Things are getting a little weird over at Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Earlier this week, Amazon released AWS Lumberyard, a free game engine and GameLift, a game backend service, and naturally, AWS updated its Service Terms to accommodate the new products. Inside those terms, amongst some language about AWS’s Acceptable Use Policy, is a clause alluding to a zombie apocalypse. Don’t believe me? take a look for yourself:
57.10 Acceptable Use; Safety-Critical Systems. Your use of the Lumberyard Materials must comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat. However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.
So there you have it. Using AWS Lumberyard materials with “life-critical or safety critical systems” such as medical equipment or self-driving cars (here’s looking at you, Google) is strictly forbidden. Except in the event of a zombie apocalypse, of course.
My take? The folks at AWS know that they’re working with game developers, and consequently, gamers, and they’re having some fun with their audience in a way that may not fly with the traditional enterprise crowd. After all, zombies are having a bit of a cultural moment (if a moment can last a decade), and this post is clearly referencing popular games and TV-series such as Left 4 Dead and The Walking Dead (wherein the protagonists actually go to the CDC).
Should we be on the lookout for a vampire clause the next time AWS updates its instance pricing? I don’t think so, but maybe AWS should consider having a bit more fun with their enterprise customers as well. It could be a great way to differentiate itself from the competition.
(h/t Ian Hamilton for originally pointing out the terms in a tweet.)
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