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19. March 2019


Following on the heels of Google GDC reveal of the Stadia platform, both Unreal and Unity Technologies have announced their support for Stadia game development.  Stadia is a new server side platform for hosting and streaming games to any Chrome supported device.  Below are details from both game engine manufacturer. StaidaLogo


First the Unreal Engine announcement from their blog:

“We’ve been building our support for Stadia to ensure that developers using Unreal Engine can hit the ground running and be successful on the platform,” said Arciel Rekman, Senior Platform Engineer at Epic Games. “Today we’re releasing a fully-featured integration with Stadia to help developers bring their games to an even broader spectrum of players.”


Designed with cross-platform support in mind, Unreal Engine leverages Stadia features through familiar interfaces, resulting in an easy setup, with visual quality and workflows that are consistent across all target devices.

Thanks to Unreal Engine’s cross-platform capabilities, developers can iterate on their game code locally on their Windows PC for Stadia, a Linux and Vulkan-based platform, before deploying to the cloud.

While Unity announced the following:

One of our core missions is democratizing game development. That means enabling developers to build for the platforms of their choice with accessible tools and workflows that make the process of creating easier.

Though we still have technical and engineering work ahead to ensure Unity developers have a smooth experience building for Stadia, here’s what our community needs to know.

What can I expect in building Unity games for Stadia?

Developers familiar with Unity today can expect recognizable tools and a very similar development process when building for Stadia.

What unique Stadia or Google features will be supported by Unity?

We expect to support all native features unique to Stadia that are required to publish your game and make use of platform capabilities. Stay tuned for more details on feature support later this year.

With either platform, before you can start developing for Stadia you need to be a registered Stadia developer, you can apply here.   You need to have a Employer Tax ID if American, and an email with a custom domain address (ie, not Hotmail or Gmail).  Once registered with Stadia, you can then confirm your credentials with Unreal here, while Unity developers have no additional steps to perform.  The Unity Stadia SDK is expected to ship toward the end of 2019.

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19. March 2019


Today at their GDC 2019 keynote, Google announced Stadia, their upcoming “gaming platform”, a server based streaming game service that runs on any Chrome enabled device.  Powered by custom GPUs designed by AMD using Vulkan on the Linux OS and spread across the same networking powering the Google search engine, Stadia promises to bring 4K at 60FPS gaming to the masses, with future support for 8K and 120FPS promised.

Being entirely server side, Stadia offers a number of innovative features.  Combined with their newly announced Stadia Controller, you can play games across any Chrome device and seamlessly transition your game between devices.  Since all the work, client and server are done on Google’s servers, they claim this will make cheating virtually impossible, while being able to scale existing game play up to thousands of users over night.  It also offered unique features like Streaming multiple sessions to the same endpoint, enabling flawless couch co-op, or the ability to use multiple server side GPUs for a single game instance enabling advanced special effects.

Stadia is built on top of familiar developer tools:

Create icon

Unreal Engine

Epic Games' official support for Stadia means you’ll have access to the latest technology and features of the world’s most powerful creation engine.



Create icon

Unity

Unity is the world’s most widely used real-time 3D development platform, enabling developers to create rich, interactive experiences.



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Custom tools

A suite of debugging and tuning tools help you get the most out of our platform, from fine-tuning streaming performance to diagnosing GPU crashes

Industry tools


Current dev tools include Havok®, RenderDoc, Visual Studio, LLVM, AMD RadeonTM2 GPU Profiler, IncrediBuild, UmbraTM 3, FaceFX and Intelligent Music Systems, plus we’re constantly expanding to deliver a familiar development experience

For developers interested in getting started with Stadia, you can sign up at Stadia.dev.  For gamers interested in learning more visit Stadia.com for more details.  If you missed the GDC keynote, you can watch our condensed developer focused version in the video below.  We have done a similar treatment for the Unity keynote as well, available here.

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18. March 2019


Unity just wrapped up their GDC 2019 keynote and several new technology previews are now available.  A number of new technologies and downloads were announced during the keynote and they are listed below.  Some appear to still require registration to access, which hopefully is changed shortly or just a quirk of timing.


Game Foundation

A set of pre-built systems common to mobile games, need to apply for early access however.

AR Foundations

Preview access to the new AR (augmented reality) boilerplate projects, including HDRP assets converted to LWRP for use in testing AR titles, as well as AR Remote, allowing you to pull data from a devices camera into Unity editor.

Unity Burst Compiler

A key part of the Unity DOTS (Data-Oriented Technology Stack) will be part of Unity 2019.1, with a new version of the Burst compiler available now.

Unity MegaCity

Full assets of the MegaCity demo have been released today.  It’s a 7.1GB download, so start now before bed!

Unity Physics

In partnership with Havok, Unity have created a new physics system, with the Unity physics portion available now and the Havok system coming in Summer.  Although released today, I do not have a URL and will edit when I receive one.


All of the above URLs are those listed in the GDC keynote for the respective technology as “available today”.  If the URLs are not yet active, please try again shortly.  If the urls change I will edit the values shortly.  Watch the video below for a 12 minute version of the Unity 2019 GDC conference.

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4. March 2019


Unity just made the following tweet:

image


Essentially a vulnerability was detected in ALL versions of Unity for ALL versions of the Windows operating system, that enable a hacker to remotely run code by exploiting a security flaw in the Unity editor.  It DOES NOT affect games created with Unity and Mac and Linux users are unaffected.  Applying the patch may result in rebuilding asset bundles when you first open your project after the patch is applied.

The patch was released for all major versions after Unity 5.6, as well as a mitigation tool for people running versions of Unity before Unity 5.6.  Here are the download links for the patches and tools:

You can learn more details about the vulnerability and the corresponding patches/mitigation tool here.   If you are a Unity developer, I highly recommend you apply the patch immediately, especially as details of the exploit become more publically known.

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11. February 2019


Today the rumour mills heated up around a possible Unity IPO coming in early 2020.  An IPO, or Initial Public Offering, is the process by which a private company like Unity Technologies becomes a publically traded company, with stocks traded on a stock exchange.  From the site Cheddar:

Video game development platform Unity Technologies is gearing up to go public, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company, which was valued at a little more than $3 billion as of its last funding round in June 2018, is aiming to do its initial public offering during the first half of 2020 ー provided that market conditions are favorable, a source told Cheddar. CEO John Riccitiello told Cheddar in April of 2018 that the company was earning about $300 million in annual revenue.

A Unity spokesperson said it doesn't comment on IPO rumors or speculation.

In the end, this is just speculation of something that has already been all but confirmed.  From the same website back in April, 2018:

The company may also go public. "That's the general path," said Riccitiello. "We're not putting out dates but I do believe the company is strong enough financially to go public now."

He said the company has around $300 million in revenue and is seeing "very aggressive growth."

Even further back in VentureBeat:

GamesBeat: For the investors, is there a timetable now? Are they now the majority of the ownership?

Riccitiello: No, they’re not a majority yet. The majority of the company is still owned by the founders and the employees. I’ve told them that we’re not doing an IPO before 2019, and I don’t know if we’re going to do one in 2019. There are lots of reasons to continue to grow our business the way we’re doing it. What every investor says now, and it’s sort of a knee-jerk thing, is that they’re patient. Sequoia’s been in this for eight years. They all say that, I think, because they don’t want to not get chosen because they’re in a hurry to generate liquidity on an investment they haven’t even made yet. But that’s what they’ve all said. They’re in it for the long term.

At some point, Unity is Switzerland, right? We serve all platforms. We’re better as an independent company. The long-term outcome is likely an IPO. But for now we have adequate capital. We don’t need to do an IPO any time soon. We’ll pick the right time for it.


So, this rumour isn’t exactly new, nor shocking.  In fact it’s the natural end state for companies that take venture funding, as Unity have multiple times.  Investors either lose their investment, sell to another investor early on, or get a return on their investment in the form of either the sale of a company to a larger company or through a public stock offering via an IPO.  At the end of the day, Unity going public should have almost no major impact on Unity developers.  Now Unity being acquired by a large company… that’s a much different story!

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