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Update: Unity have now responded. Bit of a headscratcher! Unity won't go after people using it, but they're removing any chance Spatial has to actually support it at all. They also said in comments they will make their TOS clearer.

Original article below:

While not directly related to Linux gaming, this is still some interesting news to be aware of for those working with the Unity game engine. Especially so, since both the Unity editor and Unity games (if the developer makes it so) work on Linux.

The team behind SpatialOS, a "managed cloud services" provider just announced that "all existing SpatialOS games using Unity, including production games and in development games of all developers, are now in breach of Unity’s license terms" which doesn't sound good at all.

Unity changed their terms of service last month, which specifically mentions this:

You may not directly or indirectly distribute the Unity Software, including the runtime portion of the Unity Software (the “Unity Runtime”), or your Project Content (if it incorporates the Unity Runtime) by means of streaming or broadcasting so that any portion of the Unity Software is primarily executed on or simulated by the cloud or a remote server and transmitted over the Internet or other network to end user devices without a separate license or authorization from Unity.

This new restriction, is likely going to impact quite a few multiplayer games that were using Unity and SpatialOS. Using the wise words of developer Simon Roth on Twitter "Unity is looking to fully control who is allowed create cloud based games. It also means that they can control who starts a game streaming service." and that sounds pretty bad.

It doesn't seem to affect "normal" dedicated server hosting though, just to be clear on that point. The main points seem to be specifically involving streaming. I'm not entirely clear on just how different that is though in this case.

Here's the thing, Unity acquired the game hosting part of the company Multiplay back in 2017 so it's likely a case of Unity wanting to squeeze money out of every other provider, to put them off and get more people to use Unity's own services with their game engine.

As a non-developer, it's still all somewhat confusing I will admit. However, the idea that you pay to use a game engine like Unity as a service (since you don't actually own the Unity copy, it's only a license) and they set the restrictions on what platforms you can run on? Sounds bonkers to me.

See more here.

Ps. Good time to mention the FOSS Godot Engine.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Misc, Unity
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Doc Angelo 10 Jan, 2019
QuoteIt also means that they can control who starts a game streaming service

It means that they can control who starts a game streaming service with Unity games.

With Unity, the engine is free for anyone to use, until the profits exceed $100.000. Maybe the calculations were designed for a market that sells individual units of a software, not sharing the same copy to multiple steam clients (even if only one player can play a given unit at a given time). Just a guess.
ertuqueque 10 Jan, 2019
Godot is the future! (and for that matter, all other REAL open source game engines)
Beamboom 10 Jan, 2019
Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: 14So we won't see any Unity games in Project Stream then?
This would seem to prohibit that yeah.

... Unless licensed to do so. Something that's probably not too hard to obtain, if I am to guess.
MaxPower 10 Jan, 2019
Quoting: x_wingIt's a little ambiguous, but in the paragraph it talks about "...transmitted over the Internet or other network to end user devices", so it shouldn't affect steam links as is not steam the one that is streaming but the user to himself. In other words, the full paragraph refers to what distributors can do, but not what end users can.

If it does not apply to Steam link, what about twitch ?
Asu 10 Jan, 2019
well, building a multiplayer game should be a massive time and resource investment. Or you lock yourself into an engine vendor like unity3d, lumberjack or hero engine.
Godot is fine but it's no client-server engine.
And that's why I want see more native MMOs on linux. Thank you Albion online and Project gorgon for being there!
F.Ultra 10 Jan, 2019
Quoting: MaxPower
Quoting: x_wingIt's a little ambiguous, but in the paragraph it talks about "...transmitted over the Internet or other network to end user devices", so it shouldn't affect steam links as is not steam the one that is streaming but the user to himself. In other words, the full paragraph refers to what distributors can do, but not what end users can.

If it does not apply to Steam link, what about twitch ?

Twitch players are users of the game and have not entered into any license deal with Unity so they should not be included either, IANAL however so don't take it as 100% certain but it would be strange if a license between a developer and Unity would spill over to the end user.
iiari 10 Jan, 2019
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[quote=Nevertheless]
Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: NeverthelessIt appears to be an anti-competitive ploy. They now own a streaming service...
If that's the reason, then I think protecting the streaming service will most likely hurt the rest more than it helps.
Wait, what streaming service does Unity own/have, or is this all about future potential?


Last edited by iiari on 10 January 2019 at 7:23 pm UTC
CFWhitman 10 Jan, 2019
[quote=iiari]
Quoting: Nevertheless
Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: NeverthelessIt appears to be an anti-competitive ploy. They now own a streaming service...
If that's the reason, then I think protecting the streaming service will most likely hurt the rest more than it helps.
Wait, what streaming service does Unity own/have, or is this all about future potential?

According to the article, they bought the streaming part of Multiplay in 2017. (http://multiplaygameservers.com).
cprn 10 Jan, 2019
IANAL and I didn't read Unity EULA but AFAIK Unity isn't a service and can't be regulated with ToS where you need to accept the changes or stop using it. It's a product and as such it's distributed with a copy of a licence, said licence is acquired for a period of time or for a number of uses and unless it's revoked and then given again in different sounding its terms cannot just change. It seems bullshit when somebody says all games that are already on a streaming service have to stop being streamed because the game engine's licencing changed. They possibly can't update and keep streaming but that's about it.

Other than that, I fail to see how a signal from my GPU that's generated by someone else's software is a subject to their licencing whether I stream it into my own screen or over the network. Nor what kind of input I'm using, local or remote. A streaming service shouldn't even need to get in any kind of agreement with Unity devs just to render the game on their platform before streaming it to their end user, all they should need is one regular copy of the game bought from the developer. If Microsoft had claimed people cannot fax the financial reports they compute in Excel because the recipient party didn't had to buy the Excel's licence from Microsoft to open them, or that users cannot run multiple copies of Excel on their machine in parallel, nobody would think twice about how ridiculous it sounds.


Last edited by cprn on 10 January 2019 at 8:02 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP 10 Jan, 2019
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Quoting: GuestWhen unity stops being about unity
Have you heard of a company called Electronic Arts? ;)


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 10 January 2019 at 9:14 pm UTC
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