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Unity and Microsoft announce cloud partnership for game developers and beyond

August 8, 2022 in News | 9 min. read
Depiction of Unity and Microsoft logos
Depiction of Unity and Microsoft logos

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A few words from Marc Whitten

Today we are excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Microsoft Azure to bring our Create Solutions to the cloud and develop our cloud infrastructure to better meet your needs and to enhance your games and other experiences. Microsoft and Unity will also work together to make it easier to build and distribute your games on Windows and Xbox platforms.

We see many areas where we can partner with Microsoft Azure to build more cloud capabilities for you across our ecosystem of tools and services. We will use these capabilities to improve workflows, deliver new functionality, provide additional reliability and more global access options, and more.

We are dedicated to creating native capabilities that unlock our tools for more people than ever so that you can take advantage of the advanced compute, storage and reliability that the cloud offers. We believe that this cloud enablement will make it easy for creators around the world to collaborate seamlessly. It will also allow experiences that wouldn’t be possible if limited to just the local resources of either a creator’s machine or a user’s platform. There are already many cloud powered tools and services here at Unity. From Unity Game Services, Parsec, DevOps, Wētā Digital, Digital Twins and more. Many of our tools are also heavily used already in cloud workflows – from PIXYZ through Unity Headless Rendering. With this partnership, even more of our tools will move to cloud capable, enabling worldwide teams of all scales.

Below are just a few examples where we are excited to partner with Microsoft Azure to improve our tools and services for your use.

DevOps products such as Plastic SCM and Cloud Build can help facilitate rapid iteration cycles, enabling you to catch issues earlier and deliver higher-quality experiences as a result. We’ve been hard at work on expanding the capabilities of our turnkey DevOps services through the cloud. In addition to a revamped web experience, Cloud Build has had its repository limits increased from 25 GB to 40 GB and raised concurrency limits from six to eight. Plastic SCM has continued to improve the in-editor plugin and recently launched a brand new desktop UI. Through this partnership with Microsoft Azure, we’ll continue to scale these services to create an even more integrated creator ecosystem that can support larger and more complex projects.

We are also focused on making sure it's easy to access your content, stream that content, and find content wherever you are. Parsec is already available on Azure VMs and within the Azure Game Development VM, but there is much work still left to do to allow individuals and teams to work together regardless of location. We see a future world where you can access your project files quickly regardless of the PC where you’ve been editing.

Beyond games, many of the uses of RT3D in Digital Twins require access to models, point clouds, and other data that wouldn’t fit in even the highest end of local devices. We see a need to make it easy for everyone to create, share, visualize, manage and collaborate against rich digital twins through the cloud.

One of the biggest challenges that we must all work to solve as more games and experiences are built around full RT3D is the need for extraordinary content. Bringing our Wētā Digital and other art tools like Ziva to Microsoft Azure, so that we can democratize access to advanced machine learning and procedural creation tools for games, media and movies, and many other use cases is one of our most important cloud initiatives. 

And, for maximum reach and to enable greater success of your games, we will also be further supporting differentiating features across the Microsoft gaming ecosystem including Xbox console, PC as well as the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft is already a strong partner with Unity and together we share a commitment to making game and other creators successful. Keep reading to see what our friends at Microsoft said about the partnership in their blog earlier today.

Microsoft and Unity Partner to Empower Digital Creators, 3D Artists and Game Developers Everywhere Through the Power of Azure

Unity selects Azure as its cloud partner; Companies will work together to enable creators to reach their audiences on Xbox and PC

At Microsoft, we have a profound commitment to empowering creators. Throughout the history of Windows, we’ve nurtured developers and fostered their creative innovations. We do the same on our Xbox-branded platforms, supporting developers large and small in more than 90 countries around the world.  And our Azure cloud assures developers that they can unleash their imaginations and trust that their work is secure and scalable. Our commitment to creators is something we share with our longtime partner, Unity, a global leader in real-time 3D technology. We’re also committed to expanding the creation and distribution of 3D content, to bringing relevant tools and technologies to a wider range of developers, and to making it easier than ever to bring games to players.

That is why today, Unity has selected Azure as its cloud partner for building and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) experiences from the Unity engine.  In addition, we’re excited to work together to make it easier for game creators around the world to publish to Xbox consoles and PC so they can reach their communities.  

The magic of 3D interactive experiences born in games is quickly moving to non-gaming worlds. Unity is building a platform-agnostic, cloud-native solution that meets the wide-ranging needs of all developers from enterprise through citizen creators. By giving creators easy access to RT3D simulation tools and the ability to create digital twins of real-world places and objects, Unity is offering creators an easy path to production of RT3D assets, whether for games or non-gaming worlds. To support this evolution, creators require a technical infrastructure that is as dynamic and innovative as they are. Azure is that solution. Built for security and global scalability, Azure already supports some of the world’s largest games and is bringing those battle-tested learnings to power RT3D experiences for all industries. As the need for real-time simulation becomes central to every industry ranging from e-commerce to energy, manufacturing to medical, and more, Unity and Microsoft are building the creator cloud that empowers 3D artists to build and run those experiences on Azure.      

Our ambition to democratize development of games and game like experiences around the world and across industries depends on strong partnerships, particularly with game engines like Unity. The partnership between Microsoft and Unity will also enable Made with Unity game creators to more easily reach their players across Windows and Xbox devices and unlock new success opportunities. By engineering improved developer tools, leveraging the latest platform innovation from silicon to cloud, and simplifying the publishing experience, Unity creators will be able to realize their dreams by bringing their games to more gamers around the world.  

As 3D interactive experiences continue to evolve in both the gaming and non-gaming worlds, Microsoft and Unity are empowering a wave of new creators to define the digital worlds of tomorrow. It is their talent, creativity, and empathy that will not only transform the world but change it for the better.

August 8, 2022 in News | 9 min. read

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