing you) changes.

    Right now the situation is that Unity could say to any one of us with a shipped game, "You have been using a third party [e.g. Steam] to directly make available [a] portion of the Unity Software [e.g. a game with the Unity engine included]" and legally you then have a problem dating back for quite some period of time. That's not good for us.