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Updated Terms of Service and commitment to being an open platform

, January 16, 2019

We’ve been building Unity for 15 years with the vision of creating an open and accessible tool to enable creators to build whatever you can dream of.

Over the last week there was much confusion, and untrue statements were raised which we refuted. But most importantly we listened to you, our community that felt that the End User License Agreement (EULA)/Terms of Service (TOS) was too restrictive.

When you make a game with Unity, you own the content and you should have the right to put it wherever you want. Our TOS didn’t reflect this principle – something that is not in line with who we are.

We believe the Unity Engine business model is the best way for developers to be successful. We charge a flat fee per-seat — not a royalty on all of your revenue. Building Unity takes a lot of resources, and we believe that partnerships make better services for developers and augment our business model — as opposed to charging developers to pay for Unity’s development through revenue share.

Our TOS update on December 5 was an attempt to define what our terms mean for the cloud and an opportunity to make our business model clearer. After listening to developers, we realized how this language came across, and how it would impact your ability to choose.

Overview of Today’s TOS Update

Today we have updated our Terms of Service, Section 2.4. The language is at the bottom of this post.

The TOS update highlights that developers can use any third party service that integrate into Unity.

Some of these services will be supported, others will not.

The distinction is that with a supported service, we understand the technology. We make sure the service and Unity work better together for developers. We also ensure that the supported service always runs well on the latest version of our software, so we can help future proof your project in Unity and ensure access to the latest tech.

Additionally we have created, and will continue to create, our own services. We will integrate our own services, but we will not block developers from using competitive third-party services.

Retroactive TOS changes

When you obtain a version of Unity, and don’t upgrade your project, we think you should be able to stick to that version of the TOS.

In practice, that is only possible if you have access to bug fixes. For this reason, we now allow users to continue to use the TOS for the same major (year-based) version number, including Long Term Stable (LTS) builds that you are using in your project.

Moving forward, we will host TOS changes on Github to give developers full transparency about what changes are happening, and when. The link is


Today’s change in our TOS means Improbable is no longer in breach by providing you a service, and that we are able to reinstate their licenses. But we do not consider them a partner, and cannot vouch for how their service works with Unity as we have no insight into their technology or how they run their business.

We know Improbable was in violation even before the December TOS update and misrepresented their affiliation with us. Although SpatialOS is not a supported third-party service, it can continue to be used for development and shipping games.

We are holding an AMA on r/Unity3d at 10 a.m. PST to discuss this TOS update in more detail.

Section 2.4  Working with Third Party Service Providers.

Unity developers are free to use any service offered to Unity developers (each, a “Third Party Service”).  Unity does not have any obligation to provide support for any Third Party Service provider or Third Party Service under this Agreement.

Third Party Service providers may not, without Unity’s express written permission: (1) use a stylized version of any Unity name, trademark, logos, images or product icons, or other Unity-owned graphic symbols; (2) use a product name confusingly similar to a Unity product or that could be construed by Unity developers as being a Unity product or service; or (3) create or use any marketing materials that suggest an affiliation with, or endorsement by, Unity.  All use of Unity’s trademarks must comply with Unity’s Trademark Guidelines.

61 replies on “Updated Terms of Service and commitment to being an open platform”

I’m glad that Unity once again turned its head on developers with this ToS change. Good job! I still wish for an additional royalty-based Tier with all the sources open.

This is a great response from Unity, in my opinion. It addresses what the community asked to be addressed.
As one who would have been directly effected by the shutdown of Improbables ability to support Unity users, I also feel the need to say I felt the actions taken against them were too harsh, without public warning, and with disregard to the knock-on effect it had on Unity’s own customers using their service. Should the voice of the community been quiet, many would have been left in a bad situation. Had Unity mentioned to its users that Improbable were, in their eyes, in breach of the ToS and may be forced to withdraw their access, the pressure from customers to rectify the situation would have been spread equally. I also feel the effort from Unity to rectify this directly with the third party prior didn’t equal the level of punishment administered, which came off as bullish.
That said i’m relieved to read the Unity ToS are back on track as being the great open platform, for all developers, we know it to be.

This is the type of response we have come to expect and respect from Unity. If their service is better let it win on merit not by icing out competition. It also shows thoughtfulness to the community at large that they took the time to clarify and ultimately decided that maximizing developer’s options only makes Unity that much more attractive as a platform. Well done.

Unity’s shite of an engine, always been and there’s no way it would ever recover eventually. Most features that UnrealEngine showcases as built in, are available in Unity as a plug in or asset to purchase that don’t go even closer to their UE’s counterparts. UE4 for the win. Unity is shit

From AMA: the evidence of violation is “we totally feel that way” (really). Out of respect for Improbable they won’t go into the details. And this video from Unity’s own channel, of Improbable explaining how they use Unity in the cloud for SpatialOS on a Unite event (but a year before they had the 500 millions so it wasn’t a violation then!) was brought up:

That’s why they wont answer the question of what exactly was Improbable’s violation. Unity says they aren’t partnered with or in contract with Improbable so there is no NDA or contract that’s keeping it a secret. Which means they wont say because it doesn’t have a leg to stand on and was merely a knee-jerk retaliatory reaction to a monetary dispute and they are not saying to not appear greedy and underhanded to their customer base.

Look at the outcome. If Improbable was actually in violation of something real then Unity would not have backed down and reversed their stance, but they did. So it’s quite clear that they were the guilty ones and now are scared to lose customers over it so they backpedaled while pretending to take the high ground.

Yeah. Plus they have an ex-EA CEO who made EA into most hated US company. He beat for-profit hospitals, gun making companies, etc. That’s talent. Since he left they dropped to 5th spot on most hated list.

EA always does shady greedy anti-consumer crap and claims it’s for benefit of the player: false marketing, downgrades, lootboxes, intrusive slow DRM that pirates break in 10 days top, shutting games down, shutting studios down, always online DRM in SimCity 2013, microtransactions.

Unity claimed banning Improbable was for the benefit of all users too. Same CEO = same tactics.

And the CTO is probably salty that he isn’t some hot stuff gaming celebrity like Todd Howard or Hideo Kojima and if you google his name you get people saying he is very toxic in the workplace too, like accusing others of his own mistakes.

I was following this story very closely from the begining and was very worried about the random tos changes and (seemingly) closing out competitors. However in the end i think actions speak louder than words and this proves to me that unity is still very pro-developer and given the company’s massive scale they are following their principles. Its too bad the Unity Technologies + Improbable story didn’t work out, i really shipped them together.
Thanks for caring about your community and developers!

Can we use unity Logo, when we do portfolio of our level design using the “Unity Editor” as our main tool? or any other Art work that has been rendered in unity to for Portfolio or personal art purposes? Would that violate term 2.4 ?

When you obtain a version of Unity, and don’t upgrade your project, we think you should be able to stick to that version of the TOS.

thats what I like to see, thanks for listening!
I can understand that there was a lot of confusion and untrue statements, but legal texts are always to take with a grain of salt. One little thing can have an insanely big impact.

Thank you for permitting SpatialOS. It’s really unfortunate that they didn’t find a way to work with you on a deeper integration, but it was worrisome to see their editor licenses being pulled for releasing something pretty similar to any old load balanced server ecosystem.

A great decision. My mind is at peace with Unity now for two things:
1- Unity ToS is not retroactively applied.
2- More freedom for developers to choose their 3rd-party cloud services.

This is everything I wanted the new TOS to be:
– We can use any service we want
– Service providers can use Unity even if they’re not “official” partners
– TOS will always be the one from the downloaded unity version

It’s perfect. Well done Unity

Thank you, the “Unity Software Additional Terms” on github are particularly clear, actionable, fair, and condusive to enthusiastic use.

Thanks Joachim! UNITY PROVES AGAIN they care and follow their principles! All of the trolls can just go away. I have been a fan all the way back since Goo Ball!

Asked this on AMA but didn’t get an answer:
Very glad to see the recent changes to ToS and you guys taking 3rd party use of your brand identity more seriously. Thank you for that. Having said that, how do you plan to enforce these changes? If a 3rd party claims to be a Unity partner, is there a way for a developer to quickly verify this claim? If a provider is found in breach, how long will it take for the hammer to come down? Will Unity communicate with devs to notify us of 3rd parties in breach, to protect us from signing on with services on false promises?

If you have reason to doubt a service provider, I would contact Unity to ask. A simple email pointing to where the company claims a partnership with Unity, and asking for confirmation should be fine. Either Unity says they are a partner or you helped Unity find a bad actor. This type of thing is standard business practice, and I can’t imagine Unity having any possible reason to require something different.

If you fail to do this, it does not cause you any extra liability. And such a company could be sued by you for damages caused by their false representation of being a Unity partner. But if you want extra assurance a specific technology is a good choice, it is totally fine to ask companies if an asserted partnership actually exists.

Are there any chances for a new tier, that would provide a royalty based approach with all of the engine sources open? Something like a UE4 model.

Yes, matter, if Unity not explain the reasons of the Improbable TOS violation then the more possible is that Improbable is rigth and Unity lie, and if Unity lie is very worrying.

CEO of unity replied in the AMA:

More precisely:
We feel they were in violation both on a technical level and with marketing. We asked them to certify to us in writing that they were not in violation. They did not provide this written certification. They then changed their implementation with a new GDK. We again asked them to certify this was not in violation of our TOS. We asked they do this in writing, and they did not. They also, in our view, used Unity trademarks / brand in their marketing materials and on their website in ways that suggested a partnership, that did not exist.

Wow, ok. So they basically started acting like a syndicate, and since Improbable didn’t do as told, they were corrected. Yep, very nice and clean indeed.
Nobody can really know what happened except those implicated, and this is all just a bunch of gossiping and BS, but you have to admit it all sounds pretty shady.

I am curious of the amount of damage Improbable has done to Unity, cause personally I didn’t care. I didn’t care about the article made by one company and I didn’t even care to read this blog, I just read the headline and the first paragraph. I am using Unity for 5 years now and I am still using it today, nothing changed for me.

Thanks Joachim and the Unity team, as expected you’ve gone beyond. But I would like to hear a public apology from Improbable because of their behaviour, which did damage Unity.

In addition we can see that one company listens to it’s users and another company prefers to panic it’s users with false information.

So I think it would be nice for Unity to have a proper “Unity supported partners” scheme where Unity proudly displays – and promotes to an extent – the partners that work with Unity.

Everything else is kind of wild west or Unicorn I guess, YMMV :)

Fantastic response. This dispels all of my fears about the future of Unity. Perhaps there’s even a way to do a ‘Nintendo Seal of Authenticity” for official 3rd party partners who are approved.

Amazing that after 15 years you still make business descisions for the betterment of your users. Thank you!

Thanks Joachim for all of this. Good to see you actually heard the forum discussion and did this. Huge amounts of respect and love

I’m just happy that Unity has sorted this issue. We all have our moments, and we learn to improve from experience.

Now, let us all just look forward to Unity 2019.1

Thank you Unity! You messed up with the Dec. 5 TOS, but you fixed it which I appreciate. And thanks for fixing TOS retroactivity, which was a problem before. Thank you for listening to your customers!

Thank you! I was really concerned with the previous ToS change, and also with what happened with Improbable / SpatialOS. We don’t *really* know what happened, but listening to both sides, it definitely looked like something bad happened that would also have a negative impact for Unity developers – at least if they would want to use SpatialOS for their projects.

This blog posting and the new section 2.4 clarifies that. No more concerns.

I’m just a little sad that with this new ToS, Game Streaming services (the kind where you play games running in the cloud) are no longer forbidden. Telcos will certainly use that to promote 5G, which is evil. I’m half joking with this, but only half-joking ;-)

Anyways, Kudos to everyone at UT who was involved with this – and now let’s all get back to work! :-)

Clear, Clean, Clever… Joachim, you made the right and best move with this blog post and TOS changes… Bring me faith that people can argue, listen and fix things…

Thanks for the update. This does look a lot better.
One thing comes to mind though..

“Third Party Service providers may not, without Unity’s express written permission: (1) use a stylized version of any Unity name, trademark, logos, images or product icons, or other Unity-owned graphic symbols;”

Does this mean they cannot even use the name to say “This works with Unity”? If not, a company can say “This service works with Unreal, Lumberyard, Xenko, Godot, and some other engine beginning with U”, which would seem to do Unity a disservice?

You can say “This works with Unity”. But you can’t use our logos or claim that you are a partner or supported by Unity.

And because it probably does result in less income for Unity despite 3rd party not being a partner, you can encourage more partnerships with a much more visible partners page / program because being a partner means you share Unity’s benefits including exposure to Unity’s customers.

I think this is fair for people willing to pay to be a part of Unity’s hard work.

Can we use unity Logo, when we do portfolio of our level design using the “Unity Editor” as our main tool? or any other Art work that has been rendered in unity to for Portfolio or personal art purposes? Would that violate term 2.4 ?

But, does this mean that, even while not using Unity’s logos and trademarks, they still can use parts of Unity editor and Unity runtime in order to provide some kind of services, without any permissions from Unity Technologies? Which is not good if they can.

A tremendous gesture and exactly the clarification this community needed. I truly thank UT for taking the high road on this. I am sure it comes at a cost but I hope it comes back to Unity in future business.

Strong message guys. Well done.

Sort of took this for granted, but it was shocking to see how many non-lawyer types had daggers for unity at the drop of a hat.

I am sure the same people will suddenely have reinstated love for unity. Anyway, life continues for the majority of developers.

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