News Article

Unity Engine comes to Wii U in Major License Deal

Posted by Anthony Dickens

Wii U-nity

It has been revealed that Unity Technologies, provider of the Unity multi-platform engine and development tools, has entered into a worldwide license agreement with Nintendo to provide a version of Unity which supports deployment to the Wii U.

Unity is popular game creation engine highly-regarded in the mobile sector, and whilst it has only powered a handful of minor Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 games it has been used extensively on iPhone and Android for mobile and also PC games.

Recently Unity was ranked #1 for mobile Gamasutra's game developer technology survey, topping the list with 53.1% of developers reporting using Unity.

"The rapid growth of incredible games coming from the experienced and talented developers in our community makes Unity the new development platform of choice for AAA console developers," said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies. "Nintendo's unfettered access to Unity will produce a wealth of insanely good games from knowledgeable Nintendo developers and the Wii U deployment add-on will create an amazing opportunity for our massive community of developers to showcase their incredible creativity on one of the most anticipated and innovative gaming platforms to date."

The extensive licence deal will see the tools becoming available to Nintendo and third-party developers as well as Unity's 1.2 million registered developers.


This could provide a massive boost for Nintendo's faltering WiiWare platform and attract a mass of successful mobile developers to step up into living room style game development. It also gives Nintendo new options to quickly create games with a tool set that is well known by a wide pool of developers.

We've heard little details around what Nintendo has in mind for its online store on Wii U, presumably called simply "eShop". Having spoken to many WiiWare/DSiWare developers over the past few years it's clear that Nintendo need to make some drastic changes to their approach to get anywhere near the success seen by Apple's app store, hopefully this is the first step in that direction.

Have you played any games recently on your mobile that you feel could make the jump to Wii U?


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User Comments (24)



luminalace said:

Sounds like a good thing especially if it allows mobile developers who are successful on other platforms to branch out to Wii U development!



19Robb92 said:

This is great news.

This opens up the door for loads of smaller devs to put- and develop games on the WiiU's eShop.



Void said:

I have seen computer games before that have used Unity, all were free flash games and not worth noting though, seeing that list doesn't make me feel make me feel better about it really...



erv said:

It is a risk for shovelware as well as an opportunity for INCREDIBLE games, due to better results with similar budgets being made possible.

Unity also has some excellent networking capabilities, which is something I suspect nintendo really liked.

In all, a quality artist and developer using unity means stellar games, a cheap developer with few artistic vision means shovel ware. Both will have a better business case though.



TheRegginator said:

I have a feeling that this will mostly help the indie developers that make downloadable games from the online store. Giving them an engine to work with makes it much more of an accessible console to develop for.

Good move Nintendo!



GameLord08 said:

@R-L-A-George: You beat me to the chase. That'd actually be something I'd be happy to see happen. It's a brilliant game, and I think it'd fit very well on the Wii U.

Aside from that, I'm happy to see Unity Engine partnering with Nintendo on the Wii U. It opens a whole terrace of doors for existing mobile/PC devs to expand their horizons to console gaming - it's an easily accessible portal for them, so this should hopefully mean great things for the Wii U eShop.



MAB said:

Well there you go no need to purchase a rubbish OUYA now Ninty has covered all bases and is getting ready for the home run



LavaTwilight said:

I don't want to see the amount of crappy mobile games that are out there. I sincerely hope Nintendo stick to their 'seal of quality' that they continue to provide on all their games to date. I don't play enough of these games to have an opinion but as long as you can filter them out when it comes to your searches (as well as search for these only) then it will work wonders!



adrenochrome said:

i expect nothing from unity : it is only suitable for phones or browsers games(if you are not too much regarding on the accurateness of the controls), they're not even able to release a linux port



rjejr said:

The real question for me is does Nintendo price them correctly. I'm still not going to pay $10 for $1 games. The PSN has $10 games but they also have $3 games, some of which are pretty good. And I hope Nintendo sticks with eShop real $ values and gets away from the Wiiware points. I still have 200 points on there for about 3 years now that I know I'll never use.



KingDunsparce said:

I'm hoping that this isnt a part of Wii U Ware but in a seperate app specifically for Unity Games



GameLord08 said:

@Pikminsi: What on earth do you mean? It's a game engine that the Wii U now supports - meaning Unity-familiar devs can now develop games for the system through that engine, most likely to come on to the Wii U eShop. It's not an app or anything of the sort.



LittleIrves said:

The thing about this news that gets me most excited is that Dylan Cuthbert of Q-games (and Star Fox fame) retweeted the NintendoLife article... wonder if his team will be using the engine for something down the road? Yes please x 1000.



armoredghor said:

I'm happy to shift my development towards WiiU it's mechanics suit the project I'm working on better anyway



Ren said:

to bad the engine doesn't include reasonable price points locked into it. get ready for 10$ mobile ports from nintendo!



KingDunsparce said:

@Gamelord I may have worded that a bit weird. I meant that community-made games should be in a seperate area of the Wii U than the ones made by professional game developers but my whole opinion wouldnt make sense at all because I read the article too quickly an misinterpreted

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