The Unity 3 Interview
October 11, 2010 Page 5 of 7
When we're talking about commercial products, you'd say the bulk of your licensees are doing web content?
DH: Well, it's actually really tricky to talk about because the highest number of finished games is on iPhone, but that's of course because a "finished game" on the iPhone is defined; you've done it and put it in the App Store -- it's done. It's out there. On the web, it's much more soft launches and experimentation.
Also, things are getting more and more elaborate as it becomes more possible to be more elaborate.
DH: Yeah. When you have some huge products on the web -- I don't know if you've seen (it's not launched yet) the Big Point game, Battlestar Galactica. It's amazing, and it's Unity, of course. And then there's Marvel Super Hero Squad. They've only shown trailers; I don't know if you've seen those. It's absolutely amazing.
TH: While there are more titles released, the web is a little harder to track because all the time we get a quick email about "Oh, did you see this?" and it's related to some reality show in Brazil where there was a web game.
Things are just kind of bubbling up, and it's a bit harder to put your finger on how much web stuff is out there versus the App Store -- you can look in the one place, and all of our developers are very good about coming to this one thread on our forums.
DH: And then there's stuff that just never comes online. In Toyota stores around the world, they're putting up big displays with super high-res renderings of the cars, and you can change the colors and test drive them and stuff; that's Unity-based.
TH: Yeah. There was a big demo at Siggraph this year; Works Zebra is the company that did that, and they just announced all of these Scion dealers in Canada -- when you go to buy a new car and you want to customize it with these spoilers or these rims; it's an in-browser Unity app, but it's only at dealerships as part of the purchasing experience. It's on the web, but kind of more of an intranet, not internet.
It seems like things are rapidly evolving in terms of the potential uses of the platform. As much as you're evolving the platform, the potential uses are also evolving rapidly as well.
DH: Yeah. Definitely. I think one thing we've said a few times -- it's a bit hard to wrap your brain around, but that's why we have to say it many times, I think. If you look at the game industry as several different things -- of course, there's console development, there's web/social games, there's mobile games, and some other bits and pieces -- outside the game industry you have all kinds of sectors and areas that need to visualize stuff, and a few things turn up.
One is that game technology can kind of address all of this. It's powerful enough and simple enough to reach both ends. People are learning all of the time to do those things. One really interesting thing is that, at the core of this, it's kind of the same people because the same type of developers with the same skill sets are kind of working across all of those things. I think we're kind of getting close to maybe being able to say that we are getting established as a standard. We're a common language for those people. We're not the only thing, of course, but --
People who want to work in interactive 3D, essentially, as a broad way of saying it?
DH: Exactly. There's a real strength to having a sort of established standard or at least a common language for all of those people because then you get the sharing and you get the wikis; for awhile there was one book, but now there's three books about Unity.
TH: Now there's three books with another one that's going to be coming out in about a month. The expansion of Unity use outside the games area -- we're seeing tons and tons of it. It started off with Zerofractal, a company based down in Colombia that were just doing architectural walkthroughs of condominiums and stuff like that. Now we're seeing apps like Visible Body as a medical visualization tool. This is doing something a little bit more.
DH: It's licensed as a professional tool for doctors and medical students.
How have things been going with installations of the web plug-in?
DH: Really well. We're pushing over two million a month now with 35-ish million out there. It's a big and a small number; obviously, it's a small number if you spread it out across the entire range of the whole world.
But there are a couple of things: One is that the success rate is really high, so 70 percent of the people who are getting the plug-in offered completely install it. That means that you're losing 30 percent of your potential users; but the 70 percent are getting an incredibly high-res experience, and the production cost is actually lower than trying to kind of shoehorn things into Flash. That's an important stat.
Another important stat is that really big media companies like Disney, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and then EA on the games side are buying into it. That shows that it's a really trusted experience now.
Page 5 of 7