Last week, a lot of drama had been going between Improbable and Unity, when Unity updated their TOS Clause 2.4 to restrict developers who planned to use Unity in any kind of distributed network capacity. Yesterday, in a blog post Unity improved on their End User License Agreement to make it more open for developers.
Per this new update, developers can now use any third party service that integrate into Unity. However, the choice of support of this service remains with Unity. Basically, Unity will integrate their own services, but not block developers from using competitive third-party services.
(1) use a stylized version of any Unity name, trademark, logos, images or product icons, or other Unity-owned graphic symbols;
(2) use a product name confusingly similar to a Unity product or that could be construed by Unity developers as being a Unity product or service; or
(3) create or use any marketing materials that suggest an affiliation with, or endorsement by, Unity. All use of Unity’s trademarks must comply with Unity’s Trademark Guidelines.
Unity has also shared updates on their relationship with Improbable and has clarified that Improbable or SpatialOS is no longer blocked on their licenses and can be used for development and shipping games. “Improbable is no longer in breach by providing you a service, and that we are able to reinstate their licenses. But we do not consider them a partner, and cannot vouch for how their service works with Unity as we have no insight into their technology or how they run their business.”, they clarified in a blog post.
Unity’s news has been taken positively by the developer community. Here are a few comments from a thread on hacker news.
“Good move on their part, but the whole saga is a reminder of the risks of using non-free software, especially if it’s a subscription. At any point, the developers can pull the rug out from under you.”
“I’ve been following this rather closely as a company who provides backend services (so we’re classified as a 3rd party service) to studios in the industry, many of whom use Unity. I’m rather surprised by this about-face, especially considering Unity had the upper hand in negotiations with Improbable. A pleasant surprise, and a much-needed one in the games industry where locked-down tech is often the norm.”