Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.

The Indie Game Developer Community & Unity3D

By - | Views: 14,558
So, some see Unity3D as one of the saviours of Linux gaming along with Steam. I, however, have been thinking more on this recently, and feel that it could be dangerous, not just for Linux, but for Indie developers in general to be so heavily reliant on one game engine.

It's great that we have such a popular game engine that supports building games for Linux, but what if this engine were to suddenly disappear? We would then have a lot of developers who would have no support, no updates, and be out of pocket.

In their FAQ they state you can get the source code, but it's expensive:
QuoteWe license Unity source code on a per-case and per-title basis via special arrangements made by our business development team. As this can be quite expensive, we do not generally license source code to smaller operations, educational institutions, nor to companies in countries which do not have adequate legal intellectual property protection.


So, you see "smaller operations" would be quite out of luck by this.

Imagine if a bigger company came along and purchased Unity and took them over, would they move to drop Linux support in favour of, say, focusing on mobile platforms? What would we do then?

This is a general problem with using any closed source product: if something happens to the company, or they just drop support for something you use, then it can be pretty much tough luck. Don't get me wrong though, so far Unity has been fantastic for the Linux gaming scene in pushing forward some great games to us, and there are tons more on their way right now.

This may not ever actually become a problem of course, so I ask you the community, what are your thoughts on so many developers now relying on Unity? Now would be a good time to share with us your favourite open source game engines! Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial
0 Likes
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
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.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
21 comments
Page: 1/3»
  Go to:

Aaron San Filippo 22 Oct, 2013
Developer of "Race The Sun" here. My thought is: Let's enjoy it while we can and not fret too much about the worst possible outcomes of the future. Unity Technologies has an immense amount of momentum, and they're not going anywhere soon. The engine provides a means for small developers like Flippfly, who have just one or two programmers, to ship a Linux build in a reasonable amount of time - without a tool like this, we frankly probably wouldn't ship a Linux build at all.
uppa lumpa 22 Oct, 2013
this only helps create an ecosysmtem whre there were none. after that who cares what unity does. something else will come along if there are people there
Anonymous 22 Oct, 2013
Quoting: Quote from uppa lumpathis only helps create an ecosysmtem whre there were none. after that who cares what unity does. something else will come along if there are people there

Indeed, we have Unigine, we have other engines too on Linux already.
Liam Dawe 22 Oct, 2013
Quoting: Quote from Anonymous
Quoting: Quote from uppa lumpathis only helps create an ecosysmtem whre there were none. after that who cares what unity does. something else will come along if there are people there

Indeed, we have Unigine, we have other engines too on Linux already.
How many people actually use Unigine? Last i checked, not many and it was very pricey.
Maokei 22 Oct, 2013
Microsoft XNA games got dropped by microsoft in favor for making devs use straight up D3D same thing could happen with Unity if the got taken up by some other organisation. Hopefully other game engines will come along or that Linux gaming grows due to valve and others efforts, to the extent that devs and publishers can't turn away from Linux!
Renzatic 22 Oct, 2013
With Source3 an inevitability, Cryengine getting a Linux port, Leadwerks looking like a decent alternative, and the UDK looking more and more likely, I don't think crossplatform development being tied to one engine will be much of an issue in the long term. Right now, Unity is the single go-to engine if you want to do a Linux port, no doubt. But with the way things are looking, this won't be the case for much longer.
mirv 22 Oct, 2013
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
While I don't see Unity3D going anywhere anytime soon, I do think it's valid point to be concerned with one engine being too dominant. A little more competition would see engines improve in features, performance, stability, and pricing.
Also, Unity3D doesn't have any editor support for Linux. That's something else that irks me a little, and is a reason I hope other engines and workflows (such as Leadwerks) gain a little traction.
Apopas 22 Oct, 2013
Unfortunately, the kickstarter campaign for bringing Torque3D to Linux, was a flop. The guys asked for just 30.000$ but they got only 10 and now we are left with just one guy to make the port during his free time and we lose Age of Decadence as well :(
Anonymous 22 Oct, 2013
Quoting: Quote from RenzaticWith Source3 an inevitability, Cryengine getting a Linux port, Leadwerks looking like a decent alternative, and the UDK looking more and more likely, I don't think crossplatform development being tied to one engine will be much of an issue in the long term. Right now, Unity is the single go-to engine if you want to do a Linux port, no doubt. But with the way things are looking, this won't be the case for much longer.
I agree, as Linux becomes more and more popular other engines will support it, with SteamOS we will have more options in the near future in my opinion.
berarma 22 Oct, 2013
And relying on Steam is better than that? There's others engines, I wouldn't worry a bit about Unity3D dropping GNU/Linux support. We wouldn't see so many games but it wouldn't be the end of anything.
That doesn't sound scary at all, if you want to sound scary tell us about Steam goodies. :-)
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.
Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Latest Forum Posts