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UNITE to benefit the gaming community

UNITE to benefit the gaming community

Unity Technologies’ Marcos Sanchez tells IMpact about the future of the gaming world, and how Singapore can act as a hub for creators in a booming industry.


Marcos Sanches, Head of Global Communications at Unity Technologies. (Photo credit: Unity Technologies)

By Peter Yeo

Behind every game, there is a team of talented developers. And behind these developers are probably a range of tools and products from Unity Technologies. The firm’s development tools are used by gaming giants such as Blizzard and Rovio, and even small, independent developers to create, build and market their games. With Asia fast becoming one of Unity’s key markets, the San Francisco-based company celebrated its 10th anniversary this year by staging its technology conference Unite in Singapore for the first time. The event held in last month saw the coming together of game developers, publishers, gaming enthusiasts and more to discuss the latest in gaming trends and insights.

We spoke to Marcos Sanchez, Head of Global Communications at Unity Technologies, to uncover the future of gaming in this region.

Why did Unity choose Singapore as its location for Unite Southeast Asia 2016?

Both culturally and in terms of business, Singapore is a vibrant, modern, multicultural city. And over the past few years, the games industry has boomed, becoming one of the region’s fastest growing sectors. With both AAA studios and up-and-coming independent studios, there is a clear interest in developing original IP (intellectual property). With its central location and talented workforce, Singapore is perfectly situated as a hub to accelerate development to many other countries. As one of the largest platforms for development in the world, it’s important that we support and grow creators with dedicated content on their home turf, and with support of our relatively new local office, the time was right.

How has Unite grown as an event over the years, and how do you see it evolving in the future?

Unite has grown to be a global series. By the end of 2016, we will have held events in eight major locations including Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Europe (Amsterdam), Sao Paulo, Singapore, Melbourne and Los Angeles. As we continue to scale to serve more and different types of creators, we’ll aim to offer a wider variety of content catering different skill levels, from beginning to advanced, and growing new dedicated content for emerging platforms like virtual and augmented reality.

What is the goal of the Unite events and how do you see it transforming the gaming landscape?

The goal of the Unite events is for developers, artists, publishers, training providers, and Unity enthusiasts to gain valuable insights on the latest Unity features and stay up-to-date with the latest market trends. With great opportunities to network, connect and learn, it’s often a place that fosters new ideas, jobs and opportunities for all involved. Take, for example, our Made with Unity showcases, which invites Unity developers to demo their games – in varying states of development – for peers and other attendees. It’s here that developers, like the teams behind Pode and Hotlap Heroes, were discovered and connected with publishers who can help bring their titles to the market.

What do you think are some of the challenges facing the video game industry?

For many developers, the greatest challenge is figuring out which platform to develop for – mobile, VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), desktop, console, web and smart TVs. There are so many options, and consumer playtime is fractured, so capturing a fan base can be challenging. The best way to turn this challenge into an opportunity is to turn to a platform like Unity, where you can build once and deploy anywhere. Our three principles are democratising development, solving hard problems and enabling developer success. By creating on Unity, you’re able to focus on the art of designing games, and we do our part to take care of the rest.

Pokemon Go was made with the Unity engine. What is the next big thing after AR?

Before we consider what comes next, the promise of AR and VR hardware really needs to be met for mass consumer adoption to occur. All great inventions over the course of history have made people’s lives better. VR and AR will do that over the course of the next five years, and expect it will flourish with the education and medical sectors, for example. When it does, you’ll see global adoption like we’ve seen with smartphones. For now, we can say that the majority of this content is being created with Unity.  In fact, analyst firm VisionMobile recently conducted a survey of over 800 AR and VR developers and found that 74% reported using Unity as their development platform. We’re thrilled to play a small part in powering this revolution. 


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