From realistic in-game physics to high-quality gaming landscapes, the Unity and Unreal engines are providing everything a developer needs to design the next big mobile, PC, or console game.
Gaming is a booming business. The industry generated over $120B in revenue in 2017, and is expected to reach more than $180B in 2021.
And everybody wants a piece. The market has been buoyed by investments by video game publishers like Tencent and Activision Blizzard, as well as hardware incumbents like Sony (PlayStation) and Microsoft (Xbox).
But two lesser-known organizations are also playing a key role in driving the industry forward: Unity Technologies and the Unreal Engine.
These are two of the most popular game engines today, providing the digital infrastructure for many of the world’s most popular games, such as Pokémon Go (made with Unity Engine) and Fortnite (made with Unreal Engine).
From realistic physics in a game environment to landscapes and structures, these engines offer everything a developer needs to design advanced mobile, PC, and console games.
As the industry grows, these engines are now starting to converge. Unity Technologies, known for its focus on mobile gaming, is now pushing into PC and Console game development, while Unreal Engine, known for its PC and console game engine, is optimizing its platform to draw more mobile game developers. The platforms are also competing for market share in emerging areas like AR/VR.
Below, we dig into both organizations, their monetization models, and the industries they may dominate in the future.
Unity refines its engine to attract sophisticated PC & console game developers
Unity Technologies was founded in 2003 and has since risen to become one of the most popular game development engines used today, powering nearly half of all mobile games. In 2016, over 30% of the top 1000 mobile games were built using Unity, which reported having 45% of the entire global game engine market.
Mobile gaming is the fastest-growing segment in the overall gaming industry, expected to rise at an average annual rate of 17%+ between 2017 and 2021. Unity will be an important contributor to future growth, providing the digital infrastructure necessary to take the mobile gaming segment $100B+ in the next few years.