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Unity Technologies Sale/Options [SOLVED]

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cogent, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. ShadowK

    ShadowK

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    About a year ago I'd of agreed, now with things as they are or going to be in the near future.. Not so much!.

    Which is cool really, well for us it is anyway. It's really going to be interesting to see what the future holds and things will have changed dramatically in that time. But I dare say it's going to be years before anything viable comes out of the whole thing.
     
    Cogent likes this.
  2. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Rumors are silly. First of all, every company will periodically investigate various selling options. One of the main reasons to try to build a successful company is so you have the option to sell it at some point. It is completely normal for a company to periodically run some numbers and see what their selling options are, even if they have no intention to sell the company anytime soon. Writing a rumor article to mention that a popular for-profit company might possibly sell someday is just silly and pointless. Unity does not need to comment on rumors like this.

    I obviously don't want to see Unity sell to some larger company, because no other company will feel the same passion for Unity as the founder and early employees. For example, nobody expects Microsoft to be passionate about Unity if they buy it. But if that happens, I would fully understand why Unity would choose to sell. Selling is always one possible outcome for any business.
     
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  3. ShadowK

    ShadowK

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    I'm not sure, MS could bring a wealth of experience to the party that most others couldn't. Also I doubt they'd be dumb enough to cut cross platform ability if anyone was thinking that because it's the biggest way to shoot themselves in the foot.

    Let the DX team get involved, they could make Unity a powerhouse with a mass of resources. Look at it like the cup is always half full..
     
  4. superpig

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    The DX team is just one of many within Windows Client these days, as I understand it.

    If only MS had some kind of org internally dedicated to tools for game development. Like some kind of eXpert Next-gen Advisory group helping people make games for their platforms. Wouldn't that just be swell.
     
  5. Amon

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    There is one fact at the moment that is 100% factual and fact stamped factually infactionaless fact.
    Below is this fact:

    If Unity as a company is sold the complainers will have a target to fire at and blame as the cause of them spending more time doing fek all than actually using Unity3D now to produce/make games.

    People/Companies who have active development and a release history of games truly are the magnificent ones. Why? because they all have the 'now is the time to do' philosophy instead of the 'when this happens I'll do' philosophy.

    Fart!
     
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  6. ShilohGames

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    Microsoft has a lot of resources, but in recent history Microsoft does not have a good track record of getting all of those resources to work together toward a common goal. Microsoft current strategy is to split their own platform into a million tiny pieces that don't work together, and then tell everybody to upgrade.

    For example, Microsoft has tied DirectX and web browser versions to specific versions of Windows. That segregated the Windows platform in ways that did not even benefit Microsoft. With the web browser, many people simply switched to FireFox or Chrome instead of upgrading from XP to Vista or 7. Then when those people switched to Windows 7 or 8, those people continued to use FireFox or Chrome instead of IE.

    DirectX versioning backfired in a similar way. A lot of gamers looked to non-PC platforms (such as consoles). Some PC developers switched to OpenGL. Other developers kept designing for DX9, despite the improvements in DX11, simply because XP was limited to DX9. Releasing DX11 for all Windows platforms at the same time would have massively improved the adoption rate of DX11, and would had lead to better looking PC games much sooner. However, Microsoft's current strategy is to slice their own platform into tiny groups and then try to encourage people to upgrade their OS.

    Microsoft has a lot of resources, but that lack of an overall strategy beyond trying to force OS upgrades is dragging them down. If Microsoft bought Unity, I suspect Microsoft would try to tie the Unity editor to what ever their latest OS version is. Maybe they won't do it directly, but they have a strong track record of doing things indirectly. For example, Microsoft could rewrite Unity to use the latest version of Visual Studio, and then let Visual Studio set the OS requirements. That way, Microsoft could force Unity developers to use Windows 8 or 9 without writing that requirement on Unity itself. This is how Microsoft handles the entire IT world. For example, client side database server management tools for SQL Server often have unneeded OS requirements to operate, in order to force DB admins to upgrade their workstations along with other server related upgrades. If Microsoft bought Unity, you should expect them to do similar things with Unity.

    Another slick trick Microsoft would do is rewrite the Unity collaboration tools to require MS SQL Server. Then Microsoft would use some specific features in SQL Server that are not in the Express edition. That way, each organization would have the additional licensing fees for SQL Server. Microsoft already does this tactic with System Center. Microsoft would use its same forced upgrading and hidden license fee tricks/tactics to milk Unity developers if Microsoft bought Unity.
     
  7. zombiegorilla

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    I often suspect that MS believes that if they throw enough money/resources/people at something the strategy part will work itself out.
     
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  8. hippocoder

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    Kind of like Unity? :p
     
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  9. ShadowK

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    Exactly, as @zombiegorilla says like most AAA's do they will throw money at it until the problem is resolved. I couldn't see them wanting to be second best to the likes of Epic..

    @ShilohGames

    Probably will, but the question you got to ask is will the benefits outweigh the dodgy sales tactics?

    Even with Unity now, you still really have to upgrade to get some of the basics covered. Like the 64-bit editor, I'm not sure if forcing upgrades on features will be any different to what it is now. What I do know is they could sort the mono issue out without breaking a sweat and they have some extremely skilled low level API experts and a wealth of toolsets behind them which could be highly beneficial.

    IF MS managed not to go crazy "I haz Ideas I wantz dem to be freez" like they did with they Xbox one, which didn't seem to be dodgy really it appears some braniac had an idea nobody else got. Then they would be in good standing!.

    Obviously not trying to turn this into a UE4 vs. debate, but you got to give the lads and ladies over there kudos. They have come a hell of a long way in a short amount of time and now they have an asset store and not only catching up in weak areas but excelling in others. I really don't believe this is down to Epic, sure they have skill in abundance and they are a friendly group.. But the funding and direction to pull something like this off isn't down to Epic, they were in trouble not that long ago.. It's Tencent leading this battle and if MS was involved in the war then they'd slap Tencent and they would have some real trouble.

    It's not about mobile or PC anymore, it's a battle for clients across all platforms. Sony and MS know this!. Get exclusives using Unity on Xbox and PC, MS reap the benefits..

    It wouldn't be the first time MS takes interest in a game and gives you freebies to entice you over to the dark side. I say good on em!.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  10. superpig

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    Don't underestimate how incredibly dysfunctional Microsoft is internally. (Or used to be, at least - it's been a few years since I was close to the internals - but this stuff is slow to change). For such a large company, it can still be incredibly difficult for an individual project to get any money to throw. This is exactly what happened to XNA - the vast majority of what it did was entirely funded by other departments, rather than by direct endowment, and as the department changed so did the project's direction (hence it originally being 'make your own games for Xbox!' and then 'make your own games for Zune!' and then 'make your own games for Windows Phone!').

    MS do think that games are a big deal, for sure. Xbox has been profitable for them in the past (maybe not so much right now...), and they're putting money into buying games content all over the place - development contests, giving out devkits, etc. But games technology? Not so much. It's just another industry to them - and a pretty damn small one compared to, say, their ASP.NET solution development customers. Not to mention that I still think that if someone brings up games tech internally someone there will say "oh yeah we tried that with XNA. It didn't work out."

    They bought SyntaxTree - I'm guessing for what was, to them, quite a small amount of money - and they're going to keep on working with Unity, Epic, and others to try and make the tech easy - but I can't see them deciding that they want to get into the engine war. Not unless the amount of money they paid for the Unity Xbox One license was astronomical and they decide that it'll be cheaper to just buy the company.

    I just can't see it happening, unless it turns out that Satya Nadella likes to tinker with writing games in his spare time, or something...
     
    ShadowK likes this.
  11. zombiegorilla

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    Indeed they are, they are very focused on gaming and games right now.
     
  12. ShadowK

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    You are in all fairness probably right, I think my point is it wouldn't be the end of the world if it went to "someone" like MS with plenty of resources.
     
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  13. hippocoder

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    It's increasingly less likely the more unity is divided. 50% of a company is not enough, it needs to be a controlling share to be worth anything.
     
  14. tango209

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    Granted Microsoft has a bit of a road to hoe given their past and the size of their bureaucracy. We used to always wait for the first service pack before upgrading but the last five years or so they've really upped their QA and beta cycles to the point where we are OK with upgrading shortly after their releases.

    What I really wanted to point out was that Nadella came from their Azure cloud group which has grown to support Java, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Git, GitHub, MySQL, MongoDB, Linux/Ubuntu, Oracle, and Redis. This is what I could find with just a quick browse of the Azure site.

    There's a lot of preconceived notions with Microsoft, some quite justifiable, but when you actually take the time to look you can see plenty of changes that have been for the better.
     
  15. Damien-Delmarle

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    living in china, i would not be surprised if this article guy has been paid to influence the market value of unity.
    I dont think that would be that bad, unreal engine now work with tencent the chinese facebook, and it look they are doing better recently.
     
  16. hippocoder

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    Personally, I am happy with Unity as it is. I don't feel I want to see it sold off. I would only want to see it sold off if it had a guaranteed viable future and there was no choice.
     
  17. moonjump

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    I think most of feel the same, but things do change, not always in the way you expect. Maybe in a few years we will be wondering who Unity are going to buy next, Microsoft, Facebook or Google?
     
  18. Cogent

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    True, or...

    ...it'll be open source with a Paypal button.

    Hope UT gets it right.
     
  19. Cogent

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  20. hippocoder

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    Valuation is also what the owner feels it's worth. Valuations are only really worth something to buyers. But buyers may be valuing something that isn't just sales, it may be an iconic brand, or the users. Sometimes, it's the IP or patents that are valuable.
     
  21. Cogent

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    Yes.

    It will be very interesting to see what a buyer/the market is willing to pay, if it happens.
     
  22. Dabeh

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    If Unity gets bought out that's not necessarily a bad thing, it could be good in many ways.

    If Unity turns sour, I'll move somewhere else..that could be UE4 or anything; if I'm unable to quickly jump to new technology then I'm in the wrong industry. It sucks that I have time invested and money, but that's the nature of the beast I suppose.
     
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  23. S-0-L-0

    S-0-L-0

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    Last Months Rumor:
    Unity Technologies weighs its options, including a possible sale of the company (exclusive)

    Recent Article from CNET:
    Unity, one gaming development platform to unite them all, up for sale

    Potential Buyers According to Articles:
    Microsoft
    Amazon
    Google (Recent)

    Up and Coming Unity Competitors:
    Unreal Engine 4.5
    Paradox C# Game Engine (Free & Open Source)
    Autodesk's Recently Acquired BitSquid Game Engine
    PlayCanvas HTML5 Game Engine (Open Source)
    Havok's Project Anarchy - (Free & Open Source)

    IMO The only good that can come from a potential acquisition of Unity is if the buyer is indifferent and enables Unity to continue growth as the democratic multi-platform engine its made itself out to be.
     
  24. BeefSupreme

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    Looks like it's been getting shopped around the industry? I hope Microsoft isn't buying it, I've been hearing bad things about their indie developer parity clause recently.
     
  25. Ryiah

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    CNET's article is mostly useless rambling with a reference to VentureBeat. Doubt anything new has actually happened.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
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  26. LeftyTwoGuns

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    Obviously a large company will want to buy Unity because of its massive success.

    But I can't help but think that Unity is a massive success BECAUSE it's not owned by a large corporation. Ultimately, that won't matter when Unity execs are offered billions of dollars to cash out, though. But I'm assuming these types of rumors pop up all the time. Best thing to do as a developer is always keep your options open.
     
  27. BeefSupreme

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    Yeah, you're right. Saw it popping up as news today, but for some reason didn't snap that it was from CNET. Their "articles" are always junk.
     
  28. kenlem

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    None of the possible buyers with 2 billion invested are platform neutral. Any purchaser would certainly advance their platform at the expense of the others. No real reason to panic until an actual sale goes through. At that point, it will be time to evaluate options.
     
  29. afonseca

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    I tend to agree, nothing really substantial there so no point in continuing to speculate.
     
  30. c-Row

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    Maybe Notch wants to spend some of his newly earned wealth...
     
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  31. superpig

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    Hmm. You think he wanted the dark skin, and someone said 'you only get that if you buy it,' and he misunderstood?
     
  32. tswalk

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  33. tswalk

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    and to make this a bit interesting.. follow me here:

    Epic is owned by Tencent Holdings, whom has a 35% share of it?... Naspers. Which is run by Bob van Dijk, and is heavily involved player in mass marketing, print, and purchased some game companies and other technology companies,...et al.

    c|net is owned by CBS corporation, of which has a board director sitting on the National Amusements, Inc. and I'm sure a host of others...

    what is the link?

    The firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, who happens to have CBS and Nasper as clients. I could see, an afternoon meeting in New York, where Mr. Redstone and Mr. Dijk meeting with Ms. Saeed to discuss the probability of united efforts to assist like interests...

    meh, just a thought.
     
  34. S-0-L-0

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    Perhaps Valve could be a potential buyer, which would likely mean Unity Editor for Linux.
     
  35. zombiegorilla

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    Quoting for da true.
     
  36. zombiegorilla

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  37. goat

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    http://www.cnet.com/news/unity-one-gaming-development-platform-to-unite-them-all-up-for-sale/

    That article claimed Unity is being pitched and then they tried to cover their tracks and make it ambiguous by claiming the pitches were simple polite responses to polite enquiries.

    Google and Microsoft are the most likely 'platform agnostic' buyers in as they'd want games to serve as delivery engines for Google & Bing Advertising. Any big company that would like to delivery ads via games and mobile games in particular would be interested in Unity. Unity could even eventually challenge Google and Bing advertising revenue the way Facebook has. I view more ads via Facebook then via Google or Bing because I and most none-techies use Facebook more. Similarly television advertising costs much more then internet advertising.
     
  38. tiggus

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    My money is still on Microsoft being the eventual buyer, think it makes sense for a lot of stuff they've been doing recently especially with the cloud platform they already own.
     
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  39. Ness

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    My god, just not Microsoft :] Google however seems like a "smart" company, so I hope for that.
    Thats a second article on Unity sale option so I guess this is happening
    Valve has its own engine, so thats not likely to happen.
     
  40. superpig

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    Well, the only actual source the second article cites is the first article, so...
     
  41. John-B

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    Anybody remember Director and what happened to it after Adobe bought it? That, and iOS, was what finally pushed me to Unity. If you've never heard of Director, then I think you get my point.
     
  42. Ness

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    I dont think what you said is true, they are only quoting previous article in regards of pricing.
     
  43. JAKJ

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    Google buying Unity would be horrible. They are too large. Do you see what is happening with YouTube, and the Content ID, and so forth? The big entertainment companies sued the crap about of Google until finally Google just said "screw it" and put in the most "little guy"-antagonistic system possible. Their size makes it so that not only do they find it impractical to care about the little guy, they don't even need to.

    Right this moment you can go onto the 4.6 Beta forum and make a post, and get a direct and personal reply from people like Tim and Phil. The guys actually doing the work on Unity themselves read what you typed, think about it, and type back at you. That responsiveness.

    You want to know what would happen if Google bought Unity? Tim, and Phil, and all the rest, would be buried six layers deep in beaurocracy, planning departments, and idea clusters, and you would never hear a peep from them again unless it's on their own time. They simply wouldn't have the opportunity.

    Unity would no longer be what it is: It would just be one more product amongst all the other products, maybe good, maybe crap, but nothing special, nothing unique. Would you really want to throw your eggs in Google's basket and just hope their vision just happens to match yours?
     
  44. superpig

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    Well it should be easy to show how I'm wrong: what other sources do they actually cite, and where?
     
  45. kenlem

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    Valve isn't really in the game development business. Steam is where all the real money is.
     
  46. Ness

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    Its in the header of the article :]

    @JAKJ
    I can agree that the best option is not to sell, but if they feel like they had to, who's better then google?
     
  47. Grimwolf

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    Are you serious? DotA 2 has more active players than World of Warcraft.
     
  48. superpig

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    I thought you'd say that. No, saying 'sources say' is not citing actual sources. Wake me up when Ian Sherr actually names some people, or presents a leaked copy of the presentation, or generally says anything which isn't tantamount to 'a guy in a forum somewhere said...'
     
  49. Ness

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    I just wanted, to point out that it is not article about "that" article :]
     
  50. tswalk

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    interesting.. Kabam (while privately held), has several capital investment firms involved, including Paramount Pictures (owned by Viacom), who's parent company is National Amusements, Inc. (a.k.a CBS ). Funny how they all work together :)

    My guess is, with their publishing muscle, they are willing to spread rumors regarding Unity to illicit doubt in the minds of investors and/or developers about the stability of the company. Of course, in an attempt to bolster Epic and move devs to that toolkit...

    "If" I were at the helm of Unity, I would be looking at joining forces with a group aligned against that conglomerate ...

    ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014