Fortnite creator’s rival Unity to push Battle Royale features

Unity Software, which makes software for building video games and other digital simulations, focuses on refining tools for game developers to work on multiplayer features, especially battle royale games. The company announced a new game server hosting service on Tuesday that will allow developers to scale up their titles without having to build their own cloud infrastructure. It also praised the release of a game matchmaking service it had tested, which allowed studios to use a new queuing system.

Unity’s competitor, Epic Games, developer of the battle royale hit “Fortnite”, also owns Unreal Engine, which is used by developers looking to develop first-person shooters and multiplayer titles. Unity’s new approach appears to be catching up with the popularity of battle royale titles such as “Fortnite” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG), both games with a robust player base.

“We are investing heavily in multiplayer game support because we see this as a trend in recent years,” Jeff Collins, Unity’s senior vice president of engineering, said in an interview with The Washington Post. Historically, the company had attracted small, indie makers.

Still, Collins said some of the world’s biggest battle royale games, such as “Apex Legends” and “Call of Duty: Warzone,” already use Unity’s multiplayer solutions, even though those titles aren’t built on the Unity engine. . He pointed to “Among Us” and “Valorant,” as well as examples of games that use Unity services to support a large player base. “Call of Duty: Mobile” is also built on the Unity platform.

Video game developers want honest online games. Some players really don’t.

The game server hosting service depends on Google Cloud and other infrastructure. The matchmaking feature was previously available to blockbuster studios in closed beta. It launches for everyone on September 20.

Unity also showed the potential of its engine by adding a sample battle royale game. The preview game demonstrates the capabilities of Unity’s software, including the capacity to support up to 80 players. If game studios want to expand this to 200 players, they should contact Unity and work with the company to obtain specific hardware to support this experience.

The company debuted on Wall Street in September 2020. In 2022, it reported a net loss of $204 million in the financial quarter ended June, up from a net loss of $148 million in the same period last year. Earlier this summer, Unity laid off some of their staff as a cost-cutting measure, as first reported by Kotaku. The company did not share dollar amounts of its investment in multiplayer game tools.

To shape its priorities, Unity surveyed about 1,500 gamers in the US, UK, South Korea and Japan, with findings published Tuesday in a report on multiplayer gaming. Collins said the report could help Unity’s game developer customers identify and focus on which features will appeal to gamers the most.

“When I’m a game developer, one of the hardest decisions to make is, ‘Are you going to invest in some kind of game mechanic in your game,’ because that’s going to say everything about whether your game is successful or not,” Collins said. .

The survey found that the battle royale genre was the most popular, while turn-based titles were the least. For Unity, this means that support for turn-based titles is not the priority.

“I can tell you that because of this, we don’t work as hard on them,” Collins said.

Epic Games believes the internet is broken. This is their blueprint to fix it.

When asked if it was too late to start supporting Battle Royale features for developers now, five years after “PUBG” and “Fortnite” took the world by storm, Collins said players would vote with their feet, and if the market is indeed oversaturated, they simply wouldn’t be drawn to new battle royale titles.

“Now, because of the strength of Battle Royale for so long, the rise of ‘Fortnite,’ it’s hard to predict a downturn in it,” Collins said. “Yeah, though, if I’m a new developer now, I’m probably thinking of a spin on some of these titles.”

One of the features Unity highlights in the report is that 31% of players consider in-game chat an important feature in their games. Unity acquired Massachusetts-based company Vivox in 2019 and added its voice and text chat capabilities to its developer software offering.

“Unity has been catching up with its multiplayer capabilities, an area where it has historically been lacking,” said Joost van Dreunen, a lecturer on the business of games at NYU Stern School of Business. “Unity certainly brings a wealth of expertise to developers, but that also means taking market share from rival Epic Games, which continues to dominate with ‘Fortnite.’ The announcement comes at a time when Unity could use a win as its share price has fallen to $37, down from more than $200 in December last year.

Leave a Comment