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@GIBiz Not sure what's going on here. Plus, you can still implement @Improbableio as external middleware without its built-in Unity integration (which only makes it easier) - just like UE4.
@Improbableio The issue is that this is similar to the AWS licensing agreement for Lumberyard. But in the case of Amazon, it's justified seeing as they have AWS as a competing service to Azure & GoogleCompute and you can't use FREE Lumberyard with a competing cloud service.
@Improbableio I take that back. The full legal reading of the updated Section 2.4 is worse than I previously thought.

This is very bad.
@Improbableio I just don't see what Unity expects to gain here.

If I am reading this correctly, this 2.4 isn't just targeted at Improbable. It appears that if you are using Unity with AWS, Google Compute & similar, you're also now in violation.
@Improbableio This is the videogame industry where there are no coincidences. So I have to believe that something is amiss. Perhaps a yet-to-be-disclosed deal with Microsoft, Google or Amazon? Or even a paid license agreement with third-parties.

This HAS to be about money.

Change my mind.
@Improbableio There has to be something more going on here. There are dozens of Unity plugins which, as of this 2.4 update, are now in CLEAR violation of the Unity agreement - unless they get a waiver/permission from Unity.
@Improbableio I know most of the top ppl at Unity; and I have no reason to believe that anything nefarious is going on. This is just what happens when biz + creativity butt heads.

I mean, if it's just about money, they would flat out say so; as they've done in the past when changing biz model
@Improbableio I have to believe that for it to get this far that an innovative tech like this is basically out in the cold, tells me there's more going on behind the scenes. Hopefully they get it resolved and it ends up being an issue of SpatialOS being added to approved list.
@Improbableio I just got word that Lazarus (by Milk Studios) has now been taken offline until further notice.
@Improbableio For as long as I've been in the industry, and witnessed one fiasco after the next, this one takes the cake because it's dangerous.

Amazon could buy Unity tomorrow, make it free - and then stop devs from using a competing cloud platform. That's how bad this fiasco is.
@Improbableio LOL!! he's not wrong: "We’re waiting for someone in the West Coast to wake up and make some ransom demands, basically.”…
@Improbableio If @unity3d is going to stick with this, the least they could do is grant a waiver for games that are already in dev otherwise this is nothing short of a blatant shakedown that's sure to backfire.
@Improbableio @unity3d Remember, legally they can do what they want. You have the option of not using their software.

TIP: Switching to @UnrealEngine from Unity isn't trivial, but it's doable; and devs do it more often than you think. The UE4 learning curve is the largest barrier.
@Improbableio @unity3d The biggest problem right now isn't about whether or not you use the SpatialOS GDK for Unity and port your project from that to the SpatialOS SDK. It's that you can't use SpatialOS with Unity. Period.
@Improbableio @unity3d OK, it just got real. Word got to @TimSweeneyEpic

That sound you hear is a hundred phones at Unity offices ringing right about now; and dozens of people about to wake up to a real bad day, real quick.

@Improbableio @unity3d In this industry, very few will publicly opine on stuff like this because of tribalism, fear, and protecting that invisible ink paycheck; but even those who have no intentions of using SpatialOS, know this is a pretty bad move by Unity.
@Improbableio @unity3d I mentioned earlier that this Unity v Improbably spat was likely about money.

Here's the missing link.

Take a look at what Multiplay does, and how Unity makes money from it. Then see how Improbable threatens that revenue stream.
@Improbableio @unity3d Unity bought Multiplay back in 2017 for about $19M.…
@Improbableio @unity3d Improbable has posted an update about today's events.…
@Improbableio @unity3d For those following my thread, Unity has issued a statement/response…
@Improbableio @unity3d Hate to say I called it.

This was about money.

GCP, AWS, Azure et al, are all cloud platforms which don't do anything other than provide the platform.

Improbable goes well beyond that. Hence their custom Unity & UE4 GDK.

That explains the EULA violation now claimed by Unity.
@Improbableio @unity3d The "commercial" hint was there all along.

If you want to use software beyond its license, you have to pay for it. You can't license it to do A for less, then use it for A+B without a custom license|permission.

That's how custom licenses have always work.
@Improbableio @unity3d But here's the thing. These types of spats happen more often than are made public. You just never hear about them until things boil over, the attorneys get involved, then someone gets sued for looking the wrong way.
@Improbableio @unity3d As a dev, you SHOULD be concerned about something like this happening at all because imagine if this wasn't a company like Unity, and they simply didn't care about who was using SpatialOS? Screwed wouldn't even begin to express it, as evidenced by the panic and drama today.
@Improbableio @unity3d As a dev who goes back to the very beginning, I have worked with leading middleware companies & hardware manufacturers. Heck, I was smack in the middle of Creative Labs v Adlib wars. Then ATI v Matrox v 3Dfx v Intel (lol). The nVidia's Riva happened, and we lost our minds.
@Improbableio @unity3d And through all that time, unknown to pretty much the entire public, ALL of these manufacturers were courting us to support their hardware over competitors. Most of us rebels took the money & the goodies - then supported ALL parties anyway. The fights never went public.
@Improbableio @unity3d FF to modern day. When you see things like exclusives on one platform over another, or support for high-end features on one hardware, trust me when I tell you this, money ALWAYS changes hands in some form or another. It's never - ever - about the edge if there's no incentive.
@Improbableio @unity3d I segued into this because the point I am making is that this Unity v Improbable spat - make no mistake - IS about money. Neither side is going to say that; though Herman already gave it away this morning in his "shakedown" statement to Guardian, as well as their own blog.
@Improbableio @unity3d I just can't imagine ANY scenario whereby ANY company (not even Epic Games btw) would allow a third-party to create a custom solution which then competes with their business model.

wtf am I talking about? Strap in, it's good.
@Improbableio @unity3d Remember how I mentioned this morning that Unity bought Multiplay back in Q4/17 for about $19M? It was no fluke. It crossed my mind when I simply couldn't come up with ANY reason why Unity would all of a sudden see Improbable as anything BUT a middleware dev.
@Improbableio @unity3d Then another industry peer was chatting in my FB thread about the same thing. Then it all began to make sense.

Let me break it down as best I can.
@Improbableio @unity3d This is my Facebook post with my earlier breakdown.
@Improbableio @unity3d If you follow other industry people who were just as puzzled this morning when Improbable broke the news, then this response to @hartsman should make sense if you followed my thread this morning.

@Improbableio @unity3d @hartsman Unity bought Multplay around the end of Q4/17, though that deal was in works for the better part of that year.

Unity has spent the past 36 months, amid massive growth, trying to find ways to improve on investor returns. It's what companies do.
@Improbableio @unity3d @hartsman If you were part of the group expressing moral outrage back when they changed their license model and went "OMG!! WTF! THEY'RE CHARGING MORE! IT'S LOOT BOXES AGAIN!! THAT GUY FROM EA DID THIS!!" Congrats, you're a moron.

Corps exist to MAKE money. Unless they're a charity.
@Improbableio @unity3d @hartsman Unity doesn't publish games. They tried that, for all of 30 seconds, then someone though that it was better for them to focus on licensing. When you look back, you can easily see how they completely MISSED that opportunity to leverage their enormous growth.
@Improbableio @unity3d No way on this God's Earth is licensing a sustainable business model because us devs are cheap bastards. We'd use a license until it goes from 500 lines of code to 500 million, and we won't pay another dime if our lives depended on it, and if we can get away with it.
@Improbableio @unity3d You know why you don't have to pay crazy money for engine licenses anymore? We did that. Remember back when you couldn't even afford to license top tier engines without forking out millions? And you still had to pay yearly support licenses? Yup.
@Improbableio @unity3d How did we do that? We said "Screw this! We're going to build out own engine and tools". We kept doing that. Then we started either releasing them for free, or charging beer money for them. Heck, we had a MASSIVE repo of them which used to be hosted here:
@Improbableio @unity3d And everyone over at (before it went to shit) was either a rocket scientist or some guy pushing pixels in his underwear.

We were building tools and engines to power the games you were either playing or yelling at us for.
@Improbableio @unity3d Amid this beautiful chaos, Microsoft decided to coral all of the brightest minds and promised (first they lied, then they failed, then we loled) to give us tools to build great games for Windows. We were still laughing at that whole "Games For Linux" nonsense at the time.
@Improbableio @unity3d DirectX came around, we looked, we laughed, some of us we went back to pushing 3Dfx Glide under the bus to oblivion.

Years go buy, and all the top tier engines continued to be out of reach of all but the publishers who could afford them. We kept rolling out our own crap.
@Improbableio @unity3d Then, the cost of making games grew exponentially and it didn't keep up with the pace of development because most were either rolling their own engines or building custom solutions out of crapware.
@Improbableio @unity3d Seemingly out of nowhere came a scrappy company called Unity, led by a guy you never even heard of unless you were "connected" to the madness that is the gamedev scene.

Unity happened. And it changed EVERYTHING.
@Improbableio @unity3d I can literally draw a chart from where we are today, to the very day that the first Unity game was released and it will be clear and without argument, that THEY were responsible for YOU being able to use the likes of CryEngine, UE4 et all with NO upfront engine costs.
@Improbableio @unity3d When look back, you can easily call Unity "disruptive" (you know, that buzzword most use when they're looking to separate investors from their wallets).

But nobody did anything disruptive without someone LOSING money PAYING for it.
@Improbableio @unity3d And we're right back to Unity v Improbable.

Unity as a corp exists to make money. That whole engine licensing thing is a byproduct, not a focus. But feel free to think otherwise even as you ponder on how you're going to fund your "disruptive" game.
@Improbableio @unity3d The money machine that is Unity HAD no choice but to adapt to a changing gamedev industry because THEY created ALL the conditions that would have GUARANTEED their inevitable death if they didn't.

Devs like cheap stuff. We don't pay for shit if we don't have to. Like ever.
@Improbableio @unity3d If u think devs rejoicing over Epic Games entering the digital game store fray is about loyalty, boy, you have no clue how this biz works. It's about MONEY. It wouldn't have mattered if Epic was giving 29% royalty, there would have been Steam defections before ANYONE did the math
@Improbableio @unity3d So when Unity changed their licensing model, to the still very generous current model, you can see why some were still up in arms over it a few years back; forgetting that Unity had NO other way to improve on the engine, pay people WITHOUT a sustainable rev stream.
@Improbableio @unity3d You know how most of us with titles on mobile get to pay Apple $99 a year or your game goes offline - and nobody blinks? Even as Google doesn't charge anything? That's basically how Unity makes money; but somehow, there are still devs who complain about this. Seriously.
@Improbableio @unity3d So how else is Unity going to make money? Like Gamespot which bought Stardock's Impulse digital distribution service, then didn't know what to do with it, Unity basically missed a massive opportunity to create a license to print money by creating their own games distribution.
@Improbableio @unity3d Instead, they figured they would stick with selling cheap engine licenses to cheapskate devs like us collectively, while curating a store of plugins supporting the engine. The result: Steam for Unity plugins. It's an absolute mess and I doubt that anyone is making beer money.
@Improbableio @unity3d Somewhere along the line, after deciding not to enter the veritable cesspool of malcontent that is digital games distribution, Unity decided to do what it does: curate tech for Unity.

So in Q4/17 they closed on a deal to buy Multiplay from a group you never - ever - heard of.
@Improbableio @unity3d From my earlier image from FB post, here is the key takeaway that brought us where we are today.

This is what Multiplay does. Pay attention. There will be a quiz later.…
@Improbableio @unity3d This is what SpatialOS does
@Improbableio @unity3d So Unity, in a bid to build its business, buys Multiplay in Q4/17, even as Improbable was already making waves while raising Monopoly money to build disruptive technology to power the future of cloud hosted games in a distributed ecosystem.
@Improbableio @unity3d This spat between the two parties over the [alleged] breach of the EULA by Improbable has been a year in the making. That takes us back to 2018. Gee, that's like shortly after Unity buys Multiplay. Pretty sure that's just a coincidence though, right? I can't even stop laughing.
@Improbableio @unity3d Multiplay supports GCP (they are partnered with Google at the hips), AWS and I believe Azure (though they don't seem to be making noise about this). All it does is sits on top of those cloud platforms as a hosting service. The services do NOT need custom software to talk to Unity
@Improbableio @unity3d Believe me when I tell you this, Multiplay is a glorified hosting platform. There's absolutely NOTHING special about it. And I'm pretty sure the guys at Amazon built their AWS solutions for Lumberyard while on vacation.
@Improbableio @unity3d When you have a multiplayer game that requires dedicated servers, you're either rolling out hardware servers, or you're building a cloud solution. You could literally build a custom solution that runs on GCP, AWS, Azure - and HOPE it works, or you get a custom solution.
@Improbableio @unity3d If you get Unity cheap so you can focus on building your game, why would you not want to go the same route instead of wasting time building a custom server hosting solution - if you want to be in the cloud that is.

That's why Unity bought Multiplay.
@Improbableio @unity3d For all it's fancy buzzwords SpatialOS is a distributed platform for hosting game worlds. It's a custom but far more advanced solution than the barebones Multiplay platform.

As a result, it directly competes with Multiplay.
@Improbableio @unity3d Let me give you an example of what SpatialOS is designed to do.

Over five years, we built this for my Line Of Defense game. It's called Wide Span Global.…
@Improbableio @unity3d The idea behind WSG is that the game world is so large, that any attempts to run it without a distributed platform, is destined to fail.

Here's why:…
@Improbableio @unity3d What you're looking at is a massive game world split into 13 scenes (aka maps in pleb lingo). 4 space, 4 planets, 4 stations, 1 carrier.

I am not going to delve into the sizes, but you can read more about it here. But each planet scene is about 256 sq km…
@Improbableio @unity3d Remember how I said you could spend years and millions of Dollars rolling your own solution, or just license a custom solution? Like Unity did with gamedev engines, it's precisely what SpatialOS is looking to do. And it's as groundbreaking as it is innovative.
@Improbableio @unity3d LoD is designed in such a way that each of the 13 scenes can be hosted on either a separate hardware server or a cloud instance. And that architecture requires a cluster of no less than 4 very powerful machines to easily host a 13 scene game world. How do you scale that?
@Improbableio @unity3d A team looking to build a massive game could spent the better part of 4-5 years building a custom engine, while adding support for a distributed world structure - then the game fails because you spent money building an engine, not a game.
@Improbableio @unity3d And the concept of MMO games went out the window the minute technology and tools allowed us to "stitch" remote servers together to give the illusion of a cohesive world. All of a sudden, nobody has to bother with instances or multiple server accounts.
@Improbableio @unity3d But guess what? An MMO game these days is basically a session based game with a distributed backend. Games like Destiny, Fortnite, PUBG are doing just fine as session based games, while traditional MMO games are looking for the button marked "Innovation"
@Improbableio @unity3d In order to SpatialOS to do what it does, because it's not just a "hosting" platform like GCP, AWS, Azure etc, it needs tight integration with the host engine. As middleware there are several ways to provide that integration. But you need permission from the host engine maker.
@Improbableio @unity3d The SpatialOS Unity GDK requires a license from Unity. But the problem is that in order for them to do what they do, Unity is claiming that it's not permitted with the standard Unity license.

Makes sense to me.
@Improbableio @unity3d Epic Games doesn't care what SpatialOS UE4 GDK does. But then again, UE4 isn't really free because they do charge a tiered licensing fee if you release a commercial product.
@Improbableio @unity3d So with SpatialOS being a competitor of sorts to Multiplay, and them doing naughty things with Unity that a standard license doesn't permit, we go right back to what I said this morning. It's about money. If not that, then it's about allowing a competitor into your biz model.
@Improbableio @unity3d If SpatialOS really takes off, Unity doesn't make ANY money from it. Aside from the obvious threat to Multiplay - though it's not really competing on the same footing - this is something that ANY company would look closely at because a threat to your biz model is just that.
@Improbableio @unity3d Now that I think I've connected the dots, while using my game as a case study for why something like SpatialOS needs to exist, I hope that those taking sides have a better idea of why sometimes it's just business.
@Improbableio @unity3d While Unity can be used for practically any game you can think of, SpatialOS is a custom solution to a custom problem. Aside from the fact that anyone who has done the metrics & math can easily see that SpatialOS is cost prohibitive for most (esp larger games) games.
@Improbableio @unity3d I don't see how they're going to solve this spat without money changing hands. Improbable needs a custom license for them to do things that's perceived as them to competing (in some regard) with Unity, and which goes beyond just a standard middleware solution.
@Improbableio @unity3d To understand this better, and to put it in context. There are thousands of Unity plugins - all making money while extending Unity. SpatialOS isn't doing ANY of that or they would be sitting in the Unity asset store, doing their thing without hassles from Unity.
@Improbableio @unity3d I once wrote a blog about how, after spending thousands of Dollars licensing Havok, paying yearly support fees, we still needed to license a plethora of middleware to build a custom engine for LoD. It was crazy.…
@Improbableio @unity3d But even though we had access to the source, we weren't building a custom engine to compete with Havok (now owned by Microsoft who later deprecated the game engine) and to sell. We were building it to sell our game, while sticking with the EULA rights.
@Improbableio @unity3d I am familiar with the SpatialOS tech and short of them dropping Unity support completely, there is absolutely NO way for them to support that engine without Unity's permission via a custom license which is sure to cost them money.
@Improbableio @unity3d While it's great that Unity is allowing existing SpatialOS games to continue, I feel that it's a hollow and somewhat disingenuous gesture because without a license, Improbable will have NO way of supporting those developers going forward.
@Improbableio @unity3d I know all too well how that goes because it happened to us when Microsoft bought Havok and deprecated the base game engine (Trinigy which Havok had bought and re-branded), leaving the few licensees in the wind to contiue or port their games to a supported engine.
@Improbableio @unity3d If they haven't settled this over a span of a year, I don't see how they're going to settle it now, without some sort of paid (profiting share? per seat?) custom license agreement. Assuming Unity cares more about money than it does a threat to its biz model.

We'll see.
@Improbableio @unity3d Yeah, I'm literally shocked.

"The question, then, is why Improbable seems to have been targeted....The answer probably lies in the “partnership” that both Unity and Improbable elude they were in the process of reaching"…
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