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Official Update to the Unity Editor Software Terms

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by LeonhardP, Nov 6, 2023.

  1. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

    Unity Technologies

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    On September 22, Marc Whitten shared an open letter with the community detailing changes to our runtime fee policy. One critical commitment was that “we will make sure that you can stay on the terms applicable for the version of the Unity editor you are using – as long as you keep using that version.”

    To follow through on this commitment, we have updated the language to the Editor Terms based on feedback from our employees and community. Our goal is to make sure that the terms Unity users accept state that they can stay on those terms for the named version of Unity they are using, regardless of any changes to the Unity terms afterwards. As of today, this update will be added to our Github repository and unity.com/legal.

    We've also made sure to explicitly state that the runtime fee is not in effect unless a game is created with or upgraded to the next major release of Unity (shipping in 2024) and beyond.

    Our overall goal is to make it easy and transparent for developers to choose a version of Unity that works for them so that they can be successful.

    This announcement was also published on the Unity Blog: https://blog.unity.com/news/unity-editor-software-terms-update
     
  2. jacob_unity577

    jacob_unity577

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    Explictly state? Major release shipping in 2024?

    Why do you phrase is this way, other than to mislead. You don't mention this being 2023 LTS. You avoid mentioning the actual version number, despite having a whole sytem for version numbers, and purposefully mention a version that sounds like it'll start with 2024...

    2023 LTS isn't a major release, that's a support release. From 2023.2 to 2023.3/4 - you're incrementing the minor number.
    The major number change in 2024 would be 2024.1.


    Because still using the same misleading terminology isn't exactly explict, or helping to regain trust.

    Why does this matter? Because there's already projects out there, before the TOS changes that were made in 2023. And if the new terms come in for 2023 to be supported more, then you're still retroactively forcing those users to either accept the new terms, or stick on a version that's unsupported, despite them thinking they'd have an LTS version by the time their games ship.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
  3. bugfinders

    bugfinders

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    yes while 2023 is started this year it is normal that 2023.3 is released next year as LTS
     
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  4. MiTschMR

    MiTschMR

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    In this case it will be 2023.4 as LTS, because there is an additional tech stream release.
     
  5. Lars-Steenhoff

    Lars-Steenhoff

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  6. GorillaJoes

    GorillaJoes

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    This will have no effect on the trust issue. Unity it was YOU that burned the bridge and developers cannot cross it again for fear of getting burned again.
     
  7. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Frankly it's still pretty goddamn messed up that these terms will be pushed on to the 2023 LTS versions. People using the tech stream are free from this but won't get any actual support unless they switch to the new licensing model?
     
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  8. Bigginer112

    Bigginer112

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    What terms? Rev share???? What are you complaining about?
     
  9. jacob_unity577

    jacob_unity577

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    Yeah, this is exactly my point - If you started on a project in 2023.1 or 2023.2 before these new terms were announced you're either
    1. Ship in an "unsupported" tech stream version, and quite likely have bugs that are impossible to fix (if working on modern XR or console stuff, this might not even be an option)
    2. Downgrade to 2022 LTS, which will still get bug fixes. This may not be an option depending on which 2023 features you're relying on
    3. Be forced to accept the new terms just for a few bug fixes

    The really cruel part of this is if you're going from 2023.2 (or 2023.3 if that comes out before next year) to 2023 LTS, you're probably not even really getting any new features, or quality of life changes - you're being forced to accept the new terms & rev share just for some bug fixes & support, of a release that when you started using, you assumed would be supported without any new fees etc.

    While this isn't as bad as unity's original, probably illegal proposal to force this on all existing users, it's still painful they're forcing these terms on a subset of their users this way.
     
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  10. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    I dunno, why don't you read the two other threads and try and figure it out?
     
  11. Bigginer112

    Bigginer112

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    I already did, and clearly don't see any problems with rev share.
     
  12. bugfinders

    bugfinders

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    i had heard this but i dont recall seeing any official stuff on what/when but yes .4 maybe the thing next year
     
  13. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    So what is stopping you from deleting the GitHub, again, silently changing the TOS to remove the protection, again, and then tell us, again, that according to California law you can do whatever you want retroactively as long as you notify us 3 months in advance?

    If the answer is “nothing” (and it is, right?), these are just empty words from a company whose word already means nothing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
  14. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    That sounds like a you issue. It's not just rev share. Aside from rev share being foisted on people if they want to use the LTS of the current tech stream that uses a different license, there's also the issues that come from Unity having done this in the first place.

    So yeah, they're charging more money for what isn't a major version release, but they also did so much more than that.
     
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  15. MUTTLEY_HAMMER

    MUTTLEY_HAMMER

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    Too little - too late
     
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  16. IAmJustADog

    IAmJustADog

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    Unity once again. Makes incomprehensible ToS announcements..... other engine manufacturers see this and STRENGTHEN the rights of the developers so that they feel safer. e.g. Flax Engine did this.

    It's a shame I had to leave Unity. But I don't look back.
     
  17. hellno2015

    hellno2015

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    Okay so I am looking through the current run time fee and it's only asking 2.5% of your revenue earned that month, and that's only if your using unity pro, which you most likely only be using because you passed the 200K a year threshold.

    And if I recall was the original fee like 5% of revenue when you pass the 100k a year threshold, diffidently correct me if that's incorrect.

    With that info in mind isn't the new fee actually better or at least on par with the old one or am I missing something?
     
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  18. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    This thread isn’t really about the fee though. If that’s fine with you then good for you. If you are also fine with Unity changing the terms whenever they want, also good for you.
     
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  19. hellno2015

    hellno2015

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    Isn't the whole point of this update that they can't retroactively change the terms for each LTS anymore? Like if they pull some crap in a future LTS you can still stick with a previous LTS right? Isn't that the same thing Unreal's licence is doing?
     
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  20. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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  21. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    And… it is not. Unreal has an EULA, which is by default tied to specific versions of the software. If you download a version of Unreal, it has an EULA within it, which you can point to as being the thing you agreed to.

    But Unity doesn’t think the Unity engine is a piece of software, they think it’s a service they provide (which is why it has terms of service instead of an EULA), therefore it makes no sense for the terms to be tied to a specific version of software. A service, naturally is an evolving thing, therefore the law allows them to change it freely. If you want to change how you provide a certain service, you should be able to with a little bit of notice. Personally, the way Unity does this, I think is a travesty.

    Practically, the end result is there is nothing that can be written in the TOS they can’t take back super easily, so all of this here is grandstanding and theater.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
  22. hellno2015

    hellno2015

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    Right, right okay did not know that, my bad
     
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  23. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    Of course it's better and in my opinion they have paddled back way more than they had to.
    People would have screamed even if it were 10€ per Unity license :/
    Just like they are currently screaming at YT for fighting adblockers.
    Too many people are entitled to getting things just for free. Luckily major companies can live without those (if the business model is viable in the first place) as they don't contribute to revenue much anyways.
     
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  24. retired_unity_saga

    retired_unity_saga

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    I am unsure why, but after keeping silent and reading about all of this, all I can say is that I will post-pone any release of a Unity game and simply keep all my projects in testing for some time.

    I don't know why, but it seems the most logical decision. The reason is, some devs have work that is abstract/esoteric in design, we love the way Unity has this way of implementing features into our game... but really, if your game loop is solid, and the game doesn't crash (a lot) on the platform your targeting, and the art work and music is acceptable/good quality/the right bad, the customer doesn't care unless it blows up their GPU/CPU.

    So, why would a developer risk the permanent run-time baggage of odd terms of service changes hanging over the long-term growth of a project/projects/apparently series of projects (gamename 1, 2, 3 counting as one runtime revenue)? It's odd. Not because it is actually odd, but that it is odd to add this without first simply considering implementing royalties at a flat rate. Like, what is this odd idea of counting installs? I don't get it.

    In fact, what Unity SHOULD have stated was:

    "Come version 2024, license terms will be this: <runtime license> royalty fee for certain studios over a sales threshold.

    We are competing with Unreal Engine business model.

    In return, we have plans to do this: <new mind bogglingly good feature>,

    Unity Plus will be obsolete, as all developers are subject to this royalty fee over a certain sales threshold with x amount of gross revenue for at least a year in each individual products lifetime"

    Then, I dunno, release the source code for studios to work with so we can all benefit.
     
  25. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    You must have been living under a rock if you didn't notice that the most vocal also happened to be those with studios that can't in any way use the free tier of this engine, and that none of them had a problem paying more.

    Unity can't live without these studios. Unity needs subscriptions and they need royalties neither of which they will receive if the studios that had a chance of paying them don't use the engine.

    Unity backpedaled like they did as a last ditch effort to keep from losing everyone not just the studios that were best able to pivot to a new engine. We'll have to wait for the Q3 shareholder letter to find out if it's enough.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
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  26. Stoneman-Mark

    Stoneman-Mark

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    This whole debacle is hilarious. Thank you Unity, but it seems like you're still dicking-around.
     
  27. Unifikation

    Unifikation

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    This is an "end of trust" point.

    In that sense, thank you. It's clear. Ended.
     
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  28. Unifikation

    Unifikation

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    The lack of responses to this thread is the best possible indicator of the damage already done.

    well done.

    Game over.
     
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  29. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    We are all around somwhere, just mostly all evaluating other engines so our interest in unity and posting about it has diminished. Engagement will likely continue to fall over the next 12 months as these engine evaluations complete.

    So far its been a godsend really, its given everyone the motivation needed to finally give other engines a real shot and many are impressed and happy with what they have found in comparison to the last X years of unity.
     
  30. Unifikation

    Unifikation

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    Indeed.

    And seconded.

    eg. Shocked by how much I like Blueprints.
     
  31. bugfinders

    bugfinders

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    it felt a lot like bolt now known as unity visual scripting to me, it didnt really feel different other than the namings of things. However i found the whole recompile c++ level painful, and as a c++ compatible person i was surprised how it irked me so much
     
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  32. Noisecrime

    Noisecrime

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    For me this bit under section 2.2 'Unity Runtime' is probably the most important;
    This thankfully suggests to me that while the cost of your subscription to use Unity ( and past versions) may change, the actual fees/royalty will not ever change or be amended, added to etc, for the version of Unity.

    This to me was the crucial element that needed to be accounted for by Unity to even allow any trust to begin to be rebuilt, without it, I felt Unity was dead in the water.

    However I will say I've only briefly skimmed the updates and not done a proper look into all the various supplements to the legal stuff Unity have, so there could be something left in those that somehow make the statement above invalid under certain conditions, but for the moment this seems positive.
     
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  33. Noisecrime

    Noisecrime

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    Honestly don't think I see the difference, neither TOS or EULA are particularly legally binding, there is literally nothing you couldn't do with TOS that can't be done with EULA. This is especially true at the level of the developers like us in this thread. Epic could easily change their mind on their EULA and whilst the way it has been written would give you some degree of importance at court, you'd still have to take them to court to get any compensation ( monetary or other ).

    Whilst TOS and EULA claim to be legally binding, until they are enforced ( by company) or challenged ( by user) it really is unknown as ultimately a court will have to decide. Obviously the clauses of those documents have relevance and importance to the case but aren't guarantees for either party.

    Not really, its hidden away in announcements, which is normal for Unity, but pretty dumb for such an important update to such a catastrophic mess. I even made a post in 'General' forum, until I was pointed to this thread.

    Oh wow - I had no idea this was posted yesterday! I only even know about the update because I had a tab left open of Twitter from trying to contact someone and saw a notification. Kind of emphasis how bad just having this in 'Announcements' is, especially after many members were used to posting/reading about the previous change in the general forum.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
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  34. bugfinders

    bugfinders

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    i read that as only applicable to the pre 2023 version as its a paragraph about `if you use the Prior Released Versions of Unity Editor,`
     
  35. Unifikation

    Unifikation

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    It also means they're incentivised to make the existing relationship less than stellar.
     
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  36. Unifikation

    Unifikation

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    It's being promoted on social media with links back to here.
     
  37. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    They need to be able to produce these for this to happen, the closest they got was ECS / DOTS but despite the initial hype I don't see much adoption.
     
  38. TheOtherMonarch

    TheOtherMonarch

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    "2.2 Unity Runtime" does not define the runtime fee instead it links to https://unity.com/pricing-updates I guess we are required to maintain documentation of what the run time fee was for the version of Unity we are using.

    I would like to see 2.2 define exactly what the fee is. I understand that calculating the fee is convoluted but I believe it can be done in a single long paragraph.
     
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  39. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I'm fairly sure they will set it up so that once you agree to the idea of the fee they can change the actual numbers at will.
     
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  40. phelaidar

    phelaidar

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    I mean, Unity cant even keep their licensing server running, making many developers unable to work on a tuesday while Unity expects us to believe they can reliably monitor how many times a game has been installed...
     
  41. oninoshiko

    oninoshiko

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    As far as I can tell, the document they are pointing you to isn't the only one that applies, this one does too.

    That one still says "Unity may add or change fees, rates and charges for any of the Offerings from time to time by notifying you of such changes and/or posting such changes to the Offering Identification, which may include changes posted to the Site."

    Until that's gone, I don't see what stops them from invoking that clause to change the rates (who want's to pay 100% of gross?) or add novel new charges.

    Ultimately, they need to get this down to a SINGLE license document that says exactly what you are agreeing to. Until they do, it's going to be (by design) ambiguous.
     
  42. Nest_g

    Nest_g

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    Well, another thread that will be closed when people say that will be migrate to other engine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
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  43. liquify

    liquify

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    I wouldn't use Unity until the company remove the Always Online requirement with three-day grace and their proprietary tracking technology. I won't make games that have a phone-home tech.

    And how do we know the TOS won't change in the future?
     
  44. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    Is that a thing?
    Half of this debate of the original anouncement came from people doubting Unity's ability to track number of installs reliably because there is NO call home code in the games.
     
    andreiagmu likes this.
  45. Correct.
    Incorrect.

    The doubt is there because we weren't talking about "installs", we were talking about "legitimate installs". And Unity themselves said they don't want tracker. But they have proprietary technology which tells it anyway.

    The thing is, there was analytics in Unity games. You needed to turn it off explicitly.
    https://forum.unity.com/threads/completely-disabling-analytics-at-runtime.520827/#post-3416702
    But this disappeared at some point and it is unclear if a build phones home or not. You need to test it. Also the minute you enable any service with Unity, all bets are off and Unity will store analytic information about the game and player and hardware and whatnot. I'm fairly sure.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2023
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  46. MiTschMR

    MiTschMR

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    Wrong, the hub has a 30 day grace period. There is no phone home technology implemented in the runtime.

    Don‘t make up statements that are not true!
     
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  47. liquify

    liquify

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    Unity said they use their proprietary data model to count the number of installs, so there must be phone-home tech in Unity games.
     
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  48. liquify

    liquify

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    Unity said they use their proprietary data model to count the number of installs, so there must be phone-home tech in Unity games.

    As for the grace period for the Always Online requirement, it would be better to remove it. Otherwise we won't be able to open the projects if we can't get connected to Unity server.
     
  49. huyhuhi

    huyhuhi

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    So what happened when Unity suddenly increase Pro license fee, or increase % revenue share? Do I need to pay more or still at the old fee if I keep using older version?
     
  50. Nest_g

    Nest_g

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    Is a risk for medium size projects, if this happens some day you can make a rollback to a older Unity version that is not difficult or migrate to other engine, with this crisis we discover many good alternatives to Unity, really we as users cant make much for the Unity decisions, as a private company (legally is a public company but in practice they work as a private company, a directive board take the decisions, not the stock holders) they only think in generate money without matters users, this complete mess can be resume in that Unity wants get money from free to play games and will be not change this road.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2023
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