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.