Unity Game Development History

Unity Game Development from small indie creations like Gone Home, Her Story, and Rimworld, to multiplayer big budget releases like Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Rust, and Battlestar Galactica Online.  The engine has now become an indispensable tool for game developers, both amateur and professional, worldwide.

Unity Game Development

Unity Game Development History

Unity3d started from the initial collaboration of programmers Nicholas Francis of Denmark, and Joachim Ante of Germany. Working on his own game engine, Francis had trouble implementing a proper shader system (Note: a shader is a program that does the shading on 3D objects).  He asked for assistance on the Mac OpenGL message board. Ante responded a few hours later.

As it turned out, Ante was also working on his own game engine himself. The two programmers decided to just scrap their own projects and start with creating a single engine, because, as Francis would say in a later interview about Unity’s beginnings “…it’s more fun when there’s two of you working”.  The developer duo then added another member to their team, David Helgason. Helgason wanted to join the project because he thought that they were “..really onto something.”


From the start, Unity’s mission was to be the main tool for making 3D games. The trio then decided to incorporate their team under the name Over the Edge Entertainment.

After two years of endless coding, the OTEE finally managed to launch a working beta version of Unity. By then, they were barely earning enough to keep the project going. They decided to create a game to further market Unity to developers.

The game called Gooball was launched and enjoyed moderate success. Not only did the proceeds from the game help OTEE hire more developers to refine Unity, its launch also gave them a chance to iron out the engine’s bugs, and fix its user interface.

In 2005, After all the kinks and rough edges have been smoothed out, Unity 1.0 was released.

Successive Iterations

OTEE released an updated version, Unity 1.1. that supported Windows and browser-based exports. This was a smart move, since the main “engine” that was used by game developers for web browser games back then was Adobe Flash. With the introduction of Unitiy 1.1., developers now have the chance to bring hadrware-accelerated 3D graphics to browsers.

The Unity 2.0 version further enhanced Unity’s hold on Windows. It also smoothed out web browser compatibility across all platforms.

Unity 3.0 introduced low level debugging, umbra occlusion culling, lightmapping, and other such improvements. Unity 3.5 brought the Flash deployment option. A New animation system was added to Unity 4 along with add-ons to Adobe Flash and Linux deployments.

The current version of Unity that is available to the public today is Unity 5.  To learn more about Unity Game Development and its history, visit the official site – https://unity3d.com/