Unity Technologies

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Unity Technologies
Industry Computer software, Interactive entertainment
Headquarters San Francisco, California, USA[1]
Products Unity game engine
Services Unity Asset Store, Unity Ads, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Analytics, Unity Everyplay, Unity Multiplayer, Unity Performance Reporting[2]
Number of employees
500+ (2014)[3]
Website Official website

Unity Technologies is the developer of Unity, one of the most popular licensed game engines. It is used in a variety of 3D and 2D games such as Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Cities: Skylines, Endless Legend and Angry Birds 2.


Unity Technologies was founded in 2004 by David Helgason (CEO), Nicholas Francis (CCO), and Joachim Ante (CTO) in Copenhagen, Denmark after their first game, GooBall, failed to gain success. The three recognized the value in engine and tools development and set out to create an engine that any and all could use for an affordable price. Unity Technologies has received funding from the likes of Sequoia Capital, WestSummit Capital, and iGlobe Partners.[4]

The company's focus is to "democratize game development" and make development of 2D and 3D interactive content as accessible as possible to as many people around the world as possible.[4] In 2008, with the rise of the iPhone, Unity was one of the first engine developers to begin supporting the platform in full. Unity now supports 21 platforms, including Oculus Rift, PlayStation 4 and Linux.[5]

In April 2012, Unity reportedly had 1 million registered developers, 300,000 of which used Unity on a regular monthly basis.[6] In April 2015, the number of reported registered developers reached 4,5 million, with 1 million monthly active users.[7] 47% of all mobile game developers use Unity.[8]

On November 10, 2010, the Unity Asset Store launched as an online marketplace for Unity users to sell project assets (artwork, code systems, audio, etc.) to each other.[9] By April 2014, it had 600,000 registered users who downloaded about 500,000 assets per month. According to some estimates, this has saved game developers about $1 billion in the previous year.[10]

Unity acquired Applifier, a mobile service provider, in March 2014. Applifier's Everyplay, the game replay sharing and community service, became Unity Everyplay. The acquisition also meant that Applifier's mobile video ad network, GameAds, became Unity Ads. Unity CEO David Helgason pitched the acquisition as a part of the company's drive to deliver tools that can make the community more successful and arm developers with an authentic way to connect with passionate gamers.[11]

Two more acquisitions followed later in 2014: Playnomics, a data analysis platform for developers (now Unity Analytics), and Tsugi, who has been working on a continuous integration service, now known as Unity Cloud Build.[12][13]

In October 2014, Helgason announced in a blog post that he would be stepping down as CEO with John Riccitiello, EA's former CEO, replacing him. Helgason will remain in the company as Executive Vice President.[3][14]

Unity acquired SilkCloud, a Shanghai-based ecommerce developer, in August 2015. SilkCloud is working on infrastructure for Unity's web based services.[15]


In 2012, VentureBeat wrote: "Few companies have contributed as much to the flowing of independently produced games as Unity Technologies. The maker of a 3D-graphics game development platform, Unity 3D, got its start in Copenhagen, and now it is based in San Francisco. More than 1.3 million developers are using its tools to create gee-whiz graphics in their iOS, Android, console, PC, and web-based games. Nintendo’s new Wii U console will support games built with Unity, as will the upcoming Ouya Android-based game console. The pattern here? Unity wants to be the engine for multiplatform games, period."[16]

In a June 2015 interview, game designer Richard Garriott (Ultima, Ultima Online) said: "I actually think Unity has and the community around Unity has easily saved us around 30% in team size, total costs, and total time. All 3 of those things."[17]

Following the release of Unity 5, Unity Technologies drew criticism for the high volume of quickly produced games published on the Steam distribution platform by inexperienced developers.[18] CEO John Riccitiello said in an interview that he believes this to be a side effect of Unity's success in democratizing game development: “If I had my way, I’d like to see 50 million people using Unity – although I don’t think we’re going to get there any time soon. I’d like to see high school and college kids using it, people outside the core industry. I think it’s sad that most people are consumers of technology and not creators. The world’s a better place when people know how to create, not just consume, and that’s what we’re trying to promote."[19]


  1. ^ "Unity - Fast Facts". Unity Technologies. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Unity - Services". Unity Technologies. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Riccitiello, John (October 23, 2014). John Riccitiello sets out to identify the engine of growth for Unity Technologies (interview). VentureBeat. Interview with Dean Takahashi. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Unity Technologies Lands $12 Million in Series B Funding Led by WestSummit Capital and iGlobe Partners". 
  5. ^ "Unity - Multiplatform". Unity Technologies. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Unity Technologies marks one million developers for its game development tools". Polygon. 
  7. ^ "Unity - Company Facts". Unity Technologies. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Developer Economics Q3 2014: State of the Developer Nation". Vision Mobile. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Unite 2010: Tech outfit introduces in-engine marketplace". Develop Online. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  10. ^ "The billion-dollar game dev trading post". Polygon. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Unity to acquire Everyplay creator Applifier". Pocketgamer.biz. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Unity Technologies Bulks Up On Utilities With Acquisition Of Playnomics". Forbes.com. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Unity details new Cloud Build service; opens Unity Austin". Forbes.com. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "John Riccitiello is New Ceo at Unity". IGN. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "SilkCloud Update". SilkCloud. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Helgason, David (November 2, 2012). Game developers, start your Unity 3D engines. GamesBeat. Interview with Dean Takahashi (VentureBeat). Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Richard Garriott interview: Shroud of the Avatar, Unity and User Generated Content". 80 Level. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Unity - does indie gaming's biggest engine have an image problem?". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "The chaos of democracy". Develop Online. Retrieved 14 August 2015.