Rumor: The Unity Game Engine Could Be Up For Sale

Unity, one of the most popular game engines on the planet right now due to it’s versatility and forgiving price point, may be in the market soon.

According to a report from CNET, Unity has been in talks with numerous buyers, including Google, to sell the popular engine. Unity has exploded recently, in large part due to the ease of which the engine can be used on multiple platforms, specifically mobile devices. Unity has been featured in a huge number of mobile games recently, and while its not clear how a potential buyout could affect that moving forward, its clear that, in the hands of the wrong company, this could put a damper on mobile development. If the buyer plans to keep Unity as an open platform (for example, Nintendo has an agreement with Unity that makes it the default software development kit for the Wii U), any future games will join a long list of recent titles to utilize the engine, including:

  • Gone Home
  • Thomas Was Alone
  • Among the Sleep
  • Rust
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  • Monument Valley
  • Wasteland 2
  • The Forest

Although price specifics have not been disclosed, sources indicate that the asking price could be as high as $2 billion. Depending on whether the company that buys it wants to continue licensing it, and whether or not they choose to retain the low pricing structure, could go a long way to determining the future of game development, particularly on the indie and mobile front. If Unity becomes a closed entity, I suspect Unreal Engine could see a boost in its use, something that has taken a hit since the rise of Unity. Current figures show around 3 million Unity licenses worldwide, with about half of all mobile games utilizing the engine. That is obviously a substantial number, and with the rising popularity of mobile development, this is an issue that bears watching. We will keep you updated on the story as new details arise.