A change in the Unity terms of service has thrown several video games using the SpatialOS cloud platform into jeopardy as it now violates Unity's terms for working with its engine.
Several games have already been affected by this new breach of contract according to SpatialOS developer Improbably. Sci-fi MMO Lazarus was shut down before coming back up, and Improbable says the move has "immediately done harm to projects across the industry, including those of extremely vulnerable of small-scale developers and damaged major projects in development over many years."
Bossa has been informed by Unity that Worlds Adrift should not be affected by the situation between Improbable and Unity. Thus, Worlds Adrift remains live as normal. As far as we know the two companies are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.— Worlds Adrift (@WorldsAdrift) January 10, 2019
There's no word as to how this situation came about in the first place, especially as Improbable said this change in the terms of service occurred during a time when Improbable and Unity were negotiating a closer relationship. Instead, Improbable was informed by Unity that the changes effectively make for an immediate breach of terms when using the Unity engine with SpatialOS.
Some games appear to be unaffected like Bossa Studios' Worlds Adrift. The developers announced that, "World Adrift should not be affected by the situation between Improbable and Unity." Also, as far as Bossa knows, Improbable and Unity are trying to work out a solution.
Improbable says as much in its own blog post. In the meantime, Improbable is offering at-risk developers harmed by these new developments access to an emergency fund, development support, and as a last resort, assistance with moving their games over to another engine.
SpatialOS is a cloud platform that offsets the costs of servers so that even small studios can create massive MMO worlds. Former BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn recently joined the company in 2018 to head up a new Improbable office in Canada.
We've reach out to Unity for a statement on the matter.