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Dispute Between Unity and Improbable Over New Terms Intensifies; Epic Games Joins In

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Dispute Between Unity and Improbable Over New Terms Intensifies; Epic Games Joins In

Epic Games has joined in on the spat between game-engine developer Unity Technologies and Improbable, contributing to a $25 million fund to help developers transition to “more open engines.”

Earlier in the week, we covered a blog post from Improbable that explicitly states “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.” That same day, Joachim Ante (CTO of Unity) responded in a blog post of Unity’s own, saying the information Improbably has spread is “incorrect.”

“We terminated our relationship with Improbable due to a failed negotiation with them after they violated our Terms of Service. We’ve made it clear that anyone using SpatialOS will not be affected. Projects that are currently in production or live using SpatialOS are not affected by any actions we have taken with Improbable.”

Ante’s published statements directly contradict the information put out by Improbable just hours earlier.

A day later, Improbable responded with yet another blog post where they acknowledge, “Unity Games can stay live, but we cannot legally support them. Thankfully, Unity issued a public statement that legacy developers can still run their SpatialOS games. However, Unity has still not granted any kind of exception to Improbable.”

In the midst of this ongoing dispute, Epic Games has teamed with Improbable to establish $25 million in funding for developers who are eager to move off of the Unity platform. In a joint post to the Unreal Engine blog, Tim Sweeney (Epic Games CEO) and Herman Narula (Improbable CEO) write the following:

“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.”

Epic Games’ sudden involvement may add pressure for Unity to create clearer terms and reinstate Improbable’s license so that they can support SpatialOS games running on Unity. However, such actions have yet to be taken.

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