Unity blocks Improbable’s Spatial OS – all live and in development games affected

Improbable has informed us today that, due to a change in Unity’s terms of service, all titles using both Spatial OS and Unity are in breach of Unity’s terms. The problem came to light in discussions late last year, with Unity clarifying change to Improbable earlier this week.

That means live titles such World’s Adrift by Bossa Studios, along with in-development games including Klang’s Seed, will likely have to cease operation immediately or be in breach of contract with Unity. Though the title remains live for the time being Bossa Studios informed us.

Improbable has put out a detailed blog post discussing the change in Unity’s terms and how it’s looking to support its community of developers. And it’s not afraid to place the blame for the problem squarely upon Unity:

“Overnight, this is an action by Unity that has immediately done harm to projects across the industry including those of extremely vulnerable or small scale developers and damaged major projects in development over many years. Games that have been funded based on the promise of SpatialOS to deliver next-generation multiplayer are now endangered due to their choice of front end engine. Live games are now in legal limbo.”

The company is pursuing a quick and amicable solution to the problem, saying: “For now we believe this unfortunate and counterproductive action to be an error in judgement or coordination failure within Unity. We are urgently working to clarify this situation, and believe that a swift resolution may be possible.”

The company is offering a wide range of support options to all affected developers, setting up an emergency fund to assist those who may encounter financial difficulty. And while it hopes to resolve the issue by a change in Unity’s terms, it’s also looking to help resource a change of engine for those affected if it comes to that.

Daniel King, head of marketing, from Bossa Studios told us: "Bossa’s main priority is our players. Whatever is happening in the background is outside of our control, our focus is ensuring the players are looked after and their memorable experiences in the game are protected. For now, Worlds Adrift is operating as normal."

We await comment from Unity. 

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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