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Unity CEO reflects on the company's move to embrace mobile

Unity CEO reflects on the company's move to embrace mobile

May 9, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

"I want more power to premium games and storytelling games, games that are more culturally relevant than the hardcore-est of hardcore freemium titles. Apple and Google support that to some level, and I think they’ll support it more."
- Unity CEO David Helgason describes his vision for the future of mobile game development in an interview with GamesBeat.

As Unity continues to expand by
acquiring complimentary companies like Playnomics and bolstering its mobile game toolset through regular updates, it's worth taking a moment to read through the interview Unity CEO David Helgason conducted with VentureBeat during the recent Mobile Gaming USA conference.

The edited transcript of their conversation spans a wide variety of topics, among them Helgason's explanation of why the company is getting into the mobile game marketing and analytics business and how it came to be dominant in the indie and mobile game development markets almost by accident.

"The not-so-often-told story is we started out as indie developers. We were going to make our own games, but there was no tool like Unity out there, so we had to make it for ourselves," said Helgason. "Then we realized we weren’t great game developers."

According to Helgason, the fact that Crytek and Epic seem to have drastically revamped the pricing models of their engine licensing businesses in an effort to challenge Unity was unthinkable when he was starting the company.

"It’s so different, how we think about the world [now]. At some point we said, 'We’re going to be cheaper,' and then we said, 'We’re going to be cheap and free,'" said Helgason. "In 2009 the other guys went free as well, but they failed to get traction from that. They’re trying to revamp their offerings now, with subscription and the backend, and updated tools that are better than they used to be."

"Bizarrely enough, it’s not showing up in our numbers at all. Nobody actually left, it seems. Our numbers are just as stable as they’ve always been. But it’s interesting to see the industry being more competitive now than it used to be."

The full interview, in which Helgason goes into much greater detail on the origins of Unity, what he hopes to see from the Unity Asset Store and more, is worth reading over on VentureBeat.

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