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Epic, Improbable create $25 million fund to transition devs away from Unity

Oct 25, 2017
3,616
#51
I think most people still see Unity as the engine that made every 3$ "asset flip" games currently on the Steam store but not everything else it helped produced.
It's because of how accessible Unity is and if you have the free version you have to have users see the logo when it should be the other way around. You get asset flips from UE4 but they can hide it(the engine) better lol
 
Oct 25, 2017
711
#53
So, from what I can gather essentially a spat between unity and improbable threw every game being made using their tools into the shitter?

If they were gonna do this it would make sense to give the Devs advance notice aswell as improbable.
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
1,444
#54
Give me $25M and I'll happily switch to Unreal. For that matter, I'll even make the game exclusive to the Epic store! Our last game was only 270p but think of all the p's we could have with $25M. All the p's.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,616
#55
Give me $25M and I'll happily switch to Unreal. For that matter, I'll even make the game exclusive to the Epic store! Our last game was only 270p but think of all the p's we could have with $25M. All the p's.
Even if it's 2D, just somehow have it look like the default post processing applied like all those Nintendo fan projects
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,616
#56
So, from what I can gather essentially a spat between unity and improbable threw every game being made using their tools into the shitter?

If they were gonna do this it would make sense to give the Devs advance notice aswell as improbable.
Unity is allowing the devs to keep on working on the games, they don't need to switch off. Improbable should have notified the devs a year ago when Unity originally told them they were in violation of ToS (though after this Unity REALLY needs to redo their ToS)
 

MDSVeritas

Gameplay Programmer, Sony Santa Monica
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
227
#57
i mean, Improbable still disagrees with that. if it wasn't the case, they wouldn't have done this with epic. unless one of them is "lying."
Improbable's statements on the matter seem well reflected by this excerpt from their blog post: "Live games are now in legal limbo." Which seems to indicate concern but in vague/uncertain terms in regards to the legal rights of current developers. After all, they are speaking about policy that's being decided by Unity, not them. While it's definitely worth considering both claims, the company who is deciding this policy is Unity, and their official public statement on the matter denies any affect on already-ongoing development, which is mainly what I wanted to bring up as the Unity blog post is embedded deeper in the linked article anyway and some folks may not have seen it. It's always possible their statement doesn't line up with how that policy will be enacted going forward, but right now hearing it directly from them is the closest we've got to an official stance on the matter, and at least my perspective I feel like it would be a strange turnaround to so directly claim something publically and then reverse the stance on it, but I completely get where you're coming from in terms of it being a bit of a "this one said, that one said" situation.
 
Oct 25, 2017
711
#58
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Unity is allowing the devs to keep on working on the games, they don't need to switch off. Improbable should have notified the devs a year ago when Unity originally told them they were in violation of ToS (though after this Unity REALLY needs to redo their ToS)
Ah, ok. Thanks.
 

Dio

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,522
#60
Improbable's statements on the matter seem well reflected by this excerpt from their blog post: "Live games are now in legal limbo." Which seems to indicate concern but in vague/uncertain terms in regards to the legal rights of current developers. After all, they are speaking about policy that's being decided by Unity, not them. While it's definitely worth considering both claims, the company who is deciding this policy is Unity, and their official public statement on the matter denies any affect on already-ongoing development, which is mainly what I wanted to bring up as the Unity blog post is embedded deeper in the linked article anyway and some folks may not have seen it. It's always possible their statement doesn't line up with how that policy will be enacted going forward, but right now hearing it directly from them is the closest we've got to an official stance on the matter, and from my perspective I think it would be pretty shocking if they went from a statement directly denying a policy only to turn around then enact it.
been reading a bit more, and you're right. it's a strange situation. either Unity isn't reflecting what actually is their ToS, or improbable is being really coy(i mean, it feels like they were talking to epic when they did that first statement), and this was a bit of fear mongering. Risky move for Epic, somewhat, if Unity is being honest.
 
Oct 25, 2017
127
#61
As another thing to consider, Unity has an extremely large presence in the Serious Games and medical simulation community.

Unity is very easy to pickup and has no entry fee. As a result small teams hoping to make educational tools are very likely to pick it up.

I don't think this alone will stop Unity but if it ever happened to go away this would be extremely harmful to some very good causes. As far as I know there aren't any good game engines to fill the specific role Unity plays.

If I'm wrong in this, please let me know (this is not sarcastic, it'd be beneficial to me to learn of alternatives)
 
Oct 25, 2017
329
#62
but right now hearing it directly from them is the closest we've got to an official stance on the matter,
We do have an official stance on the matter. It's the text of the license.

Unity said:
2.4 Streaming and Cloud Gaming Restrictions.

You may not directly or indirectly distribute the Unity Software, including the runtime portion of the Unity Software (the “Unity Runtime”), or your Project Content (if it incorporates the Unity Runtime) by means of streaming or broadcasting so that any portion of the Unity Software is primarily executed on or simulated by the cloud or a remote server and transmitted over the Internet or other network to end user devices without a separate license or authorization from Unity. Without limiting the foregoing, you may not use a managed service running on cloud infrastructure (a “Managed Service”) or a specific integration of a binary add-on (for example, a plugin or SDK) or source code to be integrated in the Unity Software or Your Project Content incorporating the Unity Runtime (an “SDK Integration”) to install or execute the Unity Runtime on the cloud or a remote server, unless such use of the Managed Service or SDK Integration has been specifically authorized by Unity. Additionally, you may not integrate the Unity Runtime with a Managed Service or SDK Integration and offer that integration to third parties for the purpose of installing or using the Unity Runtime on the cloud or a remote server. For a list of Unity authorized streaming platforms, Managed Services and SDK Integrations, click here. This restriction does not prevent end users from remotely accessing your Project Content from an end user device that is running on another end user device. You may not use a third party to directly or indirectly distribute or make available, stream, broadcast (through simulation or otherwise) any portion of the Unity Software unless that third party is authorized by Unity to provide such services.
The runtime gets distributed with your game to end users.

As far as I know there aren't any good game engines to fill the specific role Unity plays.

If I'm wrong in this, please let me know )(this is not sarcastic, it'd be beneficial to me to learn of alternatives)
https://godotengine.org is probably the closest open source alternative.
 
Nov 16, 2017
164
#66
Yeah unity were not smart to give ammo to the competitor that literally has an unlimited cash supply. They need to be very careful in order to retain market share.

I believe that unity will still be around - there are some things it does which are a nightmare in UE4, but with all this PR UE4 is firmly locking itself in as the first & last one newcomers will bother to use.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,826
#69
I may not agree with quite a few recent decisions by Epic, but good on them here. Unity fucked up HARD, it's good to see someone doing something.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,616
#70
As another thing to consider, Unity has an extremely large presence in the Serious Games and medical simulation community.

Unity is very easy to pickup and has no entry fee. As a result small teams hoping to make educational tools are very likely to pick it up.

I don't think this alone will stop Unity but if it ever happened to go away this would be extremely harmful to some very good causes. As far as I know there aren't any good game engines to fill the specific role Unity plays.

If I'm wrong in this, please let me know )(this is not sarcastic, it'd be beneficial to me to learn of alternatives)
You would be 110% correct. I worked in R&D for University based projects in the medical field and for enterprise level VR apps for about 3 years, we never used UE4 because it just wasn't as easy to pick up and didn't do what we needed it to for these projects. I now work as a Unity dev for P&G, again developing enterprise applications that UE4 just can't do and isn't a good use case for.

Now this extends far out of just those fields, Unity is very scalable which gives it A LOT of advantages, but from browsing GAF/Reset for years I've learned at the end of the day it doesn't matter, if a hand full of people made asset flips that means the engine is shitty, but also at the same time don't know Cuphead or Hearthstone run on it.

Though again, with this Unity really REALLY needs to update that ToS to be much less vague.
 
Nov 16, 2017
164
#71
Just how much spare money does Epic have?
$3 billion last year - thats surplus cash after all expenses. They have no fucking clue what to spend it on. it's a dangerous amount of money to have because if you invest it in growth you can end up sinking. so they're smartly sitting on it, spending what is essentially a pittance, and waiting to see where the fortnite train takes them.

they can probably even write this off as a charitable donation and get a tax break from it - using that to offset bonuses paid out to employees.
 
Nov 16, 2017
164
#72
This really needs to go into the OP - giving away 25 million of a 3 billion cash reserve is the equivalent of someone who ears $50,000 a year giving away $400. Except they can claim tax breaks on that too.
This is not some altruistic act of charity, it's using spare change to fuck with a competitor.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,360
#73
Yeah unity were not smart to give ammo to the competitor that literally has an unlimited cash supply. They need to be very careful in order to retain market share.

I believe that unity will still be around - there are some things it does which are a nightmare in UE4, but with all this PR UE4 is firmly locking itself in as the first & last one newcomers will bother to use.
TIL enforcing your TOS is "not smart"

And by that logic, Epic must be the biggest dummies on the block given how they utterly destroyed Silicon Knights for their TOS violations.
 

GMM

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,861
#75
You're not going to get a good answer, most people still think Unity is in it's 4.X phase and haven't seen the 2017/2018 suite of changes which were all super good (and REALLY good for consoles)
Yup, I have been using it since the 3.x.x days and it has changed in incredible ways since then, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Unity will be a fantastic tool in two or three years time when their new stuff has really matured and is truly production ready, but the way there seems really bumpy from my point of view as someone who has developed with the engine for a very long time now.

The big problem with Unity from my point of view is the legacy parts of it (or rather what is the production ready configuration of it right now) and how underdeveloped a lot of features are compared to the competition. The SRP initiative is great, but it breaks compatibility with all high quality third party post processing/rendering assets. The job system and burst is incredibly performant, but structurally the engine rarely allow for anything to be read or set outside the main thread. ECS seems like a great next step to optimize the memory impact and access to various components, but it’s still in very early days.

Tools like the post processing stack, timeline and cinemachine are really neat on paper, but everything about them is super simple when compared to the really incredible built in tools Unreal offers, the cinematic editor in Unreal legitimately feels like it was created by industry professionals at Adobe and not tech focused developers, the difference in tool quality is often shockingly big.

And that kinda ends my rant, I love working with Unity and I can create really cool optimized things with it, but I cannot help complaining about how slow the core toolset is evolving and how Unity Technologies as a company constantly tries to create services we can buy into when that development time should be spent elsewhere.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,017
#76
No. Unity is still better than Unreal Engine 4 for small indie devs in terms of ease of use. Epic is taking advantage of bad PR though, but I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference.
Agreed on the latter, not totally sold on the former.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,616
#78
Yup, I have been using it since the 3.x.x days and it has changed in incredible ways since then, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Unity will be a fantastic tool in two or three years time when their new stuff has really matured and is truly production ready, but the way there seems really bumpy from my point of view as someone who has developed with the engine for a very long time now.

The big problem with Unity from my point of view is the legacy parts of it (or rather what is the production ready configuration of it right now) and how underdeveloped a lot of features are compared to the competition. The SRP initiative is great, but it breaks compatibility with all high quality third party post processing/rendering assets. The job system and burst is incredibly performant, but structurally the engine rarely allow for anything to be read or set outside the main thread. ECS seems like a great next step to optimize the memory impact and access to various components, but it’s still in very early days.

Tools like the post processing stack, timeline and cinemachine are really neat on paper, but everything about them is super simple when compared to the really incredible built in tools Unreal offers, the cinematic editor in Unreal legitimately feels like it was created by industry professionals at Adobe and not tech focused developers, the difference in tool quality is often shockingly big.

And that kinda ends my rant, I love working with Unity and I can create really cool optimized things with it, but I cannot help complaining about how slow the core toolset is evolving and how Unity Technologies as a company constantly tries to create services we can buy into when that development time should be spent elsewhere.
Yeah no I will agree with you there fully. I use Unity for work and rapid prototyping (I can whip up a pretty good prototype in about a week) but if UE4 got C# support I would go Unity > UE4 > Release then for any future video game project I work on independently.
 
Dec 4, 2018
328
#79
Don't trust closed source software for your own projects. Use as little as possible and always make sure you retain the rights to your code and where to run it
 

MDSVeritas

Gameplay Programmer, Sony Santa Monica
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
227
#80
We do have an official stance on the matter. It's the text of the license.
That's completely true, by "official stance" I simply mean that in addition to TOS terms themselves the actual way Unity plans to enforce those terms or act within their rights is also relevant here. My original comment was purely in response to the notion that Unity will be taking action against all current SpatialOS Unity developers, which Unity is currently stating will not the case, regardless of their legal ability to do so.
 

GMM

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,861
#82
No. Unity is still better than Unreal Engine 4 for small indie devs in terms of ease of use. Epic is taking advantage of bad PR though, but I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference.
Unity is more approachable than Unreal for sure by virtue of being a blank canvas, but inherently better is certainly not a word I would use. For some projects the tools in Unreal absolutely shine and deliver a content pipeline that is much more efficient and easier to use than what you see in Unity, it all depends on the team at hand.

Yeah no I will agree with you there fully. I use Unity for work and rapid prototyping (I can whip up a pretty good prototype in about a week) but if UE4 got C# support I would go Unity > UE4 > Release then for any future video game project I work on independently.
Yeah, good C# support in unreal would be incredible, I love everything about Unreal except when it comes to programming C++ lol.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,616
#83
Yeah, good C# support in unreal would be incredible, I love everything about Unreal except when it comes to programming C++ lol.
There was mono-ue which was promising, maybe Epic throws another $25mil their way and make it official? hahaha
 
Oct 30, 2017
3,306
#85
well epic gets a cut of the profits if they use Unreal AND if they use their store. Its an investment not a hand out.
 
Nov 1, 2017
3,579
Eastern US
#86
This is on the same level as that Sony's "here is how you can trade/borrow games on PS4" video after Xbox One reveal. Except they turned around even quicker. I am not a fan of Epic or their store, but damn, they are on point.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,861
#89
been reading a bit more, and you're right. it's a strange situation. either Unity isn't reflecting what actually is their ToS, or improbable is being really coy(i mean, it feels like they were talking to epic when they did that first statement), and this was a bit of fear mongering. Risky move for Epic, somewhat, if Unity is being honest.
Not risky at all for Epic. $25 million is chump change to them and they've given some devs an incentive to jump ship from their competitor at a time when their faith in them was shaken. Whether this TOS change ends up actually changing anything or not, it's probably scared some people in to second guessing using Unity for their next project and Epic is pouncing on that. At worst, they stick with Unity.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,126
#90
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
242
#92
Takeaway for me- Improbable is sketchy as hell. $25 million is nice but seeing as all Unity has done is nothing more than remove a license due to TOS violations without impacting anyone but the TOS violator, I'd say Improbable is coming out looking pretty bad. Improbable is the one throwing around accusations but Unity has been pretty mellow on the whole thing-

1) Revoke Improbable's Unity license
2) Publish blog post saying only Improbable is effected and not anyone using their service.

Whole lot of smoke coming from Improbable while Unity's developers remain completely unaffected.
 
Oct 27, 2017
214
Lost in all this talk about "devs are not affected" is that the engine/middleware developer can no longer develop the software. So no bug fixes, no improvements, nothing. So the devs that are running ongoing/unreleased/live games are definitely affected. They're just not getting hit with legal action.