Unity celebrates fifth anniversary

Unity celebrates fifth anniversary
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

June 7th 2010 at 3:59PM

Web, mobile and console dev platform looks back at half-decade of innovation

Today Unity Technologies is celebrating five years since its birth at the 2005 Apple WWDC.

The popular tech firm, which courts some 170,000 developers, has been a bastion of the iPhone development community since the device emerged as a dominant gaming platform.

"We put very polished and productive tools ahead of bleeding edge engine technology, created a very simple, clean and approachable licensing model for the masses and made an early bet on web and mobile before it was clear they would be gaming devices," enthused David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies.

"In just five years since its introduction, Unity has gone from bedroom geekery to truly mainstream. We thrive on innovating and heavily reinvest in development to keep moving and growing at a radical pace so we can continue to raise the bar for innovation and continue to amaze our customers."

As the release of the Unity 3 development platform draws near, the company's web player has enjoyed an impressive 30 million installations. The company also tripled in size in 2009; the same year it made a free version of its main Unity Engine available. This year saw yet more success for Unity as it revealed its plug-ins for Google's Chrome.

"The team at Unity has been great to work with - they have a very similar philosophy to Google around empowering developers," confirmed Mark DeLoura, developer advocate, games at Google. "Unity recognizes that the wider the reach of their platform, the more valuable the technology is to game developers. It's valuable for independent developers who are trying to reach the largest audience possible with a tight budget, and it's valuable for large studios who are trying to keep down development costs so they can outshine their competition and produce the best big-budget blockbuster that they can."

Unity, which has established itself as a licensed middleware provider for the Wii, has built itself a reputation for providing tech for studios large and small, from bedroom coders to industry giants.

"I continue to believe that 3D content will be the next big event on the web," suggested David Gardner, London Venture Partners GP and one of Electronic Arts' first employees. "Unity is perfectly placed to make that a fast and easy experience for developers that will ultimately delight customers with a much higher fidelity experience.

 “The team at Unity has delivered a great platform which has now reached critical mass with the development community. It is battle tested with major brands successfully launching content via the internet. With new devices such as the iPad making it so easy to have a great visual experience, the demand for 3D content will skyrocket.”