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As an update to the ongoing saga between Improbable and Unity in regards to SpatialOS, Epic Games have now jumped in to take advantage of it. To be clear, I don't consider myself biased in any way towards any game engine, especially as I am not a game developer.

As a quick overview of what happened:

- Improbable put out a blog post, claiming Unity overnight blocked SpatialOS and made Unity out to be a real bad company. Improbable then open source their Unity GDK.

- Unity made their own response, mentioning that they told Improbable a year ago about the issues. Let's be real here, revoking the Unity licenses of SpatialOS wouldn't have been a quickly-made decision. Unity have also mentioned repeatedly now about making their TOS (terms of service) a lot clearer.

- Epic Games and Improbable team up to help developers switch game engines.

To assist developers who are left in limbo by the new engine and service incompatibilities that were introduced today, Epic Games and Improbable are together establishing a US $25,000,000 combined fund to help developers transition to more open engines, services, and ecosystems.  This funding will come from a variety of sources including Unreal Dev Grants, Improbable developer assistance funds, and Epic Games store funding. 

See the full Epic Games blog post here.

I can't help this feeling that Improbable and Epic Games somehow planned this, it feels a little off. To secure a partnership with Epic for rather a lot of money and so quickly, feels like a pretty big PR stunt. Frankly, I feel bad for the folks at Unity as it seems like they've been played here.

Unity does have a lot of issues (especially often on Linux) but this whole situation feels like a made-up farce to make Unity out to be worse than it is. Their terms of service have been pretty poor though, Unity certainly aren't angels and haven't helped themselves.

Again though, this only highlights some of the dangers of using proprietary game engines for your projects. I don't consider myself a zealot in any way towards absolutely preferring open source game engines, especially when closed source alternatives can do a lot of things better, but it should be ringing some alarms bells for developers as a reminder of how they're not really in control.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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damag 12 January 2019 at 12:15 pm UTC
Quotefund to help developers transition to more open engines, services, and ecosystems.
That's kind of deceitful. Unreal Engine is "source available" proprietary software and Epic could change the terms any time they'd like, just like Unity did. Then again didn't Tim Sweeney also call MS Windows an open ecosystem and then start complaining when he realized it wasn't?
Nanobang 12 January 2019 at 1:29 pm UTC
I wish I understood more about developing. For now I'm just gonna hate the lot of them, call them all greedy, manipulating goo-balls of avarice, and go play SuperTuxKart.


Last edited by Nanobang at 12 January 2019 at 1:29 pm UTC
scaine 6 years 12 January 2019 at 2:50 pm UTC
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damag
Quotefund to help developers transition to more open engines, services, and ecosystems.
That's kind of deceitful. Unreal Engine is "source available" proprietary software and Epic could change the terms any time they'd like, just like Unity did. Then again didn't Tim Sweeney also call MS Windows an open ecosystem and then start complaining when he realized it wasn't?

Actually, he just redefined (in his head) what an "open system" is meant to mean. I try to be respectful, always, but I have no time for that guy.
mirv 12 January 2019 at 3:36 pm UTC
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Sweeny basically just cares for whatever fills Epic's coffers now. At least that's the impression I get. And that's fine, that's his job now, but it does mean his words are not technical anymore, and probably shouldn't listen to him as a developer.
At least that's my view of him, my impression.

But what's happened here: something is iffy. It has the smell of manufactured outrage for marketing purposes. The truly sad part is that it will probably work too. Just wouldn't trust Epic to be anything other than basically greedy anymore.
etonbears 12 January 2019 at 5:15 pm UTC
The IT industry has always been like this. Every participant looks to create a business model that favours themselves, while exploiting the work of others.

When you have a major change in the competitive landscape, such as SaaS, streaming to a thin client, you can expect companies to jockey for positions.

I doubt that many GOL readers will be thrilled with the idea that this is how games will be provided in future, but it almost certainly will be, at least for the companies creating AAA games.

There are upsides to this model:
- everything will be available for Linux.
- DRM becomes meaningless.
- you don't need to spend on constant hardware upgrades.

But, of course, the downside is you then need a subscription/pay as you go/freemium revenue model even for single player games.

It will be interesting to see if any of the big developers stay out of this particular rat-hole, but the frantic activity around developer Web properties, portals and stores suggests not.
mirv 12 January 2019 at 5:32 pm UTC
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etonbearsThe IT industry has always been like this. Every participant looks to create a business model that favours themselves, while exploiting the work of others.

When you have a major change in the competitive landscape, such as SaaS, streaming to a thin client, you can expect companies to jockey for positions.

I doubt that many GOL readers will be thrilled with the idea that this is how games will be provided in future, but it almost certainly will be, at least for the companies creating AAA games.

There are upsides to this model:
- everything will be available for Linux.
- DRM becomes meaningless.
- you don't need to spend on constant hardware upgrades.

But, of course, the downside is you then need a subscription/pay as you go/freemium revenue model even for single player games.

It will be interesting to see if any of the big developers stay out of this particular rat-hole, but the frantic activity around developer Web properties, portals and stores suggests not.

Streaming needs a semi-decent 'net connection too. Ruling out Australia.
salamanderrake 12 January 2019 at 10:40 pm UTC
ageresSo, Epic Games added SpatialOS to this list: https://twitter.com/flibitijibibo/status/1079575301485723648

Linux did it first. Like the 100s of distros didn't cause that issue, the difference between all of those platforms and Linux, is that they are stable and the developers know what they are working with. When we as a Linux community decide to stop factoring the Linux desktop then maybe developers would jump on the Linux bandwagon.

cRaZy-bisCuiTWhats the point? Unity fools their customers with their new licenses. Now someone takes advantage of that... What's the problem?

Maybe I just don't get it because my English sucks...!?

Thats exactly what happened, one company made a grave mistake, another will come in and swoop up as many devs as they can. Epic's actually really friendly with developers, and they would be the same with Linux developers if there were any. But there are none, there are individuals in companies who developer FOR Linux, but as Epic sees it, not ON Linux. I was hoping the community would get their heads out of their whiny asses and jump on the UE4 but everyone is still butt hurt over Unreal 3, and the engine isn't infected with the GPL license.
mirv 12 January 2019 at 11:20 pm UTC
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salamanderrake
ageresSo, Epic Games added SpatialOS to this list: https://twitter.com/flibitijibibo/status/1079575301485723648

Linux did it first. Like the 100s of distros didn't cause that issue, the difference between all of those platforms and Linux, is that they are stable and the developers know what they are working with. When we as a Linux community decide to stop factoring the Linux desktop then maybe developers would jump on the Linux bandwagon.

cRaZy-bisCuiTWhats the point? Unity fools their customers with their new licenses. Now someone takes advantage of that... What's the problem?

Maybe I just don't get it because my English sucks...!?

Thats exactly what happened, one company made a grave mistake, another will come in and swoop up as many devs as they can. Epic's actually really friendly with developers, and they would be the same with Linux developers if there were any. But there are none, there are individuals in companies who developer FOR Linux, but as Epic sees it, not ON Linux. I was hoping the community would get their heads out of their whiny asses and jump on the UE4 but everyone is still butt hurt over Unreal 3, and the engine isn't infected with the GPL license.

You don't to understand a couple of things about GNU/Linux. First, is that it's truly open, and no forcing one way on everyone. One way might end being used, but it's not forced - don't like it, pick another distro.
But, the second thing to understand is that despite all the distros, it's actually kind of simple to bundle a game to run on the vast, vast, majority...if not all of them.

You comment about there being no "Linux developers" is just trolling, I'll call it out for what it is, so please stop.
Purple Library Guy 13 January 2019 at 12:52 am UTC
x_wingBy the way, I don't think that an open source engine would have make any difference with the current license situation. From my point of view, even if Unity was open source they could have block the SpatialOS as they did with their license modification.
This is the kind of problem that accidental and deliberate blurring of what "open source" is (not to mention Free Software) lead to. Half the people on a Linux site don't know what it is or what it's for.

By definition, an open source engine could not have "the current license situation" because whether something is open source is determined by whether the license gives you rights that don't allow this kind of situation to happen. It's about freedom, not just being able to look at code.
Purple Library Guy 13 January 2019 at 1:02 am UTC
mirvYou don't to understand a couple of things about GNU/Linux. First, is that it's truly open, and no forcing one way on everyone. One way might end being used, but it's not forced - don't like it, pick another distro.
But, the second thing to understand is that despite all the distros, it's actually kind of simple to bundle a game to run on the vast, vast, majority...if not all of them.
When I think about games of all things having problems . . . you could bundle all the libraries you need that could remotely plausibly vary meaningfully between distros, and it wouldn't take up as much space as the file for one decent-sized cutscene. So what on earth is the big deal?
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