Epic Games is striking quickly as Unity attempts to calm the storm sparked by Improbable's blog post stating that games utilizing SpatialOS are breaching Unity's Terms of Service due to a recent change in language.
Despite Unity pointing out Improbable's statement about its ToS is false and clarifying that developers aren't in legal limbo, Epic Games swept in to capitalize. Shared on Twitter, Epic Games announced a collaboration with Improbable to provide developers with $25 million to transition away from Unity into "more open engines, services, and ecosystems."
Just based on the early titles revealed to be in production utilizing the SpatialOS platform, Epic Games may be making a smart move to align itself with Improbable at this stage. Outside of using the cloud-gaming platform, this could be seen as a beacon to studios and developers trying to figure out the best home for their projects in general, especially with funding being dangled out in front of them. The $25,000,000 will come from Unreal Dev Grants, Improbable, and money from the Epic Games Store.
On Improbable's end, the company is developing open Unreal Engine integration, which, combined with Unreal's full C++ source code, will allow devs to "rapidly build and deploy both session-based and persistent online worlds across all platforms with the functionality of Unreal Engine and the increased possibilities of distributed computing and cloud services." Here's an excerpt of Epic Games' statement on the official website:
Epic Games’ partnership with Improbable, and the integration of Improbable’s cloud-based development platform SpatialOS, is based on shared values, and a shared belief in how companies should work together to support mutual customers in a straightforward, no-surprises way.
We believe we are at the beginning of an unprecedented age of inclusive online games that become parts of our everyday lives. Enabling this will take much more than Epic or Improbable; it will take a vastly more mature, broad-based industry to enable this future: a community of companies connected by values such as fair and openly disclosed business terms, respect for developer choice, and full interoperability between platforms, software, and services. We encourage others with a similar vision to reach out, so we can find ways to make it come sooner.
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.
This rapid response from Epic Games could mean that the company was already chatting behind the scenes with Improbable about SpatialOS being paired with Unreal Engine, especially since Epic has regularly been revealing various deals that bring games exclusively to the Epic Games Store. We'll be keeping tabs on developments surrounding this fund, so stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.