In a move that is causing a small bit of Déjà vu, Blackberry and Unity released the following to the press today:
BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) and Unity Technologies today announced that they are working together to create a Unity deployment add-on product for BlackBerry® 10 smartphones, empowering Unity's over 1.5 million strong developer community to publish their games on these powerful platforms. The deployment tools will also be available for BlackBerry PlayBook™ tablets when they run the BlackBerry 10 OS.
BlackBerry 10 will now be one of the premiere mobile platforms supported by the market-leading Unity Engine. The deployment tool is currently in development by Unity Technologies and BlackBerry, and will be released as an add-on option for Unity.
"Unity developers have an extensive catalogue of incredible mobile games, many of which are award-winning. We're excited to offer Unity developers easy access to the new powerful and rich BlackBerry 10 platform," said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies. "We're eager to provide them with another exciting avenue to have their games devoured by an audience hungry for entertainment."
BlackBerry will also seed the Unity development community with BlackBerry 10 smartphones for testing to provide developers the best possible environment to create amazing games for the new platform. Unity and BlackBerry will hold developer meet up events in Europe and North America and will give qualified developer attendees Unity Pro and BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Details are coming soon, so stay tuned to BlackBerry Developers Blog.
"One of the driving forces for success for a mobile platform is a strong games offering. BlackBerry customers have already shown their hunger for mobile gaming, with games being one of the strongest categories on the BlackBerry World storefront and continuing to grow in popularity," said Alec Saunders, Vice President, Developer Relations and Ecosystems at BlackBerry. "We are thrilled to work with Unity and to propel the momentum we are seeing in games on BlackBerry even further. Soon Unity developers will be able to use this deployment tool to quickly and easily offer their games to BlackBerry customers."
A free beta version of the Unity add-on will be made available to a limited number of qualified developers in the spring. Unity is expecting the final release to be available in the summer of 2013.
Looks like a good opportunity to get your hands on some Blackberry hardware if you are already a Unity developer. Or you hands on Unity if you are a Blackberry developer.
Myself, I actually have a Playbook which is a pretty nice device and went to buy a Z10 for my wife today and they were basically sold out everywhere I checked… most places laughed and said they sold out in minutes. So, say what you will about Blackberry/RIM, they might actually be back in the game. The device itself is quite capable, with a dual core 1.5GHZ Snapdragon processor. Let’s not forget too that BB10 is actually QNX, a wickedly fast embedded OS that’s been in development for many years. On top, I have to cheer for RIM er… Blackberry, they are just down the road from me and full disclosure, I own some stock ( which I’ve really enjoyed the past few weeks ), but then, almost every Canadian owns a bit of RIM stock, directly or indirectly…
I will certainly say, Blackberry Developer support is certainly better, as is their focus on gaming, with the Gameplay library, involvement in a few open source game libraries, the portathon they held a few months back and now bringing Unity on board.
Now the déjà vu part… I SWEAR Playbook was already one of the supported platforms for Unity as part of UNITE.