When Unity is mentioned, most people still think “indie games,” but the engine is looking to make moves, branching out into AAA games, SFX production, and more. Case in point, Unity has now announced a partnership with Microsoft that will make it easier for developers to get their games onto Xbox. Unity will also be exclusively using Microsoft’s Azure tech to power their real-time 3D building pipeline. Here’s a bit more detail on the new partnership…
"Our ambition to democratize development of games and game-like experiences around the world and across industries depends on strong partnerships, particularly with game engines like Unity. The partnership between Microsoft and Unity will also enable Made with Unity game creators to more easily reach their players across Windows and Xbox devices and unlock new success opportunities. By engineering improved developer tools, leveraging the latest platform innovation from silicon to cloud, and simplifying the publishing experience, Unity creators will be able to realize their dreams by bringing their games to more gamers around the world.
The magic of 3D interactive experiences born in games is quickly moving to non-gaming worlds. Unity is building a platform-agnostic, cloud-native solution that meets the wide-ranging needs of all developers from enterprise through citizen creators. By giving creators easy access to real-time 3D simulation tools and the ability to create digital twins of real-world places and objects, Unity is offering creators an easy path to production of RT3D assets, whether for games or non-gaming worlds. To support this evolution, creators require a technical infrastructure that is as dynamic and innovative as they are. Azure is that solution. Built for security and global scalability, Azure already supports some of the world’s largest games and is bringing those battle-tested learnings to power RT3D experiences for all industries."
Of course, Unity will still be supported on all major platforms, so this partnership probably won’t have a huge immediate effect on players. That said, could the partnership be the start of something more? Could more Unity devs start choosing Xbox over other platforms in the future? We shall see.
Unity has had some ups and downs in recent months. While they’ve announced big deals like this one with Microsoft and the purchase of LOTR FX studio Weta Digital, they’ve also been hit with layoffs and controversy when the company’s CEO called devs who don’t bake monetization into their designs “fucking idiots.”
What do you think the future holds for Unity? What might this Microsoft partnership lead to?