Unity tools headed to Xbox One, free for games published by Microsoft Studios
Microsoft and Unity Technologies, the provider of Unity multiplatform game engine and developer tools, have announced a partnership that will make it "easier" for developers to bring games and apps to Microsoft platforms, including the Xbox One. Unity announced a similar agreement with Sony back in March.
The "strategic partnership" between the two means that developers who build games published by Microsoft Studios will have access to Unity tools for Xbox 360 and Xbox One free of charge. Additionally, Unity will work with Microsoft develop tools for the Xbox One, including features like multiplayer matchmaking, SmartGlass, Kinect gestures and recognition, and the power of the cloud.
“Unity has established itself not only as an incredible development toolset and engine, but as a significant force for creative freedom and innovation in the games development community," said Microsoft's Steven Guggenheimer. "With Unity’s commitment to support Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox One and Xbox 360, Microsoft’s gaming ecosystem will benefit from the wealth of ideas and imagination flowing from the Unity games development community.”
This announcement coupled with today's news that Microsoft has removed the fee required to submit certification patches should make the Xbox One more attractive to indie developers who have been skeptical of Microsoft's motives. While Microsoft still requires indie studios have a publisher, these new announcements could signal a change in policy towards indie games.