Microsoft Game Dev – A Fireside Chat with Unity’s Marc Whitten

In August, we announced that Unity, our long-time partner and world leader in real-time 3D technology, has chosen Azure as its cloud partner to build and operate real-time 3D (RT3D) experiences from the Unity engine. . This strengthening of our partnership builds on our shared commitment to expanding the creation and distribution of 3D content, bringing relevant tools and technologies to a wider range of developers, and making it easier than ever to deliver games to players.

Recently, Microsoft Game Dev Editorial Director N’Gai Croal had the opportunity to sit down virtually with Marc Whitten, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Unity Create Solutions, to talk about how we work together. to make it easier than ever for game creators around the world to publish on Xbox and PC consoles so they can better reach their existing communities and create new ones. You can watch the full cat video below or view it here on YouTube.

The discussion was broad, touching on everything from the similarities between the video game industry and Hollywood (and their differences) to Unity’s addition of Weta Digital and Ziva Dynamics to the Unity Create Solutions toolset. Naturally, the lion’s share of the chat revolved around how the move to the cloud has changed game development and how Unity’s partnership with Azure will allow them to provide developers with even more impactful tools and greater flexibility.

Here are some relevant quotes from the discussion, slightly edited for clarity.

Marc Whitten on whether games or movies place a greater demand on technology:

I believe game creators and game players have generally been at the forefront of advancing what’s possible with any technology, and then that generally trickles down through many other use cases. I think as humans we like to be entertained and we like to play games. And so, if you give a technology to a creator, he will make a game of it. And if you give that to a player, he will ask that creator to improve it a little.

Marc Whitten on the importance of creating cloud-native game development tools:

Undeniably, in a hybrid world, the creators themselves, when they are in teams, are going to be more and more in different places. So allowing them to easily collaborate, to work on assets that are in the cloud, to be able to access material regardless of where that material is, is pretty critical to the creative experience.

Marc Whitten explains why Unity chose Azure as a cloud partner:

Talking with Azure management and some high-level engineers, we saw a common vision. They were very helpful in understanding some potential blind spots and were as excited as we were about the potential of the partnership. It’s a great partner for us as we seek to accelerate how we can add value through the cloud and increase the impact of products and technologies like this.

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