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Unity to 'merge' with ironSource with a buzzword salad press release

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Unity Technologies, the company behind ridiculously popular proprietary game engine Unity has announced a merger with another company called ironSource which is raising some eyebrows.

The first thing is that Unity has been acquiring a few other companies, but this time their wording is completely different with it being a "merger". Problem is, we don't know what that really means for Unity or game developers as their press release was one of the biggest jumbles of technobabble buzzwords I've ever read. With this coming not long after Unity just sent hundreds of their staff packing, it's likely not going to be received too well.

For those who don't know ironSource, they were behind a piece of software called installCore, an installer that bundled other apps with it. Basically, it was one of those horrible pieces of tech that looked like a proper official installer but it was pretty-much nasty adware / malware and ended up getting a poor reputation (as it was abused) and started getting blocked by Microsoft and others. It's no longer around but it does make the deal between Unity and ironSource look a bit odd. Don't take my word for it either, there's plenty of articles out there about how bad it was, a basic search for "installcore malware" and similar gives lots of details on it (#1, #2, #3).

I do wonder what this means for the future of Unity. If you're a game developer, maybe it's time to consider a free and open source kit like Godot Engine. Just a thought.

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Tags: Game Dev, Misc, Unity
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ljrk Jul 13, 2022
Well, ironSource built an opensource (!) SDK for installers... this isn't malicious at all. Many viruses used installShield or WinZIP to extract, this doesn't make either technology especially evil.

Further, they don't support this product anymore.

However they *do* focus more on ads which I find problematic indeed.
Imants Jul 13, 2022
I was thinking about ditching unity and I tried Godot Engine and after 40h of tinkering I returned to Unity. Mostly I did not like they're scripting language and they're C# integration is not as good as in Unity. Maybe I will check Godot 4 when it comes out but for now Godot 3 it is hard pass for me
Kimyrielle Jul 13, 2022
I looked at Unity back in the days when Godot was in its early infancy and not yet a serious contender. I can see why Unity became so popular, particular back at a time when it was more or less the only affordable professional game engine around.
But honestly, unless your project needs very advanced 3D features, Godot is probably going to do the trick these days and it's 100% free, no strings attached. Compared to Unity, Godot is super-lightweight and efficient, which is a big plus. And version 4 is around the corner, which will close a lot of the feature-gaps Godot admittedly still has. The scripting language is probably a matter of taste. For me personally? I am having a blast with it. If you have some experience with Python and don't mind that language, GDscript is pretty easy to get into.

These days, I guess Unity is popular because it's already popular and there is no shortage of people having experience with it. Other than that, I find it harder and harder to come up with reasons to use Unity over Godot. But that's just my opinion of course. :)
wytrabbit Jul 13, 2022
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Quoting: ljrkFurther, they don't support this product anymore.

I am skeptical that a company that chose to do what they did with installCore, has given up on being shady.
Purple Library Guy Jul 13, 2022
Quoting: wytrabbit
Quoting: ljrkFurther, they don't support this product anymore.

I am skeptical that a company that chose to do what they did with installCore, has given up on being shady.
All game developers are shady. They even have special code for it--I see them talking about "shaders" all the time.
damarrin Jul 13, 2022
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Is it possible Iron Source are so wealthy they’re actually buying Unity?

Edit: I’ve now read the press release a bit and clearly it’s supposedly the other way around. It’s evidently written by someone who is very happy ad-fuelled mobile gaming is where the wealth is.

Last edited by damarrin on 13 July 2022 at 6:39 pm UTC
Imants Jul 13, 2022
Quoting: KimyrielleIf you have some experience with Python and don't mind that language, GDscript is pretty easy to get into.
This is reason I hate they scripting language. I am very experienced with python :D and python has everything this language do not. Every time I write something in Godot script it feels like I am using striped version of python and that is so annoying to me that I can't use Godot script
akselmo Jul 13, 2022
Unfortunately we gamedevs cant just snap fingers and make game work in different engine. Many of us are vendor locked.

Engine switching in middle of a project comes with super high cost of time: Gotta relearn the engine, gotta rewrite code in some language I've never heard of or is just incompatible (No, you can't just copy paste unity C# to godot c#)... On top of losing access to many assets, which make the gamedev easier, especially for solo developers.

Godot has been long time on my radar, but for now one of my titles im working on has to be (very likely) finished under Unity. It's just what it is. Unless some kind of miracle happens and I can reuse all my unity assets in godot, I can rewrite the current code in record time etc..

(Something funny I've noticed, if the game doesn't explicitly mention it's made with Unity when booting up, people have no idea what the engine is. Nor they care.)

Anyhow, Godot is going to be engine for any future projects of mine.

Last edited by akselmo on 13 July 2022 at 7:31 pm UTC
Grogan Jul 13, 2022
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I just started buying Unity games again. I had been staying away from them for some years because games that updated their Unity engine (I think it was Unity 5) all started causing lockups for me, with game devs telling me to "upgrade my driver" (devs that don't really understand Linux... in other words, wave my magic wand and upgrade to non-existent kernel and mesa drivers).

It wasn't the games, it was the engine. Suddenly "Sir you are being hunted" (I still had a Windows install back then and that game did it there too... it was the first one I noticed), "Layers of Fear" (also tested on Windows with same lockups), and "The Signal from Tolva"... all Unity games had started doing this. I always thought it was a crappy game engine, but that cemented it. I certainly did have the latest "drivers" in the Windows installation I tested them on. It seemed more like a CPU threading issue anyway.

That problem has long since been fixed and Unity games have been OK. What now, the next time Unity games update their engine, ads are going to start showing, or some new rubbish they introduce becomes unstable for me?

Sigh... back to not buying Unity games. I simply can't trust that engine.

Last edited by Grogan on 13 July 2022 at 7:56 pm UTC
denyasis Jul 13, 2022
I read the release, is there really that big of a market of devs that want to put more ads in games? Cause they seem really into making that a possibility for devs.
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