Skip to main content

Unity Technologies co-founder goes indie to make his own games

unity the drowning
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How quickly things change. Ten years ago the average indie video game was built on Adobe’s Flash and featured crude (though often charming) animation and mechanics. Ten years ago, we were still playing Snood. Now independent developers are funding beautiful projects like Dreamfall Chapters and Wasteland 2, 3D games with graphics that put hits from 2008 to shame, and they’re all built on tight budgets thanks to some incredibly versatile technology. Unity Technologies’ game engine and tools are instrumental in that process, and those indie games are just two examples from many birthed in the past few years that use the Unity Engine. As its star rises, though, Unity Technologies is losing one of its key creators. Co-founder Nicholas Francis is leaving Unity to, appropriately enough, make his own games.

“As great as it has been building Unity, I have come to feel that actually using it is what really scratches my itch,” explains Francis in a post at Unity’s official blog, “On days where I can just get into the zone and fidget around in some shaders, gamecode, a custom editor tool or whatnot, I feel really fulfilled. And at the end of the day, that’s what it boils down to.

“So I will be leaving Unity in order to join your ranks and dedicate myself to creating games. This has not been an easy choice—in fact, it has been one of the hardest ones in my life. I am infinitely proud of everything I’ve been part of building, proud of the team, and proud of having a tiny part of me in all your games. So proud that I can’t wait to experience Unity from the other side of the fence.”

With one of the chief architects behind Unity leaving to pursue his own goals, it will be interesting to see how the engine continues to grow as a creative tool. It already has great momentum in terms of business. In the past twelve months alone, Unity has forged partnerships to help expand the platform beyond mobile devices and PCs. Unity CEO David Helgason announced in September that Unity had partnered with Nintendo to help encourage indie developers to support the Nintendo Wii U. Considering the Wii U’s current sales, Nintendo needs Unity far more than Unity needs Nintendo. Iconic game designers like Peter Molyneux are also adopting the engine with greater frequency.

Editors' Recommendations

Anthony John Agnello
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Anthony John Agnello is a writer living in New York. He works as the Community Manager of Joystiq.com and his writing has…
All Fallout games, ranked
The courier in his nuclear gear and holding his gun in Fallout: New Vegas key art.

Who would've thought the post-apocalypse could be such a fun time? The Fallout franchise has taken the idea of a Mad Max-like future and not only made it into a wildly popular game franchise but also a hit TV series. The core franchise has been around since the late '90s, and yet we've had only a handful of mainline entries in the series since it was revived by Bethesda with Fallout 3. With Starfield in the rearview mirror and the next Elder Scrolls title currently being the dev team's focus, it could be close to another decade before we can set foot in the wasteland ourselves once again. What better time, then, to look back at the franchise and rank all the games from best to worst?

Fallout: New Vegas

Read more
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble is as fun to watch as it is to play
Monkeys race one another in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble.

I couldn’t tell you what the last Super Monkey Ball game I played was, but I can still talk your ear off about the series. That’s thanks to the speedrunning community that has formed around the franchise, making it into the most exciting game to watch when it's played at a high level. After spending close to a decade watching old games turned inside and out, I’m ready to finally dig into a new entry for myself.

Thankfully, I’m getting that chance on June 25 when Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble launches on Nintendo Switch. The latest entry in Sega’s precise platforming series comes loaded with content, from an adventure mode with 200 stages to multiple 16-player multiplayer modes. That’s all exciting, but my attention was on one question when I sat down to demo all of that last week: How fun will it be to watch players master it?

Read more
How to unlock the Invoker in Remnant 2
Invoker

Remnant 2's second DLC, The Forgotten King, is jam-packed with fun new stuff to find for those willing to thoroughly explore. Among its many additions is the Invoker archetype, which allows you to harness the power of nature using the nature spirits of Yaesha. Below, we'll detail how you can unlock this exciting new class for yourself.

Read more