Earlier this year, Unity proclaimed that it was working on a system that would allow developers the opportunity to make games based on its technology available for play on any Internet browser, without the need for any plug-ins. This would be accomplished using the WebGL standard for browsers, although at the timeÂ the company didnâ€™t have a release date planned. That was understandable, since it wasn’t clear when or even if various browsers would build WebGL support in.
Well, wait no more, as the tech appears to be available, per the listing on the Unity page. With WebGL, developers can utilize the power of a computer’s general graphics card in order to render 3D games on the fly, as well as applications, all without the need to download any extra technology or browser plug-ins. The company’s actually been fiddling with it for years, but merely tapped the potential until releasing it into certain browsers like Firefox as of last year.
The development tool opens up a new door for developers, allowing them access to the WebGL system without needing to pay for additional tools. It provides a great deal of worth for those who were running into road blocks before, such as the need for a “powerhouse” piece of technology or, worse yet, a premium upgrade with a particular browser.
Don’t think that Unity isn’t profiting by giving the technology away for free, though. Per TechCrunch, the company benefits in many ways. It can earn money from premium licenses for those who prefer the advanced tool set; partnerships with various companies are definitely paying off (including Sony); and the program is free of charge up until the developer makes a big load of money with it, to the tune of $100,000. From there, certain fees would apply.
The Unity engine works for computer systems across the board, including Windows, Mac and Linus, as well as iOS and Android for those who want to dabble in mobile development. Furthermore, it’s also supported for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, making it easy for would-be developers to create something for those systems. Still, though, the ability to play browser games that are as powerful as native games depends on browser implementation of WebGL, and WebGL isn’t supported yet on iOS — though Apple has promised WebGL support for the upcoming iOS 8.