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The mobile gaming behemoth
Unity Software Inc. (trade name Unity Technologies) is a video game software company based in San Francisco. The company is primarily known for developing and operating Unity, one of the most popular game engines used to create video games and other applications.
Endless possibilities with the Unity Platform
Via the Unity platform, users can create, run, and monetize two-dimensional, three-dimensional, virtual reality, and augmented reality video games and other simulations for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles and AR and VR devices. The platform is particularly popular for IOS and Android games, such as Pokémon Go, Monument Valley, Call of Duty: Mobile, Beat Saber and Cuphead. The platform is said to be beginner friendly and popular for indie game development. The game engine has also been adopted by several other industries, such as film, automotive, architecture, engineering, construction, and the US Army and Air force. The army uses the platform to create and deploy task management trainers, cultural awareness trainers, situational awareness trainers, virtual worlds, and medical trainers.
Other users worth mentioning include Bigpoint, Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, Disney, Electronic Arts, LEGO, Microsoft, NASA, Nickelodeon, Ubisoft, and Warner Bros.
Let's go back to Copenhagen
Unity was first founded as Over the Edge Entertainment in a small Copenhagen apartment in 2004 by David Helgason, Nicholas Francis, and Joachim Ante. The main idea was to develop games, and they first released the game GooBall, which failed commercially. However, the founders saw the potential in the tools they used developing the game, hence the shift of focus to creating an engine for other developers. The three founders complemented each other well and as Helgason was the more business oriented type and better with people, he took on the CEO title.
They had a desire to democratize game development and make developing interactive content more accessible. When Apple, in 2007 released the iPhone, Unity was one of the pioneers in fully supporting the platform. Back then, the games industry was mainly focused on console gaming, and when the iPhone and App store first saw the light of day, Unity supported mobile game developers.
Head to head with Epic Games
Epic Games and their game engine Unreal, is a similar solution to the one offered by Unity. Both engines have tools to produce AAA graphics and are compatible with most of the industry-standard software. Without these engines and their tool offering, game development wouldn’t look the same. While Unity is known for its large user base, the development support, and for making 2D and 3D simulations. The Unreal engine is, because of its beautiful graphics offering, primarily used for developing larger games.
An oligopolistic market structure has many benefits for companies that are part of the oligopoly. Monopolies and oligopolies are two market structures that, in the long run, often bring great profits to individual companies. Unity with their engine and Epic with their Unreal engine, today possess a large majority of the gaming engine sector, and have somewhat of an oligopoly.
In August 2020, Epic Games brought a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court, in which they alleged Apple for controlling markets, blocking competition, and stifling innovation. It all started with the 30 percent transaction fee on the App Store, and Unity even went as far as complaining about the size of Apple exceeding that of any prior tech monopolist in history. Apple largely won the lawsuit, and the judge declared that they were not acting as monopolists.
Famous Unity Built games
The list of games built using the Unity engine can be made long, but to name a few, you might recognize:
Escape from Tarkov
Risk of Rain 2
Tiger Woods PGA Tour
Dead Trigger Rust
Angry Birds Epic
Lara Croft Go
Super Mario Run
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
South Park: Phone Destroyer
Call of Duty: Mobile
All and all, the engine is very powerful and suits all kinds of developers and studios. With the horsepower of Unity, there are no limits on the sorts of creative visions that can be brought to life.