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Unity Acquires Parsec for $320 Million

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by undevable, Aug 10, 2021.

  1. undevable

    undevable

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    Unity acquires Parsec for a whopping 320 million, making its biggest acquisition to date.

     
  2. Kamyker

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    Waste of money, change my mind please.
     
  3. Enzi

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    How does this help the engine?
     
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  4. undevable

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    It doesn't. It's a waste of money. Unity went for 10 times the current valuation (~25-33m). Stupid idea.
     
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  5. stain2319

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    Yeah that's.. umm. Interesting?
     
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  6. IllTemperedTunas

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    Anyone else feel uncomfortable using a game engine whose sole purpose is quickly becoming a money laundering scheme?

    I'm only halfway joking...

    Ok this is a real mindfuck... So why acquire a company that specializes in this kind of tethering tech when supposedly DOTS has been the core focus, improving the core hardware efficiency of devices running Unity. Wouldn't this be a total 180 on the idea of DOTS increasing performance on core machines rendering this latency dependent hosting system irrelevant?

    Cell phones are becoming more powerful by the day. In a couple years time, this tech will be useless as the average cell phone and tablet will have all the power to run any program you could possibly want it to...

    You can also work from home using a half decent desktop machine and internet, why would a company dump 350 Million for a remote desktop solution when the optimal solution is free?

    WTF are they smoking? Do they have to quantify or answer for any of this nonsense? Are they pivoting from gamedev and doubling down on a lockdown driven subscription model?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  7. Kamyker

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    Lead investor 6 months ago was Andreessen Horowitz. Google that with John Riccitiello. Would be interesting to know if Horowitz sold their shares.
     
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  8. Ryiah

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    Traditionally remote desktop software has been bad for game development thanks to having both performance and responsiveness issues. Parsec is low-latency and capable enough that you can use it for gaming. For development it allows for remote collaboration which is now very important thanks to the pandemic.

    https://parsec.app/teams

    There is a difference between how much funding the company has acquired and how valuable the company is.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
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  9. undevable

    undevable

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    Considering the CEO was a former CEO of EA, well, yeah...
     
  10. AcidArrow

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    I mean, with the only people happy with Unity being those that profit from Unity being a mess, (because they can get paid to sort out the messes for people that make games, or they can sell learning material / online courses / other bullshit services), is it really weird to see Unity catering to them and providing a framework for them?

    I can see parsec embedded in the Unity editor, and the next time you struggle a little too long with an animator controller, have a clippy-like "helper" pop up and notify you, that for 100$ you can have someone else log in remotely and fix your controller for you (with Unity grabbing "an industry standard" 30% in the process).

    Unity is not about empowering people that make games, it's about empowering people to make money off of people that want to make games. Whether a game gets made or not in the process doesn't matter.
     
  11. Ryiah

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    Irrelevant. People always like to point to the CEO of EA as if there were a differentiator between him and other CEOs but the truth is all CEOs are focused on money because it's literally their job description. CEOs exist to maximize the value of a company. Nothing more.

    If you are concerned about the future of the game engine itself you should be concerned with the CTO who has the role of being in charge of all technological aspects of the company including research and development. For Unity that's Joachim Ante.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
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  12. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I hope Unity buys me as I'm dirt poor lol.
     
  13. hippocoder

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    This will allow people to connect to their Unity account and code on their phone, basically, it could be massive. It's something I would actually think is pretty amazing if they do it right.
     
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  14. JoNax97

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    Realtime scene collaboration. Do it you cowards
     
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  15. hippocoder

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    Very possible isn't it? The amount of fluffy cloud potential is massive.
     
  16. Kamyker

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    Already in Unreal, how do you imagine it with Parsec in Unity? A single pc would have to render 2 separate scene views for only 2 people.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
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  17. NotaNaN

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    Surely doing gamedev on a phone is mostly novelty?

    I can't imagine working on a phone (or any handheld device for that matter) without it not being orders of magnitude slower than using a dedicated development workspace of 3+ monitors, keyboard + mouse, headset, and rainbow lighting (to keep morale high).

    Game development on the go? Sure. Cool slogan. But the reality just doesn't seem practical to me.
     
  18. Kamyker

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    Yep, anyway Unity is missing a lot of other more important features.
     
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  19. IllTemperedTunas

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    My best guess is Unity is trying to claim their own unique market place with real-time business supplements as they've shown in various keynotes. They show the contractor on at a construction site planning the phases of construction in real time using a tablet.

    I could see the appeal here, there are plenty of less tech savy people on the go who could benefit from real time technical solutions, billing, tech help, etc without having to be bothered to install a ton of apps and simply being tethered to a machine loaded up and ready to fulfill a given function.

    I'd imagine after seeing Unreal just jump into the entertainment industry and make waves with the Mandalorian Unity was probably scratching their heads... "How do we make lateral moves to gain market share in other lucrative industries?"

    In essence this is the anti-Unreal approach. Rather than focusing on the super high technical benchmark, assisting the cutting edge technical products, I'd imagine Unity is targeting other untapped markets with a lower barrier to entry. It's smart.

    Doesn't benefit game makers though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
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  20. april_4_short

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    This only works if there's a market perception of the core product (Unity) being best-in-class or VERY close to it, and equivalent in costs to use.

    The market's perceptions aren't close to that.

    Unreal has won the narrative for every affiliated business and industry, and then some, due to multiple years of realtime rendering messaging and those amazing archvis and product demo vids on youtube simply proving the diversity of its abilities.

    Unity's advantage is mobile to multi-platform, and it's been ignoring this unique selling point for half a decade, whilst Unreal's optimisations of Fortnite have seen it become more efficient at the lower end of devices whilst Moore's Law keeps helping them out, too.

    It might already be the case that there's no longer a natural market left for Unity, and no reasons to choose it when starting a production of any digital, interactive sort.

    We might be the last generation of Unity users.
     
  21. PutridEx

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    I seriously doubt that. Unity has been used for The Jungle book, The Lion King, and Blade Runner 2049.

    The Mandalorian ended up switching away from UE as well.
     
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  22. AcidArrow

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    I mean, they used Unity just for pre-vis though.
     
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  23. april_4_short

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    Just as many game devs use Unity for prototyping before going elsewhere for actual production releases.
     
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  24. april_4_short

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    Guess as to why buy Parsec:

    Imagine you're struggling to get DOTS to be all that it can be on all but some specialised machinery, can't figure out performant networking, and struggling to get HDRP rendering to scale below the ultimate GPUS that aren't common in the consumer market, and that optimising rendering isn't something Unity is good at.

    That's about where we're seemingly at.

    In that environment, streaming games rendered with Unity from super servers is about the only way it's realistically possible Unity can provide the visual quality expected of the high end.

    In that scenario, and for that reason, buying Parsec becomes a defensive move, and that insanely huge price makes some sense - it's needed, and permits Unity to roll out a game streaming service, wherein they'll probably try to charge the game maker and the game player.

    Because part of the decision making seems to be "What would EA do?"
     
  25. PutridEx

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    I'm sorry but... what? I'm all for predicting, but this is a bit too out there.
     
  26. Ryiah

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    Parsec used to be capable of this but at some point they removed it.

    Using it for work? Yes. Using it to queue up long tasks? No.
     
  27. NotaNaN

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    Care to provide a counter-scenario that explains this acquisition?
    Remember, you are a multi-million dollar company with the goal of making money.

    All joking aside though — I seriously just want to know Unity's rationale behind this decision, and I want them to be completely honest when they spill the beans.

    Unity,
    Why did you acquire Parsec? What are your plans? And, most importantly, how does this benefit me as a user of your technology in a way that is worth 320 million dollars of which could have been allocated to developing the engine or used for a different acquisition?
     
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  28. lmbarns

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    Is it a lot better than webRTC?
     
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  29. IllTemperedTunas

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    I'd imagine Unity is still considered best in class for quick production and being able to generate a usable program in a short period of time and being able to find developers the world over to create said software for a reasonable price. The barrier to entry and to produce a finished polished product I'd imagine in still Unity.

    Unreal will be the kings of high end gamedev, but the price they pay for that is their editor is increasingly suited to gamedev stuff, but Unity can focus on being that middleware that has easily created UI and a usable core that's quickly prototyped for more outlandish game ideas and business software.

    If you want to make the next big MMO or console hit using the best developers in the world, yeah Unreal easily edges out Unity, but that blank slate, easily prototyped core still belongs to unity. If you want to rapidly produce mass amounts of apps for a variety of things, you would choose Unity. It's tried and true, it has a wide variety of developers capable of working with it, and it has the lowest barrier to entry.

    Lets say you were trying to create a UI focused app that streams from tablets to create lets say a digital menu to be integrated into thousands of restaurants the world over in touch screen displays that people could order their food from, increase the speed of service and reduce the need of wait staff, even give a little blip for the waiter where the food is going. Most restaurants and other industries that could benefit from this are not tech savvy and being able to "plug and play" the service regardless of hardware and what software is installed is a big deal. Imagine being able to pay a small service fee to be guided in real time how to set up your table layout, menu with pictures and automated billing services. Imagine this type of standardization and automation for businesses such as real estate, dealership, shopping. Imagine if you were able to scan your own items with your phone, or type something you want to buy and having the phone tell you where in the store you can find it, or even a nearby store. Now here's the kicker, Imagine if all of this functionality cost NOTHING in hardware overhead, because this app worked globally on the internet wireless network using nothing but a single mid ranged PC and the employee's cell phones and a few tablet devices.

    When you weigh the task of creating a fully fledged MMO against the cost of say a fully featured app that all the big shopping stores in the world might use, and the potential use cases of said app for other markets, your mind can really start going down a rabbit hole.

    Before you guys say this is crazy, keep in mind I'm basing this theory on the apps Unity has already demo'd YEARS AGO in keynotes.

    So yeah, my theory is in the future, if you go to some hole-in-the-wall taco shop, if they don't pay a premium to Unity, you're going to see that infamous Unity splash screen before you order your damned nachos and people are going to be bitching and moaning that restaurants that show the unity logo have S***ty food.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
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  30. april_4_short

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    This would hold a lot more water if finishing with Unity wasn't the biggest problem with using Unity.

    It is.

    Doesn't matter the size of the project, the last 20 yards are much like the first 80 yards, in terms of time and effort.

    With Unity, it's even worse than this, as each of the last 4 x 5 yard blocks is as difficult as the entire past efforts to that point.

    You are probably painfully aware of this, more than most.
     
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  31. AcidArrow

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    Yeah, with the performance of the AR being terrible, the benefits of doing this being almost inexistent and everyone in the audience scratching their head thinking "this is terrible, why are they showing us this?".
     
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  32. april_4_short

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    What if they bought Parsec so they could use an array of Cray computers to do Lightmapping for Unity users?
     
  33. IllTemperedTunas

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    What specifically about Unity do you find difficult? In my experience the scene bloat can be a massive headache, but creative prefab usage can help reduce this.

    I think we can all relate to the pressures of finishing as a things can go on and on long beyond what we initially planned, but I'm curious what you think about Unity makes this issue harder? I've had progress picking up lately and I've been pretty happy with working in Unity overall, but there might certainly be pitfalls I'm not aware of as I get further in my project that it would be good to know about. My game's pretty small in scope so I'm isolated from a lot of performance and scene management issues.
     
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  34. april_4_short

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    Specifically... generally... everything I've ever put off during development on the presumption one of the systems Unity promotes heavily would be good at that, once I got there.

    Every single time I've made this assumption, it's ended in months of testing, reading, isolating issues and discovering that rolling my own minimalist version would be better, or using a much older version of Unity's systems is better.

    Mecanim vs Animation Legacy is the perfect case example.

    Optimising URP for Mobile AND getting it to look as good as Builtin (for me) is a contradiction in terms. It turns out it's far easier to optimise Builtin, because there's a lot of relatively simple stuff that URP simply can't do, or doesn't do well, or can't do easily.

    Each aspect of everyone of Unity's systems is this same back and forth. Now, I use Unity 2019.4LTS as though its Unity 5 + Nested Prefabs, and progress is being made. Until the next time I need to expect to be able to rely on a Unity system...
     
  35. IllTemperedTunas

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    Well hey, if it's any consolation, I always tell myself when S*** gets hard "If it was easy, everyone would do it." a high barrier to entry just means your project might have a chance some day amidst the mass amount of other content. A lot of gamedev is hitting a roadblock, finding a way around it, or changing course, just how it goes!
     
  36. Lurking-Ninja

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    When it comes to publicly traded companies (especially when they are fresh and young on the market) it is more complicated than that. Unity is concentrating on growth, not on net income. This may or may not change in the future.

    IDK too much about Parsec, but what I hear, there are technologies in there which Unity may wanted to acquire. Like remote rendering, remote input processing, etc.

    But all in all, I'm pretty much neutral on this acquisition. I don't really care about it, it's not exciting and it's not devastating either.
     
  37. april_4_short

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    AGREED! These consolations keep me warm at night, along with having folks research new games for me, to see if there's anything at or near where I'm aiming. There hasn't been so far... so there's some blue sky mining to be done. Hope the same is true for you!
     
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  38. hippocoder

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    Sure, but it's also the most connected. If you can enable it on a phone, you can enable it on anything, which is the actual point.
     
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  39. Ryiah

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    This. Getting it onto Android and iOS no longer limits you to just Android and iOS. Windows 11 will be able to run Android apps and macOS can run iOS apps.
     
  40. april_4_short

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    This was the premise and promise of Stadia.

    Backed by the largest, most powerful company on earth.
     
  41. AcidArrow

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    No no, it all makes sense now. Unity has been making the editor really slow on purpose, so when we parsec to it now, the extra latency will barely be noticeable.
     
  42. Ryiah

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    Parsec is not at all the same idea.

    And one of the most fickle.
     
  43. IllTemperedTunas

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    I'm having trouble linking a specific time here, but about 40 seconds in he says it's a lot lot Stadia and other gaming streaming software.
     
  44. april_4_short

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    Nick Lockwood of Core Animation book fame, noted that Stadia was, essentially, exactly this, for anyone wanting to use it as such.

    He wasn't wrong.
     
  45. Ryiah

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    Parsec requires you to provide your own hardware.
     
  46. april_4_short

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    Yes, one of the most. Unity would definitely be in that list, too.
     
  47. bluescrn

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    Really not sure what Unity is aiming for with this one...

    Game streaming? - the problem isn't so much the tech, it's the economics of hosting a high-spec server (with GPU) for each connected user, physically close to the user, as peak demand moves around the globe based upon time-of-day. Can't imagine Unity succeeding where even Google seem to have failed with Stadia?

    Editor Streaming/Collaborative editing? - Maybe more interesting - but the Unity editor will be very challenging to stream. People expect to run it high-DPI on multiple monitors. They're used to running it on high-spec machines. It's got perhaps a worst-case mix of small text and 3D that needs performance. Reductions in responsiveness or text clarity will be *very* noticable to users, much more than 'the average gamer' trying Stadia and noticing a bit of latency.
     
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  48. Ryiah

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    I don't know. I keep seeing people trying to shove it onto potatoes. We had someone just recently ask if they could use a Pentium M laptop and I had to point out the Raspberry Pi 4 was almost six times the performance. :p
     
  49. april_4_short

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    Go full devil's advocate.

    This tech allows truly EA levels of user monetisation, imagine:

    Streaming only subscriptions & access to DOTS 2022 Unity Editor.
     
  50. GCatz

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    wow, have read some crazy speculations, this is Unity we are talking about
    remember what they did with their last acquisitions ? nothing, they kept it going.. (with original price)
    my guess it will be used exactly as is to add pricing for remote studios

    $320m is insane amount for this tech, you think they will recoup it with remote working subscriptions ? :rolleyes:
    what a poor state this engine is its already a meme at this point (networking, terrain, ui, old mono, etc..)
    lot of this money could have been spent elsewhere..
    why not acquire engine related stuff like they did with mecanim :/ (eons ago)