For game developers, one of the biggest words to watch as the next generation of gaming kicks off in earnest is likely going to be one no one expected. The word of choice here? "Unity."
Not only is Unity itself making these moves, but there are signs that others, like Facebook, are also moving toward Unity, making both sides of the equation work toward the same end. First, Unity recently rolled out Unity Cloud, a set of online services designed to give mobile developers some help in some of the tough parts of game production, like getting people to show up and play the games, as well as letting people know about the games in question, and of course, the big one: getting money out of those gamers. That's a pretty good start, but that's not all that Unity's got in play. Unity's also got a publishing program in the works geared toward showing off some of the best stuff that's made with Unity. This is giving developers a lot more reason to turn to Unity when it comes to development, for reasons a lot greater than just access to a 3D game engine.
But even with all this, there's still more waiting in the wings, as there are signs that Facebook's making moves toward making Unity gaming a bigger part of Facebook's overall operations. With gaming companies like Zynga
and other developers falling out from Facebook in recent days, Facebook's been putting in a lot of time in a bid to adapt its systems more to the needs of developers. Unity is becoming a large part of that effort, as around 90 million Facebook users are now using the Unity plug-in for browsers, and that's up almost three fold from the same time last year.
Coupling these two points together reveals a very interesting whole. Basically, Unity is gaining ground, in no uncertain terms. It's making developing with Unity more attractive, and it's working hard to get more Unity-based games in front of potential users. That's pretty big, really. But throw in the extra Facebook presence along with the promotional efforts and that makes for a clear picture. Add in the developments with the Wii U from Nintendo and the moves toward independent gaming shown on Sony's PlayStation 4
Xbox One and the end result is what looks like a lot of business in the making for Unity, and for those who use Unity to develop games.
Unity's likely to be a big part of the gaming environment in the near future, though just how big it all will get remains to be seen. With that much effort and that kind of resources in play, though, I'd say it's going to be pretty big indeed.