The serious business of making games


#157

That’s just one solution/ Company they banned. Not really anything to write home about from Unity’s perspective (although a big deal regarding the middleware developer).

It’s a ban to that specific middleware after they were in violation of an EULA.

This is the middleware’s company fault. They built a solution in violation of EULA and failed to comply for more than a year after notification. Note that the EULA requires an special license, it’s not a ban (PSNow and other streaming services are authorized).

Cloud based middleware offers affordable solutions for projects with limited budget, but it’s always scary to base the foundations of a project on a service you don’t own and can’t guarantee will work in the future.


#158

Whaddayaknow.


#159

Improbable isn’t some fly-by-night group, they’re a pretty significant up and coming developer. Unity shutting them out is a big deal, and I hope they didn’t take it lightly.


#160

I’ve talked to some of the guys at Improbable… They have some tech which seems very interesting on the surface, but some of it seemed kind of hand wavy. They’ve received a ton of venture capital, but I got a distinct music man vibe from some of their presentations.

I’m curious as to what part of Unity’s EULA they were in violation of, specifically. It’s kind of too bad, as one of the things we’d have integrated some of their stuff with would have been a unity simulation.


#161

So… uhh…

I thought the bump was talking about this?

Bungie has obtained the rights to continue making Destiny games outside of Activision. Glad they were able to break off. It sounds like the annualization of Destiny was the biggest problem they had with working with Activision.


#162

There’s a separate thread discussing the Bungie / Activision split.

This whole Unity / Improbable thing is extremely confusing. I think Rami Ismail put it best:

Unity’s response to Improbable makes complete sense, and Improbable appears to have been incorrect in their assessment, while also taking a private business matter public and misrepresenting it.

Meanwhile, Improbable’s response back to Unity is indeed “???”. They’re basically like “Sorry we were wrong, why don’t we all be friends??” while pivoting to a completely unrelated tangent.

The $25 million deal with Epic seems like a diversion away from the fact that they misrepresented Unity’s changes and caused a huge kerfuffle around it.


#163

Things that don’t make sense in Unity’s response:

  • Lying about this being a just clarification of the TOS. They inserted new language into the TOS that’s blatantly just for the purpose of shutting down Improbable.
  • Lying about how nobody currently using SpatialOS will be affected. The new TOS outright forbids running the game server on a “cloud or remote server”. Maybe Unity is not intending to do anything to those developers. But they’re still going to be in breach of the license. Also they’ve prevented any further development of the middleware, meaning these developers Unity is “not affecting” are now left dealing with a total lack of support for what seems like pretty core technology.

I agree that the ??? post is absolutely bizarre. But I don’t understand why we’d trust any communication from Unity.


#164

Oh, looks like Improbable just posted a more detailed timeline rather than that bizarre stream of consciousness crap:


#165

I find it hard to side with Improbable on this one, according to Unity,

Improbable had a year’s notice of being in violation of Unity’s TOS, they did nothing to fix it.

Simply put.
Unity had a TOS that was a bit soft in wording, soft enough that Improbable thought what they were doing was in compliance
Unity informed Improbable that they were, in fact, in violation of the TOS, and they need to make changes to be in compliace (1 year ago)
Improbable does not make any changes, as the TOS hasn’t changed, and they still believe they are in the right.
Unity changes the TOS to be worded more explicitly, and pulls the keys from Improbable because they were not in compliance, and they had a year to fix it (or make a deal) and they didn’t.

I feel like Improbable played chicken with Unity and lost, then acted like this was some big surprise.


#166

You bring up some good points, but I shall counter with: ???


#167

Manveer Heir, formerly of EA and Activision, had some interesting tweets over the last day. There is a lot there but here are some key tweets:







#168

Wasn’t that the lead dude on Mass Effect Andromeda?


#169

Yep, and he specifically talks about his experience in those tweets. He also talked extensively about his experience on a podcast episode at Waypoint last year:


#170

That game was so bad.


#171

Oh yeah, as a lover of RPGs and Mass Effect, I just couldn’t wade through the bugs and UI to finish it. Such a disappointment.



Do you hear that rumbling?

They are coming…


#172

The game was horse shit.


#173

Is there an obvious reason Unity should want to restrict this kind of thing? Does it let small devs effectively do an end run around Unity licensing costs by going through Improbable?

I really don’t understand enough about the business model and the implications to understand what this dispute is even about.


#174

God. I can imagine it now.

MEA team: We want to use UE4. We’re experts in Unreal and it’s a great engine.
Management: The corporate engine is Frostbite.
MEA team: Frostbite sucks. It doesn’t do X at all. Y is painfully slow, and Z is so buggy we’d rather reimplement it ourselves.
Management: We need you to help make it better than. Think about what’s best for EA.
MEA team: The Frostbite team won’t listen to us because the stuff we want them to do is boring and they’ve already overcommitted to doing impossible things that won’t help us but that will impress senior leadership. And even if they did listen to us they just don’t have the talent the unreal folks do.
Management: Look, criticizing other teams in the company is unprofessional. Everyone in this company is smart and capable.
MEA team: But this will set us back 6 months and its our reputations and jobs on the line if MEA fails.
Management: You’d better make it work then.

[Edited because Activision and EA are only interchangeable when talking about “evil” AAA publisher behemoths, not when talking about the actual companies]


#175

EA using more Frostbite is indeed probably for the best of Activision.


#176

From what I understand, the rumour mill is that unity want to get into the cloud services game themselves, and basically cut improbable out of the picture. Improbable has 170 employees and a ton of VC money, and I guess unity want to absorb that potential market, so step 1 is just to kill them off.

I’m no cheerleader for unity, but tbh the people who I think have fucked up are the likes of softbank who threw $500million to a company (improbable) who seem to be heavily dependent on the goodwill of a company that (to put it mildly) they do not have a good and sustainable long term partnership with.

Anyway, being an indie (INDEPENDENT!) dev, and relying on both improbable AND unity to not fuck you over and keep you in business seems… risky?