Unity found itself in hot water last night, as SpatialOS developer Improbable put up a blog post saying that Unity had ended support for the tool, meaning games using cloud-based multiplayer services could be under threat. Now Unreal Engine developer Epic Games is turning up the heat on its competitor, announcing a $25 million fund to help disgruntled Unity developers transition to new engines.
The fund was announced in a joint blog post penned by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and Improbable CEO Herman Narula last night. It claims that changes to Unity’s terms of service has affected developers’ ability to choose their providers, and left some games in “legal limbo.” It goes on to say that the companies aim “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.”
Some of the funding will come from money earned by the Epic Games store. Other financial sources include Improbable developer assistance funds and Unreal Dev grants.
Since Improbable’s allegations last night, Unity have issued their own blog post dismissing the claims. They say that Improbable has known that it was in violation of Unity’s terms of service for more than a year, and that the engine’s representatives have never contacted developers about shutting down their games.
SpatialOS is the most public tool affected by the change, but there is some concern within the industry that more games could be hit further down the road. Although admittedly potentially biased, Sweeney tweeted saying that “you couldn’t operate Fortnite, PUBG, or Rocket League” under the new terms.
We’ve previously reached out to Unity for further information on the situation. We’ll update our stories when we hear more.