EA revving up Unity engine

Megapublisher signs multiyear licensing deal with middleware provider for unified development tools on all major platforms.

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With Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 dominating the market, it's not often that another third-party middleware developer makes a headline. However, Unity Technologies has gained a big-time client to elevate its position in the middleware community, announcing this week that it has signed a multiyear licensing deal with Electronic Arts.

Tiger Woods Online was EA's first, but not last, Unity-powered game.

As part of the deal, EA will use Unity's development platform with an unspecified number of franchises, spanning multiple genres. Further, the deal allows EA's entire stable of studios to make use of Unity's full suite of tools, as they develop games on platforms that range from the Web browser to "consoles and beyond." According to EA, a primary reason for licensing Unity was its ability to quickly and easily convert content from one platform to another.

Though the ranging multiyear agreement is new, Unity and EA have actually been collaborating since 2008 on the Web browser based golf sim Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online. Launched in April 2010, Tiger Woods Online is a free-to-play, microtransaction supported installment in the long-running golf franchise. Developed by EA Tiburon, the online game launched with 10 golfing locales, including Pebble Beach Golf Links, TPC Sawgrass, and Sheshan Golf & CC.

Currently, the Unity platform is able to create content for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Web.

Discussion

29 comments
DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Awesome news for indies, Unity is an elegant and capable game engine. EA pushing the limits of the Unity engine, can only help.

smneufell
smneufell

id like to see more games using the geomod engine besides red faction. geomod + a racing game = awesome car damage realism. i havent seen 1 racing game even come close to realistic damage from hitting a wall head-on at 200mph. gta IV + mods on pc came closest for me. but yea. ea is sucking more and more.

organbank
organbank

Meh. Euphoria pwns all. EA sucks, its engines suck. Nothing new here, just a crappy publisher pushing out more crap using crappy engines.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

ugh they should stop looking for the holy grail of engines, it will lead to diminutive, homogonized games, they will end up not doing anything particularly well, instead doing everything to a lesser extent. I realize its a cost saving issue, to build custom game engines from the ground up... but you get exactly what you put into it.... the greatest games almost always had their own engines suited to exploit exactly what that game needed.

KlepticGrooves
KlepticGrooves

Worth seeing what the engine can do on demanding games.

runstalker
runstalker

F-14-D_TOMCAT Posted "they should have tried Crytek's Cryengine 3." EA has been publishing CryEngine-powered titles for several years, and will be the first major publisher to distribute a CryEngine 3 title (Crysis 2). They don't need to sign a massive engine licensing deal for CE3 when they're already partnering with Crytek, the true masters of the engine, on games.

F-14-D_TOMCAT
F-14-D_TOMCAT

they should have tried Crytek's Cryengine 3.

shred
shred

"Quantity is not better than quality, unless you're going for maximum profit and mediocre value." That pretty much sums up EA's strategy as of lately.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

One engine - multiple genres, no wonder there is no innovation and genres are being merged into one genre that no one wants!

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

"Not a single high profile game that's using Unity." @ChromeBallz To be fair, it appears they are targeting EA brand games that sell, not really anything groundbreaking. Back when unity was mac OSX only it was made for small developers, it was pretty easy to get into learning how to use the engine as oppose to learning something really low level programming like Torque. Now lately unity is appealing to big companies those companies want to stick with making more of the same old with a new engine they can modify from what is looking right now. "I don't see much good coming of this for the gamers, only for EA." @Jaga_Telesin While it isn't amazing to gamers who are undereducated on how a game is put together, to people who used the engine back in it's beta days it's amazing how much unity3D has grown over the past few years as well as indie developers support OTEE. "I LOVE UNITY3D!!! (Currently working on a retail quality game for iPhone/iPad as well as a game concept for Facebook.)" @ SteveTwo It's news to people who use the engine but the opposite to people who don't know what it is. I'm not here to convince people to use unity, I'm telling those people what this might mean to other unity users who bought the engine 5 years ago.

Jaga_Telesin
Jaga_Telesin

Quantity is not better than quality, unless you're going for maximum profit and mediocre value. Using the most portable development platform will mean reaching the most people, but not necessarily with the best engine features for each. I don't see much good coming of this for the gamers, only for EA.

ChromeBallz
ChromeBallz

Not a single high profile game that's using Unity. Risky deal.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Who cares. EA desperately needs to get that Euphoria physics engine for Madden that Backbreaker uses. The tackling and physics are pitiful EA! Total SLACKERS!!!

runstalker
runstalker

Super flexible engine suite designed for all platforms, ranging from iPad to Xbox 360. Supports any and all next-gen engine features, comparable to other modern engines being used in current AAA games. But especially flexible for browser-based titles.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@ChiefFreeman Ok, cause I was pretty sure it was a "generic" engine so to speak, just wasn't sure.

salad10203
salad10203

I havent seen this anywhere besides Tiger Woods, but it was a horrible looking game (for web based games its good i guess)

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

@StJimmy15 It was developed by EA themselves, and never received a name, but was just called the Dead Space engine. They were tinkering with the idea of licensing it a couple years ago.

SteveTwo
SteveTwo

I LOVE UNITY3D!!! (Currently working on a retail quality game for iPhone/iPad as well as a game concept for Facebook.)

mp5xm8
mp5xm8

@Boarwar skate and all the ea games were not made on the same engine, they just signed this deal thats why its NEWs

mp5xm8
mp5xm8

@Skwire yeah it is :D

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@ChiefFreeman what engine did that game use? cause that was an EA game...

Skwire
Skwire

I'm not sure but is it the same engine that was use in the Avert Fate game?

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

EA should license the Dead Space engine. It's awesome.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

Consoles and beyond? Alright Buzz Lightyear, lets see how this thing even holds up before we get excited..

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

So this is where OTEE got money to make a free version of Unity? They mentioned 1 year ago they got more funds to make a freeware version of unity. So if this is true in addtion to the amount of cash EA is giving OTEE, then that's amazing. I knew unity was going to be a good engine for macintosh game development but didn't know that many people wanted it to be milti platform.

USMC575
USMC575

i know CoD sucks now, but what will Respawn be able to do with thus engine? Also, DICE, please scrap Frostbite.

boarwar
boarwar

i knew it! Skate and alll EA games have the same engine, the same customization features, and basically the same rendering.....very poor and lazy put the development back into small studios, quit pumping out crap at cost