Unity: New gambling rules won't impact 99.9% of developers

CEO Helgason clears the air

Unity: New gambling rules won't impact 99.9% of developers
Unity CEO David Helgason has taken to the company's blog to respond to criticism about the firm's decision to target gambling games with an additional licensing agreement.

As broken on, the new end-user license agreement (EULA) for Unity 4.x specifically singles out games that feature gambling, with one developer claiming studios working on gambling games could have to pay Unity "six figure sums" to license the engine.

Helgason, however, claims that this is not a case of Unity looking to squeeze more cash out of certain developers.

Rather, the company is responding to the changing nature of the industry, better equipping the set up of its engine to deal with the rush of new real money gambling games.

License to thrill

"We learned that gambling companies were using Unity when they started calling us a while ago," says Helgason in the blog entry.

"We realised that Unity was extremely valuable to them – both because of all the obvious stuff like our tools and features being awesome, but also because we have an obsession with learning about our customers and engaging with them to help them further their goals.

"So we hired a small-but-stellar team and started working with some of the biggest companies in the space."

Helgason claims this team is designed to protect Unity and its users from the "ensuing complexities" the gambling sector is likely to present.

As such, the change to the EULA requires developers working on gambling games to work with Unity directly to ensure everything is above board.

"The intent was clear enough to us, but it managed to create enough confusion that I realised that the wording wasn't clear," he adds.

No gamble

Helgason goes on to clarify gambling activities as "any gambling product or service offered in any market or application that is regulated by any local, state or national authority and requires a gambling license."

He also claims that the new agreement is "not meant to be about virtual currencies, as it previously could be construed as, and of course will not impact 99.9 percent of the developers using Unity."

"It will help us engage with those (relatively few but large) companies who are building regulated real money gambling apps with Unity," clarifies Helgason.

"Gambling is a very heavily regulated industry and the process of acquiring gambling license is generally long, arduous and expensive.

"In the long term this helps us build a sound business servicing these companies, which in turn makes it easier for us to invest heavily in Unity for all our customers and makes it easier to keep our game developer pricing low."

A matter of trust

Helgason claims this is also a two way street – there will be clear benefits for developers who sign the new gambling game agreement.

"The premium gambling product license and support packages we offer provide professional gambling developers the technology and assistance they need to create a successful and technologically superior product in a very competitive market," he adds.

"This highly regulated sector requires a high level of support, regardless of the size and experience of the company developing or producing the game."

It's important, Helgason concludes, for Unity to remain a "trusted technology provider", and the new agreement will help nail down that trust and "permit Unity to continue to invest in our product in a manner that contemplates the needs of this sector where we know we can provide a higher level of service and pretty advanced consultation."

You can expect even further clarification from Helgason in the coming week, when he takes to to answer our questions on the revised EULA.

[source: Unity]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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