Unity has reversed course on a Terms of Service (ToS) update which saw the company engage in a very public dispute with cloud technology company Improbable. Since the war of words between the two companies last week, Improbable's Unity license was reinstated and the Terms of Service updates now allow third-party software like Improbable's.
Last week cloud technology company Improbable posted a blog announcing that its proprietary SpatialOS cloud tech was no longer allowed on Unity. Furthermore, game developers who use both Unity and SpatialOS were at risk of losing their game engine. Improbable's cloud service makes it so that even small indie developers can leverage cloud technology to create massive online games. Unity-based games like Lazarus and Worlds Adrift used SpatialOS for that purpose.
Things got messy when Unity fired back with its own blog post disputing Improbable's account of the events. Unity claimed that no games were at risk of being kicked off of Unity, and that Improbable was warned previously that SpatialOS was violating Unity's ToS. Improbable then offered another blog post, this time calling for a way forward for the two companies. Unity rival Epic Games also jumped in and announced a $25 million fund to help developers switch engines.
Today Unity announced that after listening to users, Unity will allow third-party software to be used with Unity, including SpatialOS. Unity CEO John Riccitiello and CTO Joachim Ante also confirmed Unity's commitment to being an open platform, and expressed regret that the ToS update that banned Improbable didn't reflect those values of openness.
Now, the Unity-Improbable saga appears to be settled. But not before the dust-up between the two companies ended up creating so much confusion for indie devs worried about the future of their games, that it dragged in Epic Games too. (Epic Games is also currently shoring up a lot of press thanks to Fortnite and the Epic Games Store.)
Unity ends its new blog by saying that despite reinstating Improbable's Unity license, the company is not a partner. Unity writes that it "cannot vouch for how their service works... as we have no insight into their technology or how they run their business," which doesn't indicate a particularly warm reconciliation.