Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
This is going to cause a stir. As it turns out, Microsoft employs the Unity3D gaming engine in one of its titles, Kinectanimals, that is out for Windows Phone. The problem is that the company blocks other software creators, be they developers or companies, from using that very engine on the mobile platform.
According to a report in MobilityDigest, this has a negative effect: “[This exclusion has] rubbed a lot of devs the wrong way as they rely on this for their games (including Xbox titles) and the result is that they skip WP7.” In short, Microsoft is not allowing others to use what it uses itself, which is what they want. Brilliant.
Now that this is in the open, the company will likely have to backtrack and allow for the use of Unity3D by others. Why ban developers from using Unity3D? According to analysis on WMPowerUser, that we agree with wholeheartedly, use of Unity3D is an admission that XNA is not good enough for app development by itself. This essentially mocks the platform. However, as Microsoft has used Unity3D in its own games, that cat is already out of the bag.
Still, Microsoft has the chance to now publicly change its course on the matter, and potentially attract a new cadre of developers to its yet very nascent mobile platform. Sure the company would rather have kept things as they were, but it might end up with an accidental win this time around.
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