Our new licensing explained

May 2nd, 2019

Today we are happy to announce the roll out of our new licensing agreement! We've reached out to many of you, our dear customers, to better understand your licensing needs and have put considerable effort into improving it over the past few months.

Many of the improvements have to do with use of the Spine Runtimes. Below we explain the changes in simple terms.

Third-party product distribution

Many smaller studios do not directly sell to consumers. Instead, they sell or license their apps and games to third parties, such as publishers, who in turn distribute the products to end users.

Under our old agreement, this introduced some friction. If a product contained the Spine Runtimes, the third party had to obtain their own Spine license to distribute it.

Our new agreement removes this requirement. If a studio sells a product containing the Spine Runtimes to a third party, the third party can distribute it without their own Spine license, provided they do not modify the product or create new products with it.

Distribution after license expiration

Spine Enterprise is renewed annually, but some customers may not have a continuous need to use Spine due to production schedules or other reasons.

Under our old agreement, a Spine Enterprise customer needed to renew their license for as long as they distribute products containing the Spine Runtimes, even if they no longer need to use the Spine editor.

With our new agreement, you need a Spine license at the time the Spine Runtimes are integrated into a product, but after that you can keep distributing the product even if the Spine license expires.

SDKs and game toolkits

We felt our old agreement was not very clear about the implications of using an SDK or game toolkit that contains our Spine Runtimes.

Our new agreement specifically covers middleware that contains the Spine Runtimes, such as the fantastic pixi-spine or Yoyo Games' GameMaker Studio 2. If you use an SDK, game toolkit, or software library to create applications which contain the Spine Runtimes, you need your own Spine license.

If you are the author of middleware containing the Spine Runtimes, please inform your users of this license obligation. Note this requirement was in our old license agreement, but now it is stated more clearly.

Going forward

We hope these improvements will make it easier than ever to use Spine in your projects. Let us know what you think on the forum!