Lumberyard: Amazon Prepares For Zombie Apocalypse In New Service Terms

With all the hype about a zombie apocalypse on TV and in the movies, you just can't be too careful. Amazon has added an unusual clause to the terms of service of their new game development software to prepare for just such an eventuality.

As the huge online retailer Amazon launches its first ever piece of development software, they made an unusual condition in their terms of service. They state that while the software is free for anyone to use, there are certain environments that should be avoided at all costs.

The new software is targeted at video game developers wishing to build titles for PCs, mobile phones, and consoles such as the PS4 or Xbox One. Titled Lumberyard, the software is on offer free of charge for a very good reason. It turns out the game engine offers support for Twitch, a game streaming service that Amazon owns.

According to Amazon, Lumberyard is in beta mode but is suitable for anyone, whether they are a major studio, indie developer, student, or hobbyist. The game engine provides a growing set of tools allowing anyone to create the highest-quality games and to connect those games to the vast compute and storage of the Amazon Web Services Cloud.

In their FAQ, they state "Lumberyard helps developers build beautiful worlds, make realistic characters, and create stunning real-time effects."

As reported by the Mirror, basically Amazon Lumberyard is offered free of charge, as any game developed using the software will fit in nicely with Amazon's existing services, making the online giant a nice tidy bit of cash.

To get down to the unusual clause in their terms of service, basically, the clause stipulates that the Lumberyard software cannot be included in safety-critical systems, such as military or medical programs unless there is a zombie apocalypse.

While Amazon doesn't use the exact words "zombie apocalypse," the wording of the clause obviously points to such a gruesome situation. In the AWS terms of service, you just need to scroll down to clause 57.10 to read their unusual rules.

First we get the Acceptable Use clause.

"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."
This all sounds pretty much official, legal and businesslike, but then comes the tongue-in-cheek term of service, which obviously points to the eventuality of a possible zombie apocalypse.
"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."
If you are one of us who has had to read the fine print one time too many, you have to agree its nice to have something funny hidden away among the legalese.

Of course, in the event of a real zombie apocalypse, it would be unlikely anyone would have time to develop new games. They'll be too busy just trying to survive just like in the hit AMC show The Walking Dead, which is coming back to TV screens on Sunday.

Learn more about the Amazon Lumberyard project in the video below.

[Photo via Flickr by Nathan Rupert/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]