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Epic, Improbable start fund to lure devs away from Unity amid engine kerfuffle

Epic, Improbable start fund to lure devs away from Unity amid engine kerfuffle

January 10, 2019 | By Kris Graft

In the wake of the bluster between online platform provider Improbable and engine maker Unity, another party has entered the fray.

Epic Games, purveyor of Unreal Engine and the biggest competitor to Unity, said Thursday night that it has partnered with Improbable to establish a $25 million fund to "assist developers who are left in limbo by the new engine and service incompatibilities that were introduced today."

In essence, that means Epic is offering to help pay for game developers to move away from its competitor Unity -- a calculated move that seeks to capitalize on Unity's public relations (and dev relations) blunder.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and Improbable CEO Herman Narula wrote that the fund is "to help developers transition to more open engines, services, and ecosystems. This funding will come from a variety of sources including Unreal Dev Grants, Improbable developer assistance funds, and Epic Games store funding."

Thursday morning, Improbable stated that Unity-based projects that use its multiplayer online platform SpatialOS were in breach of Unity’s freshly-updated licensing terms.

"Unity has clarified to us that this change effectively makes it a breach of terms to operate or create SpatialOS games using Unity, including in development and production games," Improbable said today.

Hours after Improbable’s statement, Unity responded by saying Improbable’s statement was misleading, stating that even though Unity is terminating its relationship with Improbable and SpatialOS, game developers who are currently developing SpatialOS games with Unity would "not be affected."

"Projects that are currently in production or live using SpatialOS are not affected by any actions we have taken with Improbable," Unity said.

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