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Despite the Unity Engine not receiving as much acclaim as the Unreal Engine, it's still being heavily pursued by many developers as the choice design environment for both PC and console games. And given that Unity doesn't require the same sort of financial expenditure as Epic Games' highly favored but equally expensive high-end design engine, it means there's a higher rate of entry for developers to hop on board and churn out games for their desired platform.
The quest to become the champion engine of indie devs the world around has really paid off for Unity Technology, as the company has confirmed today that more than 2 million developers have become registered members of the Unity community; making use of the company's engine to build prototypes, tools, scenes, demos and games alike. This is actually up from the one million registered developers that were attached to Unity just a year before.
David Helgason, CEO and Co-founder, Unity Technologies commented about the very positive numbers for their design tool, stating...
“We are proud of this new milestone that we have reached for what it means to the vision to democratize the game industry,” “In 2005 we started out with a few hundred users and the goal of making game development accessible to everyone across an increasing array of platforms and devices. We continue to dream big and innovate for our developers. We can’t wait to shed more light on our new initiatives and plans at this year’s Unite conference in Vancouver.”
In addition to having tons of developers on board, the company has also seen more than 225 million installs of the Unity Web Player, a free tool used to play high-end games from the comfort of your browser, and also the tool powering Garry Newman's latest title called Rust.
Also, the Unity Asset Store has proven to be a pretty big hit, bringing the microtransaction monetary mechanism from the free-to-play realm and into the design and creativity arena. The asset store now features more than 8 thousand distinct asset packages and more than 350,000 active users.
For those who don't know: you can use the Unity Asset Store to purchase assets for your game, ranging from animations and model files, to props, weapons, environments and more. It's like a buy-what-you-need one-stop-shop for up and coming developers, as well as studios working on a tight budget. In fact, the Kickstarted game Wasteland 2 has made use of Unity's Asset Store to help fill up their game world and cut down on hiring in additional staff to make high-poly trash bags and bump-mapped debris.
The Unity Engine is really making waves and paving a way for smaller studios to get their voices heard and their ideas actualized without breaking the bank. The engine has been a choice venture for most Kickstarter's and the results have been favorable so far, including showcases for games like Shadowrun Returns and Project Eternity garnering a lot of positive feedback from the gaming community and the Kickstarter backers.
Heck, even Nintendo has jumped on board the indie love-train and has recently been handing out free Unity Pro licenses to registered Wii U developers, so expect a ton more games coming to the Big 'N's next-gen console within the next few years.
I'm unbelievably excited for the future of gaming and I'm glad we have studios out there who actually care about the structure and integrity of game design, insofar that it's not just about turning this beloved hobby into a money milking machine like a few other studios and design tools out there whose names I won't name.
You can learn more about the Unity Engine and how to become a registered developer by heading on over to the official Unity Technology website.