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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.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Game Dev, Misc, Unity
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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Purple Library Guy Jul 17, 2022
Quoting: twinsonian
Quoting: ljrkWell, 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIjv0f_2UuY

Seems unity employees don't agree with you. Also, the most recent CEO of unity came from EA. Video does a great job laying out what is going on with Unity.
Interesting video. The guy is clearly not making an effort to be neutral or dispassionate, mind you, so while the side he's on is a side I instinctively inhabit, I still want to apply a grain or so of salt.

That said, there are some interesting bits of info and background. Not directly relevant to the merger is the fact that apparently CEO Riccitiello promised everyone that there would be no layoffs, just two weeks before the very recent layoffs of hundreds of employees, and then when queried about it the company released a statement that was not just uberbland HRspeak, but almost went out of its way to avoid acknowledging the idea that the employees involved were people rather than "resources". OK, separate decision, but I think it shows decisively that Riccitiello is a massive lying piece of shit who should not be given the benefit of the doubt about anything he does.

Another little side note about the layoffs--the year before, CEO Riccitiello got a raise of 160% to 22 million bucks a year. I make his raise around 13.5 million. What do you figure the average salary of the people laid off? How many of them would his raise have paid for?


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 17 July 2022 at 5:02 pm UTC
ljrk Jul 18, 2022
Quoting: twinsonian
Quoting: ljrkWell, 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIjv0f_2UuY

Seems unity employees don't agree with you. Also, the most recent CEO of unity came from EA. Video does a great job laying out what is going on with Unity.

Uh... I don't see Unity devs disagreeing with my assertion there. I didn't say that Unity is currently a great place to be, on the contrary. But calling ironSource a malware company is bullshit, but also a claim that I have yet to see from a Unity developer.

What I do see is a video of someone narrating me text articles written by pcgamer or Kotaku, both websites not particularly well-known for being technologically well-versed. Which is indeed proven by things like "ironSource was behind a malware Snapchat installer". Which is simply not true in that form.

I could also say "Visual C++ is behind most Windows exploits because they're written in that language". Or "Microsoft developed the Windows GUI Toolkit used for many Virus software" -- yeah, well.

They developed an open source installer that could embed anything. The End.

Yes, people who can code and want to do malicious things can use this installer to rebundle existing software to distribute malware. That's... really not the kind of thing I'd blame the company providing the code for an installer for.

So much FUD. Which is especially frustrating because there's enough for reasonable concern about Unity. But *that* is not it.
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