Developers end up getting host of free packages
Unity, the platform for 2D and 3D games development by Unity Technologies, has entered into a strategic partnership with Microsoft at the latter’s Build Conference, which now means Xbox One and Kinect support, and completely free support for Windows Phone and Windows games.
Writing on the new developments, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Helgason explained on his blog that game developers will now be able to port games, ads, training and educational apps, and any kind of Unity-authored content, to both the Windows Store Apps and Windows Phone platforms with a Unity Pro 4 license.
Because of the new tie-up with Microsoft, Unity will now be developing tools for the Xbox One entertainment system, including support for many next-generation features like enhanced Kinect gestures and recognition, multiplayer matchmaking, SmartGlass and cloud stuff. Also, developers who build games published by Microsoft Studios get the tools for both Xbox 360 and Xbox One free of charge.
Things have been chugging along quite well for Unity in the last few months. In March this year, it had announced support for Sony’s PlayStation 4. Then came another announcement that iOS and Android game developers could now build their wares on Unity free of charge, compared to the earlier compulsion of having to pay a hundreds of dollars for an add-on package for each platform. But these guys continue to offer pro versions of both Unity (US$1,500 for the Pro build) and the iOS/Android add-ons (US $1,500 per platform) for those who needed advanced functionality.
Unity Technologies claims it wants to “revolutionize” the gaming industry with its Unity platform. Developers can use the latter for cross-platform development, and for training simulations and medical and architectural visualizations, across mobile, web, desktop and console. The stated aim of Unity is to “democratize game development” and level the playing field for developers across the globe.
The new tie-up with Microsoft means that for Windows gamers, almost any game built on top of Unity can be ported to Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 with minimal effort. The developer no longer has to pay a cent on engine licensing to do it.
Earlier, it had released the Unity 4.1, a platform with Pro and Free features, and with support for Apple AirPlay. The latter allows iOS device users running version 4.3 or later to use AirPlay to stream content direct to their HDTV. They can also use AirPlay to convert their iPad or iPhone into a game controller – running and controlling the game from their iOS handheld device whilst watching the action on their TVs.