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Discontinuation of Unity support for BlackBerry 10

Discussion in 'BlackBerry' started by Aurore, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Aurore

    Aurore

    Head of Learn Content Production Unity Technologies

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    We wanted to advise developers that, due to a lack of developer interest, Unity will no longer be supporting the BlackBerry 10 platform. Unity will discontinue support for this platform from Unity 5.2 onwards.

    We will continue to support the few developers who have built or ported games to this platform on older versions of Unity up until the beginning September 2015.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  2. Elkis

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    Noooo! BB was the platform from where I got the most downloads :( I knew this was bound to happen, but I was not prepared for it yet, such a sad day :(
     
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  3. MrEsquire

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    I predicted this in Jan when I realised Unity team was not helping alot with BlackBerry even made a thread about it in general discussion forum.Anyway I knew it was coming also sooner or later. (They deserve to collapse, but as a developer im in it to make money)

    I have a plan that may help us all if Unity decide to listen...Blackberry users can download Amazon app store to phones and download from there basically Android Apps...Now the only issue is support for screen sizes and bb resolutions, how can one check Android Amazon game will work on BlackBerry phone..So the ability to push .apk to BlackBerry phone for testing would be good instead of .bar file. I think this may work unless Im missing something!
     
  4. Elkis

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    That sounds like a good plan, but, are APKs good for BB performance-wise? Wouldn't want to suffer with low frame rates! Also, what about exposure? What percentage of BB users actually use the Amazon app store?
     
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  5. MrEsquire

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    Not sure, but it seems BlackBerry is moving more and more towards Android, hence this would make sense as a nice future feature. All depends on what Unity 5.2+ will have...
     
  6. Jonny-Roy

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    Very disappointed by this, I get 10 times the number of downloads on BlackBerry than iOS and Android, and the major issue with porting to BlackBerry is the lack of support on bugs from Unity's end, I still have an outstanding bug from December last year, on average bugs seem to get looked at 3-4 months after submitting solved 6 months later.

    Such a shame...
     
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  7. MayhemMike

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    I'm not a fan of that decision :(

    @MrEsquire
    Sounds interesting but isn't that just a convenience feature since we should be able to just manually copy the apk file to the BB10 device and get the same outcome?
     
  8. MrEsquire

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    Yes you can do manually as a Google search will help you with this.
    But this is time consuming, native support is better - "build and run"
    I have a feeling this will not happen as the option to select BlackBerry will disappear.
    So if Unity see BlackBerry phones as Android then this could work.
    Again doubt anything the community wish for will come any time soon.
     
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  9. Lloyd_RedironLabs

    Lloyd_RedironLabs

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    Hi

    Who could we contact about a potential refund or license options? I know it is a long shot, but for me it was the only reason I grabbed the pro version :)

    Issues thread for others looking into BlackBerry specific problems,
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/un...couple-of-seconds-after-splash-screen.308144/

    I appreciate Unity, it's what I use in my day job, so I'm not going anywhere. But as an indie developer, the only thing that made me buy into Unity Pro desktop for my own games was the BlackBerry support. Without that, the pro license really doesn't have a value to me.

    I have no pro license for Android or any other platform. So without BlackBerry I'd be better off with a personal license only.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
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  10. Lloyd_RedironLabs

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    I've tested a lot of APK to BlackBerry conversions. You can expect the FPS to cap around 15fps for what would be 60 on a same spec Android device.
     
  11. MrEsquire

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    Ah man that sounds like bad news, also realised Windows phone fps getting worse each Unity build, only think they are on top of is iOS builds anyway trying to not go offtopic but I think we need some official response on if the remaining bugs will get fixed before 5.2 and how one can improve fps
     
  12. Lloyd_RedironLabs

    Lloyd_RedironLabs

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    Definitely. I tried moving a couple of my games to WP but the FPS was too low to be sellable. Right now I'm working on my first big console game but very early in with Unity. The only reason I didn't go Unreal was the BlackBerry plugin for portability and that I have too many BlackBerry games in Unity to make a switch.

    So far everything I've paid for with Unity has come out of my BlackBerry sales - the platform accounts for about 95 percent of my app income. But I do get why they are doing it. Just not sure it's profitable enough to stay on Unity now. Oh first world problems I know
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
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  13. UberschallSamsara

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    Add another vote here for at least fixing all bugs that would cause games to fail submission to BlackBerry World, in whatever the last legacy Unity build is that supports BlackBerry 10. Just to keep things classy.
     
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  14. Tony686

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    Maybe you should reconsider killing BlackBerry 10 support, I moved to unity because of it, now as it doesn't support bb10, i'll consider moving to a better engine like unreal engine... or anything else...
     
  15. AgeTDev

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    Is this final, or do you listen to us ?
     
  16. mgdivenire

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    I will not accept that. The BlackBerry Platform for me is my true launching pad. The user community is awesome and the performance of the unity player on the blackberry hardware( high end specs ) is really fluid .
    Please step back from this decision.

    Marco Gallo
    BlackBerry Developer on BlackBerry10 Platform
     
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  17. MrEsquire

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    Some further "official words" would be nice...the Android idea?
     
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  18. Jonny-Roy

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    I'm still struggling to see why supporting it is a massive task, we only ever see one developer in the forums, who also happends to be the Samsung TV support developer.
     
  19. MrEsquire

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    I think its internal politics for sure, Unity dropping support for BlackBerry soon mean a push to Android development.
    So benefit for Google, also mean if BlackBerry gets bought out, could help increase Microsoft market share.
    So I think there lot of behind the scenes stuff going on that we do not know about. I fully understand this, I just want a solution that will make everyone happy, so Unity can discontinue support but what will customers get instead (maybe some bug fixes and future workaround, .APK builds)
     
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  20. AgeTDev

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    Well we can just stick with unity 5.1 for now, you shoudl still be able to build apps, but the annoying bugs ( grey screen etc ) wont be fixed...
     
  21. MrEsquire

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    Yeh we all know this!!! But the BUGS will GET fixed!
     
  22. Lloyd_RedironLabs

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    I'll believe that when I see that. They won't fix the STL-001 crash. They won't fix the square splash screen on Passport (can't I think). And I've already been told once the gray screen issue was fixed and it wasn't.

    If we have to building using Android that will suck big time for three reasons. FPS goes down by to about 1/3. You lose all BFB designation in your games. And, more importantly, they get to now sucker us out of another 1,500 for a pro license or to rework all the pro features out of our games. Another decision by these guys where all the work and cost falls to developers.

    I imagine a response on BlackBerry isn't going to happen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  23. Lloyd_RedironLabs

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    That's my plan. I've spoken to some of my BlackBerry contacts and the approvers should now be allowing apps with gray screen through. It's a Unity issue that I doubt will be fixed. I imagine it's the new splash screen they added to WP - same grayscreen look that appeared on that platform as a splash.
     
  24. hippocoder

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    Remember little prevents you from continuing to deploy to bb, so you should be fine still. It's not as if the new features coming will be a game changer for this platform.

    If anyone wants to suddenly leave Unity because of it, it won't cause Unity to reconsider because too few developers justify the cost of keeping BB support in development. Frankly, I ignored the market because it isn't really profitable for games.

    You can of course if determined, get a source license or pay Unity to develop fixes.
     
  25. Lloyd_RedironLabs

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    Yes. Unresolved crash bugs prevent us from deploying to a whole generation of devices today.

    I don't think anyone expects it too. But if it is the only reason you are using Unity, then you don't have much of a choice.

    We did pay Unity to develop fixes, it's called a pro license. We shouldn't have to pay them twice to do what they advertised to us the first time we bought in ;). I suppose someone could file a complaint with the BBB if they wanted as a bait and switch tactic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  26. hippocoder

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    I agree its a bit annoying to have it end, but the pro license would probably pay 2 developers for a week's worth of code, so unless there's enough people buying pro for that version, it's probably going to begin hurting other platforms to keep this one going.

    What would be super awesome cool is open sourcing the depreciated platforms. I'm not sure if it will ever happen or ever work but it would be a nice thing and still of course require the base licensing so nobody'd lose.
     
  27. Lloyd_RedironLabs

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    I agree that they need to stop BlackBerry support at some point. My frustration comes from paying for licensing that is now of no value to me and that they couldn't be bothered to but in more effort than a sentence or two on a forum post. Their decision won't be reversed, and they already pocketed the money. What can you do :shrug:
     
  28. Eric5h5

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    Blackberry support isn't a Pro feature, though.

    --Eric
     
  29. Eric5h5

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    I mean, it's not necessary to buy Unity Pro to do Blackberry publishing. If that's all you want to do.

    --Eric
     
  30. Eric5h5

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  31. Jonny-Roy

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    I think the issue here no matter how you look at it, is the bugs won't be fixed, the main show stopper ones are over 6 months old, on top of that Unity 5.1 still has issues with GI baking and batching that make it not ready (at least for my current projects) to produce a release build. I can't see the GI Baking and batching issues being pushed back to 5.2. The news essentially means supporting BlackBerry if you are creating cross platform solutions is pointless, though it has been for a year because of all the bugs. So the lack of support in the last year makes this news not surprising.
     
  32. MrEsquire

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  33. Jonny-Roy

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  34. MrEsquire

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    Well things are becoming more clearer, makes me wonder why they supporting something called "Tizen" surely this least popular. Anyway I think it will happen in the end that BlackBerry will eventually take Android route.
     
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  35. halfnibble

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    I was just researching game frameworks because I have a game idea for the BlackBerry Passport (it would need the wide, square screen). Glad I came across this forum post before investing any of my time learning Unity!

    You really ought to remove all the reference to BlackBerry development on your front page so someone doesn't get suckered into learning an unsupported framework. I've already sent a message to BlackBerry asking them to do the same.
     
  36. Nycteris

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    Well, that was close!
    You better remove that: https://unity3d.com/pages/blackberry.

    I was about to buy the pro version because the Blackberry functionality and have found this by accident.
     
  37. Elkis

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    Hey guys, if the Gray Screen on start and the unstable builds on Passport issues are solved, Unity 5 Pro is still worth buying, you can keep 5.1.x as your last reliable BB engine. If not, consider buying Unity 4 Pro (if that is even possible), it doesn't present these bugs and games work really well on BB10.
    And if BB makes the transition to Android in the future, porting will be such a breeze! :)
     
  38. Eric5h5

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    You can't buy Unity 4 Pro, but that's irrelevant since a Unity 5 Pro license covers all previous versions as well.

    --Eric
     
  39. Elkis

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    Nice! Then you just have to downgrade to 4 if those bugs are never fixed and that's it!
     
  40. Jonny-Roy

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    Well it's not just the BlackBerry bugs that need fixing, there also issue with batching, lightmapping, which all cause issues and if you have a multi-platform project then you would need to maintain multiple versions to keep up with for example new XCode versions, Android bugs... So it's not quite as simple as that!
     
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  41. Wajdik

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    No :/
    I decided to go with Unity instead of Ureal Engine and I bought Unity 5 Pro licence mainly because for BlackBerry support, please keep the BB support for the upcoming Unity 5.x versions and you can remove the support starting form the next Unity 6.
    Instead of dropping BlackBerry support you can drop the Tizen support, there is only one Tizen device in the market and the is no announces for new Tizen devices.
     
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  42. Lloyd_RedironLabs

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    Do people in your life sometimes ... without any warning ... reach over and try to slap you? :)

    I kid, Unity has come a long way and it certainly is a powerful little engine. But other people may not see the same value you do in this product. I make cross-platform Unity games, and typically 98% of my sales come from BlackBerry when I release a game.

    We have tens millions of adults running new QNX based high end phones with credit cards and paypal accounts with limited access to decent games. Windows devices are too low end to have decent FPS for most games, Android faces a 95 percent piracy rate and iOS is flooded with apps with significant financial requirements to go Apple. This is just my opinion, but someone has the right to feel the value was taken from them with this change - just as you have a right to feel it still is of value to you :) People can have different opinions and experiences. Me - I'm on the fence, but given my prior posts, it shouldn't be surprising that I wish I didn't throw away money on U5 pro :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
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  43. Jonny-Roy

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    It should be noted also that this issue started in Unity 4, In fact the unstable builds were first reported by me with a repro on 22nd June 2014 which affected all device, this was not even looked at until 2nd February 2015! A second bug report was submitted on 6th February 2015 with my entire project once it was discovered the Passport had a far more serious issue, this is still outstanding and affects Unity 4 and 5.
     
  44. Elkis

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    I was trying to be positive, I seriously doubt they will back off from this decision and AFAIK they have a no-refund policy.

    And about the Passport issues, you are right Jonny, I apologize. I use Unity 4 and have that issue too. And at this rate, it seems Passport will never be a suitable platform for Unity builds.

    As Kerm_Ed said, BB is a very profitable market, it is the platform where I get most purchases and downloads, but what else is there left to do when everybody is abandoning that ship? What other engine is left? Even BB gave up when they pulled the plug on AS3.
     
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  45. MrEsquire

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    Main thing we need is a update on the current bugs and if solution has been found, and if there be a fix in the next patch releases.
     
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  46. Wajdik

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  47. MrEsquire

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    The official 5.2 feature log:
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/5-2-information-preview.337583/
    It will definitly be removed, no doubt about that, mentions it

    Now 5.0.4 will be the last release of the 5x series and no BlackBerry fixes :-(
    5.1.1 is already in patch mode, if we can confirm issues are still present on 5.1.1p2 then we hope for patch and final release of bug fixes in 5.1.2 and continues with 5.1x releases and provides some kind of closure for us to move on.
     
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  48. Jonny-Roy

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    The question is how to go about getting the lightmap and batching bugs fixed in 5.1?
     
  49. MrEsquire

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    Have you got some link these so I can read about it, not aware..
    If not BlackBerry specific then abit oftopic
     
  50. Jonny-Roy

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    The problem is for most we're targeting all platforms, so Android issues in 5.1 and lightmap / batching issues are also going to affect those of us that want to stay pre - 5.2 I think Unity has forced our hand here we will have to drop BlackBerry as we can't do a release to 5.1 with the bugs affecting Android and Lightmaps.

    The main one for lightmaps dilation:

    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/unity-5-light-leaks-at-uv-seams.312140/#post-2028074

    This was the other, though the thread suggests it's fixed, I've not retested.

    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/lightmap-uvs-stretched.313379/#post-2166952

    Batching issues:

    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/dr...e-latest-version-of-unity-4-6-4-6-4p2.318742/

    Android:

    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/very-poor-performance-on-android-after-upgrading-to-unity-5.306572/

    Though I've not managed to recreate Android issues, it may just be user error, I personally think it's related to the batching, no smoke without fire and all.

    Dilation is a complete show stopped, big black lines on distance lightmaps where the seams show is just unworkable.