Back in May, Unity CMO Clive Downie told Gamasutra how the company planned to launch its own job marketplace: Unity Connect.
Today, those plans came to fruition as the company announced at its Unite LA dev conference that an open beta of Unity Connect is now live. For now, it's meant to be a free service -- participants can create portfolios, ask for help on projects and pass resumes around. But devs should note what Unity envisions Connect might become: a new marketplace for game dev.
"This is a free service. But in time, we can imagine it where we get such a robust community that we can start to enter the world of almost like, microjobs," Downie recently told Gamasutra. "And create a new microjob economy for the millions of developers around the world using Unity to help each other in their projects."
Beyond resumes and friendly help, Downie sees Connect as a place where Unity devs might one day be able to charge an hourly rate to do work for fellow game makers -- or larger companies, who are also expected to use the service to recruit talent.
"[There's] going to be a place were pro recruiters can come into and directly offer jobs, pitch jobs, into the heart of the Unity community so that people could find the job that suits them in larger companies," says Downie.
This is slightly more grandiose than the job marketplace Downie pitched earlier this year, but it's well in line with Unity's ongoing efforts to more deeply involve itself with the job market that's grown up around its toolset.
After all, it was just at GDC in March that the company unveiled its paid developer certification program. Going forward, Downie takes pains to reiterate that Unity has no plans to try and make money off of its Connect marketplace -- for now.
"Right now, we're only interested in allowing people to use the tools as broadly as possible. Learn from that, learn from how our developers find their way through that Connect product," he says. "I think if there is any monetization that gets laid over it in the future, I think we'll look to kind of channel what we hear from our customers so we can be fair, and also kind of learn from existing sites and existing recruitment marketplaces."
Before we can move on, he jumps in again to reiterate the point. "I'll tell you what isn't going to happen: what isn't going to happen is we're going to go into open beta and then in about two weeks' time we're gonna go 'Thanks everyone for coming in, now we're going to start slapping monetization on this product and start charging for this product, start charging for something that is helping you.' That's not what's going to happen in the near future, and anytime we do do that, we'll think about it very seriously. If we do it."