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Unity turns mobile publisher, first games hitting iOS and Android this fall

Looking to pioneer 'developer friendly' approach

Unity turns mobile publisher, first games hitting iOS and Android this fall
Unity has announced it is to take its first steps into the world of mobile game publishing in a matter of months, with the firm's new venture, Unity Games, launching its first titles this autumn.

Unveiled at this year's Unite conference - currently being held in Vancouver - Unity CEO David Helgason said the move into mobile publishing was part and parcel of the firm's goal to help developers of all sizes "realise their wildest creative visions."

Interestingly, the company also hinted that its publishing venture may in the future branch beyond smartphones and tablets to games on other platforms supported by the engine.

'Mobile first'

Initial efforts will focus on "mobile first" releases, however, delivering a portfolio of games designed to target a wide range of consumers, with Unity looking to reflect the "breadth of genres and art styles employed by the Unity developer community."

Wrapped up in the publishing initiative – dubbed by the company as 'developer friendly' – will be help with production, marketing and technical support, as well as distribution.



The firm also said it will be looking to work closely with developers to provide "complementary services such as monetisation, testing, user acquisition and analytics."

The first game to be published under the Unity Games label (recently rebranded from the firm's similarly focused Union venture) will be iOS and Android release Freeride Ski Cross by Roadhouse Interactive, which charges gamers with coming out on top in a race down the slopes, either against the game's AI or times posted by friends.

Magic

Also signed up is an RPG from Black Tower Studios called Archangel, again for iOS and Android this autumn, which follows the adventures of a wing-clad warrior blessed with the power of magic.

"We've worked hard over the years to create a technological canvas that allows developers of all sizes to realise their wildest creative visions," said Helgason.

"Now, thanks to our unique combination of developer trust, technological leadership, newly announced Unity Cloud services, and strong relationships with key distribution partners, Unity Games is in an awesome and unique position to make a hugely positive impact on the lives of game developers."

Indeed, the aforementioned Unity Cloud was also unveiled at the event in Vancouver, with the company reacting to a customer survey carried out earlier this year that indicated developers were looking for Unity to help with player acquisition, promotion and monetisation.

Delivering a "suite of online services", Unity Cloud is currently in beta and, interestingly, appears designed to ensure developers who choose to shirk a publisher of any kind aren't left high and dry.

Importantly, Unity's David Hopper revealed during Unite's keynote in Vancouver that the firm has already signed up key partners, such as Glu Mobile and Kabam, amongst others.

Up in the clouds

In its early form, Unity Cloud will allow developers to run advertising – including full screen interstitials – within their titles, also opening the door to Unity developers exchanging installs with each other.

The company claims additional services and features will launch "in the near future".

"We're already working with many of the world's largest publishers and well known indie developers, and thus Unity Cloud represents millions of dollars of revenue flowing to Unity developers, which is something that makes everyone at the company very, very happy," added Helgason.

Developers looking to join the beta can find out more on Unity's website.

Likewise, more information on Unity's publishing venture – which already boasts 'partner studios' Spark Plug Games, Electric Eggplant, Mimimi Productions and N-Fusion Interactive – can also be found on Unity's website.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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